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Free Ralfe Band Download!

29 Jun
© ralfe band

© ralfe band

If you’re a fan of Ralfe Band, it’s your lucky day!

Not only is the video for the new single Cold Chicago Morning available to view, you can now download the single free, courtesy of Lauren Laverne’s MPFree service!

The video features the band playing in a house, interweaved with footage of a girl emerging from a wardrobe and wandering around the same house, which appears empty.

Remember there are more Ralfe Band CD’s, DVD’s  and vinyl available at  TVO store.

James’ Adventures in Ausland

8 Jun
© James Cook

© James Cook

James Cook‘s second solo album Adventures in Ausland is now available to pre-order.

The 10-track album was written, produced, recorded and engineered by James and Oliver Ralfe plays the piano on the track Bring Back the Boom.

James is marketing the album through Bandcamp where you can listen one of the tracks – Bees in November, and order the CD or download. The download will be available immediately in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.

The CD version includes all of this plus the CD artwork, the lyrics and a dedicated signed CD, which will be dispatched around 31st July.

The album pricing is €8 EUR (or more) for the download and €10 EUR  (or more) for the CD – yes Euros!

You can also download individual tracks for €1 EUR, but why not go for the whole album?

Ralfe Band At Glasters

2 Jun

© Counteract Magazine

Kasabian, Arcade Fire, Metallica…they might be headlining the Pyramid Stage, but the Glastonbury news that’s getting us really excited is the announcement that Ralfe Band are playing!

Oly Ralfe and his crew will be bringing their unique, folk-edged sound to William’s Green Stage on Friday 27th June. You can see them perform from 11am, so we strongly recommend you head over there for your mid-morning cider.

To find out who else is performing on the same stage visit the event Facebook page. And for the full Glastonbury 2014 line up, here’s the long list.

If you haven’t managed to bag a ticket for the infamous Pilton festival, don’t worry; you can see Ralfe Band perform at Truck Festival in Oxford on 19th July.

And if you’ve somehow managed to get to this point in your life without encountering Ralfe Band, we strongly recommend doing something about it; check them out here and see what you’ve been missing.

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.

Poetry With Oly Ralfe

1 Mar

Oly Ralfe has contributed a poem to a new publication, ‘Selected Poems by Indie Rock Stars’.

© Yellow Bird Project

The poetry book is being produced by Yellow Bird Project, a Montreal-based organisation dedicated to finding cool, unique, creative, & musical opportunities to incite change. Previously they have worked with musicians to create unique t-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities, each chosen by the musicians. However, in this instance they have published a $5 book of poetry.

Yellow Bird Project have described the book as: “The oldest form of art and the freshest array of talent…a collection of worldly delights from a star-dusted line-up of indie musicians the world over compiled to be enjoyed in a quiet space to transcend reality and expand your consciousness to a place far and beyond.” Wowsers. If that sounds like your cup of tea click here to buy one for yourself.

Oly’s evocative poem, Roamers, was selected to be one of six sent out via email to whet people’s appetite for the treasures that they’ll find in the book. To read his poem click on this.

To find out more about Yellow Bird Project visit their website.

Breezing To Inner Joy With Barratt

29 Jan

© Mog/The Velvet Onion

On Monday night Julian Barratt played his first ‘solo’ live show in a considerable number of years. Tickets for the gig sold out fast, but we made it our duty to be there and report back. Of course we did. Here then is our review:

It’s only a few short months since we were lucky enough to witness The Mighty Boosh‘s reformation downstairs at the Soho Theatre. In the same location on Monday night we had the privilege of experiencing another return to live performance involving Julian Barratt.  Generally viewed as  ‘the one who’s less keen on gigging’, it was a rare and real pleasure to see him on stage.

He performed under the guise of Jon Breeze, a flakey new age lifestyle guru, resplendent with blond flowing (nylon) locks, box fresh slacks and linen slip-ons. Bowls of pine nuts and water refills were provided for the audience by his earnest brigade of white-clad helpers, or “Wellness Companions” (Oly Ralfe, Stephen Evans, Will Adamsdale and Matt Steer).

