Bill Bailey

Posted in Gig Reviews on May, 29 2004 2:07 AM

bill baileyThere is good news and bad news about Bill Bailey in 2004.  The show begins and there is an immediate sense of deja-vu as Bailey opens with gags about being a "Stars In Their Eyes" regional finalist, pretending to be Aled Jones, having trouble starting gigs and classic pop performed in a west country accent. 

The "Stars In Their Eyes" line may have changed from Meatloaf to Michael Bolton but the worry that I had come all this way just to see a live performance of a three year old DVD was starting to set in.

Thankfully a sigh of relief was warranted as new material began to filter through and show us exactly why we thought he was so great in the first place. He glides effortlessly through diverse subjects from doorbells to swimming with dolphins in the far east, with a liberal sprinkling of off-the-wall asides and trademark musical wizardry along the way.

Perhaps this use of a fair swathe of old material is the musical influence showing, like a band playing a selection of their latest songs interspersed with some "greatest hits".  This may well have been the intention, and the audience lap it up, but something was missing.  The old material seemed to lack impact and Bailey seems to have lost the enthusiasm for much of it.

It's not until he finds his way back to the newer stuff, clearly still fresh and exciting to him, that he really shines. In uncharted territory, particularly when given an unexpected audience response or heckle to work with, he achieves true brilliance.

Warwick Arts Centre - 18/05/2004 - "Part Troll" Tour

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