Gig Review by Adrienne Frances

One third of the members of Lucky Chops took to the stage ALREADY shirtless and sweaty. As a support act for Gogol Bordello, nothing could be more perfect, given Hutz’s penchant for stripping mid-show. The tuba, trombone, sax and trumpet together provided a mighty force, a perfect ‘amuse bouche’ to the main course of Gogol Bordello, matched in electricity and stage presence.. and sweat. Josh Holcomb, trombonist, warmed the audience up into a frenzy, wearing only tight fitting leopard print trousers and his ample charisma. You may have seen Lucky Chops doing the rounds on Facebook as a video of them on the New York underground recently went viral thanks to Lads Bible.. definitely worth a look.

Gogol Bordello + Lucky Chops at The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK - 15th December 2017

I’ve not been to the Wulfrun since the large scale refurbishment started… and honestly, nothing about the Wulfrun has changed or improved. One door seemed to be held together with gaffs tape. Which IS how I like it, having been going to gigs there since 1994! The audience for Gogol Bordello were an unexpected mixed bag – the punks, goths, and musos in their requisite uniforms – with the addition of a lot of younger children with parents. GB don’t strike me as the MOST child friendly band, but their infectious energy clearly appeals to a very broad demographic.

Late to the stage, the set was very similar to previous gigs of theirs I’ve attended. Classic favourites, such as Undestructable / Baro Foro, Start Wearing Purple, Not a Crime, and Wonderlust King were all there and with Lucky Chops joining them on stage for some of the set (Mishto was an absolute treat!) they delivered an outstanding show.

With the release of their latest album ‘Seekers and Finders’, familiar tracks were interspersed with newer material… and GB are a band you need to see live for them to truly make sense. The latest album hadn’t grabbed me like their previous material (and yes, I love them so much I even use them as my gym music because nobody has energy like Eugene Hütz!) so seeing tracks such as Break Into Your Higher Self played live really helped make senses of the new album, and give me reason to go and have another listen. And another listen.

Highlight of the gig however must have been Ultimate, whose lyrics were both poignant and timely for me, reminding me of my true reasons for loving GB as much as I do:

“There were never any ‘good old days’ – they are today, they are tomorrow.”

If you feel dead inside, if the world is wearing on you and you’re finding everything a struggle, try to see GB live. They remind me time and time again what it means to be alive, to feel alive, to hear music thrumming in my bones, and to experience raw unadulterated energy – both from the band, and from the surrounding audience. Feeding off one another, and loving every minute.

Leave a Reply