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That’s What Love Said

12 Feb

© Antony Elvin / Nina Miranda / Spinnup

A brand new single by Antony Elvin featuring Will Summers is available digitally now.

That’s What Love Said is a heartfelt duet between Elvin and cult singer Nina Miranda, with Elvin also providing guitar and percussion and Summers handling flutes and piccolos.

Also featuring Charlotte Stock on violin and viola, Francesca Ter-Berg on cello and Laura Copsey on Flugelhorn, the track fuses the traditional Tudor elements that Summers brings to the mix with more contemporary string arrangements, both of which complement the soulful voices of Antony and Nina to create a track you’d be hard pushed not to adore.

Though we’ve yet to hear of it emerging on any other platforms, the single is currently available to buy on iTunes as of this morning, and is also streaming on Spotify.

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…

Princes In The Park

19 Nov

© Fiona Campbell

Fans of Tudor-folk will want to hop on down to Camley Street Natural Park in North London next month, to celebrate the forthcoming release of the long-awaited debut album from Princes In The Tower.

The traditional trio, featuring Antony ElvinWill Summers and Michael Tyack (former collaborators via Tyack’s band Circulus), have been performing across the capital and beyond over the last few years, and their album, A Golden Hour With Princes In The Tower was recorded throughout 2012 and 2013.

Late last year, TVO exclusively premièred a track from the record, on our limited edition In Holoserica Cepa EP.

Now the album is about to get its proper release, details of which we will bring you as soon as they’re completely confirmed, and to celebrate, the band will be heading up three hours of musical celebration at the nature reserve not too far from King’s Cross St Pancras, on Sunday 8th December.

The event promises to be a sterling lunchtime with, in Elvin’s words, “some other very marginal and interesting bands”, and will run from noon until 3pm.  For more details, keep an eye on the Princes In The Tower Facebook page.

You can still hear a preview of the track Stingo – second track featured – via our EP sampler, saved for posterity below.

TVO Live Videos Part 6: Dead Dog In Black Bag

16 Jul

At long last, here’s the latest installment in our TVO Live video series!

For various boring reasons, it’s been a few weeks since we were able to bring you some footage from our inaugral live event which took place in May of last year, but now we can continue apace with some more great performances from our regulars!

That star studded event last year featured the likes of Dave Brown, James Cook, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn Hall, Mike Fielding, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Laura Patch, Richard Sandling, Holly Jane Shears, Rachel Stubbings, Will Summers, Dan Tetsell, Gareth Tunley, Dolly Wells and the disembodied voice of Rich Fulcher.

Now as we inch slowly towards putting on more events in the future, we’re showcasing footage from that glorious night of madcap fun.

This latest slice of lo-fi posterity is a whopping 14 minute set from electropop smut-merchants Dead Dog In Black Bag, and whilst we’re not going to win any awards for our filmmaking with this one, it at least gives you a rare chance to see the girls in action, Top Of The Pops style.

If you missed our previous videos in the series, you can check them out via this handy playlist over yonder. We’ll be bringing you more footage from the event soon, and are currently in initial stages of planning more shows, so stay peeled for all the latest info as soon as possible.

TVO Live Videos Part 2: Antony Elvin & Will Summers

7 Jun

Last week marked the first anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live – our inaugural live event, which will hopefully be followed by many more in the future.

Whilst we begin to gear up for another event, which we hope we can confirm before too long, we’re going back to that first night, and showcasing footage from the star studded event, which featured the likes of Dave Brown, James Cook, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn Hall, Mike Fielding, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Laura Patch, Richard Sandling, Holly Jane Shears, Rachel Stubbings, Will Summers, Dan Tetsell, Gareth Tunley, Dolly Wells and the disembodied voice of Rich Fulcher.

This week’s slice of lo-fi posterity features the folktastic pairing of Antony Elvin & Will Summers regaling our audience with a couple of angst free ditties.  You can see the results below.

Come back each Friday for a brand new installment, and stay peeled for further developments of TVO Live: The Sequel, coming soon…

EXCLUSIVE: In Holoserica Cepa – A Gift From The Velvet Onion

25 Dec

© The Velvet Onion

Yes, it’s Christmas time, and as another year draws to a close, The Velvet Onion has not one, but two presents for you.

