For the boys of the glittering, kaleidoscopic comedy that is The Mighty Boosh, to launch their band in front of more than 30,000 fans must be the icing on the rainbow cake • with sprinkles. Evolved from a D.I.Y stand-up act that emerged in 1998, to Radio 4 series and then BBC Three show in 2004, The Boosh has become what can only be described as a phenomenon. A phenomenon that on Saturday 5th July, caused an explosion of fancy dress, happiness and neon brights all over a field in Kent.

Billed as a “day in the country with a load of friends, bands and comedians” you get the impression that this might not happen anywhere else in the world. Over the course of the day I saw an abundance of Hitchers; a panda; three Tonys; at least two Milky Joes; a child dressed as Naboo; one Bollo (in actual gorilla suit); several women dressed in the various costumes of Vince Noir and one man dressed as a very convincing Rudi complete with door of Kukundu.

With only two stages • the main stage “Monkey Hell” and a comedy tent “The Velvet Onion”, for many, the day was spent sprawled out on blankets eating sandwiches, chips and ice creams. Unlike so many other festivals, The Mighty Boosh managed to be completely family friendly • perhaps aside from the antics of Har Mar Superstar and ramblings of Rich Fulcher • providing bouncy castle, face-painting and balloons for the many younger visitors.

The whole experience was in fact, blissfully relaxed; the sun shone for most of the day and although sporadically interrupted by clouds and the odd gust of wind, everyone went home slightly rosy in the cheeks having been remarkably well behaved. Perhaps it was the herbal highs they were selling • or maybe The Mighty Boosh in all its glorious bizarreness just inspires people to have fun and not take things too seriously.

Compeered throughout the day by the outrageous Rich Fulcher strutting about the stage dressed as Eleanor, alternately shouting at the crowd that they should all “shit in cups and drink it” and introducing acts from Jazz outfit Polar Bear and the legendary Gary Numan, to indie favourites The Charlatans and the sultry Kills, the day was an eclectic mix of danceable guitars, electro beats and DJ sets.

The Mighty Boosh Band themselves, were something entirely different; all the fantastical and warped music of the series with the odd crimp thrown in but on a ridiculously colourful, loud scale, overseen by a giant image of Fielding’s character the Moon. Noel himself wore what is now Vince’s trademark glitter ball suit and pranced around the stage in a state of wide eyed wonderment and glee • grinning almost constantly, and who could blame him for being so astounded? Barratt as Howard Moon was quieter but still it was obvious he was taken aback by the thousands who had come to watch.

The pair, aided by Michael Fielding as Naboo and Dave Brown (Bollo) on percussion, played Electro Boy and Space Pirates, before Fielding came on as Old Gregory followed by Barratt singing ‘Isolation’ and ’Rudy’s Song’.

By far the highlight of the set was the sinister ‘Eels’, catchy enough alone in the series, despite its disturbingly funny lyrics, it was given a full make-over and extended to a lengthy, juddering, electronic number. Only the Boosh could get away with causing a field full of people in fancy dress, to sing-a-long to the words “eels up inside yer finding an entrance where they can, boring through your mind, through your tummy, through your anus” and still be loveable. The song culminated in Fielding as the Hitcher, mounting a giant eel prop and then promptly falling off it.

The boys ended their set with ‘Nanageddon’, fireworks, flames and an awful lot of tickertape and streamers. The colour, the music, the costumes and an over excitable audience, there was something incredibly special • a brief departure from the normal, a magical interlude in the otherwise monotonous day to day • about what happened.
Whether or not the festival turns out to be one off, the boys of The Mighty Boosh have done themselves more than proud. In a recent interview Julian Barratt was quoted as saying that “the whole thing will probably fall flat on its face”. How wrong he was to think that the Mighty Boosh would do anything other than succeed.