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British Muslim Comedy

18 Jun
© BBC

© BBC

To celebrate the start of Ramadan, BBC iPlayer has released five comedy shorts, written by and starring British Muslim comedians. They explore the highs and lows of modern Muslim life, including personal struggles around Ramadan.

All the shorts are directed by Dave Lambert, with costumes by Suzy Evelyn-Hall of DeadDogInBlackBag. Eid Mubarak is written by and stars Asim Chaudry who stars in Hoff The Record.

The mixture of stories and styles means there is something for everyone, and not just for Muslims.  You can see them all here on BBC iPlayer, where they are available for 29 days.

While you are there, don’t forget Matt Berry‘s moving tribute to UK Father’s – Father’s Day, which also features Bob Mortimer.

So Hot Right Now #22

16 Mar
Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now take a look below.

House of Fools welcomes Way & Davis

Series Two of House of Fools continues apace this week, with Episode Four featuring guest appearances from Nurse star Esther Coles, stand-up Romesh Ranganathan and TVO regulars Tony Way and Tom Davis.

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

The latter three play a trio of hard-as-nails dancers, who threaten to wipe the floor with Vic, Bob and Beef at the Danceathon event over at Julie’s bistro. Though when Julie isn’t dealing with Bosh’s poor customer service, she’s dealing with a rat infestation.

As ever, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer lead the ensemble, alongside Matt BerryDan SkinnerMorgana RobinsonDaniel Simonsen and Ellie White. TVO saw this episode being filmed in Salford back in the Autumn when we went to interview the cast, and while it was a struggle to put together, we’re confident the end result is an absolute treasure. You can see for yourselves on Monday 16th at 10pm, over on BBC Two.

Nurse continues with Day and Hoult

Episode Two on Nurse – the new show from Paul Whitehouse starring himself alongside Esther Coles – continues on Tuesday.

© Des Willie

© Des Willie

With Whitehouse starring as a cavalcade of troubled characters, and Coles portraying the community psychiatric nurse who has to see to them all, the show has charmed critics with its off-kilter comedy and a respectful look at mental health.

Co-starring Simon DayColin Hoult, Vilma Hollingberry and Rosie Cavalero, this week’s episode features a guest appearance from none other than Fast Show veteran Arabella Weir, and you can catch it on Tuesday at 10pm over on BBC Two.

Justin Edwards goes In And Out Of The Kitchen

Here’s one that slipped us by last week – as we reach the middle episode of a three-part sitcom starring Miles Jupp and Justin Edwards entitled In and Out of the Kitchen.

© Gary Moyes / BBC

© Gary Moyes / BBC

The show is based on the Radio 4 comedy of the same name, and charts the life of cookery writer Damien Trench (Jupp) and his partner Anthony (Edwards). The show also stars Philip Fox, Brendan Dempsey, Ade Ofeyoso and Margaret Cabourn-Smith, who just so happens to be the wife of one Dan Tetsell.

It’s a huge treat to not only see a show focusing on a middle-aged gay couple on our screens without any ‘novelty’ hoo-har about it, but also to see one that’s so expertly written and delightfully performed by its talented cast, and we urge you to catch up with the series, with Episode One available on iPlayer now.

In the second episode, which airs on Wednesday evening at 10pm on BBC Two, Damien is banned from the kitchen for the day as Anthony prepares their Valentine’s meal. However, his desperation to know more is soon the last thing on his mind, as his planned documentary about the culinary habits of the great poets is thrown into jeopardy.

More Moone-ing around for O’Dowd and company

Over on Sky 1, the third series of Chris O’Dowd‘s Moone Boy continues with a very special guest star this week, in the form or legendary broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan.

© Sky Corporate

© Sky Corporate

In this third episode, Martin (the ever brilliant David Rawle) finds out that every clip played on a TV video out-take show earns £250 – so he and Padraic get hold of a camera and try to film themselves doing something stupid. Meanwhile, the Moone household is bursting at the seams when Fidelma, Dessie and baby Rose move in, leaving Liam at the end of his tether.

