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I really wanted to be a rock star, and it does feel like that when I'm on stage; Comedian and musician Bill Bailey will put a death metal twist on a nursery rhyme and reveal the song he's written for Adele during his show in Birmingham. Roz Laws reports.

Byline: Roz Laws

ILL BAILEY is half comedian, half rock Y star - at least in his head.

BThere are a lot of witty storytelling in his shows but he's also an accomplished musician, so expect lots of songs too.

He'll be treating audiences at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena to a song he's written for Adele and applying death metal to everything from Abba to The Wheels on the Bus.

The show is called Limboland - referring to an uncertain state rather than dancing under a low bar - and was hailed as "one of Bailey's best shows for years" when he played the West End.

What can we expect from the show, Bill? "There will be stories, jokes and songs. This show is more personal than shows in the past and more about family life. For example, I talk about a disastrous family trip we took to Norway to see the Northern Lights."

Tell us more about the songs.

"I've written a song for Adele called You Y Left Me But I'm Not Going To Go On About It.

Though it's a bit unfair to single Adele out, as the very essence of pop music is about unrequited love or love gone wrong.

"One of the fun things I do is ask for suggestions from the audience for songs I sing in a death metal style.

"We've had everything from Baa Baa Black Sheep to Moon River and every single one works. So think of something good, Birmingham!

"Of course Birmingham is the motherland of metal, with one ring to rule them all - the Bullring. I am a genuine fan of the genre and have seen Black Sabbath a few times."

Some of the show is about turning 50 - how was that? "Awful. It prompted one of the songs in the show, a version of Happy Birthday sung in a decidedly downbeat style like a 1930s Berlin cabaret.

"I was gripped with a sense of existential unease when I turned 50.

"I was fine with 40, that was a hedonistic night out - 40 rocks!

"But the number 50 looks so serious. You Y start to appear in later demographic categories when you fill out surveys. Fifty and over, we don't care what you think!

"It was certainly time to pause for thought. It's a good vantage point to look both backwards and forwards. "It prompted a party but then I thought I want to do more than this, so I organised a walk for friends and family.

"We walked 87 miles over five days, the length of the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road from AveA bury through the Chilterns.

"It was brilliant and now I want to make a regular thing of it."

One of your early gigs was at Birmingham's Glee Club where you fell off the stage. Do you prefer that kind of venue or arenas? "Playing arenas is undeniably exciting. A lot of people in one place for one event generates a buzz and I like that element of it.

"Comedy is better served by fewer people and a more intimate environment, and I wouldn't just want to play arenas. This tour is a mix of venues.

"But the fact the show is half music helps. "Growing up, I really wanted to be a rock star, and it does feel like that when I'm on stage. I'm going to have a Gibson SG electric guitar and play AC/DC with my foot on a monitor."

Can we expect some politics in the show? "There's always a sprinkling of politics and that changes as the tour goes on. I will be talking about the EU referendum.

"I've always been pro-Europe, it's where we should be. I'll weigh up the evidence and I can see the argument from both sides.

"We haven't really had a proper debate about it yet, just posturing. There's a lot of misty-eyed sentimentality about brave Albion standing alone."

Are you increasing security after your tour bus was stolen last year? "Yes, w Y e will put a big chain round the venue and padlock the van to it.

"It was a shock at the time but it worked out OK because the thief was caught and we got the van back.

"Social media was very useful, we got a lot of support on Facebook with people looking out for the van.

"The thief confessed to this and a number of other crimes and was sent to prison. He was a serial offender so in some small way we've helped get him off the streets."

Bill Bailey's Limboland plays Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry on May 4-5 and Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on June 3.

' One of the fun things I do is ask for suggestions from the audience for songs I sing in a death metal style... We've had everything from Baa Baa Black Sheep to Moon River '


There will be stories, jokes and songs when Bill Bailey brings his Limbo-land show to Birmingham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 10, 2016
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