Childmen In NY

On June 12th 2010, Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding and Oliver Ralfe appeared at the New York screenings of the Boosh Tour documentary, Journey of the Childmen.

Sadly none of the TVO team could make it to the event, but several of our regular peelers did!  Leah provided us with videos from the night and photos from her friend Tammy Courtney Clark, and another of our regular peelers, SashaM has very kindly sent us a report on the wondrous event.

To see and hear all from these friends of the Onion, keep on peeling…

© Tammy Courtney Clark

It’s 1:55am, Sunday. I’m wired. A week’s worth of anticipation, combined with a few hours with The Boosh has ensured that my heart is still banging around in my chest, keeping me awake. I was lucky enough to get tickets to both showings of Journey of the Childmen at the 92nd Street Y in Tribeca. It’s a great, intimate venue.  As I’m sure you all know, there had been rumors earlier in the week of the possibility of Noel and Julian making an appearance and I didn’t want to miss anything. As people were coming in, the movie screen was advertising, among other things, a Spice World sing-along, taking place there later in the month (I’m tempted). Bunny and the Bull will also be shown there on July 2nd. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend it. And if you have seen it, it’ll be a good chance to meet some Boosh fans.

The evening began with an introduction by Cristina, who works at the 92nd St. Y and made the arrangements for Noel and Julian’s appearance, as well as the screening of the documentary. I swear to you, as soon as the phrase “…and then we will be joined by Noel and Julian” left her mouth, there was a (very audible) room-wide swoon. She then introduced director/producer/editor/musician Oliver Ralfe and the documentary began.

It opens on Rich Fulcher, clad in a fedora and bright red poncho, kneeling at the grave of William Blake, asking for the strength of Jim Morrison in the upcoming tour. What follows is an intimate view of life on the road with The Boosh.  It’s two hours before the first show of the tour. Noel and Julian are in their dressing room, still writing the show. Julian subsequently goes on stage that night with notes for the entire show written on the back of his hand. The documentary follows The Boosh as fans chase their car, Julian shaves his face (“I feel like the beard is the enemy of comedy!”) and Mike Fielding stumbles around a campfire with a microphone, shoved into half a loaf of bread. Another scene pans across some of the things sent to them by fans, including a number of drawings, a letter from Bono and The Edge and a nude photo of a pink-haired woman. At 82 minutes long, Ralfe assures that the viewer gets a good idea of the men behind the tour, but not so long that it gets boring.

© Tammy Courtney Clark

After the film ended, everyone tried to wait patiently for Noel and Julian to come out, but it was obvious we were all really excited. Soon they arrived, and the questions began. I’ve arranged them in a list to make them easier to read (they are reproduced to the best of my ability!):

Q. How did you meet Oliver?
A. We had mutual friends. At first we only knew him as “the guy who rode his bike into a canal”. (Oliver then chimes in that this was not intentional and for 10 years afterwards, most people knew him as “the guy who rode his bike into a canal”. He made it out but the bike didn’t.)

Q. Do you ever get tired of touring?
A. We get very exhausted while touring, because we party too much.

Q. Tell us about the album. (This question came up at both shows)
A. It’s got tunes from the show, as well as new songs and other new stuff. They chose NY to record because it helped them focus to be away from their lives in England and they wanted to record in the same studio as Jimi Hendrix (Electric Lady Studios). While recording, they stayed at the famous Chelsea Hotel. Consequently, both of those places are near the office I spend the majority of my life at so to find out I was in the vicinity of The Boosh and didn’t know it causes me to look up at the sky while angrily shaking my fist.

Q. Is Bob Fossil really your favorite American?
A. Noel – He’s the only American in Britain.

Q. Are you working on a movie?
A. We started writing a movie, but then began writing a different movie that was a musical. We don’t know what to do next.

Q. Did you experience trepidation at being filmed by a friend and (at Oliver) did you experience trepidation at filming friends?
A. (They begin by poking fun at the woman because she used the word ‘trepidation’ so many times.) No, because since we are friends, we are respectful of each other.

Q. How did you start writing?
A. We start with dialogue and one of us will be at a computer, writing it down.

Q. Why was Dave Brown barely in the film?
A. Dave is so into being in front of the camera, that we tease him by making him wear masks as part of every character he plays.

Q. Who are some of your influences?
A. We were influenced by the music our fathers listened to, such as Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and Santana.

Noel and Julian then stayed to introduce the later screening and answer some questions. I managed to write down one of them, which was, “What is your favorite Mighty Boosh episode?”  Julian’s was ‘The Priest and the Beast’ and ‘The Nightmare of Milky Joe’. Noel’s was ‘Nanageddon’ and ‘The Strange Tale of the Crack Fox’. They also mentioned that Oliver plays Jimmy the Reach in the first episode, as well as a fisherman in ‘The Legend of Old Gregg’ and the Umpire of Folk in ‘The Chokes’.

Then one girl raised her hand and said something like, “I don’t have a question, but I just wanted to say thank you and I love you.” I’m sure she wasn’t the only one thinking that (ahem!)

All in all, it was a really good night.

Thanks to all involved for sending us information about the night – we really appreciate it.  If you missed it recently, you can see our interview with Oliver Ralfe about all things Childmen right here

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