Mighty Boosh Live 2008
Show type: Tour
This show has not yet got a description.
What a shambles of half-baked ideas, self-indulgent performances and scrappy structure. But what persuasive charm they have to get away with it… just about.
Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett seem aware that they’re coasting, too, and try to make a virtue of their shabbiness as they cheekily banter with each other, and the audience, in the endearingly old-fashioned front-of-curtain shtick. Behind the silver hotpants and electro-psychedelic sensibilities the Mighty Boosh are the traditional straightman/fool double-act, Morecambe and Wise as dragged through Camden Market.
Plenty of comedians want to be rock stars, and this pair indulge that fantasy more than most, with a full band, The Ungrateful Dead, backing their distinctive ‘crimp’ raps, or performing their bouncy ska-influenced tribute to eels. The difference with the Boosh is that their audience want them to be rock stars, too, so this show is greeted with the mania of idol-worship from their mostly young fans.
They load up with merchandise from the well-stocked stalls, yell out adoring, but distracting, questions to their heroes on stage, and enthusiastically whoop and holler on cue. This two-way love affair affords Noel and Julian a lot of latitude to muck about, and they take full advantage of it. There’s a feeling that more preparation has gone into the impressive set design than any material. Perhaps the drain of Noel’s indie-rock-star lifestyle and Julian’s new fatherhood hasn’t left much time for writing.
So what they offer up is a simple parade of their quirky characters, each doing a flimsy set piece, often cobbled together from old TV scripts, and allowing the fans to tick off the boxes in their I-Spy Book Of Boosh characters. This isn’t the delicately constructed, self-contained world of surreal fantasy they are so good at creating, but a simple roll-call.
Rich Fulcher’s Bob Fossil, in pink legwarmers and three-sizes-too-small powder blue safari shirt leads some daft audience participation; the eight-tentacled Tony Harrison introduces his own chat show before the segment, possibly by design, disintegrates into Fielding bitching about the discomfort of the costume; shamen Naboo and his simian sidekick Bollo become hip-hop playas; and Crackfox is briefly despicable, before being wheeled offstage again.
Between it all, Noel and Julian, nominally ‘in character’ as Vince Noir and Howard Moon, fanny about a bit, living off the love of the audience. But fannying about is what they’re good at, and they are so very, very likeable.
In part two the pair threaten to throw some structure around this nonsense, when Barrett pompously presents a play wot he wrote, further underlining those Eric and Ernie comparisons in which the Boosh can only come out worse. His bleak, futuristic play in which he, modestly, plays a messianic figure in a post-apocalyptic distopia is, naturally enough, undermined by the upbeat and cheeky Noel, who wants to add some disco sparkle to this depressing scenario.
The whole show is very lightweight, though it is often mischievously fun if you’re in on the joke – and never more so than when mocking the Honey Monster for plagiarising their crimp style in the Sugar Puffs adverts. Sometimes a wonderful line will peek through the nonsense, too. Early on, for instance, Fielding pretends he can’t understand the Sheffield accent by explaining, poetically: ‘North of Watford, it all sounds like bubbles to me…’
But such moments of brilliant invention stand out because they are rare. The creative ingenuity which made the Boosh a cult success is mostly put on hold as the pair simply bask in the adulation they’ve built up. They’ve surely earned it, but it would be shame if they rested on their laurels.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Sheffield, October 8, 2008
Date of review: Oct 2008
katy - 31/01/2009
How can you people say that you walked out during the Mighty Boosh Live? It was the funniest thing ever, i was laughing so much that my face ached. It was actually great. It was hilarious, well the people that walked out, you're very very stupid
Rich - 27/01/2009
I went to see them in Brighton in December and loved it! I am still quite new to the Boosh and only really got into them during the 3rd series so I had no pre-conceived ideas. The only other time I saw them was at the Boosh Festival at the Hop Farm which was a blast but there was not a lot of actual comedy then, more like a concert (as expected). The live show however was really funny and I went with my brother who has never watched more than a couple of episodes and he loved it too! It seems that the hard core fans don't rate this show too much but for a newbie like me, I thought it was great! Oh, and for those on here who think this type of comedy is aimed at the kids, I totally disagree - I'm in my 30s, married with children and yet I can appreciate good comedy.
