Brazilian-lover Eugene sets sail for Sheffield with Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello.
Gogol Bordello.

To fully understand Gogol Bordello, you have to see them live.

The Gogol Bordello ‘tribe’, as they are referred to, are a wild, thrashing, tour de force with a crazy sound aptly described as ‘gypsy punk’.

And at the heart of this ‘tribe’ is frontman Eugene Hutz – founder, frontman and songwriter.

The 42-year-old Ukrainian says: “We are like a snowball, we are rolling and absorbing all the time.”

However, the influences Gogol Bordello are soaking up are from within the ‘tribe’.

Eugene says: “We look inside Gogol Bordello for inspiration and when we play we have an energy that is contagious.

“People want to come and experience the fire we have on stage.

“And once people experience that high frequency of energy they want more.

“It’s about converting energy into synergy.

“It’s about people dancing around the ‘fire’ together, that’s what people want.”

Put simply, he says, Gogol Bordello is about ‘good times.’

Musically, this is manifested in a sound that fuses dub, punk, gypsy and folk music.

Instruments span saxophones, fiddles, guitars, huge drums – on which Eugene is known to ‘surf’ the crowd – and bass.

However, creating this ‘fire’ day in, day out takes its toll. So to contrast with this frenzied life he spends three months a year in Brazil, with little or no contact with his acquaintances.

He says: “I go to Brazil and people have no idea what I am doing.

“I enjoy these two parts of my life as much as each other.

“There is a saying about a sailor that goes like this: ‘when the sailor is at sea he misses the soil and when he is on soil he misses the sea’. That is not the way to live.

“When you are on the sea you should be loving the sea and when you are on the soil you should be loving the soil.

“That is how I live and in Brazil people know how to live.”

n Gogol Bordello play The Leadmill, Sheffield city centre, tomorrow.