Bill Bailey takes Limboland on tour – 'I don’t think I’ll ever retire'
Everyone’s favourite hippie materialist hits the road (minus his original mode of transport) with another mashed-up music-based comedy extravaganza
A minor mishap such as having the tour bus (well, van) nicked from outside his venue (the Liverpool Philharmonic) isn’t going to put the likes of Bill Bailey off his stride. Instead, he now has an extra bit of material to shove into his new show which he will be touring across the land until next summer. Here’s some chat he gave us prior to Busgate (well, Vangate).
So, what’s the main theme to Limboland?
It’s about not living up to our own expectations. We have a vaulted idea of what we imagined we’d achieve and then we realise the reality is somewhat different. The show explores the gap between the two.
Can you give us a specific flavour from the show?
The idea of English-ness now has a stigma attached to it. I want to say, ‘no, I’m proud of my English-ness’. We have good qualities that get lost in the mix of nationalism.
Is there a particular gig from your early career that you recall?
I always remember that after I was nominated for the Perrier Award in 1996, I was asked to do a show at a major theatre in London. It was the first time I’d done such a big show. Just before I went on stage, I remember thinking, ‘there is no going back, you can’t stop it now’. It’s like stepping off a diving board. But it’s a tremendous thrill that I still get at every gig.
You rarely plump for the lowest common denominator and clearly like your crowd to have a brain in their collective skull?
If you’re a half-decent comedian, you should be able to get laughs every time, but if at the same time you can slip in a bit of something else – a historical appraisal of how different musical modes reflect different cultures, say – as well as keeping it funny, then audiences react very favourably. The first priority is to make them laugh, but the second priority is to make them think.
All your rabid followers hope you respond to this in the negative, but any plans to pack in the musical-comedy thing one day?
I don’t think I’ll ever retire. As long as I can still stand up and play instruments, I’ll carry on.
Bill Bailey: Limboland is on tour until Saturday 2 July.