I was very lucky to see Bill Bailey at The Civic Theatre on Thursday night, with C & E.
I have been a fan of his since the very first episode of Black Books, where he swallowed the little book of calm and hilarity ensued. I loved Black Books so much, and let's face it, we'd all like to have a 'round' with Bernard, but we knew Manny was the keeper...and he played a mean piano!
Since then I have seen more of his stand up and his unique musical comedy, on video and online. A sharper mind, eloquent vocabulary, and strong wit I've not seen in comedy, so I knew we would be in for a treat seeing him live.
Our expectations were met and then some...and then some more.
He did two sets, both roughly an hour, though I suspect a little longer for the second one. He arrived on stage, self deprecating, and introducing himself as only he can.
He started off with a fabulous crack down of our (and Britain's) government. He called the PM, 'Chairman Abbott', and was hysterical in his descriptions of politics at present. He made comment that - and I cannot recall his exact turn of phrase, but believe me it was magnificent - in all his travels he has yet to meet anyone who will admit to voting him, lol. He must have magically appeared.
And it is his turn of phrase, and use of language that just steps him up above the regular rounds of comedians. And not a swear word within it.
His shtick about going to a One Direction concert had me in tears. His descriptions of what he would call music before he would ever call them musical were outstanding. I cannot recall all, but one was being locked in a space with Kenny G and his saxophone and the only air to be got was him stroking Kenny's aerated hair. So funny! His physicality in describing One Direction and their movement on stage had to be seen. It was superb.
He did some funny bits about rescuing a goose outside Buckingham Palace, dating, holidaying with family, and so on. There is no point me trying to describe any of this...cause I am not Bill Bailey.
A stand out piece was about the British turn of phrase, and one in particular - one in fact I use from time to time - All things considered. He went on a fabulous rant about "all things", which one would equate to all things considered. I guess you had to be there, but I will not be able to hear or say that phrase without thinking of his list of things and his glaring omission - an orgasm - as made good by an audience member. It was a moment where he almost came unstuck, he said it was the best heckle ever.
And then, there was his music. I have loved his Kraftwerk bits for years, and he choose Wrecking Ball for this show, rather good too. He did a spectacular Kurt Weill version of Happy Birthday, and Abba in German. Also some death metal, and some great country and western on a homemade Bible guitar. And that was only part of it. A gifted musician and a great ear for accents too.
If you ever get a chance, go and see Bill Bailey, he will make you smile and laugh until you cry. Seeing him with good friends at my beloved Civic Theatre only made it even better.