Over the course of the evening Breeze guided us through a series of modules, designed to relax our inner selves and re-connect us to “now”. Occasionally this took on the form of song, with deadpan musical accompaniment from Ralfe and Evans – a particular highlight.  Evans’ hissy fit and off stage strop was a delight.

At the start of the evening one did wonder whether the premise could be stretched across an entire show; but the perfect attention to detail, Barratt’s ability to continuously delight our minds with surprising strings of words (“The distant scream of saffron” was a particular favourite of ours), and the on-stage chemistry that he radiates simply by being there meant that the giggles built and the joke crystallised over the course of the evening.

© Mog/The Velvet Onion

The nonsense that Jon Breeze spouted was ridiculous enough to be entirely credible, which was part of its joy. People’s handwritten troubles were pulped in a blender to create a “worry smoothie” and “now cloaks” were offered to anyone who felt themselves to be at risk of “overflowing”. You get the gist. By the final module, which involved a fretless bass (allegedly the instrument that vibrates at the same frequency as the vulva…), the audience was putty in Breeze’s hands.

What binds this character to Barratt’s other creations is his pomposity. From Howard Moon to the Mayor in Government Inspector and various others in-between, Julian has a real skill for portraying characters who can’t hide that they believe themselves to be above the rest of us. Exactly the kind of people we enjoy laughing at, though not necessarily with; and that’s not a complaint.

The other fascinating aspect to watching Julian perform solo for the first time in many years is being able to better appreciate what he and Noel Fielding bring to the Boosh as individuals. It felt a bit like suddenly being able to understand how red and blue combine to make purple. That’s not to say that their independent creative output should only be assessed against the Boosh, of course – but it was interesting to observe nonetheless.

Jon Breeze’s modules were punctuated by short set pieces by Adamsdale and Steer (as unsuccessful jobbing actors), TVO favourite Steve Oram (as borderline headcase and cleaner at Millets HQ, Jeanette) and Andrew Buckley and Ed Gaughan (as a couple of Mark Morrison-singing priests).  Although it took a moment for the audience to adjust into and out of these breaks, the changes of pace that it offered worked well.

The show ended with a joyous singalong to ‘Come With Me’ (a little strange to begin with, given its provenance as a Boosh song), with the audience being invited to follow the performance up into the theatre bar – and then out onto the streets of Soho, to the bemusement of passers’ by. A gloriously silly finale for a gloriously silly evening.

Whether Jon Breeze has the same lifespan as some of Barratt’s other creations remains to be seen, but if he chooses to extend this show beyond a one-off in the West End, definitely try to see it!

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 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.

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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.


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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TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Two

2 Jan

Yesterday we brought you a round-up of the first quarter of 2013, as we’d probably forgotten half of it ourselves, let alone you lovely lot out there.  The second quarter provided loads more great things to celebrate, so we’ve been ploughing through TVO’s archives to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This second instalment of our round-up covers April-June, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.


April, or Ape-ril as it was renamed by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, began with a plea from TVO regulars Dave Brown and Tony Law to grow your beard as large as possible.  This was, of course, in aid of ape conservation: we are all 96.4% Orangutan after all…

The facial hair theme continued apace, with some of Onion Land’s most mighty beard-wearers being active this month.  First up, Paul Kaye hosted a short exhibition of his art, with TVO attended the star-studded press night to admire his work and have a quick chat to the man himself, though sadly his hectic schedule postponed our latest catch-up… we’re gonna get ya in the new year, mate! Kaye also became the latest big name to join the cast of hugely acclaimed fantasy show Game Of Thrones, as warrior Thoros of Myr.

He wasn’t the only one, either. Whilst the world got increasingly excited about his (then) forthcoming film A Field In EnglandBen Wheatley did the last thing critics expected, and made a string of commercials for Go Compare, further proving he works on his own terms ahead of one of the oddest films of 2013…

Another beardy Onion layer up to good things this month was Matt Berry, who was quietly preparing to unleash his new album, Kill The Wolf. May and June would see an awful lot of Berry activity, but April was no push-over, either.  First off, his radio series I, Regress… returned to the airwaves, and he went on to release the first snippet of his new album with a track called The Devil Inside Me

He wasn’t the only one returning, either. Rhys Thomas brought back his incredibly popular Radio 4 show Down The Line for a fifth run – the sixth if you include short-lived tv spin-off Bellamy’s People. Once again it featured Thomas’ fellow Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day and the late, great Felix Dexter. Also along for the ride were Look Around You star Robert Popper, Big Train(and It’s Kevin) actress Amelia Bullmore, Citizen Khanwriter Adil Ray, and another TVO regular (and Rhys’ wife), Lucy Montgomery.

