Before 2012 came to an end, I managed to catch GoGo Penguin at a gig in Dalston. I’d only briefly listened to them on SoundCloud before their set, but could instantly hear the influence of the Esbjorn Svensson Trio and was sold. Playing their second ever London gig (the first being at Ronnie Scotts) to a packed out Vortex, the trio quickly proved to have influences ranging far beyond the E.S.T, and throughout the set I felt glimmers of acts like the Cinematic Orchestra, Portico Quartet and Bonobo. Drummer Rob Turner even brought in elements of Photek-style beats in his playing, especially on tunes like ‘Last Words’ and ‘I Am That’.
The band beautifully tread the line between ambient and banging / jazz and electronic, whilst remaining extremely original. Hailing from Manchester, the trio are made up of Chris Illingworth (piano), Grant Russell (double bass) and Rob Turner (drums), and released their debut album Fanfares on Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Records. I highly recommend picking it up for cheap from the Gondwana BandCamp page, or for more information on upcoming live dates head to the band’s website.