Matt - 06/01/2009
Sad to say I have to agree with the review. I left at the interval, something I've never done previously. I agree with FH below re series 3 not being anywhere near as good as either the radio or previous two TV installments. It struck me a being poorly written in comparison. Perhaps Noel had got a bit carried away with his own fame and Julian too preoccupied with fatherhood (not a criticism). So I was a bit wary of the 2008/09 tour but still got tickets in the hope that it would be even half the show the previous tour was. It's not. ll the comments re the rock'n'roll element and self-indulgence I agree with totally. Noel and Julian appear happy to lazily exist on the blind idolisation of kids. Lads, you're supposed to be a fecking comedy act, not the Stones.
Lissy - 30/12/2008
We went to see the NIA show in Brum.. and as a huge fan of the series I was anticipating something special.. What a disappointment - lazy, uninspired, and self indulgent, it was as though the boys expected their very presence to be enough to carry such a 'low calorie' show. I imagine the younger, less discerning audience members will have got more out of it than those of us a little old for idol worship... and we were gutted we wasted our time and money to see the show. Think carefully before buying your tickets... it could ruin the beautiful relationship you already have with the Boosh, and that would be a shame.
SF - 22/12/2008
We saw the show at the 02, or rather we saw half of it. We left during the interval. I've always been a huge fan of the Mighty Boosh but unfortunately we were just bored. What a waste of time and money.
A1ic3 - 11/12/2008
I loved the show
Jennnnnnnnnni - 08/12/2008
Best night ever. Boosh owned that room, haha! Being within walking distance of Noel and Julian couldn't have been any better. I don't understand how there are bad reviews from people on here, it was amazing. I want to go again and again.
Elle Delargy - 29/11/2008
Saw Bournemouth show twice last week - loved it. joyful experience. Maybe not slick and not their best material, but a fab evening, great atmosphere and loved the tunes at the end too - I am past 20 something (sadly) but am enjoying the Boosh enjoying their success and found show really funny. Would go again if I had the chance!
Cave Raver - 19/11/2008
Checked out the Boosh last night in Plymouth. They've been good right from the radio series, throughout all the TV series, Secret Policeman's Ball and the previous tour where I laughed all the way through. Probably the best comedy act I've ever seen. However got to say that this tour is poor. I've never walked out in an interval but going home seemed to me more exciting. Yes there were some good laughs at times but the majority of the time the humour was thin. Noel Fielding did his best through a self confessed severe cold as did the rest of the cast but that didn't help the content. Yeah the songs were good but there was no clever comedy and real weirdness that is the trademark of the Boosh. The whole thing seemed to revolve around how massive and iconic the characters were. Sorry guys but I was really disappointed. In some ways I hope there is not a fourth series and tour. Unless something new and exciting comes up it's a waste of money.
