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Cook Gets Indie Minded

30 Jun

James Cook has been interviewed about his new album Adventures in Ausland by indie music website Indie Minded.

© Hudebniknihovna

In the interview, he talks about how he has evolved as a musician since becoming a solo artist, which are his favourite tracks on the new album, and what music he like to listen to when he’s not creating it himself.

Of his latest musical direction he says: “I think I have managed to completely distance myself from my previous work in NEMO now. ‘Arts & Sciences’ was somehow a hybrid of the electronics and pop sensibilities of my old band, NEMO, and the work i did with Anne Marie Kirby on ‘The Dollhouse’. This new album a step away from that into a new, hitherto uncharted, musical universe for me. They are still basically pop songs, but the tone, arrangements and concepts definitely come from a more lyrical approach.”

To read the interview in full visit Indie Minded here.

Adventures in Ausland is released on 31st July. For regular updates and Cook-flavoured news follow James on twitter.

Four Days Left For In Holoserica Cepa 2013!

4 Jan

In Holoserica Cepa 2013It can’t have escaped your attention that, with all this review of the year gubbins, TVO has been relatively silent on the news front. Given the relative silence of a new year, we decided to temporarily suspend normal service at TVO Towers until tomorrow, when we’ll return to our usual ways of bringing you all the news, reviews, interviews and fun stuffs that we can muster from the realm of Onion Land.

You can see our four part review of the year below if you’ve hopped straight to our home page, or individually by clicking on the words one, two, three and four in this sentence.

To round off this period of reflection, we felt it prudent to remind you on this one final evening of indulgence that there’s just four days left to download our 100% FREE Six-Track musical EP, featuring some of the finest musical names in Onion Land.

In Holoserica Cepa 2013 includes the official release of ZaNg‘s epic Yogiebogiebox – the alt-rock brainchild of Paul Kaye & Adie Hardy, which features actor Marc Warren on harmonica.  It also packs the first release of Waen Shepherd‘s festive ditty, Little Old Nick in character as Beach Boys esque alter-ego Colin Watson, and the debut of James Cook‘s sensational cover of XTC’s Making Plans For Nigel.

And, like all gifts that keep on giving, there’s a preview of Stephen Evans‘ forthcoming one-man comedy show via his track Walking, made in collaboration with Rob Halcrow – and a rare chance to hear a new track from Dead Dog In Black Bag which pays homage to one of the biggest influences, Prince.  Lastly, but by no means least, the EP is the only place you can pick up a digital copy of Baloo My Boy sung by Richard Glover on the soundtrack to A Field In England, which was previously only available on limited edition vinyl.

You can hear the full thing above, or alternatively DOWNLOAD IT OVER YONDER.  But hurry, because just like our first EP this time last year, 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 very happy new year to you all. We love ya.

For full details on the tracklisting, click to read more…  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.


© 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


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


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.

Onion Talking: Noblesse Oblige – It’s An Affair Of The Heart

24 May

With a new album out today, The Velvet Onion took the chance to welcome Noblesse Oblige onto the TVO roster. In order to give you, the peelers, a proper introduction we exchanged a few words with the band to discuss the new release and to find out a bit more about who they were.

© Thomas Peter

Valerie Renay and Sebastian Lee Philipp are the duo known as Noblesse Oblige and they came to our attention through their collaborations with familiar TVO names Chris Corner, IAMX and James Cook. Renay and Philipp formed the band after having met at a masked ball in London in 2004 and two years later they released their debut album Privilege Entails Responsibility. The album generated a lot of buzz on the international club scene and cemented the musical success of the band. Noblesse Oblige made the move from London to Berlin in 2007 and began working on their second album In Exile, a move which signalled a change from electro-indie music to chanson pop.

The duo is constantly evolving and their fourth album Affair Of The Heart marks the end of the voodoo inspired area of Malady (2010) and welcomes a Noblesse Oblige that breathes electropop and modern 80s energy. With Affair Of The Heart, the ties between TVO familiars and the band strengthened as the album was recorded at Chris Corner’s Berlin studio Turmwerk and the duo enlisted the IAMX frontman to direct the first single Runaway.

Today the album is officially released and The Velvet Onion had a chitchat with Noblesse Oblige to celebrate the occasion.

Hello and welcome to TVO! For our readers who don’t know much about you, could you describe Noblesse Oblige in one sentence?

Sebastian: We’re a French/German, black/white, hot/cold duo that likes electronic music and red wine.

When you initially met in London in 2004, was it infatuation at first sight or what made you get together and decide to form Noblesse Oblige?

Valerie: I was looking for a musician while Sebastian was already making music with a singer. We instantly ‘clicked’ and started working on songs together. We then had our first gig, went on tour with the Dresden Dolls and got signed by UK label HorseGlue that released our first single the following year. It all happened very fast!

