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Blues-infused Rockers

Blues-infused Rockers

Who: Gomez
What: Cockatoo Island Festival
Where: Cockatoo Island
When: Saturday March 26, 2005

LAST time Gomez's Tom Gray played a music festival in Australia he found himself on a Byron Bay beach the next day draped in flowers.

``We had a great show and then got impossibly drunk and I woke up the next day lying on the beach,'' Gray said.

``I wasn't entirely sure how I got there. It was almost dream-like.

``There were these two hippy girls who had been at the show the night before and they recognised me and they'd come and hung flowers garlands around my neck.

``It was quite strange.'' Gray and the remaining four members of UK outfit Gomez arrive back in the country next week for what Gray estimated would be the band's sixth tour of Australia.

As well as playing a handful of is own headline shows, Gomez will squeeze in two festival appearances.

The first is at the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Byron Bay and the second is at the inaugural three- day Cockatoo Island festival at Sydney Harbour on Saturday, March 26. Gomez is on the road supporting the release of the latest album, Split The Difference , which was released early last year and has kept the band on the road ever since travelling the globe.

``I enjoy being on the road but I sometimes wish I could stay still a bit more often,'' Gray said.

``People say, `You must love it, you get to travel all the time', but you literally are travelling all the time and I think people forget that.

``Especially when you're touring through America, sometimes it's a six- to eight-hour drive every day and then you do a show, which is OK, but it completely fries your brain.'' The five school friends formed the band in the mid-90s and drifted from the Britpop trend set by bands like Blur and Oasis in favour of playing blues-infused rock.

Gomez's debut album, Bring It On, achieved widespread acclaim and received the distinguished Mercury Music Prize in 1998 for Album of the Year.

Tickets to the Cockatoo Island festival are on sale now and are available online at ticketek.com

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