Also back this month were Boosh veterans and indie-folk legends The Ralfe Band, who released the single Come On Go Wild from their new album, Son Be Wise, and toured as support to Manchester’s finest ever band, I Am Kloot.  A video for the single followed on 1st May, which can be seen below.

This month also saw us bid farewell to Life’s Too Short, which returned for a one-off special at Easter. Sadly lacking in Matt Holness magic (Matt was a regular in the show’s first and only series), it nevertheless found the time to bring back Colin Hoult as Warwick Davis‘ useless psychic, Brian. Also along for the ride were telly veterans, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson, as well as former Batman star Val Kilmer. A fine send-off, then, for a show that ended way too soon.

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The Boosh Is Loose In CAL-I-FOR-NI-AAAAA!!!!!

22 Oct

© Gina R Snape

This weekend saw The Mighty Boosh play two shows in California, with a last minute gig at The Comedy Store being followed by Tenacious D’s well publicised Festival Supreme.

TVO’s US correspondents Gina R Snape and Teresa Whelan were on hand to document events, and this is their exclusive report…

Peelers around the globe either woke up in hazy happy disbelief or frantically searching the internet for all the glorious proof that The Mighty Boosh really did play two gigs in California this weekend.

© Gina R Snape

Have no fear! It wasn’t a dream. And The Velvet Onion was there for everything! So here’s our round-up. (Apologies for the delay. But unfortunately Naboo’s flying carpet didn’t have WiFi on our return trips home).

The Friday night benefit at The Comedy Store for Drop In The Bucket was a heck of a show. Viewers were treated to a full hour set!

Despite terrible jetlag, Naboo must have provided some incredible energy potion because the boys pulled all the stops out! Here for our readers is a TVO exclusive shot of the setlist.

Next came Festival Supreme, with an intense half hour set (sleuthy peelers can find clips on YouTube). The Boosh opened with “Electro Monk”, Julian performed Yeti solo, Noel returned to the stage for Hello Little Deer, and Old Gregg (who proclaimed he located Howard thanks to Tenacious D)  appeared for Mangina and Love Games – ending with a fan service nod to Stockholm Syndrome.


Introducing the Mirrorball Suit 2.0!
© @NickYoussef

Fans went mental as Noel stripped down to Mirrorball Suit 2.0 And Julian ripped off his elbow patches to reveal elbow tassles! No Boosh show would be complete without a “Don’t Touch Me!” declaration, Noel throwing artwork into the crowd, and a healthy dousing of Bailey’s by Old Gregg. The crowd cheered for an encore when they left all too soon. (Dave Brown confirmed on twitter that they had a 30 minute pull-the-plug limitation).

Olly kept the beat in the back, and fans screamed with delight when Naboo and Bob Fossil made their appearances.

Readers are welcome to click here for the full collection of TVO photos. The events may be over, but the magic lingers. Thank you, boys, for bringing the Mighty Boosh together, coming to the States, and leaving us with tears of Oniony joy.

For more pictures from the shows, click to read more…  Continue reading

A Bit Of Boosh At The Pleasance

13 Oct

© Ryan Taylor @ The Pleasance

Plans to keep the details of the recent Mighty Boosh warm up shows out of the public domain seem to have been derailed by the giddy connectivity of social media. So we figured it would be polite of us to do a quick round up of what’s out there for those amongst us who don’t frequent the fan forums and blogs:

© Becky

Last week’s Boosh shows at Soho Theatre were marked by their unexpected degree of polish; by contrast, this Thursday’s show at The Pleasance Islington felt very much like being let in to watch a rehearsal (which, afterall, is exactly what a warm-up is). What’s surprising is that the evening was none the worse for it.