Noblesse Oblige is of course French for “nobility obliges” but how did you decide on that name?

V: I used to do a party called Aristocracy in a London gallery and when the gallery closed Noblesse Oblige was going to be the name of the next soiree… I never found a venue but instead I found Sebastian who instantly liked the name! Continue reading

Runaway With Noblesse Oblige

3 Apr

Electropop duo Noblesse Oblige have unleashed their latest music video, and it’s directed by none other than Chris Corner.

The IAMX star is no stranger to the other side of the camera, having previously directed videos for James Cook, who lent a helping hand to the making of this super-shiny production, which perfectly complements the Human League meets Timo Maas vibe of the track.

You can see the video below.

More Cook

16 Mar

© James Cook

With his European live dates winding down with a final gig in Prague yesterday, James Cook has been busy grabbing a few column inches.

He has just been interviewed by Czech magazine, Protisedi. In the interview, James talks about his myriad of current projects, his time playing with IAMX and Nemo, and the inspiration behind his music. Of his professional relationship with Chris Corner he says, “Chris is one of my best friends, he is a musical and artistic visionary. It was a life changing experience being in IAMX, it opened my musical world and I have never looked back.”

To read the interview in full and to find out precisely what percentage of James’ music comes from his dreams click here.

Cook also features in a podcast from the Estuary Radio Edges Review Show earlier this month. Click on this to have a listen.

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!

“It’s Behind You!” A Look Back At What Went On In 2011

31 Dec

2011 was The Velvet Onion’s second year in operation, and whaddya know – it turned out to be quite an eventful one! If you’ve joined us more recently, or if you’ve lost a few brain cells over the festive period and can’t remember much before December, here’s Part 1 of our review of 2011 to bring you up to speed on the TVO events of the year:


© Channel 4

The year started by looking backwards, with The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year sadly not quite taking retro to its logical conclusion, but reuniting Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade nonetheless. TVO were also feeling reflective, as we considered our first birthday! We interviewed James Pilkington, the director of early Boosh-starring short Sweet, about his latest feature.

On the live front Paul Foot & Colin Hoult were busy announcing send-offs for their 2010 Edinburgh shows, and Kim Noble was taking his hit show Kim Noble Must Die to New York City.

For Noel & Julian, however, this was a period of new adventures – and the pair couldn’t have chosen more varied career paths if they tried. Noel’s appearance on Comic Relief’s supporting talent show Let’s Dance was announced, and while Boosh fandom debated exactly what he’d perform, Julian’s acting chops were about to be stretched as he began work on Treasure Island and was announced as the one of the lead roles in Government Inspector at The Young Vic.


© The Velvet Onion

February began on a sad note, with the passing of much loved actress Margaret John. Best known for her roles in Gavin & Stacey, Run Fatboy Run and Doctor Who, she was forever immortalised in Booshdom by her apperance as the wicked Nanatoo in the Nanageddon episode of The Mighty Boosh. She was 84.

On a more positive note, IAMX unleashed the first fruits of their latest album, and DeadDogInBlackBag returned to the London stage with a one-off gig, with TVO on hand to document proceedings. And whilst Matt Berry unleashed an x-rated iPhone app, the careers of his TVO cohorts couldn’t be more different – as a whole bevvy of names cropped up on CBBC throughout the month.

In other news this month, Chris Morris became a BAFTA winner, although champions of the passing-fad, the NME, decided Noel Fielding and Never Mind The Buzzcocks didn’t deserve an award this year. The world of mainstream rnb seemed to disagree – in one of the weirdest stories we’ve come across for TVO, cyber-singer T-Pain sang an interpolation of the Boosh track Electroboy for Benny Benassi’s dancefloor hit, ‘Electroman‘. Somehow, it just about worked…


TVO took the time to speak to the fabulous Colin Hoult as he brought his 2010 Edinburgh Show, Enemy Of The World, to the Soho Theatre for a final hurrah, and we also interviewed Diva Zappa ahead of her exhibition at Maison Bertaux.

But February’s big interview came from Fielding himself – as we celebrated his appearance on Let’s Dance For Comic Relief with a two part interview about the show, and his career past, present and future. As Kate Bush, Noel whizzed around with startling precision to Wuthering Heights, sending fangirls across the land a-flutter – and he made it through to the final the following month..

Continue reading

Travelling Cook

14 Sep

© James Cook

The day creeps close as James Cook’s debut solo album Arts & Sciences becomes available on October 1st for hard copies.

Along with this Cook has also announced the progress of the coming video for End Of The Summer, which he will be making with the one and only Chris Corner & Janine Gezang of IAMX fame. More information on this as it comes our way and you can also keep your eyes peeled on James’ official website and Twitter for more info.

