My blog may have been languishing but I have been busy. In between general business I’ve seen two particularly excellent shows recently. One was Bill Bailey’s Dandelion Mind Tour live last night: an early Christmas present.
Bailey’s comedy manages to be surreally daft, mesmerising and intellectual, all at the same time. There aren’t many who can do that. Difficult to pick favourite moments – I was almost in tears laughing at so many bits, from a German heavy metal rendition of Are You Going to Scarborough Fair to his take on Gary Numan’s Cars. His final poem and video brought together all the throw-away lines from throughout the show – pffft! and they’re gone. I almost added a freebie newspaper to my shopping at the supermarket automated checkout today just so I could hear it say, “Unexpected item in bagging area.”
Dandelion Minds is about doubt – at least, I think that’s what Bill said – which ties in with the other show that flabbered my ghast last week at Hallowe’en: Andy Hamilton’s Search For Satan. As this goes to blog, it’s still available on iPlayer (HERE until 9 Nov): brilliant. Hamilton has been dissecting British life and daftness for decades – I first fell for his humour in Drop the Dead Donkey. Old Harry’s Game (in which he plays Satan, hence the TV special) is one of my favourite radio comedy shows, and his sitcom, Outnumbered, is one of the few things we watch as a family, even if youngest isn’t supposed to stay up that late.
In Search For Satan Hamilton lightly – but not superficially – examines the devil’s presence in religions (worldwide as well as Britain), history and culture. Whilst being friendly, polite and expressing enthusiastic curiosity, Hamilton’s deceptively gentle questions draw sharp attention to the conundrums of good and evil; an omniscient deity who yet allows suffering.