Saturday, 24 April 2010

Boy George The Boy is back in town tour review

Boy George
The Boy is back in town tour
Congress Theatre Eastbourne
24th April 2010

You have to give the Congress Theatre credit this year for having probably the best line up of shows ever planned for this venue in a single year. Several 'West End' musicals, big name comedy acts, 80's pop acts and old favourites like Des O'Connor, Daniel O'Donnell and Ken Dodd, that is what you call variety. Something for all tastes.

Boy George and Lizzie DeaneSo how did the famous (and perhaps occasionally infamous?) Boy George fare in Eastbourne?

I won't waste time waffling here. We could not remember ever seeing a concert, featuring a sole artist throughout, that was as superb and memorable as this one.

Vocally George is as amazing as he was back in the 80's - he had members of the audience on their feet within minutes of starting.

The 1700+ seat Congress theatre was not full but it was only the seats in the "upper wings" with the more restricted view that were not well occupied. At a guess I reckon he had an attendance of 1200+. To those who thought about going but changed their mind you missed an incredible show.

George expressed that, unlike his other venues, he was a bit nervous about appearing in Eastbourne.

He couldn't quite work out why he felt like this, but it didn't matter as he brought the house down. However, if you look at the Congress at the moment surrounded by scaffolding ,because of "concrete cancer" in the front pillars, you could think that the house is coming down of its own accord.

All of Boy George's music comes straight from the heart. The Culture Club hit Karma Chameleon being about people being alienated in life and Pentonville Blues being penned whilst he was incarcerated in 2009. Despite the music being very personal it never becomes cheesy or irritating. Every track simply "works".

No miming here, no backing tracks, just a genuinely extremely talented artist delivering every lyric with perfection. So many artists these days just mumble lyrics so they become unidentifiable it was so refreshing to see somebody who can still sing with clarity.

He covers his own works since Culture Club, of course the biggest Culture Club hits, and a couple of cover versions. Of his recent works Amazing Grace is getting rave reviews and lots of airplay on radio and TV.

George is accompanied on tour by his hugely talented band and backing singers. Actually it's a little insulting to describe the incredible Lizzie Deane and John Gibbons as 'backing singers'. These two formidable artists compliment George's act so incredibly well. With the vocal power they both posess they could easily entertain an audience on their own. For his comeback George has clearly taken care to ensure that he has surrounded himself with professionals who add to the Boy George experience.

For the last 10 years or so (apart from his stay in Her Majesty's Hotel - his words not mine) George has been touring the world as a professional DJ and promoting his own clothing range B-Rude. George has built up a reputation as a great DJ and his dedication to this was shown tonight.

Boy George 2010The day after tonight's show the show went to Lincoln. Despite this George stuck to a prearranged DJing role at Belushi's in London. He rushed to get there by midnight and the event wasn't due to end till 4am the following morning. I therefore cannot imagine he had the chance for much sleep between the Eastbourne and Lincoln gigs.

B G is very open about two things in particular. The first is his desire to be loved, the second that people who are seen to be different from the norm have a right to be accepted and admired. On both counts I don't think this Eastbourne audience had anything but love and admiration for a tremendous performer. If George really is different then different is definitely a great thing in this case.

George spoke about a possible Culture Club comeback or even another tour in his own right like this one. Either way it is something that would go down very well with those, like us, that throroughly enjoyed this show.

The only bad bit was when it ended!

Incidentally I've knocked together a little gallery with more pictures taken at this super show. You can find it at
5 out of 5 for Boy George The Boy is back in town tour
Boy George and Kevan Frost at Eastbourne
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