As the lights dimmed, three figures emerged from the darkness and were greeted by thunderous cheers and a packed venue of eager fans.
Every nook and cranny of the sizeable former theatre was filled by both young and old, proving that contemporary jazz has a bright future ahead. Perhaps it should come as no surprise. The home-grown trio from Manchester have soared from success to success, following their recent signing to Blue Note Records and their Barclaycard Mercury Prize Album of the Year award.
Despite the size of the venue, the performance felt intimate and full of raw, unfiltered musical expression, if a little unpolished at times. Drummer Rob Turner put in a particularly impressive performance, alternating effortlessly between fast-paced, infectious grooves and engaging atmospheric ambiance. The unique style of GoGo Penguin stems from its unorthodox juxtaposition of genres, with jazz harmonies, breakbeat drums, trip-hop ambiance and classical melodies. Some songs even take elements of dubstep and electronica, which is helping introduce brand new audiences to British jazz.
GoGo Penguin are well worth seeing live and are a great way to introduce fans of other genres to jazz (and vise-versa). Check out their upcoming tours at gogopenguin.co.uk
The band are recording in May and June 2015 and their début Blue Note album will be released in early 2016.