The Mighty Boosh Live
The Boosh have been together almost ten years now, so it has hardly been a meteoric rise, but for a comedy duo to play an arena tour is still mighty impressive.
The question on most fans lips was, however, would the pairing of Noel Fielding and Julian Barret’s unique style of psychedelic, irreverent story telling translate to a stage that even the biggest of rock bands can disappear on?
Early signs were promising as the venue was completely sold out. Many of the ‘Booshers’, as they have affectionately become known, were in fancy dress. Almost every character from all three series of the show was represented, meaning the crowd was a bizarre mix of ‘mod wolves’, ’spirit of jazz’ and ‘Betamax bandits’.
As the lights went down the baying crowd was treated to a big budget rendition of the song, ‘future sailors’. Beginning with Vince Noir sailing in on a boat made entirely from giant fairy lights to rapturous applause and screams from adoring female fans. Meanwhile, Howard Moon was left to paddle on stage in an inflatable dingy to equally rapturous laughter.
It was then left for Vince and Howard to act as host’s whipping the crowd up into a frenzy as they attacked each other with the usual abstract put downs. A stray heckler was comfortably dispatched with an off the cuff ‘aww, you frisky little Geordie!’
After the intro the first half of the performance was dedicated entirely to the more popular characters from the show in a stand-up format, as apposed to having a role in a narrative as fans have become accustomed too. ‘Tony Harrison’, ‘The Moon’ and ‘The Crack fox’ amongst many, went down a storm. All the catchphrases and crimping that the crowd were hungry for was thrown in for good measure, it did however feel as though Fielding and Barret had succumbed to the pressure of an arena tour, opting to play safe with tried and tested material.
As the curtain went up for the second half we saw The Boosh in more familiar territory. An ‘apocalyptic eco-play with a heavy social message’, written by Howard Moon, was on the menu and the die hard Boosher’s lapped it up. Much to Moon’s frustration however, the play is hijacked by Vince in the form of a golden tinsel clad angel with as he put it, a ‘half Chinese, half chav’ accent.
The play did however lose it’s way, and not in the usual obscure Boosh manor, much unlike the compelling storylines of the TV series. With The Boosh festival a huge success in the summer and ‘The Boosh band’ making numerous TV appearances, the culmination of the show, unsurprisingly, erupted into a full blown rock concert.
‘The hitcher’ closed proceedings with a thunderous rendition of ‘Eels’ but not before the plagiarism of ‘The Honey Monster’ was punished (sugar puffs ran an advert which included The Mighty Boosh’s trade mark crimping ) with a public beheading.
The Boosh looked comfortable performing in front of the big crowd provided by an arena tour. Also, after dedicating the best part of a decade to writing and performing The Mighty Boosh it was a pleasure to see the charismatic duo attracting the crowds they duly deserve. The show itself, however, did leave the purist feeling a little cheated as there was no typical Boosh adventure as such.
But as, arguably, the biggest comedy double act in the country at the moment, and based on the ongoing success of the current tour, they can pretty much afford to do what they want safe in the knowledge that the loyal Boosher’s will be there, on mass, to support them.