21st Century Appearances: 2010 Main Stage, 2007 Main Stage, 2006 Main Stage
The Defining Reading Moment: The insane crowd surge that greeted the bands arrival in 2007.
Gogol Bordello are exactly the type of act that every festival needs. Whether it’s opening some obscure stage or playing the Main Stage midway through the final day, no matter how exhausted, unhealthy and hungover you are this band will have you up on your feet dancing and feeling completely rejuvenated.
Their sound and general stage presence is best described as Gypsy music. There’s something infectious about the riffs and disorganised mash of sounds the band produce that just pull people towards the stage. Even if you were someone who had never heard of the band before and you were just waiting around the stage for the next act you’re more than likely in one of two camps, you’re either bouncing around with everyone else or you’re completely transfixed in awe by what you’re looking at on stage. It’s almost as if theres a hypnotic power in the bands music.
Some people understandably complain about bands being booked too often for Reading/Leeds but in the case of Gogol Bordello there are never any complaints, they aren’t booked as filler. I didnt catch their sets in 2006 or 2007 but from what I’m told they nailed it both times, which is no surprise as they always deliver. The 2010 Main Stage set however will always be one of the best sets ive ever witnessed at Reading. Not many bands are going to match Gogol Bordello for stage energy and don’t be surprised to spend quite some time after you’ve seen them singing in your head about wearing Purple. A band you should definitely do your utmost to catch as soon as you can. Craig Brooks