Gomez are an English indie rock band. Their first album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. The genesis of Gomez was the meeting of four friends from Southport. Guitarist and vocalist Ian Ball and drummer Olly Peacock had previously played together in a local heavy metal band called Severed. They joined with guitarist / vocalist / keyboardist Tom Gray and bassist Paul Blackburn. Ian Ball met vocalist / guitarist Ben Ottewell (from Matlock Bath in Derbyshire) at Sheffield University, where they were both studying.
The band played their first gig together in late 1996 in Leeds without a formal name. The band left a sign out for a friend of theirs whose surname was Gomez to indicate that it was the site of their first gig. People saw the sign and assumed that the band's name was Gomez - the name stuck.
The band started recording four-track demos in a garage in Southport soon after. A bidding war erupted when they sent the demos to recording labels, with the band finally signing with Virgin Records' subsidiary, Hut, in 1997.
Gomez's career trajectory has led to the band's name taking on a new meaning. Also known as "Mercury Poisoning", To "do a Gomez" now means to release a debut album so successful and to such unanimous praise that expectations are raised to the point where it is impossible to follow it. This is in reference to the fact that whilst Bring It On is still regarded as one of the best British albums of the late nineties, its follow-ups have met a mixed critical reception and disappointing sales. Despite this their second album was quite popular and allowed them to go on a world tour. They sold out a number of venues though never became a stadium band like Oasis. They still produce music and have a loyal following amongst fans of the best of late 90's rock.