Today marks five years since The Velvet Onion Live, and as luck would have it, we recently managed to salvage some footage previously thought lost forever from the star-studded one-off live event.
On 31st May 2012, we packed 21 Velvet Onion regulars, and the disembodied voice of one other, into Shepherds Bush club The Vandella, then run by Hen & Chickens head honcho James Wren, and, with the enormous help of one Bob Pipe, wangled them all into around 3 hours of solid entertainment for a meagre £15 a ticket.
With Mike Fielding DJ-ing between sets, the night featured, in quick succession: Dave Brown as Bollo, Antony Elvin and Will Summers providing some solid Tudor folk, Gareth Tunley and Alex Kirk as the Scott Brothers, Dolly Wells and Laura Patch with a one-off sketch, Richard Glover and Stephen Evans with another, Holly Jane Shears and Suzy Evelyn-Hall as the mighty Dead Dog In Black Bag… and that was just the first act!
After a break, Alice Lowe was joined by Antony Elvin for a slice of folk spoof Hot Brew, before Steve Oram and Tom Meeten chucked some madness at the room, and David McNeill brought back Evans & Glover to up the odd-ball ante. Dan Tetsell and his Funny Monkey were next, before the second act was brought to a thunderous close by the return of Waen Shepherd as Gary Le Strange!
In the final, shorter final act, there was more from Elvin & Summers, before Glover & Tunley became builders on the Death Star. Rachel Stubbings and Richard Sandling were up next, with some top life advice and slam poetry in quick succession, before James Cook performed a short set of some of his finest solo works to round off the night in style. Oh, and Rich Fulcher, who was scheduled to appear but got caught up elsewhere, became our ethereal announcer for good measure. Phew!
The night was a huge success, with a star-studded audience (including fellow TVO regular Simon Farnaby and pop genius Paloma Faith, no less), and the whole team intended to do another show as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, as is often the way with these things, logistics stood in our way, and the planned shows were put back a year, then another six months, and before we knew it, it was five years later and we haven’t got around to doing any more… yet! Indeed, every time you get TVO in the same room as Sirs Wren & Pipe respectively, we remember just how much fun we had, and how we really should do it again.
Now, five years on, we’ve managed to recover previously unseen footage from the end of the second act and most of the third (sadly Rachel Stubbings performance is unavailable), and can finally let you glimpse this magnificent fun. This material was thought lost due to a technical error on the night, and we’d long since given up hope of retrieving it, which if you’ll allow us to paraphrase a certain Time Lord a little, just goes to show it’s never too late, as a wise person once said. Kylie, we think…
If you like what you see, and would like to see another live night or two from us here at TVO, jam-packed with your favourite funny folk, let us know in the comments below. We just might be able to finally make a belated sequel… watch this space! In the meantime, all five videos are yours to view via the playlist below.
For the full show playlist, including almost all the names listed above, click here.