Gogol Bordello: Gypsy punks as therapy against bad mood

 You cannot stop smiling or full heartedly laughing with joy when you see Gogol Bordello, when you hear their music! They give so much good energy that you cannot resist being dragged into pure chaos. I recommend their music as a therapy for dark winter days: get a prescription, go to your local music shop!

 I love Gogol´s old songs, the archaic force you feel when listening to it, the chaotic settings just to be heard loudly; the roaring, snotty, sometimes also soft voices of Eugene and his co-singers. The new album "Pura Vida Conspiracy" is different: a bit of a gentler approach, more melodious, technically well written songs with captivating choruses. It´s a good album, I like it, but - don´t get me wrong! - I first fell in love with the breathless fervor, the aggressive punk!

 In Munich, Gogol Bordello played a perfect mix of their classics and new songs; to quote a fan: "It was amazing, I felt like I was in a mixer, it was a brilliant opportunity. I had too much fun, it was mind-blowing!" Elizabeth Sun with marching bass drum and martial make-up added another eccentric aspect to the show! Standing quite in the center and not too far away from stage we found ourselves in the middle of a mosh pit: sweating bodies, jumping maniacs, a mad fiddler, hard raps, possessed accordion, a raving crowd and HIS SEXINESS Eugene Hütz! What can you say? Fuck yeah, that´s how it should be! A live concert at its best: wild, raw, loud, sweaty, beautiful, energetic, kinetic.... SPASIBA for being who you are!
The band brings people of so many different backgrounds, ages and personalities together on stage. To pick one: accordion player Pasha Newmer´s recommends to listen to Vivaldi´s Four Seasons as well as Iron Maiden´s Fear of the Dark. Eccentric and restless singer Eugene Hütz who fled from his hometown in 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the band´s center. Before going to the US and giving up their Ukraine nationality the family stayed with the mother´s gypsy relatives. At that time Eugene - who at the age of 14 - wasn´t aware of having Roma ancestors was deeply influenced by their music. In an interview he said that going to the US was so far from being a realistic dream in those times that when he first heard they would go he just laughed unconvinced. Still, his family was among the last hundred Ukrainians granted refugee status. He once said that giving up your nationality you officially become a traitor. Maybe this led to his loving and supporting the idea of world citizenship which his band completely lives up to.

 The wild beginnings in New York were a huge and ever ongoing party with the underlying feeling that gypsy and punk music are just the same, both rebellious, radical music. Looking at early gigs you may easily feel alarmed by the extent of fierceness they produced. Using beer bottles and fire buckets as drums, a washboard or gloves with thimbles attached to each finger for a crazy sound experience, mixed with accordion, violin, brass, mandolin, cymbals and other instruments help to support the bedlam. "Welcome to hell", as violin player Sergey Ryabtsev put it when he joined the band. The vibrant, driving music gets under your skin. Sometimes sardonic, Eugene is totally in love of what he is doing. That you can feel and it is communicated directly to you and boisterously takes possession of each and every body within hearing distance!

 Eugene Hütz and other band members actually are intellectual personalities reading Russian philosophers, having composer Béla Bartók and writer Nikolai Gogol as role models. Eugene´s Charles Bukowski quote on their website tells us about his personality: "What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire!!" After nearly 15 years of non-stop touring and again and again new members the band definitely doesn't have a lack of personality: newcomers are chosen based on their character as that is the key on how Gogol Bordello works.

So I´m waving a good-bye to our readers having the unique music in my ears and a smile on my lips...


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