For the assembled audience, the technical glitches and subsequent on-stage ad libbing felt like being invited in to watch – and be part of – the inner workings of Boosh. We got the chance to spend an evening in their company, as opposed to simply watching them perform on stage.

Although none of it was planned, there were many moments that made this gig feel special: the ad hoc dialogue between Julian Barratt on stage and his adorable kids in the front row; the sight of three monks leaning helplessly over a silent drum kit; Noel Fielding‘s never-ending impersonation of a fold-out map; and the clever one-liners, glances and giggles that frequently erupted from the stage.

© Lustache Licker

The Boosh Band performance which wrapped around these improvised moments was still solid and vital, carried along by the bubbling on-stage chemistry between Noel and Julian.

It’s a credit to their professionalism and talent that the show lost none of its life force and charm when events nudged it along a different path. In fact, the verdict afterwards from the Boosh friends and family who turned out in force for the gig was that it was like being back at the Hen & Chickens all those years ago. A little shambolic perhaps, but that’s part of their charm – and the magic is still very much there.

For those of you who want the spoilery details, check out The Mirror’s review (it’s nice to see a tabloid being supportive for a change!).

And for those of you who are lucky enough to be going to Festival Supreme this week, you’re in for a treat! We reckon the Mighty Tent is going to be the place to be:

© Festival Supreme

Many thanks to Becky & Lustache Licker for helping us out with photos. Sadly no one managed to get a money shot of Tom Meteen‘s Karate Johnson!

What’s that? You want another one? Oh, go on then…

© Becky

The Boosh Are Back… Live At The Pleasance

4 Oct

TVO is delighted to confirm another Boosh warm-up show ahead of their performance at Festival Supreme later this month.

© David Chalkley

The boys will perform at Pleasance Theatre, Islington on 10th October and tickets can be grabbed (we suggest very quickly) from their website, here.

This presents an extra chance to see their warm-up show after its first outings at the Soho Theatre. These events went down a storm and you can read our review of the evening here.

So what are you waiting for? Buy, buy, buy!

Ralfe Band On Tour

21 Sep
© facebook

© facebook

Fans of Ralfe Band will be excited to know that they are touring around Britain during November, as support for Young Knives.

Nov 05 O2 ABC Glasgow
Nov 06 O2 Academy Birmingham
Nov 07 Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff
Nov 08 O2 Academy Islington London
Nov 09 The Joiners Southampton
Nov 10 The Horn St. Albans
Nov 12 O2 Academy Newcastle
Nov 13 O2 Academy Sheffield
Nov 14 O2 Academy Liverpool
Nov 19 Sound Control Manchester
Nov 20 The Trades Club Hebden Bridge
Nov 23 Esquires Bedford

For more details and tickets take a look at the bands Facebook page.

If there are any gaps in your collection, you can get all of Ralfe Band’s and Oly Ralfe’s CD’s, DVD’s and Vinyl from TVO Store.

Oxford Talk With Oly

8 Aug

Ralfe Band are on the cover of the August issue of Nightshift magazine, with an interview in the Oxford Music magazine with Oly Ralfe.

© Nightshift

In the interview Oly talks about the band’s latest critically-acclaimed album Son Be Wise and how the local people of Oxford have started to make something of his connection with the city.

He explains, “Oxford is picking up on this album, which is nice. I have played all over the UK and Europe and I suppose I didn’t associate that closely with a local scene before, but the fact that I’ve recorded so much here and so many musicians on the album have roots here makes the connection more real.”

Oly also discusses how the involvement of different musicians during the recording process and subsequent live performances may have helped to give Ralfe Band its unique sound: “People do often say that Ralfe Band doesn’t sound like anyone else which is a compliment in this crowded world. I do have influences but hopefully they meld into my own concoctions. I just do my thing and try not to think about it too much.”

To read the interview in full click here.  The article is  the second spread that you come to when you scroll down.


24 Jul

Seminal film production company Warp are celebrating their tenth birthday this year, and film buffs and collectors can savour a very special presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade, including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

© Warp Films / Golden

WarpFilms10 is a deluxe limited edition Book and DVD Set, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions.  To make it even more sweet, the book contains a foreword by Chris Hewitt of Film 2013 fame, and an exclusive interview with Warp Films creative bods Mark Herbert and Steve Beckett.