One of the great charms about Moone Boy is that, though written by and starring a big star like O’Dowd, he is not afraid to let his character take a back seat to allow others to shine. And when you’ve got an ensemble like this, who can blame him? You can see the episode for yourselves on Monday 16th at 9pm.

Pomipidou Continues

Sunday evenings are that little bit warmer and fuzzier with Pompdiou around for teatime.

© BBC/John Stanley Productions/Natalie Seery

© BBC/John Stanley Productions/Natalie Seery

The utterly bonkers and penniless aristocrat is played with sheer delight by Matt Lucas, who is ably supported by the sublime Alex MacQueen as his put upon butler Hove. This week, Pompidou wants to spend Valentine’s Day with a date, and signs up to a dating agency to make his wish come true. Except, his idea of romance isn’t to everyone’s taste.

With special guest appearances by Anita Dobson and Paul Putner, this is another charming way to spend 25 minutes in the company of Lucas’ madcap alter-ego. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it seems that ol’ Pompi has found his audience, and you can join them on Sunday 22nd at 6:35pm.

TVO IS FIVE all over again

As this weekend marked five years since we became a dotcom, and we had some bonus birthday messages that came in too late to be in our first round-up, we’ve extended our TVO IS FIVE video to include lots of new treats. You can see the results below.

And the rest

As ever, there’s so much going on in the realm of the Velvet Onion, it’s quite easy to miss things. As well as our News pages, the best way to keep track is with our Twitter feed, and here’s a few highlights from throughout the week gone by. Until next time, keep on peeling!

The Velvet Onion Is Five Again

15 Mar

The Velvet Onion is proud to bring you an updated version of our TVO IS FIVE video for your perusal, featuring a cavalcade of comedy legends wishing us a very happy birthday.

Some of you may remember at the end of January, The Velvet Onion marked its official fifth anniversary with a string of birthday messages from regular faces on these pages for the last five years.

The very next day, we got our first late message. And they kept coming in – so much so that we decided we’d soon have to either make a second instalment, or extend the original video. As well as these extra clips, a handful of names who wanted to get involved tried to move the earth to get a video to us, but for various reasons from technological breakdowns to hectic work schedules to full blown flu-outbreaks, just didn’t quite manage to get a message across.

As a result, we made the decision to delay the second video for as long as possible, in the hope that a few more people could get involved. This weekend just gone by marks, in essence, our second birthday – as we became a real, fully fledged .com on March 14th 2010, following six weeks of vibrant positivity around our initial activities. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Queen to have two birthdays, it’s good enough for us, too!

So here, at long last, is Version 2.0 of the TVO IS FIVE video. New to this collection are birthday messages from Paul FootRich FulcherRichard GloverJohn HopkinsPaul KayeTom MeetenRichard SandlingMichael Smiley and Dolly Wells.

Also included in the video are the previous messages from Katy BrandDave Brown, Neil ColeJames CookStephen EvansColin Hoult (and his various alter-egos), Rufus JonesDave McNeill, Spencer MillmanBob Pipe, Holly Jane ShearsWaen ShepherdRachel Stubbings, Tony WayPhil Whelans, James Wren and Jacqueline Wright.

Once again, enormous thanks to everyone who sent us a message and is included in the video. We love you from the bottom of our hearts, and really appreciate your efforts. Whilst we’re here we must say a huge thank you to the wonderful Tracy Ann Oberman, who tried to get a video message to us THREE TIMES, only for technology to block her attempts at every turn. We also greatly appreciate everyone else who wanted to get a message to us, but had various reasons for not managing it in time – we know you tried, and are grateful for that at least.

To still be doing this over five years after we started is a testament to the love we’ve received from those we cover on our pages, and the fact that you, dear reader, keep on coming back for more. Here’s to the next five, eh?

So Hot Right Now #16

2 Feb

Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more.  Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now below.

THE VELVET ONION IS FIVE

This week marks our fifth anniversary, and to celebrate, a number of our regulars sent us video messages wishing us a very happy birthday. Kind of. The video below features, in order of appearance: Rachel StubbingsColin HoultDave BrownJames CookBob PipeDave McNeillKaty BrandNeil ColePhil WhelansJames WrenSpencer MillmanWaen ShepherdJacqueline WrightHolly Jane ShearsRufus JonesStephen Evans and Tony Way.

Our huge thanks to all involved – and we’ve got a few more messages coming through to give you Part Two very soon, so stay peeled!

THE WEEK IN TV & RADIO

A couple of regular shows wrapped up last week, but we’ve still got a number of great things on telly to savour across the week. Each one is as important as the other to us, as has always been The Velvet Onion way, so for ease of understanding, we’ll tackle them in chronological order.

MONDAY: DRUNK HISTORY

© Comedy Central UK

© Comedy Central UK

Airing at 9:30pm on Monday 26th over on Comedy Central UK, the fourth episode of Drunk History UK once more sees famous British comedians get absolutely plastered in the name of reciting tales from the past – which are then re-enacted by a top notch cast.

With the likes of Tony Way, Seb CardinalDustin Demri-Burns, Tom Rosenthal, Mat Horne, Marek Larwood, Tom Stourton, Alex Owen, Ben Bailey Smith and Rebecca Front on re-enactment duties across the series, tonight’s edition also features Ben Ashenden, Russell Kane and Joy Lycett getting hammered. Enjoy.

MONDAY: CATASTROPHE

© Ed Miller / Channel 4

© Ed Miller / Channel 4

Monday 2nd February at 10pm brings us Episode Three of Catastrophe – the brand new comedy from Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, in which an American man and an Irish woman fall in love in London whilst navigating the choppy waters of their increasingly complicated lives.

In this week’s edition, Sharon’s hormones plague her with waves of different emotions, and she has a chance meeting with an old flame (Phil Nichol), which leads to dinner. Meanwhile, Rob struggles to generate advertising business, since he has very few contacts in London, and begins a clandestine friendship with Chris, who is married to a woman Sharon can’t stand.

After wowing critics and audiences alike, Catastrophe will be returning for a second series, so it’s naturally a treat to watch the story unfold a little more this week.  If you missed the first two episodes, you can catch up with the series now via 4oD, whilst iPlayer houses Sharon and Rob’s last minute guest appearance on The Graham Norton Show last Friday.

TUESDAY: COCKROACHES

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

Tuesday 3rd February at 10pm sees Episode Four of Cockroaches air on ITV2. The post-apocalyptic comedy stars Daniel Lawrence Taylor (How Not to Life Your Life), Esher Smith, Jack Whitehall and Tom Davis, alongside a string of big name guest stars such as Dan Skinner, Alexander Armstrong, Caroline Quentin, Robert Bathurst and Nigel Planer.

In this week’s episode the survivors race to find an antidote after the camp’s children turn green – believing they may have nuclear radiation sickness or have become vampires – and the Doctor has gone power mad. If they do not find a cure, Tom may be forced to go through with a grisly deed.

As to be expected, you can catch up with past episodes via ITV Player, and the series will also be released on dvd on February 23rd.

TUESDAY (and Wednesday): COUNT ARTHUR STRONG

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

Also on Tuesday 3rd February comes Episode Five of the second series of Count Arthur Strong – airing on BBC One at FOUR different times, depending on your location.

Viewers in England can see it at the slightly later than usual time of 10:45pm, whilst those watching in Northern Ireland have to wait until 11:40pm. However, if you’re in Wales, there’s an even sillier timeslot, as it airs at 12:15am – and viewers in Scotland can see the episode on Wednesday at 10:40pm!

Episode Five, once more from the pens of star Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan (best known for The IT Crowd and Father Ted), sees a documentary team arrive to film a profile of Michael, but Arthur threatens to steal the show with his new career. Fun stuff, as ever.

