Boy George and the Culture Club perform an arena in Israel..
(photo credit: ORIT PNINI)
For 90 minutes the famed cross-dressing ‘80s British music icon Boy George and his Culture Club reunited to give a sleepy middle-aged audience a fun trip down memory lane. For an area show, the vibe was quite intimate as the show was far from sold out.
In addition to the original quartet headed by George, Roy Hay on guitars, Mikey Craig on bass and Jon Moss on drums, the band expanded to three backup singers a horn section, extra percussion and a keyboardist.
Arriving punctually on stage in his signature outlandish outfit, Boy George paired a giant yellow top hat with a black, flowing two-piece ensemble covered in red and gold Stars of David.
“A lot of people said I shouldn’t come to Israel and to them I say f#@k off, I go where I want!” he told the crowd between songs, a sentiment which was met with wild applause from the mostly over-50 crowd, several of whom sported sequined hats and other ‘80s accessories.
The band started off the show with trio of old classics from their greatest hits album: “In the Church of the Poisoned Mind, “It’s a Miracle” and “Time (the clock of the heart).”
Unlike the original recordings, which are well over 30 years old at this point, these versions had a deeper and more soulful sound to them.
The singer then broke into some banter, saying, “We are here to take you on a nostalgic journey – but too much nostalgia is bad for your health,” before treating to the audience to a somewhat new song, called “Black Money,” a sweet and soulful duet with one of the backup vocalists, sung in front of a screen showing old b-roll of footage of the stock market.
The surprisingly funky and soulful show wove in and out of the ‘80s with a mix of old and new songs, peppered with lots of banter. At one point he spoke about “not listening to critics, because everyone’s a critic” and then mistakenly called out The Jerusalem Post
for calling him “irrelevant” (it was The Times of Israel
The band closed their pre-encore set with the classic “Do you really want to hurt me?” Moments after, Dana International popped on stage to warm up the crowd for a lively duet of “Karma Chameleon.” The crowd ate it up.
The rest of the encore consisted of tribute covers of deceased musicians: Prince’s “Purple Rain” and T-Rex’s “Bang a Gong.” Both were funky, soulful and fun George gave a special shoutout to Marc Bolan, “a Jew boy who was the king of glam rock.”