The ten films included, in chronological order, are: Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Bunny And The BullFour LionsSubmarine, Tyrannosaur, Kill List and Snowtown.

Mark Herbert, who also produced Four Lions and Submarine, will sign and hand-number the first 1000 copies, to make the set even more collectible.  It will only be available on dvd, sadly (no blu-ray copies it seems for some reason!), and will retail at £95, but pre-orders can currently be placed for just £80.  Money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.

Mighty Beck At The Barbican

5 Jul

The social media buzz around Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt’s appearance together at last night’s Beck show has been deafening. But for those of you who don’t freqent the online discussion boards, please allow us to present to you a little round-up of last night’s performance:

The word on the web is that it was a pretty special night, and their performance was really well received. Even Noel tweeted afterwards, “Our first gig together for years we still have the magic.” Bless.

Ably supported by musical skills of Oly Ralfe, you can see their performace of ‘We all Wear Cloaks’ below. However Beck meant for the track to sound, the boys have made it every inch a Boosh song:


And while we’re at it, how about a couple of photos of the night as well?



© BarbicanCentre

It’s like they never went away, eh?

Get The Real Ralfe Band Album

12 Jun

© Paul Holmes

Although the digital download version of the new Ralfe Band album was available earlier this month, the physical version has just been released this week.

Lovers of music that you can touch, see and wave around your bedroom can now buy Son be Wise on CD (with lyric book) and gatefold vinyl (with lyric book & free MP3).

To buy one of these tangible beauties, take a look at our Amazon store.

And if you like what you hear, don’t forget that you can see the band perform at a handful of festivals and shows during the next few weeks. Please see below for details:

Thu 13 Jun – UK, SOUTHSEA, PORTSMOUTH, Pie & Vinyl in-store show. Performance starts 7pm
Fri 14 Jun – UK, MARLBOROUGH, Sound Knowledge in-store show. Performance starts 6.30pm
Sat 15 Jun – UK, OXFORD, Irregular Folk Summer Sessions @ The Perch, Binsey
Wed 3 Jul – UK, TOTNES, South Devon Arts Centre w/ ETHAN JOHNS
Sat 6 Jul – UK, CALSTOCK (Cornwall),  Calstock Arts Centre w/ ETHAN JOHNS
Sat 10 Aug  – UK, OXFORDSHIRE, Wilderness Festival
Fri 30 Aug – UK, DORSET, End Of The Road Festival (main stage)

Son Be Wise: Buy The Ralfe Band’s New Album!

4 Jun

© Highline Records

Son Be Wise – the sumptuous new album from The Ralfe Band – is available digitally now, with a physical release available next week.

The album is their third studio long-player proper, and fourth if you count their ramshackle soundtrack to Bunny And The Bull just over three years ago.  The results are bolder and more confident than ever before, and show a new level of maturity in Oly Ralfe‘s whimsical songwriting.

The band launched the record yesterday in Manchester, first appearing in session on Marc Riley’s 6Music show with guest bassist Pete Jobson from indie legends I Am Kloot.

The band performed four tracks – Barricades, Cold Chicago In The Morning, Boy With An Old Tin Drum and Park Bench Blues – and if you missed it, you can listen again over on iPlayer now.



Following this, the band dashed from the bowels of MediaCityUK to Manchester city centre, with an intimate gig at cult venue The Castle Hotel.  TVO was in attendance, as were Jobson and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, no less, and the results were a treasure to behold.

With a setlist culled from their whole career, Oly and his band were on fine form from start to finish, and left us with the overriding thought that their material deserves a wider platform.  As the night progressed, TVO was itching to see a giant wave of festival goers bouncing along to these fanciful odes and catchy melodies, and with the likes of Garvey & Jobson in their corner, hopefully it’s only a matter of time before the band hit the big time at last.

Oly has also been the subject of a Metro article ahead of the band’s London show at Madame JoJo’s on tonight, and the band will be undertaking free in-store signing events in Bristol, Southsea and Marlborough next week ahead of their gig in Oxford on June 15th. For more info, visit their Facebook page.

