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Berry Tour Tees For Sale

18 Apr

© Acid Jazz

The Kill The Wolf tshirts which were exclusively available on Matt Berry‘s Spring tour are now for sale through the Acid Jazz Shop. You’ll have to be quick, however, because these are the last few remaining, and there’s limited availability of certain sizes.

The 100% cotton tshirts, which feature Matt’s face in a mountainous pose, are available in red and olive green and cost £10 each.

To procure yours, visit Acid Jazz’s shop here.

Ralfe Band @ Record Store Day

18 Apr

© Ralfe Band

A while ago we told you that Matt Berry is releasing a limited edition vinyl record for record store day, which is tomorrow (19th April).

Ralfe Band are releasing a special limited edition linocut print, handmade and hand-printed by Oly Ralfe! The prints come with a download code for Cold Chicago Morning and a Field Music remix of Oh My Father. There are only 250 prints available in the UK and Europe tomorrow, and they are all signed and numbered.

To celebrate the event, Oly Ralfe and Mike Monaghan will be playing two free in-store shows:

11am at Sound Knowledge, Marlborough, Wiltshire
3pm at Rapture Witney, Oxfordshire

For more info go to their Facebook page.

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Matt Berry With Stuart Maconi

5 Apr

© Matt Berry / Acid Jazz

Matt Berry talked to Stuart Maconi on the Radcliffe & Maconi show on 6 Music recently, to talk about Music for Insomniacs and share some tracks.

During their chat we discover that Matt painted the artwork for the album, and he explained about the album being recorded before Kill the Wolf, when suffering from insomnia himself. You can listen to the interview here.

As we mentioned earlier, there will be a limited edition, two track, vinyl record released on 19th April for Record Store Day, and the full album is out on 19th May.

Remember that  Matt is now on tour, see his official site for dates.

Darkplace Live!

4 Apr
© Grimmfest

© Grimmfest

The lovely people over at Den of Geek have compiled a ‘where are they now’ about the cast of Darkplace to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. You can catch up here.
Of course if you are a regular TVO reader, none of it will come as a surprise to you, as we give you regular updates on what the cast are up to these days.

Fans of Darkplace (and who isn’t?), who can get to Manchester, can treat themselves to a live screening of all 6 episodes followed by a Q&A session with Matt Holness and Alice Lowe! The event is on Sunday May 18th from 3pm to 10pm at Gorilla, Manchester.

Tickets are on sale NOW from Grimmfest, where you can also get more details of the event.

House of Fools to Return!

20 Mar
© BBC

© BBC

It has been announced that Vic and Bob’s madcap sitcom House of Fools will be returning to BBC Two for a second series.

The first series starred Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer who were joined by Matt Berry, Dan Skinner, Daniel Simonsen and Morgana Robinson. Set in Bob’s house, the series produced new and ridiculous stories each week and captured the hearts of many of its viewers.

The full core cast are expected to return for the second series, the BBC announced on Tuesday.

Vic and Bob said “We are overjoyed and thankful to our great corporation for their diligence in this matter.” Bob also revealed the news via Twitter:

Here at TVO, we can’t wait to see what the next series will bring!

Matt Berry Observer Interview

17 Mar
© Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian

© Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian

Matt Berry was interviewed by The Observer this weekend and spoke about his varied career, some hints on what is in store for the next series of Toast of London, and how he’s inspired by things that frighten him.

Matt told John Plunkett that he got into comedy ‘by the back door’, through his friendship with Matt Holness and Richard Ayoade, who he met while doing warm-ups at Mighty Boosh gigs, and working at the London Dungeon.

We also find out that Toast of London is nominated for tomorrow’s Royal Television Society Awards – along with Psychobitches and  also a Broadcasting Press Guild Award, where it is up against Ambassadors.

Click here to read the full article and listen to the interview.

