Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bill Bailey In Concert - 10th November 2007

When I was buying tickets for us to go and George Michael in concert, I persuaded Susan we should go and see Bill Bailey in concert. Unfortunately, the Glasgow gig was sold out and so we decided to travel to the Newcastle gig and make a weekend of it.

Susan had never heard of him, but I assured her that he was really funny and that she would hopefully enjoy the show. I had seen his Part Troll show on DVD and his appearances on Buzzcocks and QI always make me laugh outloud. So fingers crossed!

We set off on Saturday morning for the three hour drive and arrived in Newcastle where my navigational skills managed to get us lost several times, testing even Susan's patience to the limit before we finally made it to the hotel.

We were staying at the Tulip Inn and very nice it was too. We checked in and after we had asked the receptionist how far it was to the Newcastle Radio Arena, where the gig was tonight, I was surprised to hear her say that there were quite a few people staying there who were going to see him too. A good sign, I thought.

We went to the room and got ready as quickly as we could before heading into the town with a very nice taxi driver who helpfully gave us tips on the best places to go for dinner. We ended up in Chinatown which was absolutely hoaching with football fans who had just been to see the Newcastle derby and were in boisterous mood!

We stayed away from really busy areas that had places like TGI's and similar pubs and after a bit of sussing out ended up in a restaurant called Landmark which was really quiet but they were obviously expecting to be busy as the waiter hummed and hawed before finding a table. We ordered a nice bottle of Chianti and chef's buffet selection follwed by delicious aromatic crispy duck. Fantastic!

Time was getting on and it was getting near showtime so we payed the bill and headed out into the cold, night air. As we walked down the street we realised that we hadn't been charged for the wine. I suppose that there would have been time to go back and pay for it, however that was never going to happen! And off we went, £27 better off than we should have been.

We were at the venue early enough to have a drink before taking our seats which were just to the right of the stage with a cracking view. The place was packed and there was easily 10,000 in the crowd.

Bill took to the stage at 8.00, strolling on to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback. It would have been nice to hear the opening section of the show, however a problem with the soundsystem meant that we couldn't make out a word he was saying and as the rest of the crowd laughed away, our side of the Arena were left getting more and more frustrated.

I was just about to make my way to the front to complain to someone when Bill's voice boomed through the speakers to a huge cheer from all of us. Bill went through his routine switching from stand-up to singing and playing a variety of musical instruments as he went.

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If I'm honest, I would have to say that the show wasn't that funny and the look on Susan's face told me that she thought he wasn't very funny at all and to my amazement she actually fell asleep a couple of times! So during the interval I went to the bar and got us some more alcohol to make up for it.

After the show, we headed into the town for a drink but decided after a couple to return to the hotel where it was a bit more civilised and after a wee nightcap we headed up to bed.

The next morning we were up fairly early and after breakfast we decided to head to the Metro Centre to do some Christmas shopping. Susan dislikes shopping as much as I do however after treating ourselves to some new clothes it didn't seem so bad!

We returned to the hotel to pick up our bag and then headed for home. All in all a pretty good weekend, well except from Susan thinking that the show was a bit pants.