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Boy George regales a sold-out Free at Noon crowd at World Cafe Live

Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

New wave icon Boy George warmed up for his show tonight at the TLA with a rousing Free at Noon set before a sold-out World Cafe Live crowd. Having just collaborated with co-headliners Black Lips on a cover of T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (watch it here), George headed downstairs to treat the audience with a set pulled mostly from his 2013 LP This Is What I Do; though the classic he performed with Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” was in the mix, along with “Everything I Own” from his 1987 solo debut Sold and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Listen to the set in its entirety below, check out photos from the set in the gallery and read the setlist after the jump. Get tickets and more information on his TLA show tonight at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Watch Boy George and Black Lips cover T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong” at Free at Noon

Boy George and Black Lips | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Boy George and Black Lips | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Fans who made their way in to WXPN’s double-header Free at Noon concert today probably were not expecting they’d see the two artists on the bill – New Wave icon Boy George and Atlanta psych-punk four-piece Black Lips – collaborate on a song. Even if they were, they definitely weren’t expecting the song would be the proto-glam rock classic, “Bang a Gong” by T-Rex.

But there it was, one of the most unexpected and kind of surreal things we’ve seen happen in this concert series – and it sounded perfect. Check out a video of the performance below, and compare it to the original after the jump. Listen to Black Lips entire set here, and hear Boy George’s set here via the Free at Noon archives. Boy George headlines the TLA tonight, while Black Lips are at Union Transfer; get tickets and info on both shows at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Boy George and Black Lips cover T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get it On)” Live at WXPN from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week – “King of Everything” by Boy George

Photo by Dean Stockings
Photo by Dean Stockings

New Wave icon Boy George’s recent album, This Is What I Do, is his first studio album of original material in almost two decades. The 52 year old has returned with a collection of songs that are self-reflective. Since his days as the lead singer of Culture Club, George has had a storied career; from his personal battles with drug addiction and various legal issues, to his post Culture Club career as am electronica artist, successful DJ, and his acting in the Broadway play Taboo.

This Is What I Do has reggae flavored songs like “My Star,” “Live Your Life,” and “Love And Danger,” as well as a handful of mid-tempo ballads, the highlight of which is “King of Everything.” A confessional in which he sings “Put down the booze/Let the demons win the fight/Dropped my gloves to the ground/You know I’m sorry,” to his followers, then questions his reputation with the anthemic chorus: “What’s the word on the street/Have I lost my crown/Or will I be king of everything,” it’s a song about sin and salvation in grand rock and roll tradition. Boy George plays WXPN’s Free At Noon this Friday, April 18th in a double header with The Black Lips. RSVP here. George plays the TLA Friday evening. Go here for tickets.

Listen to “King of Everything” below.

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The 80s Are Calling! Boy George kicks off a spring tour at The TLA in April

Photo by George Hyman
Photo by George Hyman

Boy George has announced a North American tour, kicking off in Philly on Friday, April 18th at the TLA. George, lead singer of eighties pop stars Culture Club and a solo artist in his own right, will be performing with a nine-piece band in support of his new album, This Is What I Do. It’s been 18 years since he released his 1995 solo album, Cheapness and Beauty (though he produced electronic dance oriented work thoughout the aughties).

For Culture Club fans, the good news is that George is working on new Culture Club material. He told the New York Times that he and Culture Club guitarist Roy Hay had been writing together. In this interview, Times writer Dan Hyman asked George, “could an artist like Boy George arrive in 2014 and be as successful as you were in your younger days?” George replied:

I think everything is context, timing, having the right haircut. It’s impossible to say if what I was doing back in 1982 would translate to now. I don’t know whether this current environment would create someone like me. I’m very much a product of the ’70s and the ’60s, growing up in Britain. When I was 13 I wanted to be exotic like David Bowie. I wanted to be bohemian. I had this sort of naïve idea that I was going to change the world.

Below, listen to a new song, “My God,” and a couple of Culture Club’s biggest hit songs.

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