COMEDY REVIEW: Bill Bailey @ Virgin Money Unity Arena, Newcastle (01.09.20) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Thomas Jackson, Bennett Media

To contrast the litany of famous comedians that have graced the stage of Gosforth’s racecourse over the past few days, Bill Bailey’s act lends itself comfortably to large outdoor arenas and there are few comedians on the circuit more suited to tackle Newcastle’s expansive racecourse. 

The British comedy juggernaut bounced onto the stage and instantly began a tirade of whimsical, aloof nonsense. Opening with a topical rampage, pointing his finger towards our leaders and the situation we find ourselves in, Bill gave the arena a sense of catharsis and relief as he allowed us to laugh at all the confusion and turmoil that’s surrounded recent months. 

There was a truly beautiful sense of mutual admiration and feverish excitement that buzzed around the arena, as the audience were treated to a blissful and elated couple of hours as Bill leapt across the stage, giddy with a tangible eagerness, exclaiming that this was “one of the strangest nights of my life!”

As the enigmatic and animated comedian ricocheted across the stage, tinkering with his musical apparatus, there was a hectic edge to the show as a slapdash assortment of skits were flung together, yet each piece was done with enough passion and wit to ensure a smooth execution.

The first act was a brilliant showcase of many of the features that certify Bill Bailey’s position and stature in the industry, yet it wasn’t until the second act where he turned his hand more directly towards his music.

A musician lurking under the guise of comedy, Bill Bailey’s in-depth and heartfelt knowledge, respect and passion for music was a captivating wonder to behold as his fingers dance across the piano, spelling out wonderfully poignant moments of music and pathos, caveated only by the inevitable punchline.

As the show progressed, Bill dissected musical theory in a riveting fashion, discussing everything from Star Wars to Nicki Minaj. As he darted across the stage, plucking at guitars and fiddling with his percussion, Bill’s blend of music and comedy was met with a gleeful applause throughout.

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