Original Comedy Shorts

16 Mar
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

To celebrate the launch of the new iPlayer, the BBC have announced a series of seven original comedy shorts created by and starring some of Britain’s best comedians, who were invited to create ‘something they’ve always wanted to write or perform’.

There was no specified length for the works, as the BBC Media Centre announced:’the comedies are as long, as they are funny’, so it sounds like we will be in for some unusual entertainment.

Of course there is the TVO connection as Matt Berry has contributed The Lone Wolf, with others from our extended family – Reece Shearsmith with Sally Phillips, in an Austro-German medical caper set in the 1940s, Bob Mortimer joined by Frankie Boyle in a ‘demented interactive cookery show’ and Stewart Lee with Boom Boom Out Go The Lights .

The shorts will be available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014.

The titles of all seven comedies are:

Micky Flanagan’s Foxageddon, Frankie Boyle and Bob Mortimer’s Cookery Show, Reece Shearsmith ‘The Case Of The High Foot’, Channel Morgana, Matt Berry: The Lone Wolf, Stewart Lee: Boom Boom Out Go The Lights and Meera Syal’s Bollywood Fights.

The executive producer is Lisa Clark for Pett Television

Toast Of The Awards

26 Feb

© Kuba Wieczorek

There are more award nominations for TVO related shows, starting with Matt Berry‘s Toast of London being nominated in the TV Award category of the Chortle Awards 2014.

Meanwhile in the Empire Awards, A Field in England is nominated for Best Horror, with Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and The World’s End both being nominated in the Best Comedy and Best British Film categories, with Edgar Wright nominated for Best Director, making three nominations for The World’s End.

Click on the links to vote for your favourites. The Chortle Awards are open until midnight on 4th March, and while there’s no closing date mentioned for the Empire Awards, it’s best to get your votes in soon!

If you’ve missed any of the nominated shows, don’t forget you can get everything you need at the Velvet Onion Store, just click to buy.

Toast of London

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa DVD or Blu-ray.

A Field in England.

Cornetto Trilogy.

Music For Insomniacs… And Vinyl Hunters!

25 Feb

© Matt Berry / Acid Jazz

Matt Berry‘s long awaited Music For Insomniacs Part IV project will be released in May, with a preview except available for Record Store Day.

Featuring choral vocals, soothing synths, conga drums and other sounds you can drift away too, the project was completed prior to the Kill The Wolf sessions, but was deemed too ‘out there’ to release as the direct follow up to Witchazel.

Recorded during Matt’s own bouts of insomnia, every note was recorded in solitary isolation during the nights when sleep wasn’t an option.

Now a two-track sampler will be released as a limited edition 7″ via Acid Jazz as part of this year’s RSD celebrations on April 19th, which see vinyl fans across the land queue for hours and hours to try and get collector’s edition records before e-bay scammers buy them all up to sell them on for inflated prices.  Let’s just say it’s a nice concept, but if you really want one of these, you’re going to have to beat the odds!

Previews of the tracks can be heard now via Juno Records, which does suggest there may be further chances to bag one of the 500 copies if they don’t sell out on the day.  Matt’s previous RSD release, the 2010′s The Badgers Wake, was later sold on tour, so if we hear of any more places to pick up a copy we’ll keep you posted.

The full collection will be released in May. We’ll bring you pre-order links as soon as we have them, so stay peeled.

How Matt & Mark Met

17 Feb

© The Independent

This weekend’s Independent featured a rather heartwarming interview with Matt Berry and ex-Bluetones frontman, Mark Morriss, in which they talk about their friendship.

From a chance meeting a few years ago at a comedy gig (at The Hen & Chickens, no less!) mutual artistic appreciation blossomed, and having performed with each other at a series of ad hoc gigs Mark is now a regular part of Matt’s touring band, the Maypoles, as rhythm guitarist.

It’s apparent from the interview that the pair’s different outlooks on life work well together, with Mark providing the calming counterbalance to Matt’s wilder tendencies!