You can see a selection of photos from last night’s event below, and if you want to pick up the album, you can do so on cdvinyl or download via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

Ralfe Band: Live Shows & Album News

3 May

Fans of Ralfe Band can rejoice, with news about the new album and more live shows being announced, including some forthcoming festival dates!

The live dates are as follows:

17th – 19th May – Wood Festival, OXFORDSHIRE
Monday 3rd June – The Castle, MANCHESTER
Tuesday 4th June – White Heat @ Madame JoJo’s, LONDON
10th August – Wilderness Festival, OXFORDSHIRE
30th August – End Of The Road Festival, DORSET

Don’t forget that their new album Son Be Wise is released on Monday 3rd June. By way of celebration here’s the new video for the first single from the album ‘Come on, Go Wild’ (previously available as an audio file only).  Of the track, Oly Ralfe has said, “I wanted to cheer myself up with a fun song. It came to me while jamming to an old ‘80s drum machine, and it made me laugh whenever I played it.”

The video plays out like an ode to Jacques Tati, with Oly & Heather Willensky aiming to, “Create a film that captured a bit of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday with a bit of a dark, intriguing twist!”

We can also share with you some further information about the new album, which draws inspiration from Oly’s life of living between England and Berlin, and his adventures in Iceland, Mexico and the USA:

Son Be Wise marks a new chapter in Oly’s songcraft, drawing on a kaleidoscope of inspiration from Eric Satie’s music to Borges’s Labyrinths and Emily Brontë’s poems. Of his lyrics Oly continues, “I like my songs to be slightly mysterious. I’m inspired by lyrics that possess puzzling intrigue, straddling places and perspectives.”

© Ralfe Band/Highline Records

The album’s musical journey takes us from the sweeping opener ‘Ox’, to the anthem ‘Barricades’, through hushed vocals and echoing synths on ‘Magdalena’, expansive eastern strings on ‘Oh My Father’, delicate motifs in ‘Ladder’ and the stormy finale of ‘Cold Chicago Morning’, closing with the introspective waltz “Boy With an Old Tin Drum”.  All underpinned by Oly’s distinctive piano.

The album also features backing vocals from Alessi Laurent-Marke (aka Alessi’s Ark), who appears on four songs in total. Piney Gir also lends her voice to ‘Dead Souls’. Oly says “It’s the first time I’ve used female vocals. I love the interplay of male and female voices like Serge and Jane.”

 The album was recorded in the UK, beginning with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi) in a remote Wales studio, continuing with Andy Ramsay of Stereolab in South London, and was completed in rural Oxfordshire. On his writing process Oly has said, “I’ve been a nomad these last few years, writing my songs on the move. I find different locations make me feel alive and conjure up ideas.”

Alongside Oly’s vocals, piano, guitar and accordion, the key players are Nick Fowler (bass, guitar), Garo Nahoulakian (guitar) and Mike Monaghan (drums), who also make up the live line-up.  Long-term Ralfe Band players John Greswell (strings, viola, mandolin), Andrew Mitchell (guitar) and Ben Nicholls (lap steel guitar) add to the sound, along with guests Rob Ellis (drums on Cold Chicago Morning), Blur and Radiohead brass and woodwind player Steve Hamilton, saxophone by Pete Wareham of Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland and Garance Louis on accordion (we love a bit of detail, we do!).

Roll on 3rd June, we say!

Go Wild For Ralfe Art

25 Apr

© Ralfe Band

Ralfe Band fans now have the opportunity to see Oly Ralfe‘s paintings in person!

Oliver Ralfe will have ten of his paintings on show down in Oxford at the restaurant and café Oxfork. The paintings will be on exhibit until the end of April and keen minds can ogle Ralfe’s art while enjoying drool-worthy food such as stuffed organic lamb, garlic frittata and lemon and orange tart.

Furthermore, Ralfe Band’s new album Son Be Wise, featuring artwork by Oly, will be released on June 3rd with their new single Come On Go Wild out now. The band is currently on tour with I Am Kloot with three shows remaining in  Leicester, Holmfirth and Liverpool before they go on tour with Alessi’s Ark.

You can get the full show schedule on Ralfe Band’s facebook events page as well as more information regarding Oly’s art.

Don’t miss out and don’t fork-get to download the new single on iTunes!


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