Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding is currently touring the UK with his new live show. BCG caught up with him to find out more...
Hi Noel. How's the tour going?
It's going well. Well, it's alright. It started off well and then I got a bug, so I was really sick... but you can't really stop, that's the problem. You've got to keep going; got to keep doing the gigs! But it's going well. The best one, so far, was Halifax.
You've added more dates recently as well.
Yeah, tonnes more. I think there's may be another thirty or forty, and then twenty after Christmas. I think we're going to Australia and maybe America, even some parts of Europe or New Zealand, we don't know yet.
I'd love to do something in America at some point; something completely different. But this is going to be quite a big tour. We're only at the beginning of it really.
Artistically speaking, what were your aims for this tour?
Well, I wanted to try and make something good, and have it be interactive and have animation so I could make a show that showed all aspects of what I do. But something you'd still be able to enjoy without you having to have seen the Boosh or Luxury Comedy or my stand-up.
I wanted it to be funny for people that hadn't seen me before and have some audience interaction as well as stand-up, some music and a narrative. We've been working on it religiously all year. My brother's in it, Mike, from The Mighty Boosh and Tom Meeten, who's a really great comedian.
What kind of ages have your audience members been this time?
I think it was pretty broad even with the Boosh. There were lots of young screaming teenagers but that's okay, and there were lots of older people in the audience as well. This tour has been quite mixed. There's a bit where I go into the crowd as a character called New York Cop and I have to interrogate the audience and I chat to them. It's much more mixed than I thought it would be, which really pleases me.
How have you found the process of writing for a tour compared to writing for television?
It's a different thing really to writing a TV show; I wrote TV shows back to back so I was getting stir crazy.
I like working with an audience and I love the energy of live gigs. When you're making TV shows, you don't really get much feedback other than on the internet and a few reviews. It's a bit like working in the dark or in a tunnel so when you come out and do live stuff it's great to get a reaction straight away.
I had a lot of ideas for the tour show already because I hadn't toured for a while and I just sort of brought them all together to make one show and made sure it wasn't too lumpy or too much like a collage of different ideas. I wanted to try and make it flow.
Were you pleased with how the second series of Luxury Comedy was received?
It's difficult because you want to be free and experiment but a part of you still wants to be accepted. The response to the first series was shocking: people either loved it or hated it and the people that didn't like it were really hostile. But when you think about it, the Internet didn't really exist when I did the Boosh and me and Julian weren't really into that sort of stuff, so we didn't really get involved in it. But now, the Internet is difficult to ignore and I like to be a bit more involved, a bit more a part of society...
Someone called Luxury Comedy 'the second 9/11' which I thought was amazing; I wanted to put that on the DVD cover. But we were never really coming at it from anything other than just an experiment and trying some stuff out.
Some elements I thought were really good, like Serge, from Kasabian, doing the music with me, and we had characters, a story and I thought the animation was amazing. We had loads of people working on the show who were doing an amazing job and I just felt it had potential, so had it set in one place, made the main four characters a family and made it a bit more like a sitcom.
For Series 2 I just used the most successful characters: Fantasy Man, New York Cop, Joey Ramone and we just worked very hard to make the second one more accessible, and people seemed to like it.
We loved all the characters in different ways, but it's just that there was too many for that first series, it was like a bombardment of characters. Those shows are quite concentrated, even I can only watch about two of them and I have to go "alright, I've had enough now". They're like un-diluted orange juice.
We wanted to make something very different and to try and do something that no one had done before. I think we managed that, but people just want to get the idea and move on; they don't want to have to watch it two or three times.
I think that first series was a bit like a difficult album. You have to watch it two or three times to get into it, as it's quite layered. And television's quite a disposable medium so it doesn't get repeated very much so it's tricky to make television like that. But we did it and I'm proud of it.
Is there still space for the show to change again?
Yeah, but I don't know. I'd like to do another series. I could just do another one of those, or I could do something different. I'd quite like to do a Fantasy Man series. That could work really well with the juxtaposition between real life, somewhere urban and gritty like Hackney or something, and then this pink fantasy world.
I always talk of a Boosh film too but I sort of got to a point where I really wanted to do something live again and connect with an audience. I'm really enjoying this and I just want to take this as far as I can now.
What else would you like to do in the future?
I've fallen in love with stand-up again whilst doing this tour. There's about forty minutes of stand-up in the show, and I was very scared because I hadn't done stand-up for a while, but I managed to do it and I was really enjoying it much more than I thought I would be.
I would like to do a pure stand-up show now as well. And with the Loose Tapestries, Serge and I are always talking about going on tour so that would be fun. I'd like to write children's books too, so maybe I could do that.
I want to do everything!
Are there any comedians you'd like to work with in the future?
I love Tony Law, Paul Foot and James Acaster. Being on Buzzcocks means you get to work with them, but, yeah, I'd love to do stuff with Paul Foot. He's brilliant and so underrated. He should be a household name.
Russell Brand's just written a book and I'd quite like to do something with him as well; an improvised show, something unplanned. I like working with Russell. He's very brave.