London Highbury Garage

This Boon Army thing is so cool. Where do we enlist?...

“This Boon Army thing is so cool” the voice overhead coerces. And believe the hype, because Clint Boon certainly does. He has his own genre of music – an odd hybrid of lounge, organs, electronica, choir samples, rock’n’roll and opera. And the fans have their own army, ready to fight to the death against the evils of nu-metal, garage and bedwetting indie.

After ‘The Cool People Know…’ there’s a handful of tracks that unintentionally create a mellow ambience, like ‘Frankie Generation’, electronica mixed with bass beats and swinging pop. Then there’s the opera-chic of ‘Comet Theme Number 1’, bringing with it a handful of Bez-type punters hauled up from the audience for added calamity. Despite feverish rumours to the contrary, Fran Healy fails to materialise for ‘Do What You Do’, and is substituted by an Army devotee who proceeds to give it a Limp Bizkit-style makeover.

Sporting a madman’s grin, you can see Clint’s now offering up silent prayers of thanks to the great Songwriting God for the adrenaline shot genius of ‘White No Sugar’. New revolution? This makes the storming of the Bastille look like a tranquil sit-in. Bassist Stubbsy scissor-kicks while Clint bellows “Whassup!” and the Boon Army march toward psychosis. It all begins to get a bit spectacularly shambolic – a tuba player arrives to samba his way through ‘Me I’m Just A Girl’ while beer is poured down the makeshift spout.

You just know it’s going to detonate when Clint asks for a few troopers to play keyboard on ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. In a split second the population onstage mirrors that of a small country and Mr Boon decides to go crowdsurfing. Stubbsy, cornered, admits defeat and jumps in as well. When they both touch base, to the riotous chant of “Boon Army! Boon Army!”, the sharp, authoritative, monarchical tones of ‘White No Sugar’ once again launch themselves like a call to arms. The building explodes and seismologists across the country scratch their heads as to why the Richter scale is registering a 10 when the epicentre seems to be a tiny club in north London.

Just like they said, this Boon Army thing is so cool. Where do we enlist?

Alicia Brodersen