Our annual TVO Calendar has sadly been delayed a little, but will be here for your perusal before 2012 runs out of gas.  We’ve been working round the clock the last few days to ensure it’s up to scratch, and reaches you before the end of the month, and we think you’ll love what we’ve come up with, so stay peeled over the festive season for that!

The other present… well that’s arguably more special.  We’ve called upon some of our more musical friends in the realm of the Onion, to provide a very special eight-track EP you can download completely free!

Just visit our Soundcloud page to get all eight tracks, featuring the likes of James Cook, Sue Denim, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn-Hall, Rich Fulcher, Richard Glover, Shelley Longworth, Alice Lowe, Holly Jane Shears, Waen Shepherd, William Summers, Gareth Tunley, Michael Tyack and Tony Way.

But hurry, because the files will only be available until SUNDAY JANUARY 6th, before being taken down forever.  For a full tracklisting, and a flashy swanky player loaded with all eight songs, see below.

TVO would like to thank everyone involved with the making of these tracks, and the compiling of this collection.  You all know who you are, and to you, and everyone out there reading this – a most merry of holiday seasons to you all. We love ya.


01. Secret Wolf – GARY LE STRANGE

Taken from the long deleted third Gary Le Strange album, Beef Scarecrow, this song has only previously been made available at Waen Shepherd’s live shows many moons ago.  Stay tuned for the full reissue of his GLS albums over the next twelve months, with the first, Polaroid Suitcase available now.


Originally a spin-off from folk legends Circulus, the magnificent Princes In The Tower have become an almighty Tudor force in their own right.  This track is taken from the forthcoming debut album, A Golden Hour With Princes In The Tower, which will be available soon…

03. Midnight, The Stars And You – RICHARD GLOVER & STEPHEN EVANS

Described by Evans as a ‘short and daft’ version of the 1930s classic (forever immortalised in The Shining), this is a previously unreleased recording from the Splendid duo…

04. The Self Machine – JAMES COOK

Taken from James’ wonderful debut solo album, Arts And Sciences, this track sees the former Nemo frontman on typically fine form.  The album is available now.


05.  Song Of A Wayfarer – WILLIAM SUMMERS

Recorded live at St John the Divine Church in Richmond upon Thames back in July, this is an exclusive, haunting live recording from the multi-instrumentalist.


The first new DeadDogInBlackBag song for a long, long time, this is a complete and utter exclusive from the electropop duo.

07. Another Rainy Day – SUE DENIM

A 60s influenced b-side from Sue’s recent Bicycle single, this track acts a taster for her delightfully summery debut solo album, Sue And The Unicorn, which is available now.

08. This Christmastime [2012 Mix] – ANTONY ELVIN, ALICE LOWE & FRIENDS

Originally recorded for Alice LoweJacqueline Wright‘s Jackal Film of the same name back in 2010, this fresh mix from its producer and co-writer Antony Elvin features a host of TVO stars – Gareth Tunley, Shelley Longworth, Waen Shepherd, Tony Way and Rich Fulcher – spreading an important message for the festive season.

Bath, Catford & The Princes

4 Sep

© Suelan

Psychedelic Tudor rock trio Princes In The Tower are to make the most of the first weekend of October, with appearances in Bath and Catford.

Fresh from their cameo in Hunderby, the delightful Antony ElvinWill Summers and Michael Tyackwill bring their whimsical melodies to The Old Crown in Weston, Bath on October 6th – as part of celebrations for the pub’s 300th anniversary.  Elvin has promised the band is “going to party like it’s erm 1712!” – so get on down there and join in the fun.

The following day, October 7th, the trio will be returning to Catford Broadway Market to entertain shoppers with their folk-flavoured delights once again.  For more details, keep an eye on the market’s Facebook page, where you can see pictures of their appearance last weekend.

Get Classical – Tonight!

5 Jul

© Edward Lloyd

Michael Tyack, of Princes in the Tower and Circulus fame, is appearing in Get Classical tonight in Camden, at the Constitution Pub, 42 St Pancras Way, NW1 0QT.

The show features “a great line up of superstars from London’s early music scene”, who will be improvising and inventing new tunes for old instruments.

