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DVD: Chris Chameleon Post-Boo!

December 20, 2007 – 12:46 by John

We all know that Chris Chameleon always had the muscle-vest appeal in his former days as the quirky monkey-punk frontman for Boo! But for a guy with a supposedly versatile melanin, the solo singer’s latest venture into glam-pop is…well, pretty similar. Live concert DVD Flight of an Extraordinary Alien tells all…

Filmed in March 2007 in Stellenbosch, the DVD is a professionally produced live music concert and includes a bunch of interesting insights into one of the greatest voices in South African music history, plus questions from the fans, three music videos and a discography.

Pink, yellow, a host of other garish colours flank both the front cover image of the DVD and the on-stage action. Keeping the fans rabid are a legion of lasers, some graphic Chameleon logo lighting, and a few opportunistic crowd-pleasing tricks (the jump off the stage, the jacket toss, headbanging…you get the idea).

Wikipedia may suggest that Chameleon is an ‘Afrikaans folk’ musician, but with just three of the tracks at Flight of an Extraordinary Alien being performed in the vernacular, and with more easy-listening, accessible pop sensibility than Janet Jackson circa 1994.

In criticism, the entire branding of this product runs more Boo!ward rather than the sentimental authentic (if not eclectic) folk rock tone which overlayed his third solo album, Ek Vir Jou (2007). In fact, the concert features a cover of OOAA (that weird vocal trip), complete with trumpet-replacing guitar licks. Shockingly misappropriated intellectual property but a great song!

In praise, Chris Chameleon is doubtless one of the most versatile vocalists around, and the quality of his performance is worth the DVD alone. Using one’s voice to sound like anything from a raw synthesizer to fuzz guitar to a mouthful of gargling salts is something special. The DVD sleeve contains a humble thanks to “each person who has contributed to it. That, of course, includes the fans who arrived en masse to help create an unforgettable night in my life”. With a unique look, sound and style, there’s nothing stopping Chameleon‘s wall of talent from keeping him at the top of the Afrikaans music charts, at least.

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