Following the success of his 2010 tour, Dandelion Mind, Bill Bailey is back on the road with his new show Qualmpeddler.
Introducing himself as “that guy from Have I Got QI Never Mind the Black Books For You,” the 49-year-old West Country comedian proceeded to meander between songs, wordplay and personal anecdotes.
Political gags about Margaret Thatcher, the coalition and UKIP, were mixed with anecdotal stories about freeing a rare Eurasian eagle owl from a Chinese restaurant during a recent family holiday.
Fondly poking fun at his audience, he explained his entry into Wales had been “surreal”, as a Severn Bridge toll booth worker eyed him warily and said: “I know, that you know, that I know who you are.”
In a witty parody of musical styles, he discussed why he believes the Welsh accent is “too soft and lilting” for death metal, as he performed a song about killer badgers in “the Welsh death metal style”.
Other trademark musical “mash-ups” included a Dubstep version of Downton Abbey and a reggae hymn, which formed the soundtrack to his imagined Church of England promotional video.
Dancing behind his keyboard synthesisers, the talented musician also effortlessly blended the Match Of The Day theme tune into a Jewish folk song and a lounge re-mix.
During a rant about celebrity culture, the comedian challenged his fans to name the top part of the foot, prompting some highly imaginative responses and hilarious banter.
Bailey also shared his contempt for internet slang, asking the audience to respond to his jokes by saying “lol” unenthusiastically instead of laughing, in a satirical prediction of the future of live comedy.
The only slight disappointment was seeing one or two parts of the show recycled from his previous tour.
His weird and wonderful instrument constructed entirely from bike horns was a familiar site and although it clearly took a great deal of skill to cover Metallica’s Enter Sandman, it would have been nice to see some fresh material.
His gags about German porn films and the mating habits of frogs also sounded a little familiar.
Overall, the show buzzed with wit and energy throughout and the audience was left in pain from laughing.
Bill Bailey is a talented musician, a witty philosophiser and a highly engaging performer.