Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - Bill Bailey and his mink leotard

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November 1st, 2007

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01:11 am - Bill Bailey and his mink leotard
Funny things that Bill Bailey said in Belfast on the 30 October 2007:

Oh hold on. First, I have to go get a cup of tea to warm up. It's become suddenly cold.
Okay. Not only do I now have tea, but I put my cardigan on the heater to warm up while I did so. That's called strategy. Yes! Toasty cardigan!

God, it was a good gig. Everyone was so excited that even the lady announcer at the start having a nervous slip of the tongue caused a huge roar - "In case of an emergency, staff from the front of the horse (CHEER!) will escort you to the fire exits."

Then Bill came on and we nearly spent ourselves laughing and cheering in the first ten minutes alone. Collective laughgasm. Ow, it hurt. But Bill pushed us relentlessly through 2 1/2 hours of sheer brutal fluffy comedy.

One of my favourite rants was about Elton John. Bill described him as a proper pop star, who wasn't afraid to make outrageous demands. "Carve me a swan out of ice! No, a racoon!" finishing with "I WANT A VERSACE DUGONG!"

I want a Versace dugong too. I'd have to fix my garden pond first though, because some little tikes from the local school lobbed bricks into it and pierced the lining. All the water drained out. So, plan of action: 1) fix the pond 2)acquire Versace dugong. Sorted.

Bill told how he was asked by PETA to do an ad campaign shoot with the slogan 'I'D RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR FUR'. But Bill decided he'd rather not go naked either, because he's quite self conscious about his body hair - so much that he looks like he's wearing a fur anyway. He thought that would only be confusing. He called his hirsuiteness his own 'mink leotard', which I thought was a fine phrase.

He went into a tattoo parlour and asked for a tiger on his chest. But Bill is rather hairy there as well, so the tattoo artist said it would just look as if it were trapped in a shrubbery. He suggested that Bill should go for a tattoo of something found commonly in forest envirnoments instead - so Bill got one of a nice log cabin. He showed us a picture of the log cabin tattoo, on his back.

Bill said there'd been a poll which had found most people find papercuts less annoying than James Blunt's whiney voice. He told a cute story of James Blunt coming on the radio while he was driving in the car, and his little 3 year old son asking, "Daddy, will you switch that off please? It's spoiling my brain." Adorable, right? I can imagine there's going to be a lot more 'my son is so cute and funny' gags coming into his comedy in the next few years. I'm usually with Sue Perkins on this one - it's a recipe for tedious mush. But with him, it'll work because he's half a child already.

It wasn't a proper tour gig, it was a 'preview' for his upcoming UK tour, so of course a pile of things went wrong - mostly with the pre-recorded sound system. There was one Kraftwerk number that didn't fly at all. I was a bit disappointed because his last Kraftwerk song was so amazing - when he sung the Hokey Cokey in German the last time he'd played Belfast. I talked to him after the gig and he said he'd upload that bit specially to the new website (not yet online) so we could see what we'd missed. Isn't that nice of him?

And there'd been a ticket mixup, so the house staff escorted me right to the very front to the reserved seats by recompense. "Is this alright?" they asked. Yes indeed it was. Hooray! It's quite a small venue, so I was about 2 meters away from him all night. His bizarre facial movements when he plays his music are a wonder. Sometimes they even turned on a small wind machine for the dramatic bits so his dandelion hair flew back in an Einstein explosion.

My excitement overcame me at half time and I bought a programme (bad, because I don't have money right now). I mitigated this folly by getting him to sign it. That made it all suddenly much better.

He signed on the light bulb, which was handily white, but now it looks like Bill-Bailey-moth is being attracted by his own signature. It could happen.

Bill Bailey as the weird moth thing again. I LOVE IT.

Apologies for the poor image quality, but I just used my crappy camera phone because I'm too excited to scan.

He also said (during the gig) that they drank loads of bottles of wine all the time during filming Black Books, but only because DYLAN MORAN FORCED HIM TO. Of course he did. And (after the gig) that there was no chance of Mark Lemarr coming back to Buzzcocks, even though he was only supposed to be taking a 'sabbatical'. Actually, I got an email this week from the Boosh fanclub that Noel's going to be doing Buzzcocks in his place for 4 weeks. Because of this tour, I should imagine.

He did an fantastic, big blowout musical number in the second half about an 'emo kid' who works in Starbucks and self-harms, with the chorus going, "I bleed into your pa-ni-ni." That was surprisingly good fun.

And he made the whole audience sing, "I got ham but I'm not a hamster!" God, I enjoyed that. I could have gone on for a third chorus. Apparently this was in homage to a Killers song with the refrain, "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier." He then encouraged us all to go to Killers gigs and substitute their lyrics with the hamster-based ones to confuse them. He even kicked an amp very lightly to symbolise how radical and incendiary we were being.

He's so adorable.

When he did a five-second little song about the plight of red squirrels, the whole audience went 'awww!' and simultaneously cheered and clapped like crazy. I don't think he was expecting such a big response to that particular joke. He looked a bit startled.

He kept telling us how nice and enthusiastic we were being. It was only the truth. Belfast audiences are crazy noisy happy when they like something, and we LOVED him. When he did his fake finish before the encore, people were shouting, "Don't go!" "Stay with us!" with passion in their hearts.

God, I hope he doesn't wait four bloody years before coming back again.

I have pics of me with him, but I'm not posting them because I want to leave this unlocked. Even then he was lovely. He was the one who asked me if I wanted a picture, then made sure the lighting was good and everything. He's a total gent in real life. Exactly how he is on the telly, very sweet. Ahhh.

(Indulge your wild theories here)


Date:November 1st, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Fabulous! Am so pleased to hear you had such a great time. I've never seen Bill Bailey live (only on DVD) but he does seem to have a fantastic rapport with his audience.

I love that moth picture, LOL!
[User Picture]
Date:November 2nd, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
That was my second time seeing him, but not my last. He's so good live. More of it keeps coming back to me. He also did a little bit of fake Dutch hip hop. He called it 'Nederhop'. He's so good at accents. And the intro was an animation of him evolving from a bug-eyed amoeba into the 'Tinselmoth', to the tune of Holst's Jupiter, the Bringer of War. It was wonderful.

He had a whole table of cowbells, but he never used them either. They just sat there, tantalising us. I've been reading the programme I bought. Apparently it takes 5 articulated lorries just to cart about his stage gear. Wow. That's a lot of spare cowbells.

Now I've had a proper sleep I'm back to my Bill Bailey high. :) Thanks for your texts today. You're lovely.
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