Boo! began in 1997 in the backstreets of dirty Brixton, Johannesburg, when it’s first members, Ampie Omo, Chris Chameleon and Leon Retief conspired to make music that would go against most of the conventional wisdom of the time. Having considered names like “Yello Lilo” and “Die Wit Ding Wat in Die Pad Le”, it was Chris’ dream of playing to the sound of a stadium boo-ing the band that eventually won out. Although the name was in part, designed to thwart any chances of feedback on a bad performance, this contingency was never required as Boo! became not only one of South Africa’s favourite bands of all time, but also one of the country’s proudest musical exports to both Europe and North America.
In 7 years Boo! acquired an enormous cult following worldwide by performing 800 gigs in 17 countries, including 14 states in the USA as well as countries such as Hungary and Croatia. Brandishing their self-styled genre of “monkipunk”, Boo! performed at various European and American festivals with the likes of the White Stripes, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Franz Ferdinand, Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill, Placebo, Coldplay amongst others. The band also received a South African Music Award (SAMA) in 2002 for ‘Best Pop Album’.
The band’s sound consisted of bass, drums, brass, keyboards and percussion; notably lacking guitar. In spite of this unusual orchestration, Boo! hit the number one position on the 5FM top 40 with “Stagefright” and a number two position with “OOAA”, testimony to frontman, bassist and resident drag queen, Chris Chameleon’s exceptional songwriting abilities.
In September 2004, Ampie Omo and Leon Retief announced their resignation from Boo! and performed their final show with the band on 14 December 2004. Leon Retief continued his career in a drive to create order from the chaos that is the general state of affairs behind the scenes in South African music. Ampie Omo continued his career as a member of ska-outfit Fuzigish and was the invited guest trombonist for the Violent Femmes when they played in South Africa in 2005 and 2007. Chris Chameleon surprised his punk pundits and cohorts by becoming one of the best-selling and critically most acclaimed artists in the Afrikaans music landscape, notching up a total of 19 national awards in four years including a South African Music Award (SAMA) and a Medal of Honor from the South African Academy of Science and Arts.
2010 saw Boo! back with a change in wardrobe and drummers with Riaan van Rensburg taking over from Princess Leonie. The album, recorded in Amsterdam, typified the very musically irreverent and emotional antics which created this South African legend.
After an impressive second debut at the Ramfest festivals in both Johannesburg and Worchester, Boo! had announced their return in no uncertain terms and had made it clear that that little something that has been missing from South African music for years is a loud and clear: Boo!
After much ado and what had possibly become the most anticipated album in the history of South African music, Boo! finally released “The Three Of Us”. Chris Chameleon, who is once again at the helm on bass guitar and vocals, was joined by long time collaborator and multi-instrumentalist, Ampie Omo. The latest addition to the lineup, completing the trio and adding the beats to the funk was Riaan van Rensburg on drums.
August 2010 saw a very exciting new partnership form as Boo! signed to Seed, a Division of Top Independent Record Label, Sheer Sound! Combining the Indie Music Genius of Boo! and the passion of the Indie team at Seed, the oyster has it’s grain of sand to show what greatness this partnership will achieve. Sheer Sound is very proud to have Boo! join the family at Seed!
“The Three Of Us” is an album that embodies the familiar Boo! sound yet also has an air of maturity in terms of the songwriting. The band set up camp in Amsterdam to record the album and on their return, a limited edition run of albums was released for sale at gigs only. The album had since been completely remixed by Neal Snyman with audio approval by Theo Crous (Parlotones, The Dirty Skirts, Prime Circle, Louise Carver, Chris Chameleon, Springbok Nude Girls, Paul E. Flynn) and remastered by Jonathan Crossley. The stunning 24-page booklet featuring the artwork of Wilma Britz has also been given the onceover by designer Joanna Peters.
Boo! launched the album in style at Montecasino on October 15 2010, to a crowd of nearly 500 people huddled together on a fresh Spring evening at Montecasino in the North of Johannesburg to witness the birth of one of the most anticipated albums in South African rock.
Chris Chameleon, Ampie Omo and Riaan van Rensburg, unleashed songs from their brand new album, as well as old familiars, onto the crowd of onlookers. The performance was topped off with stage pyrotechnics, mimes and street buskers. The band conducted interviews before the launch at the Absa Balloon.
Said Chameleon after the gig, “well, there you have it – our baby monkey, “The Three Of Us”’ is now launched. It will go out into the world and be all the ape it can be! Thanks all for coming out and making it such a special night for us!”
Since May 2012 Boo! went into remission for a few years and is now ready and geared to resume activities.
Boo! has established a culture of dynamism within the band since its inception, and this year fans will be treaded to yet another Boo!volution as the band returns to the live circuit for more passionate Monki Punk performances which has now evolved into Guerilla Punk!
**PLEASE NOTE DINNER FROM 6.30/7PM. SHOW TO START AT 8.30PM