The plan for today was to take a scenic route to Bristol, passing Stone Henge (making it a very scenic route, having to go right out of our way to see Stone Henge) get to Bristol, have a look around the city and grab some dinner before heading to the show. Well due to sleeping in a little too long, and not leaving the house until it was a bit too late, we pretty much had to head straight to Bristol down the M4, possibly one of the most boring roads I have had the misfortune to be driven down.
After trying to navigate within Bristol’s confusing one way system, we finally found a suitable car park. Many abusive words were hurled at our less than adequate sat-nav that day. Not having much time to look around the town now we were looking for a suitable restaurant in which to feast.
But wait. What’s that? My spidey senses are tingling. That must mean one thing. THERE IS A GAMES WORKSHOP NEARBY! True to form, my onboard radar had picked up the whereabouts of a GW in Bristol, funnily enough about 200 yards to the right of the exit of the car park. You see I have this ability, no matter where I go, to sniff out a GW. Even when I was in Syracuse, New York or Toronto I managed it, despite them tucking the stores in a forgotten corner of a mall, I found them. Now if only I had the same ability to find things that result in me making money rather than losing it, like truffles for instance.
So we went to GW. I asked the staff for helpful advice on building a new ogre army. The manager was very helpful, one of the normal shop assistants not so much. In fact I think I knew more than he did, which is saying something. Money exchanged hands (not mine for once) and I had gained a Ogre Butcher and two boxes of Gnoblars as a rather excellent birthday present from Amy. With models purchased we headed to Coal, a grill restaurant, then back to the car to attempt to find Ashton Gate, Bristol City’s football ground and the venue for this evening’s mirth.
If only it were as simple as that. Yet again our sat-nav did us proud and took us right out of Bristol and on a dual carriage way to the next town! What. The. Flip. More filthy words were blasted at this electronic imbecile as well as promise’s to smash the bloody thing to oblivion when we have a replacement. We recalculated the destination and headed off, the estimated time of arrival being 8pm, roughly the time the show should be starting. Luckily for us we find Ashton Gate, and the parking marshals tell us there is ONE PARKING SPACE LEFT! The sun is truly shining on me today, both metaphorically and literally, which is good as this is an open air gig.
This show is quite a departure to the intimate evening with Eleanor from last night. Whereas on Friday we were sat in a large purple cow-shaped tent with maybe a crowd of 200 at most, tonight’s show takes up at very least half the football pitch as well as some of the stadium seating around the edge. The stage is like that of large rock concert scale, with a huge screen projects Bill’s image to those nearer the back. Luckily when I booked the tickets I managed to get seats 11 rows from the front and quite near the middle. Excellent.
Before we even get to our seats, the Spinal Tap-esque “getting lost on the way to the stage” film is finishing and the Bearded Master of Whimsy is on. It’s the third time I’ve seen Bill Bailey live but he never fails to impress. He has such a laid back and affable style to his shows you can’t help but like him. Some of the subjects on topic for the night are James Blunt being awful, Simon Cowell and his determination to own the world, acronyms for societies for/against the moving of Bristol City Football ground, learning the words to La Bamba, the secret worlds inside supermarket self-service check-outs and talking about barnacle’s penises in Scotland.
The show whizzes past, and after the interval his straight back on track. In the second half we get a bit more a musical show. He moves from one hilarious song to another without giving us the chance to catch our breath. He starts with a French Techno version of Gary Numan’s cars utilising squeaker air horns, then is joined on stage by another comedy favourite of mine, Kevin Eldon to perform a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the style of Kraftwerk, all in German with a Last Christmas by Wham middle eight. After this we have more German versions of Wurzel’s classics in a folk style and an Acid-House “I’ve got a brand new combine harvester”. Hearing familiar songs sung in German but with a west country accent is not something you experience every day. And the west country doesn’t finish there either with a version of White Lines (Don’t do it) like you’ve never heard it before. Finishing the show is a rendition of Bill’s “Midnight in Parliament Square” that requires audience participation. Hearing a football stadium full of people meowing and pretending to be tramps is a highlight for the evening.
It was a great night and as with every Bill Bailey gig I left feeling totally uplifted and very cheerful. A brilliant end to two nights of superb comedy! Turning 29 has a lot to live up to!