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Bill Bailey - Qualmpeddler

Joanna Ing finds Bill Bailey on form and very funny on his Qualmpeddler tour.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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The Lowry, Salford

It is impossible to watch Bill Bailey and not find him funny. Indeed in the first few minutes of the show he managed to do absolutely nothing and have people in fits of laughter.

Bill Bailey
© The Lowry

The theme of his show Qualmpeddler is essentially unease about the modern world. It's a broad topic, which covers most of the common fodder of comedians, such as the government and reality TV stars. In any other hands these topics can get tiresome, but Bill Bailey gets away with it because let's face it you would want to hear his take on what he had for breakfast.

Having shed himself of humming Britney Spear's "Toxic" to a "gormless indie halfwit" he is determined to air his views on David Cameron, the growing takeover of text speak and the idiocies of our so-called celebrities, but in the most part he does so in a very singular way.

Bailey is famous for his use of music in his comedy and the Qualmpedler is no exception. He rejects anything that could be associated with Never Mind the Buzzcocks, instead treating us to a dub-step version of the Downton Abbey theme tune.

The best part of Bailey's show is when his act goes slightly off script and involves the audience. At one point he decided to get the whole audience to say ‘ha ha ha' in a sarcastic way and then do just one clap, the effect was hilarious mainly because Bailey himself ended up doubled up on stage laughing at the ‘monster' he had created.

He treats the audience almost affectionately, appearing to get genuine joy from the shouted out responses to his questions. The comedian ends the show with several finales and the applause continues long after he has left the stage. There is no risk of a soulless LOL with Bailey the laughter is completely real.

- Joanna Ing


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