Mark Wareham on comedy

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The Independent Culture
Cut your way through the forests of stand-ups that proliferate comedy country, and, deep within, lurking in his dank and druggy cavern, lies the bearded wonder that is Bill Bailey (below).

Appearance: early Seventies Bob Harris hairdo, with a touch of the Roy Woods.

Delivery: low-key, gruff Tommy Cooper.

Material: hallucinogenic, Cockney, musical, hallucinogenic Cockney musicals.

Mind: drug-fuelled, addled.

Just back from Australia, the ex-Rubber Bishop plays a one-off night at the Brighton Festival this Monday. Mainly taken from his Cosmic Jam experience - first aired at last year's Edinburgh Festival - the show that was too good for a Perrier nomination is a must-see.

A self-confessed "nutter magnet", Bailey will introduce you to his Glastonbury Cupboard, featuring the useless rubbish you buy when you're off your face at festivals - a stash of crap pots and "a lovely Colombian hunting pouch" - before launching into the best shaggy-dog, "three blokes went into a pub" joke you've never heard.

But the central body of his comic oeuvre focuses on the musical, and more particularly, his discovery of a new genre, classical Cockney music, in which he illustrates those composers who have "borrowed" from the Cockney canon, proving that Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor is the only piece in the entire classical repertoire to feature the "'Ave a Banana", and that Bach's Prologue No 21 includes a "Triple Pie 'n' Mash" - "He's a sly old fox, JSB, but he can't fool me."

Topped off with an appearance from the shockingly bad Stan Ellis Experiment (imagine your worst-nightmare, prog-rock supergroup - say a Yes, Rush and Barclay James Harvest combo), Bailey turns in a masterful rock horror show. Keep taking the pills, Bill.

The Concorde, Madeira Drive, Brighton (01273 606460) 8pm Mon 20 May, pounds 6