An Evening with Noel Fielding hits the road: ‘The Chicken Man was more of a gamble’
One half of the Mighty Boosh takes his surrealist humour on tour and talks tennis line judges, after-show fun and peppermint tea
The humour of Noel Fielding has never been for everyone. Whether it’s his daft solo work or larking around with Julian Barratt as part of legendary 90s/00s duo the Mighty Boosh, the wilfully semi-surrealist nonsense he’s trotted out can either leave you cold or have you chortling in a heap.
After years of doing his Boosh thing on stage, radio and TV, the Kasabian and Mick Jagger-loving comic is securing his own following with a new solo tour. ‘Doing stand-up, you're edited by the audience. If you take too mad a line, you'll lose people. But on the other hand, if something is getting big laughs, it'll never leave the show. There are certain things that you just know will work. At one point, I play a herbal tea bag. I knew that would strike a chord because everyone has tea.’
Being joined on stage by old muckas Tom Meeten and Michael Fielding (his little brother and cult favourite Naboo from the Boosh days), Fielding senior will always be prepared to take some risks. ‘The Chicken Man was more of a gamble, but people really seem to like him. They’re also really enjoying a section where Tom plays Antonio Banderas and Michael plays Hawkeye, the living embodiment of the tennis line judge. It’s great to think up these ideas and then watch them take flight.’
There’s continued talk of a Mighty Boosh movie and Fielding admits he’d like to work with Barratt on a big-screen version, but for now he’s simply enjoying being on the road and trying to keep it relatively sensible when the curtain calls are over. ‘You're buzzing with adrenaline when you come off stage. You have to do something with that and it's very hard not to go and 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 40s I have to find new ways to calm myself down. After the show, Michael and I used to go drinking. This time we'll have to go to mazes and local markets and drink peppermint tea. It's the Peppermint Tea Tour! I should have called it that.’
An Evening with Noel Fielding is on tour until Sunday 13 December.