As our regular peelers will know, we’ve been counting down to this weekend’s treasure trove of Boosh goodies. First off was The Boosh Band at the Roundhouse on Saturday night, in a support slot at ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’. It goes without saying that we fielded a team of Velveteers to witness proceedings:
The Roundhouse is a uniquely beautiful live venue: arching beams and Victorian-era iron pillars straddle a perfectly circular space. Unfortunately though, due to its perfectly flat floor it’s also marvellously impractical, unless you’re well over 6 feet tall or don’t care much for seeing what’s happening on stage. Luckily for us, our dedicated queueing strategy meant we were close enough to the stage to take it all in. As far as we could tell, the other 3,993 people in attendance were there to marvel at Dweezil Zappa performing his father’s catalogue (and he was indeed marvellous) rather than the Boosh Band. But still they received a warm and enthusiastic reception from the older, male-dominated crowd. We, on the other hand, presented a small knot of excited pogoing in the otherwise fairly static throng of musos.
The Boosh Band of the Future Sailor’s Tour had a harder, rock ‘n’ roll edge to it, while last night’s troop felt more like a warped collection of medieval minstrels – the band resplendent in a collection of colurful, if somewhat slightly sinister costumes: Julian, the cross-dressing bank robber from Psychoville with pendulous gonads; Noel as the love child of Kiss, Ronald McDonald and Shirley Temple; Rich in a variety of description-defying guises (antlers, fins and 2nd-skin body suits featured); and Dave apparently in whatever was left at the bottom of the dressing up box. Mike was conspicuously absent, while Oly Ralfe guested as “The Harlequin, the Harlequin, the Harlequin” (we may have got a bit over-excited when he appeared on stage..), a court jester in frght night make-up, chewing on a severed hand. You get the idea.
The Boosh Band’s set was short, sharp and sweet, leaning heavily on the stomp-along tracks from the TV series: ‘Charlie’ (with Diva Zappa in the spookily Frank Zappa-like Charlie costume), a ‘Nannageddon’ mash-up and ‘I Did A Shit’. A bluesy ‘I’m Old Greg/My Name is Greggory’ kicked things off, establishing the band’s unquestionable musical capabilities from the off – although music took a back seat to theatrical performance overall. Later on, the chaotic pace was nicely punctuated by the surprising and welcome inclusion of ‘Hello Little Deer’ from the radio series, which provided a delicately charming moment of quiet, thanks to the band’s impeccable sense of timing. Fans will be pleased to note that the physicality between the band members is still plain to see!
The energy levels overall didn’t quite reach those seen during the Boosh tour, which is understandable given the audience, who were there to see someone else. But the boys put their all into it, finally letting rip proper with their punk finale of ‘I Did a Shit’. And we rather liked it.
Editor’s Note: Look out for our reviews of this weekend’s other Boosh events, including Saturday night’s Fulchfest – coming soon!