Gogol Bordello – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Friday 15/12/2017


Damian finds joy in the chaos

Gogol Bordello are an American gypsy punk band from the lower east side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for their theatrical stage shows and persistent touring.

“Gogol” comes from Nickolai Gogol, a classical Russian Ukranian writer, born in today`s Ukraine. He serves as an ideological influence for the band because he “smuggled” Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/East-European music in the English-speaking world.

The band comprise of Eugine Hutz (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards and percussion), Boris Pelekh (guitar), Pedro Erazo-Sergovia (vocals, percussion, charango marimba and MC), Pasha Newmerzhitsky (accordion and backing vocals), Ashley Tobias (percussion and backing vocals), Thomas “Tommy”(bass, backing vocals), Sergey Ryabtsev (violin, keyboards and backing vocals) and Alfredo Ortiz (drums, percussion and backing vocals)

The band are over to promote their recently released seventh studio album `Seekers And Finders` and first since 2013`s `Pura Vida Conspiracy` and the first album produced by frontman Eugine.

The band bounce on stage to “Break Into Your Higher Self” from said new release. The wonderful “Not A Crime” follows and it`s mayhem with the faithful dancing and jumping as the band rip the place apart. We catch breath and it`s straight into “Wunderlust King” and everyone`s singing along. The more subdued, by Gogol standard`s “Ultimate” follows then a track I really like from `Seekers and Finders` with “Saboteur Blues.” It`s back to the danceable tunes with “My Companjera” before almost a love song to the demon drink is shared with” Alcohol.”

Tonight`s support and good friends of the band, Lucky Chops, join the troupe on stage for the next few numbers with the anthemic “Walking On The Burning Coal”, the pacey “We Rise Again”, “Rebellious Love”, sleazy “Love Gangsters” and “Trans-Continental Hustle” We get all sorts of instruments from trombones, trumpets, tenor saxes to evan a Brian-Sousaphone.

A song of our time “Immigraiada (We Comin` Rougher)” gets an airing, then “Mishto!” before the superb love song “Hieroglyph” which highlights what a fantastic range of vocal dexterity Eugine has.

The set closes out with a race through a number of songs including,  “Undestructable / Baro Foro”, “Start Wearing Purple”, “I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again” and the stunning “Pala Tute”

The encore has the gang returning to blow the place away with the crazy “Think Locally, Fuck Globally”.

This was a terrific night spent in the company of some wonderful musicians. A band that live for entertaining and I’d defy anybody not to get caught up in the hypnotic beats that will have you at the very least tapping your foot if not jumping around like a teenager.

How would I describe a night in the company of Gogol Bordello? Simply wonderful organised confusion.

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