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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.

Ralfe Band Cold Chicago Morning

18 Jun
© ralfe band

© ralfe band

Ralfe Band have released a new single – Cold Chicago Morning – which was also their contribution to Record Store Day.

The single is from the album Son Be Wise and is available for download via iTunes and Amazon, and also their back catalogue can be purchased from TVO store.

Don’t forget the band are playing Glastonbury this year, as well as other live performances, so why not see them live too?

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.

Wee Paper People

1 Jun

Regular readers of TVO might remember Paper People – cut out and keep paper models of your favourite TVO folk. We’ve just revisited the site and there are many, many more characters for you to cut out and keep. How many do you recognise from the pictures below?

If you can’t wait to get your hands on your own Wee Paper People, all you have to do is click on the website, download your favourites then print and assemble. Assembly instructions are on the site.

If you want something more personal, the creator of all these fantastic models, Sally Grosart, can make personalised little people of your friends and family, or personalised cards or banners. To contact Sally and see the rest of her creations click here.

Ralfe Band @ Record Store Day

18 Apr

© Ralfe Band

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

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

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

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

For more info go to their Facebook page.

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Three

3 Jan

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

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

JULY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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A Sneaky Peek At WarpFilms10

4 Nov

© Warp Films / Golden

A few months ago, we told you about the forthcoming WarpFilms10 boxset from seminal film production company Warp.  Made to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday, this deluxe presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

The limited edition Book and DVD Set features exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions from the Warp legacy.

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.

In chronological order, the set features: 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 be signing and hand-numbering 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.

It’s money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.  But just in case you needed any further persuasion, the good folk at Warp have very kindly sent us this exclusive preview of one of the book’s spreads on Bunny And The Bull - featuring previously unseen production stills featuring Edward HoggSimon FarnabyJulian Barratt and director Paul King.  Just click on the preview below to see a bigger version… enjoy.

© Warp Films / Golden

© Warp Films / Golden

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.

It’s The End Of The Road For Colin

29 Aug

© Idil Suki / Draw HQ

End of The Road Festival in North Dorset starts tomorrow, and there are some TVO connections there!

If you’ve got a ticket already you may want to look out for them, or if you are close enough you might be able to get one if you check the festival website.

In the Comedy Tent will be TVO regulars Colin Hoult and Joey Page, as well as Tom Allen, Sara Pascoe and Mark Watson, among a whole host of comedy delights.

In Music, Ralfe Band are among a multitude of bands and singers, over four stages, including David Byrne and St Vincent and Eels.

The talented Ben Wheatley will be curating in the Cinema Tent on Saturday. He has handpicked the films on offer (Who’ll Stop The Rain, Onibaba, Holy Mountain, Brazil), and he will be presenting his latest psychedelic horror, A Field In England followed by a Q and A session.

So if you are lucky enough to have your tickets for this festival you are in for a great weekend.

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.

WarpFilms10

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.

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.

© BBC

© BBC

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!

Ralfe Band & Kloot Come Home Together

8 Apr

© I Am Kloot

Last month we told you about an exciting live musical partnership in the form of Ralfe Band and I Am Kloot, who were touring Europe together during March. Well now those of us who live in Blighty can rejoice, as they’re touring together in the UK!

I Am Kloot have asked Ralfe Band to support them on their April UK tour , which will be taking in Sheffield, Birmingham, York, Middlesborough, Norwich, Oxford, Leicester, Holmfirth and Liverpool. Phew! For the dates in full and for further information about venues see Ralfe Band’s facebook page here.

If you’re still wondering why this particular musical pairing is worthy of note, please allow us to present you with two pieces of evidence: firstly, the wondrous first single Come On Go Wild from Ralfe Band’s new album Son be Wise (album out in June ). If you haven’t done so already (why ever not?) then take a listen here…

Then, there’s I Am Kloot’s new video for Some Better Day, featuring Montgomery Flange’s favourite actor – John Simm – which you can see below:

To stay on top of what’s next for both bands, why not follow them on twitter?  You can seek our Ralfe Band here and I Am Kloot there.

Ralfe Band & I Am Kloot Do Europe

8 Mar

Ralfe Band will be supporting I Am Kloot on their forthcoming European tour.

© Ralfe Band

The alt-folk stylings of Oly Ralfe and company act as a perfect foil to the Manchester-based trio’s songs of drinking and disaster. They will be performing together in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium and France  from 12th to 23rd March. For full details of the tour please visit Ralfe Band’s facebook events page.

Don’t forget you can also catch Ralfe Band in the UK on 9th April, although sadly there will be no I Am Kloot in tow, as they’ll also be going on tour elsewhere across the country.

And to get yourself in the mood for some Ralfe Band musical action, have a listen to their rather wonderful new single Come on Go Wild, which will be out on 8th April. Go on, take your brain on a summer holiday for 2 minutes 50 seconds. Lovely.

Ralfe Band’s Latest, Son Be Wise

18 Feb

Ralfe Band have spoilt us with news of their next album via the power of the social networks!

Son Be Wise is the name of their third studio album not including their previous in 2010; the beautious soundtrack from Bunny & The Bull.

© Ralfe Band/Highline Records

 

The album is to be released on 3rd June with their new label, Highline Records. Earlier last year TVO were lucky enough to have a listen to some of their new tracks and we gave you the consensus, If you still feel teased then not to fret as Ralfe Band will be playing at The Vortex in North East London and playing you every track on the album!

Tickets for this exclusive show are £8.50 plus booking fees and you can book your places right here.

Along with this the band have also treated us all to a listen of the first single from the album, Come On Go Wild – have a listen down below and let us know your thoughts!

Ralfe Is King

3 Jan

© agendaconcerts.com

TVO folk-favourites Ralfe Band, will be bringing one of their great sets to London once again.

The special guests will be playing along with Bristol-based band Gravenhurst, at this mini-festival bringing some of the most interesting and “intriguing” bands out there (and we can’t argue that Ralfe Band aren’t somewhat unique!)

If their past gigs have been anything to go by, then they’ll be bringing a bundle of classics, weaved in with some exclusive sneak peeks from their upcoming album!

The show takes place on January 11th at Kings Place theatre. To find out more about the show and the event, plus to book your £9 online saver tickets, head right here.

Plus for an extra little treat, listen below to hear Oly Ralfe talk about their upcoming show along with Gravenhurst!

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