14th November | SWX

Normally, bands that play with the intricacy and complexity of GoGo Penguin are consigned to niche nights in underground venues or jazz festivals. However, GoGo Penguin’s universal listenability and appeal is quite easy to trace. As a trio comprised of piano, double bass and drums, there is never a single point in their four-album discography where any of these three elements feel like they’re there to soak up the limelight. Chris Illingworth’s reverb-laden piano glides over the textured undertones of the double bass provided by Nick Blacka and the remarkable drumming talent of Rob Turner is always being utilised in a uniquely genre-crossing and expressive way. 

This convention-denying style (Wikipedia has it boiled down to “avant-garde jazz, trip-hop”) is also a reason they’ve amassed a following large enough for them to play one of Bristol’s largest venues, SWX. For instrumental acts like GoGo Penguin to shine through our heavily-saturated digital world requires true brilliance and an acute awareness of the importance of musicality over technical self-flattery, and this set promises to be a perfect showcase of this magisterial ability. 

For those uninitiated and curious about Wednesday’s show, I implore you to watch their recent mind-blowing session on NPR’s Tiny Desk; and if that doesn’t have you clicking at the ‘buy ticket’ button, then only you are to blame for missing out. 

See GoGo Penguin’s recent Tiny Desk Session here: