On Saturday night a gypsy-punk whirlwind blew into Camden town, whipping the Roundhouse into a frenzy fuelled by wine and Eastern chords.
The ever-anarchic Hütz led the charge, as the band started with a solid set of songs from their latest album Pura Vida Conspiracy, a frenetic and multi lingual call to arms.
The band segued quickly from We Rise Again to In The Old Times to Gypsy Auto Pilot, as Hütz stripped down to bare torso and skintight jeans – a move quickly followed by many of the audience as the heat rose and the crush increased.
The atmosphere was electric, and eclectic, with violinist Sergey Ryabtsev and accordionist Pasha Newmer – in cloth cap and studded leather vest respectively – jumping around the stage along with Hütz and dancer and percussionist Elizabeth Sun.
Meanwhile the crowd were moshing away, liberally sprayed with wine from the stage, and even waving someone’s prosthetic leg, which would become a fixture – almost landmark – of the pit for the rest of the evening.
The dancing was somewhere between a jig and a slamdance, everyone caught up in the revolutionary beats and Eastern vibes: the atmosphere redolent of late night cigarette smoke, cheap drinks and singalongs in a packed back room.
The band worked through old hits such as Start Wearing Purple and Wonderlust King, before disappearing offstage, only for Hütz to reappear in black jacket and acoustic guitar to launch the encore with Alcohol.
The band finished on a high, Sun marching around the stage with a big bass drum as the riotous Ultimate built to a crescendo, before they took a bow and ran off to Brixton for the after party.
The gig was everything you’d expect from the kings (and queens) of gypsy punk – colourful, bombastic, fast paced, likely to leave you dazed and confused, and standing bruised and bare-chested on a December Camden street, wondering what just happened to your mind.