Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ian Gomm - Summer Holiday - 1978

The British version of the U.S. Gomm With the Wind album, Summer Holiday boasts one of the best sleeves on the era, a collection of happy snapshots presumably taken on the Gomm family's last summer vacation, and alive with all the thrills and spills of a couple of weeks at Butlins.

The music, too, has a bright, summery feel. Gomm's past as a member of Brinsley Schwarz is seldom far from view, as he drives down the same pop-rocking avenues as that band was wont to, and which fellow refugee Nick Lowe was now perfecting. But, whereas both of Lowe's albums to date labored ever-so-slightly beneath their maker's reputation for "clever" songwriting and sneaky pilfering, Summer Holiday remains radiant throughout. And, just in case any last doubts should still be lingering, one of the album's most powerful numbers answers any questions that the Lowe comparisons might raise -- "That's the Way I Rock 'n' Roll."

Elsewhere, Gomm's take on the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" rates among that song's most inspired retakes, and inspired what would become his own best-loved recording, a similarly rearranged rendition of Chuck Berry's "Come On." Issued as a single shortly after the album appeared, "Come On" came so close to landing Gomm a major hit single that it was hastily added to the album; oddly, however, the sleeve was never updated to reflect the change, rendering the addition a shade redundant, to say the least. But that really should be beside the fact. With or without "Come On," Summer Holiday remains a terrific album, one of the best of all fruits of the original Schwarz cabal. -AMG




Anonymous said...

Always loved this one (the US version). Saw Gomm open for Dire Staits, and he was fab.

Hebridean Monty said...

Back in 1978 I was caught up in the excitement of all the great punk and new wave stuff that was coming out...having been a Brinsleys nut since I bought the 'Greasy Truckers Party' double lp in the early '70's,I always meant to get this and I never did...thanks!


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