As Mark says, “I think my role in our friendship is as the slightly more sensible older brother: Matt’s a free spirit while I’m a little bit more reserved. When I go out to a bar, he coaxes me out of my shell, while I can help rein him in.”

Matt agrees, noting about his friend, “He even folds his clothes while staying in a Travelodge; he’s the neatest man in pop. And on nights out he’s always very careful. We’d go out to a club and I’d tell him, ‘We’re not going to die from a good night out.’ But I need that caution from him: you can’t have everyone acting like an animal; if both of us had my attitude we’d never get anywhere on time.”

To read the interview in full visit The Independent’s website.

The duo will be touring with the Maypoles from 4th April. For further details visit Matt’s website.

Dead Dog Unbagged

10 Feb

The archives of Dead Dog In Black Bag are open, and are now available to hear via Soundcloud.

© Angel Ceballos

© Angel Ceballos

The band began life around 2006, as Holly Jane Shears joined forces with Amy Richardson to form a dynamic duo responsible for pure electropop filth. Together, they both appeared in the third series of The Mighty Boosh the following year, most notably as party-goers invited by Vince to what was meant to be Howard’s party – both suitably unimpressed by the corset clad corduroy catastrophe trying to chat them up!

After releasing their debut EP, featuring a collaboration with Rich Fulcher, Richardson departed the band, to be replaced by the delightful Suzy Evelyn-Hall.  Their single Calimari Queen was an underground favourite, and the band continued to appear live sporadically around the duo’s other commitments, including Holly’s time with folk-rockers Circulus.

In recent years, Dead Dog have been somewhat quiet – appearing only on special occasions, such as The Velvet Onion Live in May 2012, which you can see footage of below.

Now in a moment of retrospection, they’ve gone and released a selection of their previous work on Soundcloud.

This includes the aforementioned Fulcher duet, Uncle Kevin; the ode to internet dating, Digital Princess; and the smutty fun of Love Meat.  Also uploaded are collaborations with Frisky And Mannish and a remix made for Robots In Disguise. You can hear them all over at the DDIBB Soundcloud account now, or below via our handy playlist. Enjoy…

Shearsmith Joins The House Of Fools

10 Feb

The gloriously silly House Of Fools has been impressing critics and audiences alike for the last few weeks, and as the final episodes approach, there’s a lovely cherry on top for alternative comedy fans.

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

The show, which continues tomorrow evening at 10:00pm on BBC Two, features comedic giants Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer alongside the brilliant Morgana Robinson and Daniel Simonsen, and TVO legends Matt Berry and Dan Skinner.

The final episode, airing next week (18th February) features a guest appearance by a man whose connections to Onion Land just keep on growing – the ever-delightful Reece Shearsmith.

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

The former star of Psychoville and The League Of Gentlemen appears as in a suitably spooky edition, as Vic, Bob, Beef and Bosh perform a seance in a bid to win a chimpanzee, but only Bob can see the spirit who appears.

Shearsmith – who also appeared in A Field In England, Spaced and Bad Sugar - is also currently wowing audiences on BBC Two with his latest collaboration with Steve Pemberton: the sublime Inside No. 9.

The anthology horror comedy features guest appearances from the likes of Katherine ParkinsonJulia Davies and Kayvan Novak (who also appeared in Bad Sugar with Reece & Julia, comedy incest fans!).

Inside No. 9 continues on Wednesday evenings on BBC Two, also at 10:00pm, and both it and House Of Fools are available for pre-order on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

Pre-order House Of Fools!                         Pre-order Inside No. 9!

Pre-order House Of Fools by clicking on the image above!

Pre-order Inside No. 9 by clicking on the image above!

The Wolf Returns

30 Jan
© Acid Jazz

© Acid Jazz

Matt Berry will be performing across the UK in April with his band The Maypoles.

Dates for the tour have been trickling out for the last fortnight, but now the official announcement has been made via the handy poster to the left of this text.

