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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)



  • Eugene Hutz and other band members will perform an acoustic gig.
    Photo: FOR SPT

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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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