For me, Bill Bailey's breakthrough DVD Part Troll still remains the benchmark for not only his own work, but all standup comedy. Brilliantly funny though he is, I've never felt like he matched that consistency of quality in Tinselworm or Guide To The Orchestra, but I'm thrilled to say that Dandelion Mind is the one I've been waiting for. From start to finish Bill looks relaxed and effortlessly meanders through a variety of comedy styles: observational, musical, anecdotal, character-driven, as well as downright obscure, all superbly worded and delivered.
Needless to stay, the topics covered by Bill are wide-ranging and if you've seen Bill Bailey before, you'll know what to expect. What's different for me about this DVD is the consistency, there were honestly no points where I stopped laughing, it's 99% comic gold. One lovely touch at the end is an encore performance of his classic song Midnight In Parliament Square which he played to the few hundred members of the crowd who had stayed in their seats just in case he came on for one more encore. In an arena of mostly empty seats by this stage, he salutes "the hardcore fans" who had waited around with an oldie.
The extras include at 50-odd minute tour diary of Bill playing tiny venues in remote locations such as the Shetlands and Orkneys, where I was surprised to find that his offstage voice is considerably posher and softer than I expected! It's a great bonus feature though, you get to know him a bit, following him on rambles and birdwatching excursions you get to see the non-performer side of him and it's actually quite interesting.
This is an instant classic to me, I actually can't believe how anyone could love Part Troll and not Dandelion Mind. It's a brilliant standup show, I highly recommend it! It's wonderfully performed and if you don't like this DVD then you probably just don't like Bill Bailey.