Bill Bailey rocks the folk out of Sonisphere 2011
Tim Clark13 July 2011
Making sweet music at Knebworth has become a British tradition, but never has the BBC theme been given such a dramatic rendition, as Michael Loveless finds out when he heads to Sonisphere to see Bill Bailey, read on...
There is usually a clear line between music and comedy acts at festivals, one is blaring out the guitar riffs while the other is swearing back at them, however with Bill Bailey you feel like the tables have been turned.
Before his headlining appearance Bailey had sent out a cheeky message to old school big boys Metallica, that should anything happen to them before the show, he would be ready to step in.
He demonstrated just what he meant at Sonisphere on Sunday night as his band embarked on Enter the Sandman, to which Bailey provided the solo by shredding his homemade car horn parade.
There's no doubt that Bailey was one of the big draws at the festival, which brought the 'Big Four', Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, together to share a bill for the first time in UK festival history.
Saturday provided a more family-friendly flavour before Sunday's costume capers/metal favourites Slipknot took the headline slot. But Bill Bailey was hot on everyone's lips from the moment the first cymbal crashed and the first devil horn was raised.
Bailey's much awaited set began with the tone-setting warm up, ’Oi, Amstel, I ain't gonna be your bitch’, sparking further intrigue into his famous departure from Never mind The Buzzcocks. And with it, the savage sunshine turned to a heavy downpour.
Next up was an adaption of his popular ‘I bleed on your Panini’ EMO song, entitled ‘I bleed on your Fageena’. Nice. A classically trained musician though, Bill Bailey was keen to flex his muscles and rip out the car horn parade he previewed in his video. Suitably, a cover of Gary Numan’s 'Cars' would do it, in French, as a tribute to Megadeth.
This was followed by 'I love news', with a homage to what has to be the UK's most listened to 10-second mash-up, the BBC News intro. Annie Mac must be kicking herself that she didn't think of that one while sharing a croissant with Huw Edwards in the Beeb canteen.
Next ‘The Wurzels’ were blended with Eurotrash with a generous sprinkling of piercing Euro beats and a west country Lady Gaga with guest vocals from Chairman 'Mao' overdubbing ‘My'. Bailey broadened his accent accordingly, in which the metal revellers took delight.
He then gave a beautiful rendition of Scarborough Fair with a bouzouki before launching into a heavy interpretation through the ears of German rockers Rammstein. It was surprising how well the German lyrics were picked up (rubbish translation below if you want to give it a go), which led into Hokey Cokey, with Bailey clearly showing too much interest in Rammstein.
All the more impressive was that as the rush for the main headliner started, with the rain still lashing down as if straight from heavy metal hell, the crowd stuck with him until the end, allowing a delighted Bill to congratulate everyone on what he claimed must have been "
the biggest comedy crowd ever, ever, ever". I’m not sure what McIntyre would say about that.
Scarborough Fair Rammstein-style
Gehst du nach Scarborough Fair?
Petersilie, Salbei, Rosmarin und Thymian,
Erinnere dich an mich an einen, der dort lebt,
Er (sie) war einmal eine wahre Liebe von mir.
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