O2 Academy, Glasgow, Sun 9 May 2010
Generally, there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ Gogol Bordello gig. Even when technical issues might interfere, or perhaps the crowd doesn’t fuel the band with the necessary excited energy to reflect back, the sheer charisma of sinewy front-man Eugene Hutz is enough to carry it off.
Thankfully, this is not a night of technical difficulty, and the crowd is ecstatic. Newer, less familiar material from recent release Trans-Continental Hustle is greeted with the same enthusiasm as classics such as ‘Not A Crime’ or the anthemic ‘Start Wearing Purple’ (a dress code more than a few audience members abide by). Hutz presides over it all like a moustachioed televangelist, squeezing every drop of sweat from his spongy congregation. In these days of reduced record sales, where a live experience counts for so much, it’s good to know there are artists out there who can be depended upon to deliver.
When time comes for a second encore (!), the stage manager looks worried. We’re already way past curfew. Hutz manages to serve every need though – a solo, 15-minute rendition of the bittersweet ‘Alcohol’ gives everyone that one last song they need, at the same time subduing them so we can part ways without a riot. Til next time, GB.