Thursday, September 7, 2017

Gogol Bordello at Neuehouse Madison Square

Yevheniy Nikolayev-Simonov was born in Boyarka, Ukraine, where his Russian father played guitar in one of Ukraine's first rock bands, Meridian. When he was 14, he and his father made his first guitar of plywood, his first distortion pedals out of radio parts, and his first drum set from large metal fish cans skinned with layers of adhesive tape. His first band in the Ukraine was Uksusnik (Vinegar Tap). Descendants of gypsies called the Servo Roma, his family fled its hometown after hearing of the Chernobyl meltdown. Through Poland, Hungary, Austria and Italy, the family arrived in Vermont in 1992 as political refugees. While in Vermont, he formed the punk band the Fags. He later moved to New York and took on his mother's German maiden name and became Eugene Hütz. He formed a gypsy punk band called Hutz & the Bela Bartoks, which evolved into Gogol Bordello by 1999. Gogol Bordello will release its seventh studio album, Seekers and Finders, on September 25, 2017.

Neuehouse Madison Square normally rents upscale communal office space, but the street floor also occasionally doubles as a private event space. Last night Neuehouse Madison Square staged an invitation-only dialogue between Eugene Hütz and Casey Spooner, formerly of Fischerspooner. This brief conversation was followed by an acoustic performance by six members of Gogol Bordello, performing a mini-set of three new songs and three re-imagined older songs. While the performance started out with most of the musicians sitting on stools, this proved to be too confining for Hütz, who began moving around the space and finally climbed atop his stool. Even acoustic, Gogol Bordello's lively blend of garage rock, gypsy jazz and eastern European folk influences, spotlighting violin and accordion leads, was sparkling and energizing. Perhaps Gogol Bordello can try introducing a similar acoustic mini-set on the band's tour.

Visit Gogol Bordello at

  1. Walking on the Burning Coal
  2. Saboteur Blues
  3. My Companjera
  4. Seekers and Finders
  5. Wonderlust King
  6. Sun Is on My Side