Gogol Bordello unplugged
The kings of gypsy punk return to the city for an acoustic gig at Glavclub next week.
Published: November 16, 2011 (Issue # 1683)
Gogol Bordello, an eccentric band made up of musicians who unite their cultural influences to make the inimitable sound of volcanic gypsy punk, plans to take St. Petersburg by storm on Nov. 23.
At its latest local concert, the group will give an acoustic concert as part of a European tour.
“The idea for an acoustic tour has been on our minds for many years,” the group’s charismatic Ukrainian-born lead singer and lyricist Eugene Hutz said in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times.
“Gogol Bordello has always been two bands in one. The acoustic band is actually the foundation of Gogol Bordello. Our first album is basically an acoustic period with a tiny, gentle touch of electricity. Electric Gogol Bordello is a powerful generator, but at the moment we have started to miss the colors and textures that an acoustic show possesses. So why not have an acoustic tour that will be fun for everybody? People will hear songs that the electric band doesn’t play anymore, and it’s great and refreshing for us.”
The set list of the acoustic show consists of the most requested songs that the band doesn’t often play live anymore, according to Hutz. “We’ve been around for six albums and there is a lot of material that people are addicted to. Russian shows are of course more special because we have quite a bit of Russian material that has never been released. It has been accumulating all this time and now the time has come to rock some Russian fans.”
The eight-person band currently consists of members from Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Ecuador, Scotland, the U.S. and Ethiopia. What brought them together? A love of music, the desire to make something special and a little bit of luck.
“Raw power and the raw joy of playing is the foundation of the band,” said Hutz. “That is something that is always going to be there, we’re not interested in any other kind of sound. That’s just the nature of it. Our band is always pretty messy on the stage.”
Formed in New York in 1999, Gogol Bordello quickly made a name for itself as a boisterous, eccentric band, and now plays all over the world and takes part in European and American music festivals. The band famously performed with pop queen Madonna in 2007 and are regular guests in Eastern Europe and Russia.
To date, the band has released five albums as well as an EP full of driving electronic beats, and has taken on more group members.
Gogol Bordello’s music is characterized by the sounds of the violin and accordion, inspired by traditional Romanian and Carpathian melodies, and combined with Hutz’s distinctive voice. The lyrics are full of feelings of non-acceptance and of the difficulties of immigrant life, expressed by Hutz in a way that sounds at home anywhere, from America to Russia.
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