Boy George: Boston Avaland

A deep, fast set from the man who was once almost killed by a falling glitter ball...

When did Boy George get so straight? It’s not news that the gender-bending popstar has turned in his Bo Derrick-meets-Keith Richards, tinsel-tangled-braids hairstyle for a pair of SL-1200s, but who knew he was taking it so seriously? It just seems odd that despite the flirty inclusion of the Boogie Mac’s just-this-side-of-naff-version of’Girl From Ipanema’ on the ‘Essential Mix’ our boy George has come stateside to promote, tonight is not the least bit camp.

Granted, it wasn’t so long ago that a reformed Culture Club was asking sold out crowds, “do you really want to hear this?”, but sorry, this will not be nostalgic. As George squeezes the earphones underneath his oversized Dr. Suessical hat and takes over the decks, it’s clear that he doesn’t plan to make a spectacle of himself either. There’s no Fatboy Slimmy, hands-in-the-sky, loud-shirt type stuff, just concentrated, head-down DJ-ing, as if to say, “keep moving, there’s nothing to see here.”

So move they do. For the svelte hoard of backless and strapless girls who like tight-topped boys, George keeps it deep and fast. While small bits of soul sneak in occasionally, snippets of Anita Ward’s disco-staple ‘Ring my Bell’ nudging into some stomping house beat and synth-squiggle before Hypertraxx’s ‘The Darkside’, mostly it is straight up, with the bass low and beats banging.

Okay, point taken, when it comes to spinning records, there is no doubt George is an excellent DJ. The deft DJ angle is becoming increasingly boring with twenty minutes until close and the floor thinning though. It’s not even about hearing ‘Karma Chameleon’, where the hell is Boy George though? Funny hats just aren’t enough to make this better than any other good club night with any other good DJ.

Oh there he is. Heads turn to the booth, suspended in anticipation, as the previously constant bass suddenly drops out and the record asks, “can you dance to my beat?” Hey look, that’s Boy George up there! It’s amazing what a bit of personality or a hint of cheekiness can do. And as the beat kicks back in and floor fills with raised hands, the oversized hat begins to bob.

Seems mum was wrong. It’s not just a phase, he won’t grow out of it, and despite his having us worried, it seems it’s not all so serious after all.

Ben Wolford