Bill Bailey's “Dandelion Mind”

Title: Bill Bailey's “Dandelion Mind”
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Stand-Up Comedy
Starring: Bill Bailey

Looks like I'm on a roll, starting with a rude Aussie and now moving on to a middle-aged troll from underneath a bridge somewhere in the western part of England, armed with an array of instruments. It is of course, the instruments that really separate this comedian from the rest of the pack – well, that and his rapidly receding hairline which he still tries to keep at shoulder-length – as he doesn't simply come out and perform a comedy routine, but will use live music to emphasise his point. If “Blue Man Group” were musicians first, then comedians second, Bill Bailey would be this combination in reverse.

Trying to determine where he's going with his line of thought is never easy. He seems all to eager to deviate into a whole new line of thinking at a moments notice which makes him not only rather unpredictable but capable of touching on a vast number of topics, albeit perhaps a little briefly. The only thing you can really be certain of is – like his previous live performances – Kraftwerk will make an appearance eventually. The problem is, so much of the humour seems too absurdist; a sketch about the creatures that live inside the self-scanners at Tesco, or deliberating how long it would take the Australians to notice if the Germans invaded the North-West during WW2; it comes a little out of the blue, emerging from some rambling about another topic only to suddenly transition into the present joke leaving you a little bemused as to quite how you got there.

Fortunately, this is not all there is to the man's trademark style of live performance; if there was ever a more intelligent comedian I've yet to hear of him, and it becomes all the more apparent when you hear what sounds like fluent French and German, playing car horns to Gary Numan and making fun at the various famous historical paintings of “Thomas the doubter,” who was made to poke the wound of Christ when he came back to life. With Bill Bailey, it's not just a comedian that you're watching but an insight into his musical and intelligent mind. As a comedian, too many of his punchlines fall a little flat, others I simply lack the prerequisite knowledge to fully comprehend, but despite this his work remains as intriguing to watch as ever.


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