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Silver anniversary sneaks up on British rockers Gomez

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

It's been 15 years since the members of Gomez formed their band in Southport, England. And it's caused the quintet -- which has released seven albums during that time and toured regularly -- a bit of pause.

"I don't know how long 15 years feels, but this just started as a little hobby for us," says singer-guitarist Ian Ball, one of the group's three frontmen. "If it wasn't something we were doing professionally, I'm sure we'd be (making music) anyway. The longevity has really come through our own blood, sweat and tears. We've kept going because we've kept going.

"And it's really cool because there's so few of our contemporaries that are still going, and we're still here, doing it well. That makes us proud."

Gomez's 1998 debut album "Bring It On," won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, and over the years the band has contributed songs to TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "House" and was part of a BBC radio special commemorating the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death. Ball says Gomez has no special plans to commemorate its 15th birthday other than continued touring to promote it latest album, "Whatever's On Your Mind." But is in the midst of going through "a whole heap of archive recordings" from throughout its career for a possible odds-and-sods released called "Shattered By Experts."

Ball, meanwhile, acknowledges that he and his bandmates, though still young, are showing a few "ravages" of age.

"Frequently we'll go into a place we've played before and be looking around to see if we recognize anything about it," says Ball, 36. "I usually don't remember much of anything, but it used to be a couple of people would remember stuff. Now we've gotten to a point where nobody remembers anything!"

Gomez performs Thursday, March 8, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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