Fans in Prague can also enjoy his musical styling’s as he is due to visit on 20th September, then he plans to make the journey to Vienna on September 21st! More information on Prague can be found here and Vienna right here.

You can still download a digital copy of Arts & Sciences over here along with Nemo’s entire back catalogue. Then after you’ve done that, you should also have a look over when we got to meet-up with James during one of his trips to London!

Onion Talking: James Cook

17 Mar

© Chris Corner

Here at TVO, we’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Nemo, who, like many, we discovered via their frontman’s appearances in The Mighty Boosh.  After producing three albums with the electro rock outfit, and crafting another project: The Dollhouse with violinest Anne Marie Kirby, the mighty James Cook has spread his wings and is flying solo.

Velveteer Paulyne, caught up with James in anticipation of the release of his debut solo album, Arts & Sciences.  This is her story:

James Cook is a man who puts every fibre of heart and soul into his music, without question.  Currently resides in Berlin, as he has for the last three years, I had to ask about his perception of London and how it reflects his music. As we sat in Convent Garden his response was accentuated by constant interruption in one of the most intense area’s in London:

Continue reading

Cook Rules Britannia

12 Jan

©James Cook/GoAhead

Berlin-based James Cook will be treading on British tarmac again this week for a rare solo gig in the heart of Camden.  James will be performing along with Trash Money at the Dublin Castle in Camden tomorrow night.

His performances in London are few and far between to say the least, so if you can make it we say pick up your tickets and head to this homely venue to see the great Cook at his best!

Editors note: The gig is in fact this Friday 14th January, not tomorrow night. Apologies for the error.

The Velvet Onion 2011 Calendar

30 Dec

© Paul Holmes / The Velvet Onion

The Velvet Onion is proud to bring you its own 2011 calendar!

In lieu of an official Boosh calendar on sale this year, we decided it’d be a great idea to offer up an alternative to that rubbish one your nan got you, and make a fully fledged 12-month calendar for you to download, print off and stick on your wall.

As such, we’ve recruited some of the greatest names in Booshdom, alongside some truly wonderful photographers, and their kind contributions and a lot of hard work have culminated in what we’re hoping is one of our proudest achievements.  We’ve even left you a little space to write down your own notes & birthdays… no stone has been left unturned!

We would like to thank ALL of the artists we feature in front of and behind the camera, and anyone else who has helped make this happen.  These people had to put up with our editor in chief hounding them for photographs until they relented and blessed us with some beautiful imagery to present to you.  So, in alphabetical order rather than order of preference, please love and worship the following:

Paulyne Antoniou, Julian Barratt, Matt Berry, Dave Brown, Zöé Caldwell, Angel Ceballos, Dan Clark, James Cook, Chris Corner, Jimmy Crippen, Sue Denim, Antony Elvin, Suzy Evelyn-Hall, Andrea Fröhner, Rich Fulcher, Andy Hollingworth, Colin Hoult, Kerie Leisch, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Ben Meadows, Kim Noble, Steve Oram, Dee Plume, Holly-Jane Shears, Gareth Tunley, Sam Ward and Tiger Aspect Television.

Please please let us know what you think of the calendar.  If you print it out and stick it up – why not take a photo of it and send it our way via the forum, a comment below, facebook, twitter, you name it.  If there’s enough interest, we’ll try again next year!

Happy new year to all of our peelers – we’ll see you in 2012. Stay peeled.

To download the entire calendar as png image files in one zip folder, CLICK HERE.

Alternatively, to download each page as individual jpeg files – read on… Continue reading

The Musical Styling’s Of James Cook

11 Nov

© Chris Corner/ James Cook

It seems that the Booshniverse is ever expanding, always with new or old talent to discover. Another gentleman who The Velvet Onion has yet to mention until now is James Cook a.k.a Nemo!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Cook, he was the Front man and writer for Indie-electro band Nemo (think of a RiD/IAMX hybrid in spats).  Now residing in Berlin and about to release his debut solo album – and after witnessing a rare London gig of his whilst he was in town – it’s about time that TVO shared the magic that is James Cook with our fair readers.

If you’re wondering how he fits into the Booshdom, you can spot James in several Boosh episodes, including him being blued-up as a Nomad in The Fountain of Youth (he is also involved in the audio-commentary debate about who wrote ‘I Love The Chosen One’).

Cook largely collaborates with IAMX‘s very own Chris Corner and Nemo’s 2007 single Car Crash Eyes also features the lovely Alice Lowe in their music video.

If we’ve opened your ears to new level of musical talent and you want to know more, pop along to Cook’s official website where you can order any of his current 4 albums and also pre-order his new release ‘Arts & Sciences’.



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