Lets precede this post by saying at the time of attendance I had been out with publishers and at various media events and was already fairly intoxicated at the time of arrival (obviously this was followed with drinks at the venue). With that said I have run the below review via friends who were with me (and hadn’t been out for a day of drinking) and they agree with it completely.
I am a young man, it is not often I feel elderly in a crowd and yet as our night at Qbar began at 10:30pm I sensed that the crowd would invariably be of the “fresh out of school/fake ID/I’m studying arts to appease my parents and avoid work” variety. Upon entry to the venue we were greeted by a heaving bar and an extremely full room (requiring 20+ minute lines for drinks) comprised of many a young person all dressed to the nines in Boosh related costumes. The opening DJ in the main room was playing a general mix of commercial hits, both new and old (e.g. Blur/Daft Punk/Usher/etc). Needless to say my stay in this room was short lived. In the second room the DJ was playing a set that varied from amazing tech/minimal/electro of the awesome2themax variety ala Elite Force/Meat Katie through to tracks that crossed the line by a mile to end up as straight up cheese.
As Mike Fielding aka Naboo the enigma aka That short fucker AKA Noel Fielding‘s less attractive, less talented and much, much shorter little brother took the stage the crowd filtered out off the second room towards the main room, there was a palpable excitement in the air, everyone was keen to see what the little man would deliver (I, personally was somewhat disheartened having read Andrew McMillen’s review over at the vine which as it turns out, was accurate to a tee). Mike opened with “Gay Bar” over an audio system that was not in any way close to being loud enough to fill the room (I was able to carry on a standard volume conversation in the middle of the room). I stayed for MAYBE two more songs before retreating from the fade-out fade-in blend of schizophrenia that made up Fielding’s set before retreating to the second room in which a DJ was playing a pretty acceptable set comprised of dance floor friendly electro/tech re-edits of pop, jazz and Boosh tracks. This last point is essential, for while punter and DJ alike were dressed in costume, paying homage to The Mighty Boosh and expressing their love for its unique humour, Fielding was dressed like any other Hipster douche, outfit complete with bad 80′s-esque moustache. I floated back and forth between the two rooms over the next couple of hours, with very little interest in the bland hum drum music that was being played. During this period I notice Fielding having some sound problems with a tech leaning over, seemingly instructing him on how the mixer works. (this once more was scarily close to Andrew’s experience). In addition to this over the period I was there (I got fed up and headed home at about 1:30am) he didn’t drop a single Boosh related track. Potentially the whole no-costume, no boosh tracks thing is his way of trying to maintain some level of independence (it cant be easy constantly living in Noel’s shadow). However when an event is marketed as a Boosh based event with Fielding literally titled as Naboo it is probably not unreasonable to expect that the interest that brought the punters together would be recognised and acknowledged by the headline act. At the time I left (1:30/2am-ish) the punters were dwindling, those that remained seemed disinterested in the music being played and more interested in the bar / picking up wasted hipsters / doing their drugs.
All in all it was a complete waste of money, a massive disappointment and a Friday night in which I could have received a root canal and still had a less irritating night. The big issue wasn’t that he couldn’t mix, nor that the sound was poorly levelled, nor that the crowd was skewing very young. The big issue was that Fielding didn’t seem to give a fuck. Nothing about the set he played had any sense of him wanting to make an impression. He had no stage presence, no charisma and no willingness to even take the minor effort to put on a costume to give the punters exactly what they paid for. At the end of the day I think everyone, even those that had an amazing time, will remember it as a mediocre night in which they were let down by a character they once cherished. I sincerely hope that Fielding counts his blessings on a daily basis. Because despite being a short, unattractive and mediocre little talent, thanks to his brilliant brother Noel he will likely be able to ride this cash cow for years to come.