It will be a night out with a difference so why not pop along, if you’re in the area?

The show starts at 7pm and finishes at 11pm.

For more information head over to the Facebook Event Page.

The Velvet Onion: The Extreme Racists…

29 Jun

Today marks the one month anniversary of our evening of music, comedy and downright madness at TVO Live! So what better way to celebrate the night than to give all of you a taste of what went down in our first trailer!

Take a look below at the first snippets of footage from our film of the whole shebang, and we’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that made it to the event; the superb comics and musicians that took to the Vandella’s stage, of course to James Wren and Bob Pipe for being amazing support, to Michael Henry Bull, Michael Glynn and Jon Burgess our fantastic camera team, and also extra thanks to Waen Shepherd for letting us use his brilliant track for our trailer.

To read more about TVO Live you can take a look at our previous recap of the evening complete with photos from the night!

The Velvet Onion Live! – EXTRA Layers!

9 Apr

TICKETS On sale now1

The Velvet Onion is pleased to be able to announce several more acts for our debut live night on Thursday May 31st at The Vandella.

The Velvet Onion Live! takes place on Thursday, May 31st 2012. Tickets are on sale NOW via Ticketweb, priced just £15. Please remember the venue is a licensed bar so it’s 18+ ONLY.

Two new funny men joining our star-studded bill are comedy legends James Bachman and Dan Tetsell.

Bachman, of course, is known for a wide range of productions – from his guest appearances in The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd and Beehive, through to his regular appearances in SaxondaleThat Mitchell & Web LookBleak Expectations and Sorry, I’ve Got No Head.

Tetsell came to TVO’s attention via Mongrels and radio sketch show The Museum Of Everything, but he is also well loved by comedy fans thanks to his work on As It Occurs To Me with Richard Herring, starring in BBC2 sitcom Lab Rats and writing shows as diverse as After Your GoneThe Omid Djalili ShowWe Are HistoryGash and The Basil Brush Show!

James and Dan are not the only names to be added to our star-studded line-up!  We’re very pleased to confirm that cult singer/songwriter James Cook will be joining us for an exclusive mini-set.  Cook is, of course, best known as the former frontman of Nemo – and for his frequent appearances in The Mighty Boosh.  He released his debut solo album, Arts And Siences last year.

Another musical virtuoso joining us is Will Summers – Tudor-folk legend and frequent collaborator of Antony Elvin.  Boosh fans may remember Will’s guest appearance at Noel Fielding & Dave Brown’s outdoor painting & signing session in Soho last October, and prog fans will no doubt be familiar with his work with Circulus & Princes In The Tower.

All in all, this show is going to be packed out with some of the very best names in Booshdom.  Our full-line up is as follows!

Alice Lowe ♦ Antony Elvin  Dan Tetsell ♦ David McNeill

DeadDogInBlackBag  Gareth Tunley  James Bachman

James Cook ♦ Joey Page ♦ Lucy Montgomery ♦ Rachel Stubbings

Richard Glover  Richard Sandling ♦ Stephen Evans ♦ Steve Oram

Tom Meeten Waen Shepherd  Will Summers

We have a few more names to confirm in the next few weeks, so stay peeled for all the latest info – and if you want to be there for an incredible night of music and comedy, come and peel the onion live and BUY TICKETS HERE NOW!

Circulus Walk The Line

21 Feb

Our favourite Prog Rockers, Circulus, will be performing on Friday 2nd March at The Queen’s Head Inn 19 Landgate, Rye TN31 7LH.

The show starts at 8.30pm and will feature the full 40 minute film of Michael Tyack’s psychedelic interaction with the Michael line, a powerful earth energy which runs between Norfolk and Cornwall. The film will be followed by question and answers and a live performance.

You can see a preview of the film here.

Spring Back In Time: A Look Back At April-June 2011

2 Jan

So far our review of 2011 has covered January to March. Today we bring you the sequel: April to June. Aaaah, Springtime…the time of fresh starts and new beginnings! And it turned out to be a very busy time in the Booshniverse too!



April started with the news of Chris O’Dowd’s appearance in The Crimson Petal and The White, a Victorian drama adaptation miles away from The IT Crowd! It was a fantastic production with a great cast and Chris was excellent in it.

