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Gaz Coombes - Turn The Car Around (Album Review)

Tuesday, 17 January 2023 Written by Graeme Marsh

Photo: Tom Cockram

September of last year saw the end (we think) of Supergrass. Taking to the stage at the tribute concert for Foo Fighters’ late drummer Taylor Hawkins, the Britpop legends apparently enjoyed their last stand, with frontman Gaz Coombes then returning to his quietly dazzling solo career.

‘Turn the Car Around’ is his fourth effort, and it represents the ending of a chapter just as the cessation of his band does. According to Coombes the LP completes a trilogy following the release of ‘Matador’ in 2015 and ‘World’s Strongest Man’ three years later.

So, in more ways than one, Coombes looks ready to move on. He also claims to have “evolved” and “got better” at what he does.

On the evidence before us, it’s difficult to argue with that assessment. Having matured beyond the abrasive, brash cockiness of his band, Coombes’ work is ageing like a fine wine. 

Approaching Michael Kiwanuka territory on both the opener Overnight Trains and the single Don’t Say It’s Over, a song about meeting his future wife, he immediately reveals intelligent songwriting chops that could be held up against just about anything out there right now. 

The highlights are plentiful. Closer Dance On is a slab of swirling art-rock grandiosity while Sonny the Strong entertains Coombes’ interest in forgotten heroes, peering into the life of British boxer Randy Turpin, who defeated Sugar Ray Robinson before being largely lost to history. The spiky guitar riff of Long Live the Strange takes its cues from singer-songwriter Cavetown, while the compelling title track is suitably cinematic. 

While he is puzzlingly still referred to as ‘Gaz from Supergrass’, perhaps Coombes can finally shake that tag after slotting another superb entry into his solo discography. ‘Turn The Car Around’ cements his place as one of the UK’s most notable songwriters.

Gaz Coombes Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue January 17 2023 - LIVERPOOL Jacaranda
Wed January 18 2023 - BRIGHTON Resident
Thu January 19 2023 - OXFORD Truck
Fri April 14 2023 - DUBLIN Academy
Sat April 15 2023 - BELFAST Limelight 2
Mon April 17 2023 - GLASGOW Garage
Tue April 18 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Boiler Shop
Wed April 19 2023 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Fri April 21 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Mill
Sat April 22 2023 - MANCHESTER Club Academy
Mon April 24 2023 - CAMBRIDGE Junction 1
Tue April 25 2023 - NORWICH Waterfront
Thu April 27 2023 - BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Fri April 28 2023 - BRISTOL SWX
Sat April 29 2023 - LONDON Electric Ballroom

Compare & Buy Gaz Coombes Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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