Latitude: Bill Bailey’s uplifting headline act could have filled the main stage

Comedian Bill Bailey

Comedian Bill Bailey - Credit: Archant

Bill Bailey’s headline performance was the perfect cure for the post-Brexit glum, writes Matt Reason.

You know an act is popular when laid-back Latitude comedy fans are forced to stand in the Comedy tent.

Thousands of people flocked away from the main stage, away from the small stages and out of their tents into the Comedy arena all for Bill Bailey’s bill-topping show on Sunday.

And it sure was worth it for all those within hearing distance. The half music half stand-up routine centred around one major theme; happiness.

Opening with the obligatory Brexit jokes, Bailey’s off-beat approach and bizarre segues proved the perfect remedy for those glum vote Remainers and the confused or angry Vote Leavers.


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The polished performance, complete with a re-write of Happy Birthday in a minor key (to accurately reflect the feelings of most of those who realise they are getting older and older every year!) had the tent roaring with laughter.

His act seemed casual and conversational, likely disguising the weeks of effort put in to writing and rehearsing his routine. Bailey did not miss a beat, with every gag, ditty and tale landing with the audience.

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Having seen him five years ago live on the main stage at Knebworth park for Sonisphere, it is clear to me his musical comedy would have been far more at home on the Obelisk Stage, rather than squeezed into the Comedy tent.

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