Advantages Great observational comedy performer.
Bill Bailey is the caveman look-alike best known for his TV comedy on quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks and sit-com Black Books.But the man, who claims to be “Part Troll” and bears an uncanny resemblance to the mutant love child of Peter Stringfellow and a lizard, is more than panel-fodder.
With this show of innovation, musicianship and wry observations on British and Amercian-ness the long-haired one has proved he is also a comedy genius.He incorporates experiences like being in New York after 9/11, (yes there is a cinema show in the Empire State Building where you pretend to be in a plane just missing the Twin Towers), a tour of Hindu sites in Indonesia and George Bush’s speeches, into a finely woven cloth of humour and music, for two hours of glee.
We hear about the eco-friendly branch of the Klu Klux Klan (keep Iceland white!), how the Taliban took its beliefs from British golf clubs and the only three “jokes” he knows.His accounts of taking acid at Glastonbury, his first prog-rock band and learning the guitar through facial expressions, are hilarious.
But he also shows amazing deftness with the keyboard, (playing the BBC news theme as a techno-track and the national anthem Portishead-style, all live) and the guitar - we hear him take on American MOR and turn a U2 riff into a nursery rhyme.Bill asks the punters to contribute but never goes along the embarrassing audience participation route, favoured by less talented.
This technique blends the lines between performer and performed to and makes him more like the funny, clever one at a party.Two hours on stage (not including the interval) is also fine value for money, if for the “medieval roadie” gag alone!
Rock and Troll is alive and well.Bill returns to the Midlands to play the Warwick Arts Centre on May 19/20.
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