REVIEW: Bill Bailey at Bristol Hippodrome 10/10
LEADING comedian and television personality Bill Bailey wrapped up his two-month UK Qualmpeddler tour with a homecoming show at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Best known for his appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and QI, Bailey is also in his 15th year of touring as a stand-up comic and has been voted, repeatedly, one of the top acts on the circuit.
Bill was armed with a smoker's pipe – withdrawn regularly from his pocket to highlight, ironically, particularly-perplexing observations – and his quirky appearance and odd mannerisms made even the most obscure topics of conversation hilarious.
He spoke at length about the horrors of Twitter, celebrity culture, Danish translations and Fearne Cotton – and anecdotes were ornamented frequently with his trademark obscurity and surrealism.
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The second half of the show saw much more musical humour featured.
Bill is easily one of the most talented musicians that the UK has to offer and his musical mash-ups – ranging from a dubstep version of the Downton Abbey theme to West Country death metal (Pulled Apart By Badgers) – impressed.
This show seemed as fresh and new as Bill's early days in stand-up. And while some ideas have been used in other routines, they were, thankfully, approached from different angles.
However, it was the less-contrived moments of the evening that brought the biggest laughs.
The handful of occasions where heckling became a little unruly saw him playfully but wittily put the audience in their place. And a particularly-graceless return to the stage – aided by stage hands – proved nothing short of uproarious.
Bill Bailey is truly a master of all things bizarre and obscure. But he remains probably the most engaging and charismatic of all our humorists. Rarely have I been able to recommend a comedy show so highly.
If you missed out on seeing the show this time around, Bill will return to the Hippodrome for a four-night stint at the end of September.