crackedmirrorfox - 16/11/2008
If you love the Boosh then tear up your ticket and enjoy the DVDs the live show 2008 is a sad sham of a mockery of a mockasham. Sorry
Becky - 09/11/2008
Man I never in a million years thought I'd walk out of a Mighty Boosh-related event massively disappointed. And I'm afraid to say - gutted to say, actually - that I came out of this show thinking 'I don't know if they can come back from this'. Can't remember any golden moments in the show that really stuck out as being comedy genius - apart from maybe when Nabu was introduced as his new character - which lasted all of 5 minutes to fill a gap. I went last Thursday with my friend, sister, cousin and dad - who all love it as much as me - and we all agreed that this event should have been promoted as a gig rather than a comedy show, thanks to a good half hour - 45 minutes of songs altogether. And not even particularly funny songs. In fact, at one point, after soup, bouncy bouncy, nanageddon, i did a shit on your mom (basically a continuous stream of songs without pause for funny stuff) etc etc, Noel asked the audience if we wanted some more... and I have to say, I wasn't bothered if they stayed on stage or buggered off there and then. In fact, quite embarrassingly, when they walked off stage leaving an unmissable hint of an encore, there weren't any screams for more, for anyone to come back - in fact, people stood up to leave, despite the fact that the lights hadn't come on etc. Absolutely no story until part way into the second half, and that only lasted about 45 minutes. Such a shame that they didn't play on some of the ideas that would have made for hilarious viewing, instead of plugging their self-assured "rock star" statuses. Could have been so good, but when you actually feel yourself growing more and more fed up and wondering how your mates are getting on in the pub quiz you missed to come here, you know that it just isn't. I just wonder now if series 4 is in the pipeline - and what the hell it will be like! Sorry guys, I love ya - but get your act together and get on with what you do best!
Sarah - 09/11/2008
You hit the nail on the head, Steve. Glad I hadn't read your review before I went along to the Nottingham gig last night - but you've pretty much described my experience. Won't change my love of the TV show but I don't plan on making the effort to see a huge live show again.
ak - 02/11/2008
Went to see the Boosh at the NIA, Birmingham 31/10/08, I have to say what a load of toss, are they just taking the punters £s? I saw the Boosh three times on the last tour, superb. I'll not be going to a live gig again.
Michelle Madgett - 31/10/2008
Ok, so after reading these reviews I went to the show last night with an open mind and... Wow! What a fab performance from all involved! As for these negative reviews: Under rehearsed? I think you will find that is their performance style, they give out an air of spontaneity of what is obviously well-written & well-rehearsed material, and whoever said they thought The Mighty Boosh were a comedy duo not a band, The Mighty Boosh don't just consist of Noel & Julian, look at the bigger picture! The show was superb! I loved it! I got to see all of my favourite characters, hear all of my favourite songs, with some cheeky crimps thrown in for good measure of course! Admitedly, unlike the first live show, there was no storyline but it was still a thoroughly entertaining evening. To all of those who are yet to enter the world of the Mighty Boosh Live, please ignore these other negative reviews, you are in for a treat!
Clare J - 29/10/2008
I have been a fan of the Boosh since what feels like the dawning of time. However, I have to agree, I'm starting to feel that the boys are starting to take things too far and possibly themselves too seriously. However, I came to this show with an open mind. I wanted to love it and renew my full fan status. The review, for me captures the show exactly. The first half was not a show, but rather a jumble of characters with no real purpose, with such scripted segments that it pained me to watch their supposedly "off the cuff" remarks. In Bristol they commented to the crowd that it wasn't panto, but from where I was sat it honestly was. That said, I did laugh heartily when the pair genuinely forgot lines and dealt with heckles from the audience. That genius is there, it just seems they've been too busy to use it. After the break, I actually enjoyed Howard's "serious play" as it was something new and original, but sections like the Future Sailors entrance and the Eels sketch seem to have been simply lifted from the Boosh Festival. It feels to me that the Noir/Moon vs Fielding/Barratt line has become so blurred that the original concept has become lost. Hosting the show as an evening with "guests" completely separates them all from the characters they're meant to play. It removes the relationship between characters (and how they actually relate to each other in the context of Boosh) to the point that they simply become Noel and Julian dressed up. For example, at previous shows, Rudy existed in the context of his psychadelic forest and was someone Vince met on a journey. Here, Tony Harrison suddenly appears to have a Parkinson show, and there's no reference to his shamanic context at all. All this said, as the show comes to a musical end, I do find myself on a high. Granted, much of this is delight at Dave Brown's Nannageddon vocals and stage presence as he leaps about the stage throwing rock horns and thoroughly letting loose. I came to the conclusion that the Boosh target audience is no longer the die-hard fans, who pore over subtle references and enjoy the hidden layers of previous work, but instead the mainstream or casual viewer who hasn't seen everything Boosh have produced - quite probably because it's only recently that they've been allowed to stay up that late.
