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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 31 December 2008
As a big fan of Bill Bailey's surreal, post-modern, wandering, seemingly confused yet utterly hilarious, combination of stand-up and music I was very disappointed to sit down with the whole family and watch this after Christmas.

I don't know whether it's the venue (Wembley), the slightly different format (more animation and pre-prepared graphics), or just Bill's whimsical indulgence that results in a show which doesn't reach the laugh-out-loud highs of "Part Troll" or "Bewilderness".

Even the musical interludes seem strained, another attack on Bush with none of the originality of "Drum and Bush" seen in "Part Troll", an interpretation of Duelling Banjo's with a Hindi band (muscially enjoyable but not funny in the slightest), in fact the only really enjoyable musical performance was the song at the end about 'betrayal' which was first heard in "Part Troll", and is merely enjoyable here!

So, a rare drop in form from Bill Bailey, don't buy this if you haven't seen any of Bill Bailey before or you'll never watch him again! but if you have seen any of his other shows there's very little here to recommend . . . so go out and buy another copy of "Part Troll" to let Bill know you still love him!
Bill Bailey Live - Part Troll [1997]
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on 9 January 2009
There is no doubt that Bill Bailey is a unique talent. Disappointingly this show held at Wembley does not show him at his best.

Personally I dislike large arenas and refuse to go to any venue unless I am close enough to the stage to see the performer's eyes. This is especially important for comedy where crowd participation and interaction are fundamental to a good show. Why people flock to see the likes of Lee Evans at huge arenas is beyond me. If you can only watch the performer on the big screen why bother to go and see them live at all. You might as well wait for the DVD release!

Frank Skinner recently wrote that he decided on his last tour to avoid huge venues (even though he has the fanbase to do so) because they made him feel dislocated from his audience. I think a lot of the big names in comedy should learn from this approach and think of the fans before their pockets.

Anyway back to the review, Bill Bailey appears to view this performance as a fitting climax to his career. Unfortunately the location appears to have gone to his head and instead of delighting his audience with the quirky, unusual comedy for which he is renowned, we get light shows galore, special effects, recycled material and even Bill Bailey: the "rock god". At an hour and a half the show feels very long (not helped by some fairly weak material) and parts of the show definitely outstay their welcome (the Hindi Creep.. why?).

I would only recommend this to diehard fans who have everything else he has done and are desperate for more. Newbies should try Bewilderness first.
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on 28 November 2008
So, as a big fan of Bill Bailey in whatever he chooses to do (Buzzcocks, Black Books and his previous stand up gigs) I found this to be extremely hollow, and crucially not very funny.

Example, I'm all for a musical number in a Bill Bailey gig, as long as it's a funny musical number (and no, wheeling out a song from another gig does not count).

Too much time spent on the video screens behind Bill rather than Bill himself. And the viedo screen stuff wasn't even that funny either. From the extras on this DVD it seems like the smaller gigs from the same tour were better, but for me the main Wembley gig is frankly, boring.
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Sorry Bill, I love your stuff usually but this was almost entirely phoned-in. It struck me as what an inferior Bill Bailey tribute comedian might do - it's all very much in the right *style*, but the content doesn't come up to scratch.

A huge shame, but definitely check out some of his other stuff.
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on 31 December 2008
I hate to be so negative about a DVD from one of my favourite comedians. However, having seen BB live on the Tinselworm tour and now having seen this DVD, I'm really disappointed.

It was like he got so excited about the fact that he was playing arenas, and could have a huge stage with PowerPoint presentations and everything, that he kind of had no time or inclination to see if they were funny. Sadly, they weren't.

Bill: please stick to playing theatres. The shows are better when it's just you, perhaps no more than a couple of thousand in the audience, and some musical instruments.
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on 25 January 2009
I hoped this would better the hilarious Part Troll. Tinselworm is very unfunny, and a rehash of Bailey's earlier work. I agree that there was too much focus on the screens, and far too little original comic stand-up.
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on 6 December 2009
I was at Wembley live for Bill's first night there, and I have to say his performance was fantastic, I was cracking up the whole night. At the time the Wembley Arena staff were selling a live recording DVD of the event after the end of the show, and how I wish I had bought that instead of waiting for this DVD...

There are a lot of great jokes and observations missed out, others out of order giving the DVD a disjointed feel, and the feeling that the footage was cobbled together from other performances as well as some jokes, and their reactions, I either didn't remember or remembered differently.

So in summation my problem isn't with Bill's performance or his material, but the way the DVD was put together. Why it didn't just show the performance as it was given, I shall never know...
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on 27 November 2010
I should first point out that I saw this tour of exact material in Dublin's Olympia Theater and it was FANTASTIC, I honestly thought some people would die laughing.

The problem falls in the comparison to the O2 in London and the massive difference in crowd size, and right from the get-go, it seems Bill struggles to preform under such a massive crowd.
Couple this with the stage being far too large for his needs and the result is simply a comedian who struggles with his surroundings and ultimately is not at all funny ON THIS NIGHT.
If this had been recorded in a smaller venue I am sure the result would be a fantastic DVD (the same jokes were hilarious in a much smaller venue on a different night, here they are stale and absolutely unfunny.
I would be very wary about buying another Bill Bailey DVD...but would jump at the chance to see him live again.
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on 24 November 2008
As some others have said, this show relied too much on technology and spectacle rather than good material. As a result it lacks the usual energy and top-notch jokes that I've come to expect from Bill.
The overwhelming feeling I got from the whole DVD was that he though "I get to play Wembley, I'm gonna be a rock-star for the night". That's most obvious in the encore performances of the banjo duel from The Deliverance and Radiohead's Creep. He performed them with an Indian band and that was pretty much the only comedic element to the songs, so it felt like pure self-indulgence.

I hope that for his next tour Bill puts more effort into his material rather than gimmicky videos and filler. It would be a shame and a waste if Part Troll was his peak.
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on 26 November 2008
I am a huge Bill Bailey fan, having watched his old BBC show 'Is It Bill Bailey' and all 3 previous stand-up DVDs. Having waited 2 years in between releases, the anticipation on release for this title has been unbearable at times.

Having finally got hold of a copy, I was disappointed. Whereas previous Bill concerts have been more about the comedy with amusing songs at various intervals, this was more about the pyrotechics (admittedly impressive) and the music. Don't get me wrong, Bill is a fabulously talented musician, but this seemed to be a self-indulgent set rather than a genuinely funny routine.

I can't remember laughing out loud once, the musical interludes were ok at best (apart from the Emo song which was good), and there wasn't any cohesion or consistency to the whole concert, I got the impression it was muddled and served as a platform for Bill to show off to the masses.

All in all, a bit disappointing, here's hoping for better next time.
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