The London Comedy Writers Festival took place this month, with input from TVO favourites Alice Lowe, Jaqueline Wright and Colin Hoult. It was a very busy month for Alice, she starred in  Tap at the Window, appeared with Antony Elvin at Popcorn Comedy, and had the pilot  Alice’s Wunderland broadcast on BBC Radio 4. At the time we were lucky to bag an interview with her which you can read here. We also reviewed Jackal films 2010 calendar project.

Colin Hoult announced the second New Adventures show and Paul Foot was in Australia, tweeting as he went.

TVO enjoyed a bit of a spring clean itself in April with a revamp of the TVO Amazon store, making it even easier to cater for all your comedy needs!

Continue reading

DeadDog In The Clouds

15 Dec

© Angel Ceballos

A whole host of stonking DeadDogInBlackBag tracks and remixes are now available for your aural pleasure on Soundcloud.

Put on your dancing pants and remind yourself of the electro fabulousness of Zombies, Calamari Queen and Uncle Kevin (featuring Rich Fulcher). With 14 tracks in total, including new remixes of Circulus and the glorious Antony Elvin‘s music, it’s well worth checking out!

Click here to bring some pre-Christmas joy to your earholes.

Port & Brew

22 Jul

© The Velvet Onion

This weekend sees a bevy of TVO favourites descend upon the Port Elliot Festival.

As part of a star-studded line-up, we confirmed last weekend that Hot Brew will be appearing on Saturday, with Antony Elvin turning up on Sunday and as part of Princes In The Tower at various points on both days.  If any of our readers are attending the event, we’d love to hear from you!

Still on the subject of Hot Brew, The Velvet Onion can reveal that a few weeks ago, we managed to pin down Oona & Crispin Wheatflake for an extensive chat – highlights from which will be coming your way very soon.  You can see a preview clip below.

The duo have also just confirmed an Edinburgh Festival appearance, for one night only, on the 14th August – so we’ll be bringing you more info on that, alongside our video exclusive, as soon as possible.  Stay peeled!

The Princes Are Coming!

5 Jul

© Grace Gelder

Princes In The Tower – the Tudor Power Trio comprising Antony Elvin, Will Summers and Michael Tyack – are making a rare appearance in the North West in September.

The band, who are set to appear at the Port Elliot Festival later this month alongside Hot Brew and The Ralfe Band, are to take part in a very special celebration in Salford to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the ground-breaking Bridgewater Canal.

The event promises to be a  ‘green’ family friendly free music event in the city’s Monton district, with live folk music and traditional crafts.  It takes place on September 10th, and naturally – as TVO has connections to Salford itself, we’re aiming to be there to cover the band’s appearance.

We’ll provide you with more details as soon as we’ve got them, and you can find out more abut the band (and hear samples of their work) over on their newly improved Facebook page now.

In the meantime, the fabulous Mr Elvin has sent us his own summary of a recent Princes In The Tower gig in Paignton, Devon back in May… and it’s a lyrical treat to savour, which really helps give you a flavour of what to expect from their unique live experience. Click to read more to, you know…  Continue reading

Behold A Pale Scarecrow

29 Jun
© SeánK’

Prog Rock band Circulus will be performing this Saturday (2 July), at St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 0PN, from 8pm-11pm.

Described as “Music and ideas as always from the beyond…”, tickets to this unique event are £12 (concessions £10).

In the afternoon, masters of early music, Princes in the Tower (featuring the lovely Antony Elvin) will be leading a workshop suitable for all ages, on Tudor and Elizabethan music, from 4pm-7pm; tickets for the workshop are £5.

Tickets and further information for both events are available here, and there’s also a facebook group for the event.

Circulus: An Apology

25 May

© SeánK'

On 28th April, we incorrectly published an article stating that Circulus had disbanded.  Our article was published in good faith judging by information we had been given about the then-current line-up.  It has since transpired that we were incorrect about certain finer details within that post and that the band lives on.

In that article, we hinted that “it remains to be seen if Tyack will ressurrect the band with a brand new line-up” – in reference to the various changes in personnel the band has experienced throughout the years.  We have since learned that this is the case, and the heart of the band, Michael Tyack is continuing with a new line-up at present.