WEDNESDAY: LOVE IN RECOVERY

© Karla Gowlett / Lucky Giant

© Karla Gowlett / Lucky Giant

Wednesday 4th February brings us Episode Five of Love in Recovery on Radio 4. Written by Pete Jackson, the series follows the lives of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting group, made up of characters portrayed by Sue Johnston, John Hannah, Eddie Marsan, Rebecca Front and Paul Kaye, whilst Julia Deakin plays village hall cleaner Marion.

This week’s episode focuses on Kaye’s character, Danno, as he deals with the death of his father after returning from his memorial service – in the pub down the road.  If you missed previous installements, you can catch all previous episodes on iPlayer now, but be quick – as Episode One will vanish in four days time…

THURSDAY: CRIMS

©  Hal Shinnie / BBC

© Hal Shinnie / BBC

Thursday 5th February brings Episode Five of Crims – the new BBC Three sitcom from the pens of Mongrels writer Adam Kay and Grandma’s House writer Dan Swimer – at 10pm. And gawd, have we been waiting to rave about this one.

As ever, starring Elis James and Kadiff Kirwan, alongside Cariad Lloyd, Ricky Champ and Theo Barklem Biggs, with a guest appearance once again by Toast of London‘s Tracy Ann Oberman, this week’s episode draws on Adam Kay’s musical comedy background in the best possible way, as plans for the Young Offenders Institute to put on its own theatre production, are hijacked by Marcel, and turned into a musical interpretation of Twilight, which poor ol’ Luke has to write in 24 hours.

Typically bonkers, with charming tunes and possibly the best Elton John joke ever, this is possibly our favourite episode of the run, and the cast and crew seem to agree. If you only see one episode, make sure it’s this one, but if you have missed previous episodes, you can catch up on iPlayer now.

SATURDAY: HORRIBLE HISTORY’S SPECIAL

©  Phil Miller / Laura Rawlinson / LionTV / BBC

© Phil Miller / Laura Rawlinson / LionTV / BBC

On Saturday 6th February, Horrible Histories returns for a one-off special focusing on the story of King John and the Magna Carta.  As you can see from the image above, comic actor Ben Miller leads the cast as King John, by sheer coincidence, just a few months after he appeared as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Doctor Who!

Whilst the original HH team moved on to create Yonderland for Sky One, and the forthcoming movie Bill, regulars Jim Howick and Simon Farnaby return for this special, with Farnaby’s famous character Death now hosting his own chat show.

As fun as ever, this transitional episode prior to the next series (with a mostly new leading cast), airs on Saturday evening at 5:15pm on BBC Two.  The team have also made a series of new videos promoting internet safety for children – you can see Farnaby’s contribution (alongside Matt Baynton) below.

AND THE REST…

As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!

Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us!

30 Jan

This weekend marks TVO’s fifth anniversary, so what better way to celebrate than to grab as many video messages from the good folk we feature on these pages as physically possible, and put them all together for your enjoyment?

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed a message, as well as to all of those who really wanted to but have various deadlines and personal matters to take care of that have kept them out of this compilation. If you’re one of our regulars, and you haven’t been featured in this video – we’re still up for hearing from you, so do get in touch asap!

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…

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Four

4 Jan

Hello and a warm welcome to the final part of our Review of 2013. Although October to December may feel like it only just happened, prepare to be amazed by how much you’ve forgotten. We were, but then we’re getting on a  bit.

So here are the best bits from the fourth quarter of the year – cherry-picked from news stories about both our regulars and a few new faces too. Enjoy.

OCTOBER

October was the month that Booshmania returned.  Just as the fantastic Behind the Boosh exhibition started its run at Proud Camden, showcasing the history of that most Mighty of comedic troops via the majesty of Dave Brown‘s photography, the boys were back in town.  Or rather, on the pier, as The Mighty Boosh went from the Soho Theatre to Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA. A final (chaotic) UK warm-up show and a further run through at The Comedy Store, almost halted by a Visa saga, paved the way for a live performance that turned out to be one of the Festival’s highlights. Fan forums and social media platforms were buzzing with photos, footage and reviews of the show.

