The first time I saw Gogol Bordello was ten years ago, almost to the day – December 18 2007, in Glasgow. A random invite, unplanned (which the best things in life tend to be). Honestly? I was neither here nor there about going; I wasn’t ‘un-fond’ of the music I’d heard but I certainly wouldn’t have described myself as a fan.
Well that changed in about ten minutes…
I don’t know quite what I had been expecting, but I got something that I had never experienced before at a gig, and still to this day haven’t, apart from last night when I got it again.
If you’re not familiar with the Familia, then of course you can Google the hell-o out of Gogol Bordello and get your ‘Gipsy Punk’/’Transcontinental Pogues’ defo. Gogol Bordello is about much, much more than that.
It’s gipsy, it’s cabaret, it’s punk, it’s circus, theatre, chaos, revolution, a syndicate of troubadours and a party that you never want to stop, to the point you would run off into the night with Familia to spend the rest of your existence dancing in a multicoloured haze.
Nobody else in the world sounds, looks or performs like Gogol Bordello. The riotous energy, raw frenetic pace, explosion of colour and the glorious patchwork of sounds unleashes the free spirit of the soul to make this an experience rather than a performance. For the band, and for the audience, connected by this primal energy, passion and ecstatic anarchy.
Each member of the band shines as an artist and as part of the Gogol collective. The mind wants to focus on the performance of each one, the eye darts backwards and forwards and round in circles following each of Eugene Hutz’s strides, twists and turns.
I could go through each and every part of the gig but you don’t need to know the deconstruction of a Gogol Bordello gig. What you need to know is this:
- This is unique – you won’t get this feeling and experience at any other point in your life.
- If you’ve had that experience, you need to know where you’ll get it next (and it will only ever be at a Gogol Bordello gig).
- You will get in touch with parts of your soul that so far, have been untouched by anything like this, and you’ll definitely want more of that.
- You’ll fall head over heels for Eugene Hutz and every single member of the Gogol Bordello troupe.
- You’ll think about this gig a lot, and you’ll think about your life in the context of this gig.
It’s a bit like a first love that will never leave you. It’ll go into your blood and bones and even if you don’t listen for ages, as soon as you do, it’ll feel a little bit like experiencing all of that again.
Gogol Bordello are all across Europe pretty much from May onwards.
One of the most powerful, passionate, rich and uplifting life experiences I have ever had.