NEWS: Ben Ottewell @ Georgian Theatre, Stockton | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As the guitarist and lead singer of the Mercury Prize-winning band alt rock band Gomez, Ben Ottewell has gained a reputation for his gravelly baritone and imaginative guitar solos. Once declared as Gomez’s “secret weapon” by Rolling Stone, he has often been seen as Southport’s answer to Tom Waits or Eddie Vedder. Back in 2011, he embarked on his first solo album, the critically acclaimed Shapes & Shadows, and hasn’t turned back since.

Four years down the line, Ottewell has released his second LP, the crowd-funded Rattlebag, and is currently on a tour of the country. For those expecting the psychedelic, slightly electronic alt rock of Gomez, though, prepare to be surprised. Ottewell’s solo work sees him traverse a more sensitive and semi-acoustic route, though his unique vocal style is still unmistakeable. Stripped down and luscious, Rattlebag presents a beautiful collection of poetic narratives of salvation and redemption that are simultaneously intelligent and catchy. With infectious melodies and sublime acoustics, Gomez fans will undoubtedly relish the opportunity to see Ottewell live. But even for those not overly fond of his band, there’s something precious to cherish in Ottewell’s solo material, and particularly in its live incarnation, that is well worth another listen.

Ben Ottewell plays at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton, on Saturday 11th April.

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