Another announcement that got us more than a bit over-excited in October was the news that Ben Wheatley is to direct the first 2 episodes of the next series of Doctor Who, starring the new Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. How good is that!?  We’re itching to see what happens when you combine one of the UK’s finest directors with its biggest export, now in the capable hands of an Oscar-winning acting legend to boot.  You can see the moment Capaldi became the Doctor in the 2013 Xmas special below…

More telly stuff, with the launch of Matt Berry’s new series, Toast Of London.  We’d been itching to see it since the pilot back in 2012, and it did not disappoint…

Elsewhere, Richard Ayoade established himself as a permanent fixture on prime time panel shows with a stint as team captain on Was It Something I Said? on Channel 4. Ayoade’s intellectual sparring with host David Mitchell certainly made our Sunday evenings feel a bit more highbrow!

What else?  Well, in movie news, there was an update on the cast for Paul King‘s long-awaited Paddington Bear feature film, which included mention of Rufus Jones and James Bachman. To end the month, TVO artists offered us a veritable smorgasbord of comedy options for Halloween night’s out, with special spooky performances from Colin Hoult and Richard Sandling.  And we were sad to lose the talented comedy actor Felix Dexter, who died at the too-young age of 52. He left behind an incredible legacy of great TV performances on shows like Bellamy’s PeopleAbsolutely Fabulous, The Fast ShowKnowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge, Mongrels and Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round to name but a few. He will be much misse, and would typically hate all this fuss about him, so let’s remember him with one of his silliest moments – dancing for Sport Relief alongside Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.  What a dude.

Continue reading

FREE DOWNLOAD: In Holoserica Cepa 2013!

25 Dec

In Holoserica Cepa 2013It’s that time of the year again. The big fat bloke has been, and given you all lots of lovely jubbly presents, with hopefully a few TVO related goodies amongst them!

As our friends, naturally, we had to provide you with a gift or some variety, and given the runaway success of last year’s festive EP, we’ve managed to bring together another collection of great tracks from our musical members absolutely free for a limited time only.

In Holoserica Cepa 2013 features six tracks to download completely free between now and January 8th, including some rather special exclusives, which you can also hear below.

Just visit our Soundcloud page to get the EP, featuring the likes of James Cook, DeadDogInBlackBagStephen EvansRichard Glover Paul Kaye and Waen Shepherd.  But hurry, because just like last year’s effort, come January 9th, they’ll be gone for good.

As always, 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.

TRACKLISTING

© Paul Kaye

© Paul Kaye

Yogiebogiebox – ZaNg

Comedy legend Paul Kaye has provided us with the world exclusive download of Yogiebogiebox, the first effort from ZaNg: his musical project with Adie Hardy, featuring actor Marc Warren on harmonica.  It’s a hard-hitting slice of alt-rock madness, and we’ve been grooving to the demo all year, so it’s great to finally be able to share a finished version with you all.

© James Cook

© James Cook

Making Plans For Nigel – JAMES COOK

You may know him from his time fronting electropop wonders Nemo, or from his numerous appearances in The Mighty Boosh, but in recent years, James Cook has branched out into an increasingly healthy solo career.  Ahead of his second studio album proper, he’ll be releasing a selection of covers across two EP releases early next year, and this gorgeous reworking of an XTC classic is amongst them.

© Stephen Evans

© Stephen Evans

Walking – STEPHEN EVANS feat. ROB HALCROW

Former Hyperdrive star Stephen Evans is no stranger to the live circuit, having performed as part of Dutch Elm Conservatoire (alongside Rufus Jones & Dan Skinner), and more recently alongside regular collaborator Colin Hoult.  As he prepares a solo live show of his own, he’s very kindly offered us this rough mix of a track he’s written for inclusion in the show.  Recorded with the aid of musician Rob Halcrow, the singalong chorus features “quite a few anonymous comedy performers singing their hearts out” towards the end.

