The Mighty Boosh Festival graced the fields of Hop Farm on July 5th. As the first-ever festival to combine both musical and comedic talent, it was also to be the début performance of the Boosh Band.
The weather was uncharacteristically beautiful, setting the day off to a good start. Nobody wants to watch the Boosh in the rain. Everywhere you looked there were people dressed to the hilt in full-on Boosh-wear; the air was buzzing with excitement. Old Greggs, Rudys and Hitchers from around the country made small talk and drank cheap alcohol.
Musical festivities kicked off shortly after midday at Monkey Hell (the main stage) with some psychadelic jazz from Polar Bear, whose smooth, dreamy sounds provided the ideal soundtrack to ease festival goers into the day ahead.
They were followed by Robots in Disguise, whose shouty electro is, unfortunately, not as good live as it is on record, plus up-and-coming rockers White Denim, The Kills, and The Charlatans, as well as DJ sets by Peaches and Jarvis Cocker. Boosh hero Gary Numan was also present, completing a brilliant old-skool rock'n'roll set - snarling into the microphone and leading the crowd in what must be the first 'Cars' sing-a-long since the '80s.
As the sun set, Har Mar Superstar took to the stage for his trademark strip down to some very fetching briefs. He belted out his hits with the kind of swaggering confidence that only someone who has successfully made himself an ironic sex icon can. The singer later went head-to-head with Bob Fossil in a sort-of rap/dance-off, complete with hairy stomachs and nipple-rubbing galore.
In the Velvet Onion comedy tent, laughter was rocking the tent pegs as a viciously good line-up played out, including Josie Long, two sets from Matthew Holness (in character as Merriman Weir and Garth Merenghi respectively), Mark Watson, Frankie Boyle and Ross Noble. Perfection, barring the ridiculously long queue to get in.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. The screams of the crowd may well have resonated around Manchester, such was the state of hysteria as every single person in the grounds flocked to Monkey Hell. After an introduction from the Moon, on sailed the boys in boats, sporting their signature mirrorball jumpsuits and flowery shirts.
They performed a lengthy set consisting of such much-loved Boosh classics as 'I Did A Shit On Your Mum', 'Old Gregory's Song', 'We Are The Mutant Freaks', 'Bouncy Bouncy' and 'Nanageddon' among others. These tunes were punctuated by comedy moments like Noel Fielding falling off a giant eel and dry-humping the robot.
All in all, it was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday. Twelve hours jam-packed with good music and comedy - what could be better? We'll keep our fingers crossed that they change their minds on the whole 'one-off' business and decide to do it again next year.