Another tip today – this time from Colleen over in Sacramento, who recommended these guys straight away when I first talked about this challenge.
Now I’ve been a fan of folk-punk since I was a kid, from UK groups like the Pogues and the Levellers right through to Boston celtic punk rock bands like the Dropkick Murphys. So I’ve definitely got a soft spot for anyone who mixes violins, guitars and other folksy instruments with a ball-bustingly raucous attitude lifted from musical forefathers like The Clash.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I’ve taken a bit of a fancy to the band behind today’s song – the brilliant Manhatten-based Gogol Bordello; a crazy gypsy punk collective who sound like the result of someone taking all the instruments from an Eastern European folk orchestra and running them through a woodchipper.
It’s a frantic, accordion-driven dervish that is as infectious as it is unusual – all fiddles and folk reels driven forward by a pounding drum beat. And, on top of that, you’ve also got some seriously enigmatic vocals from a frontman who’s scratchy voice sounds like a Mediterranean cabaret singer on acid.
Now, once again I’m having to relax my rules a little, as Gogol Bordello have in fact been going since 1999 and have performed on a fair number of late night American talk shows as well as having their music feature in a number of indie films. But despite that, they don’t appear to have charted and, one episode of Later with Jools Holland aside, they haven’t made the leap across to these shores.
So here’s the fantastic We Rise Again from their 2013 album Pura Vida Conspiracy. Hope you enjoy it.