© Dead Dog In Black Bag

© Dead Dog In Black Bag

Prince Lives In My Garden – DEAD DOG IN BLACK BAG

We love Dead Dog. And Dead Dog really love Prince.  Things have been awfully quiet on the Black Bag front of late, as the electropop filthsters take a well earned break whilst Suzy Evelyn-Hall celebrates motherhood for the first time, but her partner in crime Holly Jane Shears (of Circulus fame) has very kindly sent us this recording of a live fan favourite.

© Rook Films

© Rook Films

Baloo My Boy [Excerpt from ‘A Field In England’] – RICHARD GLOVER

Anyone who has seen Ben Wheatley‘s glorious A Field In England will have fallen in love with Richard Glover‘s kind-hearted simpleton peasant, known only as Friend.  This track from the soundtrack in which Friend sings a jaunty ditty receives its digital première here, having previously only been available on a limited edition vinyl release earlier this year, thanks to the good folk at Rook Films.

© Waen Shepherd

© Waen Shepherd

Little Old Nick – COLIN WATSON & THE EARLY BIRDS

Another comedy veteran offering us a world exclusive is Waen Shepherd, who has sent us a track by his Beach Boys inspired alter-ego Colin Watson, entitled Little Old Nick.  This festive ditty offers a rather twisted view on the traditional festive number, and we’re sure will become a staple of alternative Xmas playlists for years to come.

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.

The Velvet Onion Live: One Year On…

31 May

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live!

In character, Matt Berry once memorably said: “Time is a menstruous woman. One cannot control her eddying currents.”  Rarely has a truer remark been uttered in jest.  It’s hard to believe a whole twelve months have passed since our inaugural live event at The Vandella, Shepherd’s Bush, made in collaboration with James Wren and Bob Pipe.  And yet, there it is – a big fat first anniversary.

To celebrate this occasion, as we slowly but surely gear ourselves up to arrange further live events before the second anniversary is upon us and we increasingly look like one-hit-wonders, we will be bringing you weekly installments of footage from the jam-packed event.  It’s fairly lo-fi due to a few technical hiccups on the night, but we recorded the whole event for posterity and now, at last, we can share it with you all.

For those not in the know, the event gathered together a number of our regular names for a night of fun and games.  We had live comedy sets from duos Steven Oram and Tom MeetenRichard Glover and Stephen EvansDolly Wells and Laura PatchGareth Tunley and Alex Kirk.  We had solo sets from Dan TetsellRichard Sandling and Rachel Stubbings, whilst David McNeill nabbed Evans & Glover back for a spot of twisty-nonsense.

And that wasn’t all. Alice Lowe and Antony Elvin gave us a set from Hot Brew, whilst Elvin also regaled us with jaunty ditties alongside Will Summers.  There was a rare chance to see DeadDogInBlackBag perform, and we heralded the return of Waen Shepherd as Gary Le Strange.  The night was rounded off with a sumptuous set from James Cook, and we had Mike Fielding DJ-ing whenever performers took a well earned rest.

The night began, proper, however, with an important health and safety announcement from our honorary member, Bollo:

We’ll be bringing you more footage, all being well, on a weekly basis, so come back next Friday for your next installment!

Solo Dog Falls Down The Rabbit Hole

14 Jan

© Matthew Floyd Jones

Holly Jane Shears will be performing a temporarily solo version of DeadDogInBlackBag live this Friday evening.

As those of you who attended the last DeadDog show for a while late last year will be aware, Holly’s co-hort Suzy Evelyn-Hall is taking time out from the band.  All is well in love and filthy electro-pop, and she’ll be back with Holly as soon as possible, but for the time being, Shears will be going it alone.

This Friday sees the final regular Down The Rabbit Hole event at White Rabbit, Stoke Newington – not too far from the Arsenal Underground station.

The wondrous Holly is part of a packed bill tantalisingly fusing burlesque, comedy and live music. The club  night starts at 10:30pm, with doors opening half an hour before, and at just £6 entry, it’s guaranteed to be a fun night out for anyone in the area.

