One half of the of the wildly successful Mighty Boosh comedy duo, Noel Fielding is bringing his latest tour to Woking’s New Victoria Theatre on 29th November. We caught up with the star of Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Luxury Comedy to learn more about his crazy live show, his rock and roll past and posh hammers…
This tour is called ‘An Evening with Noel Fielding.’ A very grown up, sensible title for a very alternative kind of comedian isn’t it?
Yeah, well I thought it was a slightly ironic and old fashioned title. But to be honest, when you say you’re doing a tour at that point you haven’t even started writing the show, so what do you call it? Pick something quite vague and generic. It’s the sort of thing Barry Humphries would call it.
In fact, when we were in Australia we played Adelaide and we went down to this weird dressing room with loads of showbusiness posters from the sixties and seventies. And all of them - Bill Cosby, Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan - at some point had called their tours ‘an evening with’. Maybe then it didn’t sound so old fashioned but we were p*ssing ourselves.
So how’s this tour been for you so far?
We did the whole English tour and this is like an extra bunch of dates for places we never managed to get to go the first time. The show sort of works now and it’s up and running. It has standup in it, sketches, music, animation and improvisation; it’s quite a big, two hour extravaganza. So once you get it right you might as well keep going as long as you can!
Back at the height of the Mighty Boosh, you’ve said things got pretty crazy for you. How does life compare now?
I think you can only do that once, and thank God I got through it. It’s strange, when you first come to London it can be an amazingly full on place. When Boosh got really big, you could go to a party every night and get offered free things, drinks, parties, hanging out with really cool people you’ve only seen on TV, and you think this is amazing, it’s like my birthday every day! But after a year or so, you start to get a bit bored of it all. But I think for me, and Julian, the work was always the thing. Once the work was getting affected, it was time to pull out.
Fans won’t truly let go until there’s a Mighty Boosh movie. Is that ever likely?
Well it’s upsetting for us as well in as much as that was the first thing we (with Julian Barratt) wanted to do is write a film. But we ended up writing a live show and a script for a radio show. And then we won the Perrier Newcomer Award and we were kind of locked in. TV series, tours, festivals - the only thing we didn’t do was a film. I wish we had. It might still happen.
You’re clearly in love with the creative freedom of animation, and so if we could put the combined might of Pixar and WETA at your disposal, what would you produce?
Wow, that sounds quite good! I like Toy Story and all that stuff. I’d quite like to come up with an animation for a whole world for the Moon (Mighty Boosh character). You could have a lot of fun with Jupiter, Saturn and the whole asteroid belt. Imagine that on kid’s lunchboxes: “Mum, I want Mercury!” “I want Pluto!” Pluto doesn’t even exist now, it’s been demoted to a dwarf planet or something. I think it’s now a hobbit.
Many fans loved your Channel 4 series Luxury Comedy, especially season 2, but some in the press described it as ‘divisive’ and even ‘the second 9/11’. What was their problem and will we see the show return?
(Laughs) No, I don’t think so! The thing with Luxury Comedy was that after the Boosh we’d done so many episodes and narratives I was sick of stories and wanted to make something a bit experimental. Half the people really liked it and the other half, it kind of sprained their minds. Probably the art student in me came out too much on that one. We got very excited about trying out lots of stuff and throwing them at the wall.
Are you missing Nevermind the Buzzcocks since it ended this year?
I loved doing Buzzcocks. I get on so well with Phil Jupitus and the crew and the writers. I’ve never had a proper job so it was a really nice thing to do: you’d turn up in the afternoon, chat to the guests a bit, prepare a little and really kind of improvise. It was like a crazy tea party. So I was gutted when it went, but I have had a hell of a lot of offers since then. I’d love to do another panel show - I’m like a footballer on loan!
What projects do you have after the tour?
Well, lots of stuff in the pipeline but I kind of really need to decide for myself. I’ve got an idea for a film, a TV show, there’s some ideas in America, something to do with my painting and a few ideas for children’s books so yeah, I’ll have to decide. None of them might take off! But that’s the good thing about this job: you never know what will happen.
Finally, and this is for the truly hardcore Boosh-Heads, what qualities, Noel, would a hammer have to possess be to be considered ‘posh’?
(Laughs) It is weird that, isn’t it? What was that from? The Story of Bubblegum Charlie
wasn’t it? I think a posh hammer would have to have its own maze, or maybe its own moat surrounding its house. One big monocle, or a little tweed case that it sleeps in at night. I think it’s because in my head I never associated hammers with posh people. Like they’d never know what one was unless they were going to kill someone with one.
Noel's 'An Evening with Noel Fielding' tour comes to Woking on Sunday 29th November. Visit www.atgtickets.com for tickets
Follow Noel at noelfielding.co.uk