The tour takes in Tunbridge Wells, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol and London between April 4th and 9th, with tickets available now via the usual channels and Matt’s official website.

Kill The Wolf - Berry’s critically acclaimed 2013 album – is still available on cd and vinyl via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store, alongside much of his other output.

Elsewhere Matt continues to appear as Beef in House Of Fools every Tuesday evening at 10pm, with previous episodes available on iPlayer.

The BBC have also announced House Of Fools will be released on dvd in January 2015, suggesting a second series is likely around that time.  Like Kill The Wolf, it is also in our store, and can be pre-ordered now.

Berry Goes Further

22 Jan

© Contact Music

Last week we discovered that Matt Berry would be performing live in Leamington Spa on April 5th. We had our suspicions at the time that it wouldn’t be a one-off, and we were right – he’s on the move!

One date in Leamington has evolved into a mini UK tour, and it may well develop further. He’ll now be playing in Nottingham, Bristol and London on 7th, 8th & 9th April respectively.

For more information and to purchase tickets head on over here.

If any further dates are announced, we’ll be sure to let you know – probably via twitter.

If you missed Matt’s star turn on episode 2 of House of Fools this week, don’t forget you can watch it on iPlayer for another 7 days.

Edit we’ve just heard that the show in Leamington Spa on April 5th has been cancelled. We’ll let you know any further developments as we get them.

Berry Live in Leamington

18 Jan

© Brave

Matt Berry has announced a live date in Leamington Spa in April.

He’ll be performing at the Zephyr Lounge on April 5th. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £16.50.

The gig is 14+ years and anyone aged 14-16 will need to be accompanied by an adult. Yes really.

For more information and to buy tickets take a look here.

Fans of Matt may be interested to know that there are vague (unconfirmed!) rumours that he could be one of the “special guests” appearing on stage with Mark Morriss (ex-Bluetones) on his forthcoming tour during February and March. For more information about that one click here.

Darkplace Double Act!

16 Jan

© Avalon

For a wee while now we’ve been getting rather excited about an event that’s taking place this Saturday in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. And now we’ve heard some news that’s tipped us over into being dangerously overjoyed.

As we’ve previously mentioned, on Saturday 18th January all 6 episodes of the iconic comedy series created by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade will be shown at the 250-seater Ciné Lumière in London, as part of Totally Serialized TV Festival. Holness’s short A Gun for George will be shown afterwards, and the man himself will be there to answer questions afterwards in a Q&A session.

The new news is that Matt will be joined at the Q&A by none other than Alice Lowe, who played Madeleine Wool/Dr. Liz Asher in the series. How good is that??

Tickets are £12 (£10 conc) and the event runs 6-9pm (although you can stay and watch scary films until dawn if you fancy it!). For more information and to buy tickets visit the event website.

Enter Into The House Of Fools

15 Jan

© BBC

Last night saw the debut of House of Fools, a new sitcom penned by and starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. While any new creative output from Vic and Bob deserves attention, the reason for including the show on our hallowed pages is because it also features Matt Berry and Dan Skinner (a recent addition to TVO’s list of artists).

If you didn’t manage to watch the first episode we implore you to check it on iPlayer – it’s bloody brilliant! Chaotic, surreal and darned funny; its appearance on our screen is hopefully a sign that media owners are starting to take a few more risks when it comes to comedy programming. Matt’s character, Beef, deserves a special call out – his introductory scene is simply perfect.

If you don’t believe us, take a look at some of the glowing reviews that the pilot episode received – from The Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and Metro (just click on the link to read the review). It’s clear that Vic and Bob are back with a bang!

Don’t forget to tune into BBC2 at 10pm next Tuesday for the second episode of House of Fools, titled ‘Bob’s Soggy Breakfast’. For more information about the series have a look at the show’s BBC pages.

