Comedy Gig of the Week: Bill Bailey, Leicester Square Theatre, London WC2


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The Independent Culture

Whisper it, but Bill Bailey's last solo outing, Dandelion Mind, was just a trifle disappointing – his topics and through-lines just a little too free-range, even for a comedian who has built his reputation on marvellous cerebral meanderings.

Context is everything, though; an off-key Bailey still manages to pack enough moments of lyrical and comic invention to make the average stand-up quiver, and then there's the glorious playfulness of his musical pastiches, which last time out included a joyous "Hallelujah" in the style of Kraftwerk and a genius rendition of Gary Numan's "Cars" played on a bank of old hooters and horns. Obviously.

So all told, there's little doubt that Bailey's new show will still be a highlight of the comedy year – although Qualmpeddler finds the comedian wracked with unease and apprehension about the modern world and his relationship to it, a discomfort he aims to salve, naturally, through "religious dubstep, folk bouzouki... and a dub version of Downton Abbey".

(0844 873 3433; leicester Thur