23 Nov 2008

Post 85: seeing Bill Bailey

Another drab week followed by one jf the best weekends I've had since my stroke, without further ado I better get into why, it will not be a surprise to many that the theme of this weekends brilliance was comedy. On friday evening I went to see observational comedian Michael Macintyre at the Apollo in Hammersmith. The king of observational comedy is Peter Kay but as I'm a bit middle class I've always found it a little tricky to relate to some of Peter Kays 'Bolton' 'working class' observations as I've never been close to having an 'anty Sandra (Not my real anty) a dinnerlady with pink hur'. Don't get me wrong,Peter Kay is genius and hysterically funny. Michael Macintyre is unashamedly Middle Class. The Apollo is also a great venue and even though the disabled area is at the back of the stalls the view is great. Now friday almost didn't happen because bad luck meant that both my friends who had volunteered to drive couldn't make it so luckily my one remaining housemate stepped in and despite the traffic Macintyre had only been on for ten minutes when we got there. Luckily our seats were not located anywhere near the front or somewhere you're at the comedians mercy (although I figure the wheelchair lets me off the hook but you never know). I have seen late comers verbally savaged before! Macintyre seems far too nice for that. He was very good and a few of his observations particularly hit home, for example a lot of blokes like me have what he described as a 'man draw' in the attic full of all the stuff that you really ought to throw out because you're bound to never have a use for them ever again. Things like old mobile phones, foreign coins (usually things that are no longer legal tender in their respective countries, French Francs, Pesetas, Drachmas, Gilders etc...) Triple A batteries of indeterminate age and life,instruction manuals for electrical equipment that has vanished/ is long since obsolete. I must confess to having several of these draws, though not in the attic, in my old flat they were in oft used areas like my bedroom or sitting room. What was their point? No obvious one, instead they used to just sit there in case (predicted Macintyre) you received a shadowy phonecall saying you had to meet some mystery person, furnish them with exactly 39 Drachmas and 13 AAA batteries and then make a call from a Nokia 3210 to move on to the next stage. Friday night taught me that friday evening traffic is not to be messed with and that Sat Navs give nonsensical commands on Hammersmith broadway or for that matter anywhere where you really need help. The Software in them may be more multi-dimensional than the human brain but their capacity to get confused is similar.
In short it was a fun evening. Thank goodness I found a last minute driver! The real highlight of the weekend for me was on saturday. Treating a bunch of my friends to see one of my heroes, Bill Bailey, perform his latest comedy/musical masterpiece, randomly titled T'inselworm' (available in all good DVD shops!I've already got my copy! And as expected it's GENIUS) At one point I was laughing so hard during the live show I had to physically stop myself when I got scared that I might have another stroke when Bill was explaining and demonstrating that in jazz you could get away with playing any chord you like rendering jazz 'sh*t really', On a seperate note I like the way he is opposed to certain popstars who 'fill the charts with evil', the way he puts it is 'there's more evil in the charts than an al quaida suggestion box!' his two favourite targets are Chris de Burgh and James Blunt. I'm the same about Phil Collins and Mick Hucknal, how any of them got to be popular music stars is a damning indictment on this country. My favourite put-down of de Burgh by Bailey happened on Never Mind the Buzzcocks' when he called De Burgh 'the mono browed nanny shagging toss-monger who has inflicted his sentimental mewlings onto a reluctant nation' and of Blunt he said in Tinselworm that he was driving with his four year old son in the back of the car when a James Blunt song came on the radio. His son said to him 'Daddy could you turn this off, it's spoiling my brain' astute 4 year old! Seeing and hearing the laughter the whole show generated amongst my friends reminded me of normal life again and made me feel normal again. A feeling worth every penny of the price of the tickets and every ounce of the massive investment in energy I now have to put into going to events like these but it's so worth it. The highlight was yet to come because Tash had talked to one of the staff and it turned out that After the show, Bill was going to come and say hi to us by virtue of the fact it would mean a lot to me. He duly did and it made my month. It was like a vicar meeting Jesus! Weird coincidence was that his former tour manager had had a stroke and he had visited him in the same unit I'd been in in Putney hospital, I'd actually gone to see this guy (Bobby) to pick his brain about recommendations for how to cope with life when leaving hospital. How weird that I should end up talking about Bobby to virtual comedy Messiah Bill Bailey, Like most of his comedy. Surreal


Mernie said...

How cool you got to meet him! Sounds like a really good night xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for Saturday night, it was great and so nice to see you having such a great time. :)

Dom P said...

It was a great night and pretty special to meet the great man. It was awesome to be able to treat people, that's what makes me feel normal again!

Imogen said...

Sounds like Michael McIntyre was pretty good too!! We have a number of those drawers... Look forward to seeing you next week.



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