Gomez has evolved over six studio releases, starting with 1998's rootsy, booze-and-blues-fueled debut Bring It On--which set the bar high, winning the Mercury Prize as the UK's best album--but this Southport quintet have always made their bones on stage. There's a natural rapport and easy versatility live, as guitarists Tom Gray, Ian Ball and Ben Ottewell--notable for his Vedder-esque growl--switch off on lead vocals and share spot-on harmonies. John Lee Hooker was a fan and Al Kooper still is, but blues is a mere touchstone for an eclectic group unafraid to veer off in new directions - like last year's low-key, acoustic A New Tide. The band (or various permutations) has made more than a dozen local appearances over the past decade, but rarely at a venue this intimate. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Sun., March 14, 8 p.m., 2010

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