Michelle Madgett - 28/10/2008
I am going on Thursday and am little disheartened by these poor reviews. Having thoroughly enjoyed all 3 series many times, it has become apparent that you can get more from each episode each time you watch it... perhaps the live show just isn't getting appreciated due to it only being viewed as a 'one-off', meaning the typical boosh genius & humour, not to mention it's underlying wit is going unnoticed?!! Will let you know what I think Friday :-)
Jo - 24/10/2008
It was very refreshing to read a slightly more grown-up review; I agree with this totally. Kids loved the show, and ran down to the front to mosh at the end, but I felt a little ripped off: a sentiment that was quite clearly widespread amongst older members of the audience - and by older, I mean mid- to late-20s upwards. I saw the first live show and was star struck by it - this one felt cobbled together, lazy and self-indulgent.
Jessica W. - 22/10/2008
Correct me if I am wrong, but The Mighty Boosh are a comedy duo not a band? Sell your tickets while you still can these two just want to rinse you for money and give nothing in return. I hope the press give them the critical mauling they deserve.
FH - 21/10/2008
Oh my goodness. If anyone has tickets for the Boosh and you're up in the circle or gods you may as well tear them up. Noel and Julian pretty much refuse to pay attention to stage markings so you won't see a thing for a lot of the performance. Havihng said that, I think that actually made it better for me. I loved the Boosh when I bought these (very expensive) tickets a year ago, but since then I've seen series 3, or 'Noel and His Celebrity Friends' and this, I won't be back. Sorry boys, you've lost it.
Kelly - 21/10/2008
I went last night (Oct 20th). I loved the first live show (albeit only on DVD) because it brought together all the best bits from the first two series. This new show, in comparison, had very little to go on. The music was fun but it was disappointingly low on laughs.
Disgruntled - 21/10/2008
Went to see the show last night (20th October). Very disappointed, and agree with a number of the comments referring to self-indulgence and under-rehearsal. Walked out at the end of the first half. Love the series, but will think twice about going to see the Boosh live again.
Celeste - 21/10/2008
Over 16 limit? Is that true? Anyone know?
LouLou - 20/10/2008
I thought the second half got going somewhat, but was a bit underwhelmed by the whole experience. It's a shame as I'm a huge Boosh fan....
Lewis Cook - 19/10/2008
The quality of this show is dependant on how you view. As a general entertainment/variety show. It works alright. The music was good. As a comedy show, which is what I paid my £30 for, beyond terrible. Lazy, underwritten and under rehearsed. Moments of genuine laughter (i.e. Howard's inner monologue) were few and far between, most came from swearing far too frequently for my liking. Fun? Yes. Funny? My lord no.
di - 17/10/2008
It is fantastic. So many underlying jokes, and did anyone notice Fleetwood Mac being played at the beginning. Cleverly written but you do have to pay attention. Mainly series three with a bit extra. Just what I expected. Loved it. Band was excellent!
Kris - 17/10/2008
The brainwashed fans will love this one. Mighty Boosh will have a lot to do to win my heart back. Poor show.
Callum - 15/10/2008
Actually the worst comedy show I have ever been to. I thought it was a very lazy show and unbelievably self indulgent.
sarah - 13/10/2008
Totally disagree with the below comments about the live show not being up to scratch. The show is brilliantly fun and I'm sure I'm not the only one who loved it.
Timmy the Knees - 07/10/2008
Very poor. Must be laughing all the way to bank after duping us fans at £25 a pop. "I know we dont have to do anything just do a show and tell of various bits from our hit TV show, the punters will love it!" very clever boys.
neil francis - 17/09/2008
It hurts me to say this, but the 2008 live show was very, very disappointing.
Rosmy - 12/12/2007
It has got a 16 year old limit hasn't it? I mean you are only allowed in if you are 16 and over?