Bill Bailey. Virgin Media Arena. 1.9.20

Shit. That’s twice in a week I’ve been wrong.

Not only was I proven inaccurate about having written Jason Manford off as a makeshift Michael McIntyre, I’m now having to swallow my pride and admit that my two decades worth of pre-judgment about Bill Bailey has been a waste of everyone’s time.  But mostly mine.

He is, as he proves tonight, not in fact the Hobbit-reading, folk playing, Jethro Tull knock off I had imagined him to be, but rather a highly intelligent, highly skilled, ludicrously talented, well-rounded and well-mannered comic.

Shining with moments of silliness and slapstick, Bailey laces tonight’s audience with several doses of  surrealness, styling his witty observations with layers of musicology, bilingual asides, and instrumentation.  He has more talent in one of his small bells than I have in my entirety.

For those in the crowd who already knew about Bailey’s skill-fullness, they lap up tonight and seem to be reminded of the power of the comic’s delivery.  For me I leave questioning most of my opinions.  Apart from the one about Ronan Keating, and I don’t dare see him live now…

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