For more info, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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.

TRACKS1

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.

02. Stingo – PRINCES IN THE TOWER

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.

TRACKS2

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.

06. Unicorn – DEADDOGINBLACKBAG

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.

Holly The New Romantic

1 Sep

Holly Jane Shears of Dead Dog In Black Bag, can be found starring in the latest music video to come from Indie band Threepenny Thieves!

The lusted lass gives a great performance in New Romantic – the latest single from the group, as the ballsy eye-candy in the video.

Have a watch of it below and let us know what you think!

If this video has got you all excited and wanting more from Holly, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Dead Dog, have announced there will a gig in Stoke Newington on November 10th! We’re yet to find out more but keep peeling for the latest when we hear about it!

Dead Dog In Queer Bag

19 Jul

Image © The Velvet Onion

Electro-pop mirthsters DeadDogInBlackBag are on the bill for tomorrow evening’s Traumfrau event in Brighton.

The newest “queer night for girls and their friends” launched recently, promising “a much needed girls – but not only girls – club night”.

This Friday night brings a headline set from New York based DJ JD Samson, and the mighty DeadDog will be on hand with their quirky wonderments.

Tickets are just £7 from PlayGroupBrighton.org – and will be available on the door at The Blind Tiger.

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!

TVO Live! The Aftermath of a Vandella Velveting…

2 Jun

You knew it was coming – but Thursday May 31st saw The Velvet Onion put on our very first live night, at the incredible new Shepherd’s Bush venue, The Vandella.

With a smattering of stars in the audience, and a VIP lounge so filled with comedy legends several people’s heads may have exploded, it was always going to be a special night – and the challenge for us was cramming so many fabulous names onto one bill.

Now, we’re a little biased, but we have to admit, it went rather well indeed – and judging by the post-show reaction everyone such a great time by the time Team TVO left the building we’d discussed coming back to do another, several times over!

The night was such an intimate affair that we knew deep down the vast majority of our Peelers would never be able to be there – but rest assured, we recorded the entire show in glorious high definition, multi camera action, and we’ll be cutting it together over the summer for a potential Autumn release – all online, all free, and for a limited period only – so stay peeled to be kept in the loop on that one.

In the meantime, we’ll be bringing you teaser footage as soon as we can, and we have a huge array of photographs of the evening for you to savour too.  The first batch are all included below, so enjoy them safe in the knowledge that, all being well, their teasing nature will be fulfilled later this year.

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We’d like to extend our huge thanks to everyone involved with putting on the night – especially to the sheer wonderment of Bob Pipe for his technical expertise and the living legend that is James Wren for all of his support throughout this whole process.  We’d also like to thank Sian Salsbury and everyone at The Vandella who have been the most accommodating team we could have ever hoped to have worked with – and our very hard working camera crew: Michael BullJon BurgessMichael Glynn!  Not to mention everyone who helped out on the day as friends of us all.

And of course, we really must thank our glorious guests, who all worked hard, played hard, and made us love them even more than we did before.  In order of appearance, our deepest, and more sincere thanks to: Mike FieldingDave BrownAntony ElvinWill SummersGareth TunleyAlex KirkDolly WellsLaura PatchRichard GloverStephen EvansHolly Jane ShearsSuzy Evelyn-HallAlice LoweSteve OramTom MeetenDavid McNeillDan TetsellWaen ShepherdRachel StubbingsRichard Sandling and James Cook.

We’d also like to extend our thanks to those who couldn’t make it in the end, but we know wanted to be there – in particular Joey Page for trying to the very last moment to get there, and both James Bachman and Lucy Montgomery whose enormous workloads stood in their way.  Extra special thanks must also go to the legendary Rich Fulcher, who was drawn away for a charity event but still found the time to record incredible last minute voice overs to introduce each artist.

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who came along to support us and the artists on the bill.  You are the reason we’re able to keep doing what we’re doing to help the people you admire, and we’ll go on for as long as you’ll all have us.  Until the next time… keep peeling!

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!

