Bôa is a sometimes folky, sometimes blues-ish, sometimes just rock band (currently) consisting of:
Drummer Ed Herten (who has since left the group) formed Bôa in 1993 in the UK with keyboardist Paul Turrell (who has also since left the group), bassist Alex Caird, and guitarist (and then-vocalist) Steve Rodgers. Herten knew Turrell and Caird from bands he had played with in the past and Rodgers from school. The band's original sound was more funk than anything else. The group thought an early song, titled "Fran," would work better with female vocals and so they recruited Rodgers' sister, Jasmine, to record the vocals for it (incidentally, Steve and Jasmine Rodgers' father is Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers). This kind of situation (wanting female vocals and going to Jasmine for them) continued happening so Jasmine eventually became a full member of the band. Not long after the group formed, a former bandmate of Caird's, Ben Henderson, joined Bôa as a saxophone player.
After months of songwriting and rehearsal, Bôa played its first gig at The Forum in London in 1994. In the summer of that year, Herten left the band to devote more time to his studies. Auditions for a new drummer were unsuccessful and eventually the band had a gig booked but no drummer to play with them. Caird managed to get a former bandmate, Lee Sullivan, to play with the rest of Bôa for the gig. Sullivan has been a part of the group ever since. Sullivan's arrival in Bôa moved the band's music in a more rock-oriented direction. As a result of the band's new sound, Henderson decided to switch from playing the sax to guitar.
After a series of successful gigs, Bôa concluded a short tour of southern England at 1995's Glastonbury Festival where they were the focus of a documentary on the festival shown on television on a London art and music show called "Shift." The band was having so much success this year that Jasmine put off on studying for her degree, Caird dropped out of his studies altogether, and Turrell quit his job as a computer salesman (which he didn't like much in the first place). After this, the band moved to the town of New Malden. The following year, a number of UK record labels expressed interest in Bôa but no deals ever came out of this. A Japanese record label called Polystar Records, ended up signing the band.
In December of 1996, Bôa recorded the songs "Deeply," "Elephant," and "Twilight" at Red Bus Studios in London with producer Darren Allison. Work on Bôa's debut album was delayed by Polystar but eventually resumed in September of 1997 at Monnow Valley Studios with Neil Walsh producing. In 1998, Polystar released Bôa's debut, The Race of a Thousand Camels (the name of which is inspired by a dream Jasmine had and a computer game Turrell had written) in Japan but not the United States nor Europe in accordance with their contract. Jasmine and Steve Rodgers went to Japan to promote the album on television and radio while the rest of the band, not invited to Japan by Polystar, remained in the UK. Polystar released "Duvet" as a single with "Deeply" appearing as a b-side (as well as on the album).
Even though Polystar failed to release additional promotional singles for Bôa, in addition to not releasing the album in other parts of the world and owing the band money (which it still does today), the label managed to do something good by getting "Duvet" a spot as the theme song to the popular anime series Serial Experiments Lain. Apparently, a representative for a producer of The Race of a Thousand Camels was a friend of the producer for Serial Experiments Lain and the song worked well with some of the subject matter of the series.
The connection with Serial Experiments Lain led to something very good for Bôa in addition to a larger fan-base: A new record label. After receiving a large number of emails through the band's website, Bôa contacted Pioneer-USA, Serial Experiments Lain's distributor, about entering into a recording contract. Pioneer-USA had received a number of emails requesting information and showing appreciation for Bôa's material as well, so the offer to sign them up was probably too good to pass up. Another result of being involved with Serial Experiments Lain was "Duvet" being remixed by DJ Wasei, who also contributed a number of electronica pieces to the series' soundtrack.
In 1999, Bôa recorded two new songs with producer Stuart Epps: An acoustic version of "Duvet" and the completely-new "Drinking." The Tall Snake E.P. was released, featuring the three versions of "Duvet" (album, the Cyberia Remix, and acoustic) and the songs "Little Miss" and "Two Steps," which were originally to be b-sides on singles Polystar was supposed to (but didn't) release. The Cyberia Remix of "Duvet" (as well as the "TV Sized" version, which is just a shorter version of the song) also appeared on Lain: Cyberia Mix, one of two soundtracks released for Serial Experiments Lain.
The next year, Bôa signed a worldwide publishing contract with Pioneer-USA and Henderson left the band to concentrate on a group he was in with his wife called Moth. On 4 August, 2000, Bôa played an an anime convention in Baltimore called Otakon. Bôa were very well-received by the crowd and met a few fans that had been in touch with the band via its website. According to a retelling of a fan meeting Bôa I found online*, someone running a booth at the convention gave Jasmine a free hentai manga. Bôa seems to have a closer connection to its fans than most bands. The links section of Bôa's website contains a large number of hyperlinks to even minor articles or just fans' stories about the band. At the convention, Paul Turrell explained that while the members of Bôa did like animation and would like to work with other animators in the future, the members of Bôa were "still strictly a band," meaning they would be more focused on creating music as a band than doing soundtracks.
On 27 March, 2001, Twilight was released in the US and Europe with Pioneer-USA as Bôa's label. Twilight contains all the songs that are on The Race of a Thousand Camels (with a slightly different song order), plus "Drinking," "Little Miss," and the acoustic version of "Duvet." The next month, Bôa went on a small tour of the Los Angeles area. In September, Bôa played at Anime Fest in Dallas, debuting two new songs in addition to the other material they performed. Since then, Turrell has left Bôa to pursue other interests and the band has been working on a new album. Currently (September, 2002), Bôa is supporting Bad Company for a few shows in the UK.
"Duvet," "Twilight," "Deeply," and "Duvet (Cyberia Mix)" are available for download in mp3 format from the audio section of Bôa's website (http://www.boaweb.co.uk) if anyone would like to get a better idea of what the group's music sounds like.
- Duvet (1998 - Polystar Music)
- The Race of a Thousand Camels (1998 - Polystar Music)
- One Day
- For Jasmine
- Anna Maria
- Tall Snake E.P. (1999 - Polystar Music)
- Little Miss
- Two Steps
- Duvet (acoustic version)
- Duvet (DJ Wasei "Cyberia" remix)
- Twilight (2001 - Pioneer-USA)
- One Day
- For Jasmine
- Anna Maria
- Duvet (acoustic)
- Little Miss
"Duvet (DJ Wasei 'Cyberia' remix)" and "Duvet (TV Sized)" appear on Lain: Cyberia Mix.
and some other sites with much of the same information.