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Zeche, Bochum, Germany
4th October 2007
Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub, Delbo

One of the most influential continental bands, as British NME once wrote, PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOO CLUB are true Indie legends in Germany and successful abroad for more than 20 years now. This autumn saw the start of the “Faking to Blend In”-Tour, which we checked out in Bochum.


The Berlin-based Indie band DELBO is Tobias Siebert, Florian Lüning and Daniel Spindler, who are active since circa 2001. /

DELBO produce a sort of mellow Indie Rock with German lyrics, something that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s with most bands coming from Hamburg (“Hamburger Schule”). The Berlin trio has a slightly different approach but they share the likes of thoughtful, somewhat intellectual lyrics and guitar-driven Indie with their mates from Hamburg.

Usually you should only have good words for an honest, courageous band like DELBO who simply do their own thing without paying much attention to any expectations. Unfortunately their music isn’t exactly my cup of tea, and I found their performance lacklustre and, at least in case of some band members, unmotivated. On stage DELBO use an additional musician who plays some keyboard lines every other song, and not all of the time the music benefitted from the lines he played. All in all I was not too impressed, although I give the drummer an extra kudos for technically fine performance.

01. Moto
02. Slalom
03. Rakete
04. Viocolgo
05. Apric…?
06. Flauschen
07. Saldo
08. YE

Music: 3
Performance: 3
Sound: 4
Light: 4
Total: 3.3


Phillip Boa underwent his musical socialization with the punk wave of the late 70’s, when bands such as SEX PISTOLS and THE CLASH, like Boa later, were riding high, breaking the rules of well established pop to create a new and freer understanding of music between crash disharmony and conserved non-conformism. Also German “Kraut-Rock” of the 1970s, with pioneers such as CAN or FAUST, had on impact on Boa. /

PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB were formed in the western part of Germany in 1985 by Phillip Boa and vocalist / keyboardist Pia Lund, later joined by percussionist / voodoo-drummer “The Voodoo” (all 3 had just entered university where they met) and drummer / programmer “Der Rabe”. They released their first album ‘Philister’ in 1985 on their own Constrictor-label and received excellent reviews and even topped the German Indie-charts. In 1986 PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB signed to Rough Trade (Germany) and the English indie label Red Flame. The British press described PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB’s style as a form of pop avant-garde: strange music, often beautiful and pop / rock, but noisy and angst ridden with ironical / cynical lyrics full of great, different metaphors and twists some early critic called it a collision between B 52’s / TALKING HEADS, the German feel of CAN with the wisdom and cynical approach of THE FALL. Phillip’s main influences were also JOY DIVISION, VELVET UNDERGROUND, XTC, MAGAZINE, WIRE etc. etc.

In 1987, encouraged by the reaction, the band decided to rehearse and play their first concerts in Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia etc. PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB released a series of successful albums and especially very successful singles. They remain still the German band with the most albums / singles-of-the-weeks in the British music press ever. The band toured indie clubs across Europe and got signed by a major-label, Polydor in Hamburg. This move triggered a backlash for Phillip as he was called a traitor for doing this (Phillip was a symbolic figure of the ‘never-sell-out’-indie-ideology).

Anyway up until today, Phillip still keeps his ‘never sell-out’ indie ideology alive and well refusing to appear on TV, rejecting advertising / sponsoring even in 2007, were this practice is wide spread amongst a lot of bands. Phillip however was aware of the negative impact the “signing to a major” would have on his international career he released 2 albums on Polydor in the later 80’s, ‘Copperfield’ and ‘Hair’ receiving some great reviews in the British press for both, the album ‘Hair’ and the single ‘Kill Your Ideals’, another single of the week. The album also included a track called ‘Container Love’ which was a minor chart hit in Germany and the UK, which still is the band’s most popular song.

Between 1991 and 2005 PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB reduced their output mainly to the German market, where he could comfortably exist. In the early 1990s the success and reputation of PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB even increased in their home country. In the more recent years Phillip Boa has divided his time between Germany and the island of Malta, he would lock himself in a studio in Malta, where he usually writes and records, releasing an album of pop/rock with the usual Boa-edge every 18 months or so. One could argue that he produces far too much material however his ever-loyal hardcore-fans guarantee him concerts and releases that are always somehow doing well enough; Boa nowadays is still very well-respected, almost lost none of his credibility and, yes, he never ever sold out!!!

While the venue was less than half-full during DELBO’s performance, the Zeche in Bochum got quite crowded shortly before PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB entered the stage. Quite clearly most attendees know BOA since the beginnings of the band in the 1980s - and their own teen years. The band soon entered the stage, and of course the most applause aroused when Phillip Boa and his long-term collaborator and ex-wife Pia Lund entered the stage. They started the show with a new track but when the old hit ‘I Dedicate My Soul to You’ came in as the second song already there was no stopping anymore! The setlist followed this pattern mixing new with old, and PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB know that their fans want to hear first and foremost the old classics. But the newer songs from the last two or three albums were well received too, including the ones from the most recent album ‘Faking to Blend In’. But it was songs like ‘This Is Michael’, ‘Albert Is A Headbanger’ or ‘Annie Flies The Love bomber’ which caused true riots in the crowd, including a huge moshpit - one with an average age of 35 years it seemed ;-)

The old fans still enjoy a nice party and some jumping around. Phillip Boa, infamous for a rather mopish attitude, quite obviously enjoyed being on stage and had a lot of fun - the few litres of red wine he had before, during and perhaps also after the show of course contributed a little to the happy mood on stage. ;-) He commented a lot between songs and even chitchatted with fans in the first few rows. Lucky are those who could understand Boa’s words - he is also known for voicing things under his breath (and I could make another comment about red wine now! ;-) )

So all in all it was no surprise that PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB came back for an extensive encore, especially as there were still a few “musts” not played yet. But the band decided to start their encore with the rather unknown ‘On Tuesdays I’m Not So Young’, followed by an intimate acoustic version of ‘Rome in Rain’. With the trio of the unavoidable ‘Container Love’, the catchy ‘And Then She Kissed Her’ (the only song with Pia on lead vocals) and the smashing ‘Kill Your Ideals’ the fans got what they were begging for. PHILLIP BOA & THE VOODOOCLUB proved that they are live on stage still a force to be reckoned with, and with a great atmosphere, loyal fans and numerous classics in their back catalogue this show was even better than I expected.

01. Girl is a Runner
02. I dedicate my soul to you
03. Faking to blend in
04. So What!
05. Emma
06. This is Michael
07. You are a Parasite but I still love you
08. Atlantic Claire
09. Queen Day
10. Love on Sale
11. Albert is a Headbanger
12. In Today’s Parties
13. Annie flies the love bomber
14. Sleep a Lifetime
15. Drinking + Belonging to the Sea
16. Fine Art in Silver
17. The Night before the last was Saturday Night
18. On Tuesdays I’m not so young
19. Rome in Rain
20. Container Love
21. And then she kissed her
22. Kill your Ideals

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.2

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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