Gogol Bordello, 02 Academy, Manchester

in Live

Gogol Bordello throw a Gypsy Party just in time for the Party season, not that they need an excuse.

Tonight’s support band is Lucky Chops

Lucky Chops have been unleashing high-energy brassy funk on the world since forming in NYC in 2006. The intensity of the band’s energy is fuelled by their desire to share the healing and inspirational power of music with others. These guys really did warm up the crowd.

Gogol Bordello is an American Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. Much of the band’s sound is inspired by Gypsy music mixed with punk and dub. As they bring their infectious energy to a packed Manchester Academy, the crowd are already in fine spirt, which seems to be a prerequisite for a Gogol Bordello gig.

As the band assemble on stage and immediately launch into “Break into your Higher self”, the bar is immediately set. Eugene Hutz is the driving force as the front man, but he is by no means the only factor of this whirlwind, the 7 piece are all integral ingredients in this feel good let’s get this party started atmosphere. “Not a crime” is frenzied and dirty shredded guitar, whilst “Wanderlust King” and “Ultimate “draw from their Eastern European folk roots. Gogol Bordello are renowned for how they deride audience interaction, it’s at times hypnotic, transcending cultural backgrounds, not perfectly crafted but spontaneous, both from artists and crowd.

Lucky Chops swell the ranks on the stage for “We rise again”, “Rebellious love”, “Love gangsters”, and “Trans-Continental Hustle”, to some how push things even further over the bar. There is no party like a Gypsy party, its fast, its furious, its invigorating, a communal spirt is present in a well-oiled machine.

If anyone knows Gogol Bordello, it will more than likely be for the song “Start wearing purple “as Hurtz settles on the large drum in the centre of the stage, with his customary bottle of Red. The rawness of Violin and the bellowing accordion begin the layers of what can only be described as a catalyst of euphoria, add in the frantic strains of violin and the drenching guitar, only to be topped by Hurtz vocal arrangement, one that has the crowd playing their biggest part of the evening. This looks like ecstasy, sounds like heaven.

As the band return to the stage for a 3 song encore, “Familiar bonfire ball”, “Think locally Fuck Globally”, and ultimately “Pala Tute”, both band and audience can go and have a well earned rest, from start to finish, this has been full on, an eclectic fusion of Gypsy Funk, punk, dub, driven by an energy usually reserved for major festivals and arenas.

Gogol Bordello are not a band to go to a party, they are the party.

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