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Gogol Bordello 01/04/2008


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Gogol Bordello 01/04/2008

The sentence "Epic Gypsy-Punk" could be used to fully describe the gig. However, I get the feeling you'd like a bit more than that...

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Carling Academy was how happy and energetic the crowd was, there were 'pratice' pits going on before the bands got going! The support act was called 'Skindred', and are a 'ragga-rock' group from Newport. If you're as clueless to that genre as me, I guess I could bets describe the sound as reggae-metal (as opposed to rock, oddly). They had a good stage presence, with the vocalist getting the crowd singing along and following his every order pretty quick, and the crowd were well into it, with big crazy mosh pits going on throughout the set. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea however, and I wanted to save energy for Gogol, so I steered clear!

Gogol came on stage some time between eight-thirty and nine, I think it was nearer eighty-thirty. They had a cool backdrop with 'Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks' on, and two smaller ones either side with the title of one of their songs on 'Think Locally - F*ck Globally'. The crowd were completely crazy, and for the first three or four songs there was so much forwards and backwards (and sometime side to side pressure) that not much actual dancing or jumping could happen - everyone was too bust staying on their feet! Once the crowd had sorted itself out (the less hardcore people moved out of the front basically) then everyone started pushing and shoving and jumping around like loons, and kept it up right to the end of the set, between two and two and a half hours later!

The band were on form, and barely stopped for breath between songs, in fact most of the time they seemed to have started the next one before I'd properly realised the previous song had finished! They were all dressed up in cool gypsy/punk kinda togs, as were the crowd, one guy even came in a great purple cloak, with a pink fluffy 'boob-tube' type thing... Very, erm, appropriate. I think it was in the middle of 'Think Locally' that the singer pulled out a red bucket, stuck it over the mike on the mike stand and beat out a pretty funky little bucket solo. Once the bucket had been used once it made several reappearances, especially during the drawn out endings of songs, most impressively when there was a bottle of wine, a drum stick and the microphone all inside it being shaken around crazily, with wine going everywhere! The first part of the set was about an hour and a half long, ending on 'Start Wearing Purple' which really sent the crowd into a frenzy of jumping and singing, and had us all screaming for more before the band had left the stage.

The encore was impressive... They made three songs last at least 45 minutes, quite possibly more, and kept (the pretty knackered by now) crowd dancing and singing away for it all, even though it was mostly brand new, only played live before, stuff! There's something about watching a scrawny, mustached, long haired, topless bloke going 'Ohh-ah, ooh-ah, ooh-ah-ah' for about ten minutes that really surprisingly fun! By the time they finished, at about ten to eleven, the crowd had had almost as much Gogol as they could handle (I think they would have stayed for another song or two, but that would break the golden rule of always leaving the audience wanting more!) and the band (complete with dancers) were heartily cheered off the stage.

Go see Gogol Bordello the next opportunity you get, I can't imagine anyone could be disappointed (unless you either dislike the music [in which case I'll need to give you a good talking too ;) ] or get too inebriated to enjoy it properly [like I did for their set at Beautiful Days last year...])

Stay tuned for a review of Misty's Big Adventure and Plastic Hassle (a local band from Barnstaple) some time after Saturday, not sure when exactly as I may be away from my computer for a lot of next week, but I'll do my best :)

Oh, and before I forget, pictures can be found HERE

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