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Photo: Jon Gomm’s Facebook. Permission Granted.

Acoustic guitar is never really something which you truly master – unless you’re Jon Gomm. Picking up a ukulele at the ripe age of two, Jon soon transitioned to classical guitar, nabbing lessons from greats such as BB King and Jack Bruce (of Cream).  

Tonight he sits central on the Joiners stage which is empty aside from a stool, pedalboard and mic stand. The floor beneath him though is quite the opposite, flooded with adoring fans, casual schmoozers and the wide-eyed, heavily inebriated guy whooping at every opportune (and not so opportune) moment. 

Gomm steps on to deafening applause. The warm, orange hue of stripped back lighting sets a welcoming air of intimacy and inwardness for the show and it is instantly made clear what the fuss is all about. He wields a tattered yet cherished guitar as if it was conjoined with his very being, exhibiting an expression that demonstrates he has understanding of every inch of the instrument. He whisks through songs such as ‘Everything’ and ‘The Weather Machine’ before unleashing the song which has its live performance on YouTube sitting at over 9.7 million views, ‘Passionflower’.   

Peppered with humorous interludes, Gomm delves into everything from tales of Scottish hecklers pleading for ‘something to dance to’ (at which point he launches into his “only disco tune”- ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Chaka Khan) to the state of Canadian politics, bringing wit to his already impressive set.

Gomm shows how he makes an entire section of drums, bass and slide guitar through complex tapping patterns and scratches on the surface of a single guitar. He goes from basic four to the floor back beats (which he playfully admits is rather dull “unless you’re into German techno”) to an all-out escapade of a one man band. 

Gomm ends the show stepping into the centre of the crowd, finishing with an honest, unplugged and charmingly foolish love song called ‘Gloria’. He sees the rally cry for an encore and gives everything to this last performance, putting the cherry on top of a masterpiece of a show. Honing his craft with dedication on the touring circuit, Gomm is simply an astounding all-round performer.  

Jordan Low @_JordanLow

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