It would surprise many that a band coming out of the Lower East Side of Manhattan are virtually all to a man, and woman, a crazy cross-section of nationalities, with hardly an American amongst them.
With band mates from such faraway places like Ukraine, Belarus, Ecuador and Ethiopia, it’s a United Nations of like-minded musicians who, have found themselves presently holed up in the Big Apple and currently creating madness and mayhem wherever they play.
The band’s music, an eclectic fusion of Eastern European gipsy music and punk rock with a little Latin and Folk rock thrown into the pot, is a potent and powerful mix, yet they stand delicately on the verge of being likened to a mad night at a the Eurovison Song Contest.
But what the group have that the ‘Euros’ never have is simple, great songs. They are visually striking to watch and with a boundless energy, and in the boiler house that was the Tramshed it was surprising they lasted so long with air in such short supply.
Lead by their charismatic front man Eugene Hutz, the 9-member group set about their set with relish and virtually from the minute the first chord sounded it was bedlam. The highly talented group were all fascinating to watch as they danced and weaved around each other at break-neck speed and whether perched precariously on amps, or in Hutz case, held up by the audience on a big marching band bass drum, if you weren’t into the music, the energy put into the performance was breathtaking and just could not be ignored.
Every member played their part and the combination of violin and accordion gave the songs some subtlety when they needed lifting as the group powered through their set with the brilliant Start Wearing Purple and their latest offering Saboteur Blues.
The band like to boast there “Ain’t no party like a Gypsy party, ’cause a Gypsy party don’t stop.” and given the opportunity I’m pretty sure they’d be still playing now, an evening that no one witnessing will ever forget.
Images Tony Chapman