Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Boosh Live: Future Sailors Tour

Where do you start? How do you even begin to sum up the over-the-top, surreal, crazy, handmade comedy madness that is Boosh Live: Future Sailors? I guess Tony Harrison said it best, "This is an outrage!"

Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and the rest of the Boosh crew (including the Boosh Band) toured the Future Sailors show non-stop through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales from August 2008 'til January 2009. The DVD version was recorded at the Manchester Apollo in December 2008. And from start to finish, it's a cheeky, live action, two-hour-and-seven-minutes episode of The Mighty Boosh.

Act I kicks off with Vince Noir (Fielding) and Howard Moon (Barratt) as electronic castaways, digital stowaways, sailing through time on a mighty ship and a cheap inflatable dingy respectively:

"We're future sailors.
We're future sailors. We're sailors from the future. It's quite a simple concept."

Fielding and Barratt take a while to settle into their rhythm - Barratt seems to self-consciously and obsessively yank his shorter-than-necessary shirt down over his slightly-larger-than-usual belly after every gag. But once they get going, it's full sail ahead on the electrical high seas.

If you're a fan of the show and you've never seen it done live, it's quite something. Everyone's so witty and quick on their feet (except maybe Naboo) that bloopers, spur-of-the-moment thoughts and even the audience itself become part of the performance. And when they finally pull back the curtain, the stage designs (and costumes) are amazing. A perfect blend of high-tech, big budget design and that trademark, handmade Boosh flavour (see Noel Fielding standing in a hollowed out chair as Tony Harrison).

The Boosh Band - made up of Dave Westlake on drums, Bollo (Dave Brown) on percussion and shredding bassist "Reg" - keep the musical numbers "chip, chip, chipping away." But I couldn't believe what a good lead guitarist Barratt is. Shit... Apparently, he's been in all kinds of bands and composes all the music for the show. Fielding's contribution (besides acting and singing) is the look: the costumes, the stage and set designs, the hand-scribbled animations, cartoons like Charlie Bubblegum and Old Greg and, of course, the hairdo.

Act II revolves around a "very serious play" called No Future, written by Howard Moon about the end of the world. Moon's vision is a dark, dramatic and serious tale of the end of life itself. But it doesn't take long for Vince to hijack the play as new half-Chav, half-Chinese (Chavese) character Sunflash, blackmailing Moon to play along with some old jazz-porn photographs Moon posed for in his youth.

Overall, Future Sailors is an energetic, entertaining and somewhat enlightening celebration of the Boosh Universe. All your favourite characters are involved: Crack Fox, Old Greg, The Hitcher, The Moon - who appears courtesy of a white screen above the stage. The costumes are perfect, the Boosh Band's rocking and the jokes (and crimps) seem more immediate and even funnier than usual, often mashed into a hybrid of gags from three seasons of Boosh. The sheer inventiveness and ingenuity to pull this shit off live is... well, "It's an outrage!"

The Special and Limited Edition versions include a bonus disc of backstage clips and scenes from Journey of the Childmen (a soon to be released new documentary of the tour).


Order Boosh Live: Future Sailors Tour from Amazon.co.uk
Mighty Boosh fan site

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