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THE MIGHTY BOOSH’S NOEL FIELDING ON TOUR

Superstar surrealist Noel Fielding reflects on the peak of North London’s showbiz party scene and The Mighty Boosh’s success – and why these days he’s just as happy on tour as he is settling down with a cup of tea

‘This has been a whole weird trip for me. The Mighty Boosh got massive, but it took a long time before anyone knew who we were,’ says Noel Fielding, surrealist comedian extraordinaire and long-time fixture on the North London party scene. Having been at the epicentre of Camden’s celebrity heyday of the mid-2000s, Noel has since made his home in the slightly more peaceful Highgate – ‘although I’m still really close to Kentish Town,’ he insists.

‘I don’t know about Camden any more,’ says Noel, feeling nostalgic for the early days of The Mighty Boosh, which were intrinsically linked to North London. ‘We [Julian Barratt and Noel] had a studio there, right in the centre of the market, but high up, so no-one really knew we were there. It was a place where I could paint and we wrote the second series of The Mighty Boosh,’ Noel reminisces, reflecting on the current vibe in Camden Town. ‘They’ve basically made that call, haven’t they, to make it a place for tourists. It’s perfect for tourists, and anyone who isn’t a tourist finds it a bit… annoying,’ Noel laughs.

At the peak of The Mighty Boosh heyday, it wasn’t uncommon to spot Noel strutting down Camden High Street in a jazzy jacket and his signature metallic pixie boots, holding the hand of one of his many celebrity girl ‘friends’ – although he’d have to move fast to avoid being swarmed by eager admirers. ‘Everyone wants pictures of you, and I don’t think Julian was comfortable with that whole celebrity thing,’ Noel explains of his Mighty Boosh co-star. ‘I was never that comfortable, but he really hated it. We just needed a break, really, but then I’m not very good if I don’t work. I’m a bit of a workaholic and I start going wrong, going out partying and doing stupid things, if I’m not writing. I get very bored very easily so I have to keep stimulating my mind.’

The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding

Noel Fielding is all set to go on tour once again

For a certain period of time, Noel and his famous pals were constantly splashed all over the party pages of London’s free papers – more often than not, pictured after a raucous night at Camden’s iconic Hawley Arms pub, the beloved haunt of Amy Winehouse. Noel has not yet seen the statue of his late friend in person, but he is ‘glad it exists. She is so integral to that scene, she was an amazing woman. Obviously some idiot will probably graffiti it soon…’ Noel says with a smile.

‘The Hawley is still quite fun, but you know, when we first went there and Amy was going there, Razorlight were hanging out there, it was all like a little bit of a “scene”. It was a period that just coincided with me and the Boosh thing doing really well, so it was a crazy time for three or four years. But you can only really do that for a while then that gets boring. Also, after a while, you’ve been to every party in the WORLD; by the end you’ve been to a party in the most exclusive guestlist VIP room beyond VIP room, with Kate Moss, you know it’s not going to get any better than that,’ Noel says, in his signature rapid-fire raconteur style. ‘After that it gets weirder, because you go to all these amazing places and the party organisers separate you into a place that’s not as amazing, like a tiny room, and you think “Oh great, it’s just me and six other people who you’ve deemed cool enough to get into this place, but none of us know each other, and we are all cramped into a space smaller than my front room. They could have just come to my front room”!

The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding

The Amy Winehouse statue in Camden that Noel is delighted with

 

The allure of the showbiz lifestyle began to wear off for the comedian, artist and musician (did you know that Noel is officially in a band with Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian, called Loose Tapestries?). Noel quietly chuckles at the escapades of his former partying self. ‘Those were the days! It’s definitely a peppermint tea and an early night for me now,’ he says, explaining that now he focuses his energies on his television show, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, which achieved ratings success with its second series, and his UK tour, which runs until mid-December. It’s an elaborate production, featuring live animation in the form of ‘Plasticine World’, music, stand-up, performances from Noel’s brother Mike and Luxury Comedy’s Tom Meeton, and a guest appearance from The Moon – who was Noel’s character even before the Boosh. ‘My promoter wants to kill me,’ says Noel, ‘because he’s saying to me “you could have just done a stand up show and taken loads of money; it would have been one guy and the cost of a people carrier”, but I am taking three people and we are animating it and I’ve worked with two directors…’ Noel Fielding: never one to do things by halves.

An Evening with Noel Fielding runs until 12 December – for tickets visit ticketmaster.co.uk

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