Circulus have always been firm favourites of The Velvet Onion, and we wish to continue to bring you news of the band’s activities in the future.  To this end, we hope to bring you further clarification of the current incarnation of Circulus and their forthcoming engagements as soon as possible.

The Velvet Onion would like to extend our utmost apologies to Mr Tyack for this confusion.  We would also like to apologise to The Lexington in London, who hosted a Circulus gig on May 12th which we believed had been cancelled.  Finally, we wish to apologise to any fans of the band who missed out on this gig believing the band would not appear.
The Velvet Onion would also like to publicly thank two former members of the band – Antony Elvin and William Summers – for helping us to clarify events in the Circulus camp.

Forged Brew

24 May

© Paul Holmes

Friday night saw the magical blend of Oona & Crispin Wheatflake descend upon the Albany on Great Portland Street, London, for a unique evening of late May-day celebrations from the minds of Hot Brew.

With Steve Oram, Colin Hoult and Stephen Evans also on the bill at the Forgery Club, TVO couldn’t resist popping along.  This is what we found…

It was always going to be an unusual night.  The posters, eerily reminiscent of the carvings of Vlad the Impaler given a Wicker Man-esque treatment, were surely enough to befuddle passers by on Great Portland Street, or the bevy of boozers on the ground floor of The Albany.  Meandering past the masses and down into the basement for the Forgery Club felt like we were part of a great secret.  Here, tonight, underneath the city, we were going to see something pretty damn special.

With punters cheerfully munching on the selection of buns and biscuits left on each table, few of them noticed Oona & Crispin Wheatflake sat in a corner booth, frantically making final preparations for their first ever club night.  With the various other acts on the bill pottering about, saying hello to their friends and followers, the pair slinked off into the depths of the backstage area to put the kettle on, pick their teabags and unleash the brew. Continue reading

The End Of The Circle

28 Apr

This article contains incorrect information.  Please read THIS post.

© Holly Jane Shears

The Velvet Onion is sad to confirm that Circulus have disbanded.

The progressive folk band has encouraged a revolving door policy of musicians since their 1999 debut EP,  and released three albums during their lifetime.  The last, Thought Becomes Reality featuring our very own Antony Elvin and Holly Jane Shears, who toured extensively with the band since 2009.

Elvin left last year due to a large scale shifting around of personnel, but alongside fellow former member William Summers, still performs sporadically with frontman Michael Tyack in the trio Princes In The Tower.

Shears continued in the new line-up, most recently playing several gigs in the North West over the Easter period. Sadly, the decision was taken during this brief mini-tour to disband indefinitely.

Circulus had also been booked to play a show at The Lexington near Angel, London on 12th May.  To the best of our knowledge they will no longer be appearing at the event – though if we hear of one last hurrah we’ll keep you peeled.

Whilst it remains to be seen if Tyack will ressurrect the band with a brand new line-up, it’s unlikely that the connections to TVO will remain.  Elvin moves in mysterious ways but has his own debut solo album and his comedy work with Alice Lowe to focus upon, whilst Shears continues to develop the debut album proper for long-standing electrocomedy band DeadDogInBlackBag.  She has also joined a brand new band which we will tell you more about in due course.

Circulus may have died, but their legacy as a cult favourite of folk fans, prog aficionados and the team at TVO will always remain.

Dead Dogs And Robot Chains

11 Apr

© Holly Jane Shears

The forthcoming Robots In Disguise single, Chains, has been remixed by none other than Holly Jane Shears of DeadDogInBlackBag and Circulus fame.

The Velvet Onion got wind of this very exciting collaboration last week, safe in the knowledge that it would be coming your way soon.  We felt best to keep quiet about it for the time being, but as those started tweeting about it, and questions started being asked, we reckon now is as good a time as any to let you all in on the funtimes.

This isn’t the first time Shears has remixed for the band, with the DeadDogInBlackBag remix of We’re In The Music Biz still available on and iTunes.

DeadDog also have a history of supporting Robots at their gigs in recent years… so hopefully there’s more to come as the album nears its currently unconfirmed release date.  As soon as TVO learns any more about the release of the album and single, we will be sure to let you know.


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