Noel Fielding has an enormous student following thanks to his work on The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and is currently starring in a new show, ‘An Evening with Noel Fielding’.
Featuring Noel’s inimitable blend of stand up, animation, music and appearances by some of his best-loved characters, including The Moon, The Dark Side of the Moon and Fantasy Man, it’s a blinding show.
When we speak to him, five years away from the live arena have only whetted Noel’s appetite for stand-up. He was eager to get back in front of an audience. The performer, who has spent the last few years occupied by the meticulously produced, semi-animated E4 show, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, tell us that nothing beats the rush generated by live work. ‘The problem with TV is that it takes years to make, and after a while you can’t remember what it’s like to tell a joke and get a laugh from it.
‘The great thing about live comedy is that it cuts out the middle men – all those TV producers and directors. It takes out everything that gets in the way, so it’s just you and the audience. It’s a really pure set-up.’
Because it’s so deeply original and innovative, Noel’s comedy can divide people. But he thinks the infectious nature of his stand-up show can help to win over a student audience. ‘Some people might think they’re allergic to you, but if they come to a live show and see everyone is laughing, it’s hard to say it’s not funny. It was the same with Boosh, sceptics were convinced when they came to see our shows. As a stand up, you spend all day being nervous. But as soon as you step onto the stage and get the first laugh, it’s magic time. It’s like being in a dream. It’s a real buzz’.
Noel, who for many years has been a highly popular team captain on BBC2’s widely-loved and very long-running pop quiz, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, is also relishing the prospect of touring the country. ‘It’s great’ he enthuses. ‘You get to visit all these nice places you’ve never been to before. When you arrive in a lot of towns, you just go ‘Wow!’
The comedian, who will be joined on stage in ‘An Evening with Noel Fielding’ by his brother Michael, tells us the show features music he has composed with Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian: ‘the evening is not something I’d usually do, it’s more like something Barry Humphries would do.’
As a favourite of the critics (The Daily Telegraph calls him ‘a comedy wunderkind’) it is no surprise that the show has been well received. Fielding modestly tell us ‘I hope the audience have a really good time, I hope they laugh their heads off, I’ve always been concerned not to sell people short’.
The only drawback about touring as are as he is concerned is that, ‘You’re buzzing with adrenaline when you come off stage. You have to do something with that, and it’s very hard not to get drunk. In the old days, we’d give the Rolling Stones a run for their money with our after-show behaviour.
‘But now I’m in my forties, I have to find new ways to calm down. Like Mick Jagger, I’ll have to get fit. After the show, Michael and I used to go drinking. Now we go to local markets and drink peppermint tea’. Unable to resist one last gag, Noel concludes ‘It’s the Peppermint Tea Tour. I should have called it that!’