Festive TV Catch-Up

5 Jan
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

There were some great TV programmes on over the Festive period, many featuring TVO favourites. We’ve posted about most of them, but there’s still the opportunity to catch up on many of the delights:

Most recently, Kevin Eldon took part in Celebrity Mastermind, if you didn’t see it on Thursday, you can catch up here.

Kevin popped up again during the festivities as Doctor McFee in Death Comes to Pemberley, which is still available on BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas edition of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out featured Katy Wix and can be viewed here.

Charlie Brooker reviewed 2013 in 2013 Wipe, although not featuring any TVO related people, Mr Brooker has written many great shows featuring TVO artists.

There was also a re-run of Ambassadors, starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell, with a scene stealing guest appearance by Mr Michael Smiley. You can catch this episode – and the others – on BBC iPlayer.

Matt Berry fans had plenty of opportunities to see and hear the man himself on New Year’s Eve, first Matt was in the final episode of The IT Crowd – also available on 4OD along with every other episode of The IT Crowd and the special documentary, The IT Crowd Manual, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by Matt narrating The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, which is now available on 4OD. Then to round off the New Year celebrations, Channel 4 showed every episode of Toast of London, also available on 4OD.

Rich Fulcher popped up as a commentator on The 50 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians on Channel 5. This featured clips from a wide variety of comedians spanning the years up to the present. You can catch up with this on Demand5.

Rich also presented 2013 Mashed on Channel 4, which also featured a sketch by Hayden Black. Again you can still see this on 4OD.

And of course there was the Big Fat Quiz of The Year featuring Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade – on the same team! If by any chance you missed it, there’s still time to catch up on 4OD

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Three

3 Jan

If you’ve previously taken a mosey through Part One and Part Two of our Review of 2013, you’ll already be aware that it’s been a busy old year in Onion Land. July to September was no exception, with news, reviews, new shows and live performances from both our regulars and the new names on our roster.

So here are the best bits from the third quarter of the year – hand-picked from over 700 news stories across 2013, and jam-packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike. Enjoy.

JULY

The month began with the release of Dan Clark‘s debut album, Dan Clark & The Difficult Three, which had been funded via a successful Pledge Music campaign. Combining genuinely funny lyrics with proper tunes played by a bona fide band, the record offered fans of Clark’s musical comedy an opportunity to re-live some of his live show classics and enjoy some newer compositions. For a wee taster, here below is a live recording of ‘Don’t Kiss Me’ (and if you fancy buying a copy of the album, head on over here):

We also featured a series of introductions to the TVO-recommended artists you could see at 2013′s Edinburgh Fringe. We intentionally mixed up the folk who we already write about with the people who we define as “beyond the Onion”; those featured included Colin Hoult, Tony Law,  Paul FootSpank, Joey PageAisling Bea, Late Night Gimp Fight, Tim Fitzhigham, Jonny & The Baptists (+ Jonny Donahoe), Pete Heat and Glen Wool.

On 19th July the world of comedy sadly lost one of its pioneers, in the shape of Mel Smith. Whilst Smith’s contribution to modern comedy is undeniable, we can also claim a link between him and the TVO family, with Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthew’s first TV sketches being written for Alas, Smith And Jones. You can watch one of them below:

In terms of new TV and film projects, this month saw the release of Ben Wheatley‘s hotly-anticipated follow-up to Sightseers, the psychedelically historical A Field In England, which launched simultaneously in cinemas, on TV and on DVD on 5th July.

Filming also began on the second series of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and the Marmite-like TV adaptation of Graham Linehan’s Count Arthur Strong also hit our screens. Chris O’Dowd continued with his world domination of the airwaves with a role in the part-improvised US sitcom Family Tree:

Finally, fans of The Mighty Boosh got all hot and bothered over Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt‘s first live performance together since 2010 when the pair performed at The Barbican at a concert to honour the musician, Beck. Expect a bit more of the Boosh boys down below (honestly not as rude as it sounds)…

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