The Hitchhiker's guide to Monkipunk
Who are Boo! for heaven's sake? Basically, they are a cracked bunch of South-Africans who refer to their music as "Monkipunk" and who caught the public eye here in Belgium after they supported Zita Swoon in 2001. "Monkipunk, ey?", I can hear you thinking. I would describe their music as ska with funky influences spiced up with a few "artisanal" jungle sounds. But what a load of twaddle, in fact, they cannot be compared to any other existing band or type of music: Boo! is unique.
The band consists of three people, all equally indispensable. Chris Chameleon is the singer/bass player. He's good at making faces too! Leon, aka Boney Leonie aka Princess Leonie, is the guy torturing the drums with a passion as if he was actually born with drum sticks in his hands. Ampie Omo plays the keyboards and the trumpet and sometimes . both at the same time. And then we even forgot to mention the trombone, the bongo and the triangle. Ampie actually succeeds in playing all those instruments all in one song!
Now, Chris really has a dazzling range of voice, stretching from a very high to a low pitch, and he can produce the weirdest sounds. Really, I bet he could imitate an elephant if he wanted to (it might be a nice test, don't you think?)!
Should "stemacrobaat" (vocal acrobat) have been Afrikaans for "singer", then I'm sure Chris would have been the cause of this. Unfortunately, Afrikaans is much older than Chris (fortunately for us, otherwise Chris would have been as old as the hills by now!) and according to my online Afrikaans dictionary, they simply call him "sanger", which is probably the only Afrikaans word that sounds unoriginal!
The great thing about Boo! concerts is that the audience starts going wild from the very start, for they really play "feel-good" music. Everyone ought to go to a Boo! concert from time to time! Psychologists and psychiatrists would be out of a job in no time and antidepressants such as Prozac would wither away. Imagine for example a whole audience singing "I'm so happy to be myself, no rather be nobody else, proud to be myself, no rather be nobody else." Ok, this might sound a bit arrogant, but arrogance is certainly a sin that Boo! cannot be accused of. Before and/or after their gig, Chris and Ampie always seem to be in for a chat with their fans. To put it briefly, Boo! is a live band par excellence. The best way to discover them is going to a gig, even without knowing their music, and before you know it, you will become like me . you'll have seen them plenty times without ever getting tired of them!