Guitar player and vocalist Ian Ball and drummer Olly Peacock had been friends since a young age. They had been in various bands before forming Gomez. They met bassist Paul Blackburn at college where they studied. They joined with multi-instrumentalist Tom Gray who lived down the road from Blackburn, and at last, Ian Ball met up with another vocalist/guitarist; Ben Ottewell from Matlock Bath in Derbyshire at Sheffield University, where they were both studying Law.
The band played their first gig together in late 1996 in Leeds without a formal name. The band departed a sign out which read ‘Gomez the gig’s in here” for a friend of theirs whose surname was Gomez to indicate that it was the site of their first gig. People saw the sign and assumed that the band’s name was Gomez – the name stuck.
The group began recording four-track demos in Peacock’s father’s bathroom in Southport soon after. A bidding war erupted when they sent the demos to recording labels, with the group finally signing with Virgin Records’ subsidiary, Hut, in 1997.