Nothing really makes sense after GoGo Penguin Live, it’s the musical equivalent of acid.
Contemporary jazz can make me feel things that very few other genres are capable of and GoGo Penguin are an exemplary specimen in the genre. Very few bands can make me laugh out of sheer incredulity GoGo Penguin are one such band. I laughed because I was stupefied, hysterical at the level of skill in front of me. They’re at one with their instruments as well as one another and it shows in their performance. Brief almost-imperceptible glances to each other, help them keep in time, act as praise and forewarn of any upcoming improvisation. The subtlety in GoGo Penguins’ performance was phenomenal.
Their set featured tracks from all three of their albums – as well as one new track – with a slight leaning towards their most recent album, Man Made Objects. Each song seemingly more refined, honed and impactful than the preceding one. And even though the band’s performance was relatively short on crowd interaction, the generally stoic faces of Chris Illingworth [Piano], Nick Blacka [Double Bass], and Rob Turner [Drummer] betrayed their appreciation of the crowd.
GoGo Penguin held the – unfortunately small – crowd’s attention better than any act of the acts I saw at this year’s Liverpool Music Week. Attracting a particular sort, jazz bands tend to attract a quieter audience but altogether more emotive one. Gasps of incredulity and ravenous applause broke out spontaneously, punctuating the crowd’s general appreciative silence. The band’s music flowed over us.
I could wax lyrical about the band for hours but I won’t. Catch them yourself. Listen to their albums – start here:
… or start elsewhere even, make your own mind up, but have a go all the same.