Bill Bailey: Limboland


And so the beardy one stops his (now returned) tour bus in Scarborough. This was the first of a two night sojourn by the seaside, the timing of which is a shame because the weather was so shitty; such is life.

The format for a Bill B show is fairly consistent really: beady man comes on stage and talks for a while, playing some musical instruments in between chatty bits. You’ll be pleased to know that he hasn’t really fiddled with the format overly much.

The show has a fairly loose structure, with components you know are pretty much the foundations of the piece. This time there was his family’s trip to see the Northern Lights, and the story of how a starstruck Bill, and his mate, have a disastrous meeting with Paul McCartney. The latter one especially is hysterical. But there are other smart bits, such as the “build your own Moby song”, using samples taken from the audience. This is a thing that can work form venue to venue, but can have nice little twists (like on this occasion having one sample have a tiny giggle at its end, which seems to amuse Bill inordinately)

But the beauty of a performer like Bill is that he can riff off the audience. And when you have an audience like Wednesday’s with some slight strangeness going on, you can tell when he’s getting into it and having some fun. There’s a running theme that developed about the presence of seagulls when fluff/feathers and the like drop down onto him from above.

There are also fun musical moments, as one might expect: a death metal rendition of Postman Pat; the obligatory Scarborough Fair (done à al Rammstein), and some confusion about some of the suggestions for musical accompaniment for walking (including my own heckle of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, which I have actually used for walking, and avoiding the cracks on the pavement).

So, a good night had by all. Can’t ask for more than that.


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