The Velvet Onion Live! – Tickets On Sale NOW!

5 Apr

© The Velvet Onion

Tickets are now on sale for our first ever live show!

We are honoured to be able to confirm a star-studded bill set to take place at THE VANDELLA in Shepherd’s Bush on Thursday, 31st May 2012.

Together with James Wren & Bob Pipe, we’re putting on quite a show – with a number of great acts already announced, and more still to come in the next few days and weeks.

Trust us – this incredible bill is only going to get bigger and better, so you’d be a fool not to get tickets whilst you can!

The gig is set to take place on Thursday, May 31st 2012 – and tickets are on sale NOW via Ticketweb, priced just £15. Please remember the venue is a licensed bar so it’s 18+ ONLY.

We are overjoyed to have confirmed the following artists for your delectation:

Alice Lowe ♦ Antony Elvin  David McNeill

DeadDogInBlackBag  Gareth Tunley  Joey Page  Lucy Montgomery

Rachel Stubbings  Richard Glover  Richard Sandling  Stephen Evans

Steve Oram  Tom Meeten  Waen Shepherd

Stay peeled for more info on our special night very, very soon… come and peel the onion!

The Velvet Onion Live!

2 Apr

© The Velvet Onion

The Velvet Onion is going live!

Hands up – who thought our news about a TVO gig was a great big April Fool?  We just couldn’t help but tease with this one, but for the last few months we have been quietly preparing for our biggest challenge yet: Putting on our very own live show!

We are honoured to be able to confirm a star-studded bill set to take place at THE VANDELLA: The frankly brilliant new venue in Shepherd’s Bush that is set to be home to new club-nights by Oram & Meeten and Rich Fulcher in its very first month in business.

Run by James Wren, who also manages The Hen & Chickens, the retro-styled venue is intimate and cosy – the perfect place for a TVO rendezvous.

We’re also very proud to be working with Bob Pipe of The Forgery Club fame – a man who has put together more bills featuring our favourite people than anyone else on the planet, it seems!  Together, we have concocted quite a show – as you can see from our initial poster!

The gig is set to take place on Thursday, May 31st 2012 – and tickets will be on sale TOMORROW via Ticketweb, priced just £15.

We are overjoyed to have confirmed the following artists for your delectation:

Alice Lowe ♦ Antony Elvin  David McNeill

DeadDogInBlackBag  Gareth Tunley  Joey Page  Lucy Montgomery

Rachel Stubbings  Richard Glover  Richard Sandling  Stephen Evans

Steve Oram  Tom Meeten  Waen Shepherd

As the poster states, we have more acts to be announced – and we’ll be doing so shortly, once we’ve finalised the various details… as mind-blowingly awesome as this bill is, you’d be mad to think this is all you’re gonna get from us!

Now we know the venue cannot possibly contain you all.  There are literally thousands and thousands of you good peelers worldwide, and we know that a 200 capacity venue with a strict 18s+ limit is going to mean a lot of you can’t be there on the night.  Those that can, we strongly advise you to get your ticket as soon as possible to avoid missing out!

So that no-one is left out, we’ll be armed with all manner of equipment on the night to bring you as much aftermath event coverage as we can in the form of exclusive interviews, behind the scenes photos, filmed performances and much more!

Stay peeled for all the latest news – and to steal a catchphrase from that man of action, Howard Moon: “Enjoy the show!”

Deaddog In Camden!

10 Mar

© Holly Jane Shears

Electro-pop duo DeadDogInBlackBag will be performing at The Monarch in Camden on Tuesday 20th March.

The pair, comprising of Holly Jane Shears and Suzy Evelyn-Hall will be performing as part of the No Fiction Club bill with Club of Rome, G.Senses and James Leon. On the night there will also be collage-making and DJ sets from Exotica and No Fiction. And if that little lot doesn’t sway you…there will also be a light-up dance floor!

Entry is FREE and doors open at 8pm for a 8.30pm start.

For more information about the line-up and the venue visit the event’s Facebook page.

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