Crazy antics from New York's very own 'gyspy punks'
So, here's the question: Gogol Bordello, band or cabaret act? Watching their set, you could be mistaken for thinking that they're both; on a line-up full of indie and rock bands, their 'gypsy punk' seems out of place amid the likes of Belle and Sebastian and The Like. In true festival style, however, it wasn't long before a large crowd had gathered to witness the spectacle of New York's very own Ukrainians. As one person said, it's hard to take them seriously and the gaudy costumes don't help matters - that somehow seems to be the point, though.
It was a random set, complete with an accordionist, violinist, two girls singing at odd intervals and a front with enough energy for two people. Unfortunately, the wind got the better of the main stage sound and the songs definitely suffered from that; it was impossible to hear half the instruments and after a while it all started to blend together. Not so the last song, a punk-folk-rap get up that stands out a mile and its punk spirit prevails long after the band have left the stage.
It's surprising how well the whole mix of Eastern European folk and punk works but it does, and the colourful characters provide the finishing touches. Gogol Bordello were possibly the highlight of the day, overcoming all obstacles to put on a fine show.