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Bill Bailey - Cosmic Jam / Bewilderness (DVD)

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    8 Reviews
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      14.01.2010 21:53
      Very helpful



      A decent DVD but a disappointment alongside other comedians - Omad Djalili is a better bet!

      I really wanted to like this DVD. I've watched it numerous times, and am a big fan of Bill Bailey on panel shows. He differs greatly from a lot of other comedians, and often goes off on weird and wonderful tangents. However, as a scripted comedian, I do not highly rate him. Indeed, Black Books was completely lost on me, and I did not relate to the humour at all.

      During the DVD, his insistence on playing about with a variety of musical instruments detracts from the comedy, and somewhat spoils it for me. Just as Bailey gets into his stride, he pauses to play some bizaare ditty on the keyboard. In doing this, he loses the momentum that other comedians build up as they get bigger and bigger laughs from each jokes, thereby getting laughs for something not especially funny as the audience is still tittering from before.

      That said, it's still worth a watch, and it does have it's moments. Indeed, if you see it in a bargain bin for £3.99, then by all means go ahead! Indeed, I noted other reviews on this DVD are very positive, so perhaps its just my sense of humour that's at fault! Maybe I've bought the DVD with the wrong expectations. I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, my favourites including Lee Mack and Jack Dee, who are nothing like Bailey. I suppose Bailey's comedy verges on the sillier end of the spectrum - though I am not saying this in a condescending tone.

      If you're looking for a spectacularly funny DVD that verges on the silly, I would sooner recommend the hilarious Omad Djalili. His recent offering is fabulous, and longer than most stand-up DVDs.


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      20.05.2009 00:10
      Very helpful



      Bill Bailey DVD

      I was a massive fan of spaced, a comedy series starring Bill Bailey and purchased this DVD on the back of that and his appearances on Never mind the Buzzcocks. I have to admit, I am very glad that I did give Bill a try because I have since watched many of his shows and he consistently makes me laugh out loud. I don't generally find "comedy" funny but Bill Bailey has that thing about him, I guess he's a bit like Eddies Izzard in way.
      Bill Bailey has also starred in Saving Grace, was the voice of the whale in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Black Books and Hot Fuzz. He's from the West Country like me, (Bath in Somerset to be exact), which means he has that awesome West Country accent that makes me feel at home. Wikipedia has quite an interesting page on Mr Bailey if you fancy learning more about him.
      Filmed in 2001 in Sunny Swansea at the Grand theatre Bill Bailey-Bewilderness is an hour and a half, (nowhere near long enough), of side splitting entertainment. Bills jokes are often topical or political and still more are just surreal and bizarre and the whole show is punctuated with Bill's crazy but incredibly talented musical performances and a healthy dose of audience participation.
      Bill Bailey plays a variety of instruments including guitars, a kazoo, (once confiscated by customs), and a keyboard. To say he "plays" the keyboard isn't really accurate; he utilises and manipulates it to deliver some of the funniest tunes ever! Bill really gives the impression that he could play anything at all, even a dishwasher if he put his mind to it!
      Some of the jokes/songs are a bit risqué and if you are easily offended then you might find yourself cringing at times. Others will just laugh harder.
      The extra features on this DVD are great and include an incredibly amusing and bizarrely addictive shed game that you play with your DVD remote, as well as an exclusive interview with Bill Bailey and the weirdest biography ever!
      If you liked Spaced or any of the other stuff he's been in, (well except for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy because that just doesn't count), or you like stand-up in general then give Bill a go.
      Play.com has this DVD for £16.99 including postage but strangely it is not available on Amazon.


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        21.01.2009 13:55
        1 Comment



        Two brilliant examples of Bill Bailey at his best.

        Another stand up from the brilliant and incredibly funny Mr Bill Bailey - but wait, this isn't one stand up but two! How fantastic is that, plus you can play the shed game!

        On this dvd are two of his stand up shows: Bewilderness and Cosmic Jam. Cosmic Jam was done when Bill was quite a bit younger and Bewilderness is a more recent one, although, it's hard to decide which is funnier!

        Bill is at his usual level of brilliance in both shows, mixing his musical genius with his unique take on the world to take you on a very surrealist journey. If you watch these you will notice the odd joke appearing in both shows, but these are minimal and about 98% of the shows are original. Bill looks and comes across as a ranting, drug-fuelled hippy, but underneat you can really see the intelligence he possesses. His humour is very off the wall, but you'll find that the things he says will stick in your head and make you chuckle whenever you think of them.

        Bill Bailey is a bit of an aquired taste as not everyone gets his humour, but if you like him you must get this dvd, sit back, and laugh your socks off again and again!


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          04.12.2008 19:21
          Very helpful



          well worth buying

          Not just one live show by Bill Bailey, but two. Despite Cosmic Jam being the main one advertised, as it was Bill's first DVD/Video, I honestly much prefer Bewilderness and to this day I still think it was his best show. With it having been filmed in Swansea, and being Welsh myself, Bill does make several jokes about the Welsh but he does it in a fun and completely non-offensive way. Never the less, Cosmic Jam has its excellence as the unique Bill Bailey entertains thousands. His use of comedy and music combined has earnt the love of millions throughout the world. Cosmic Jam and Bewilderness both show perfect if not the best examples of his genious.
          I have long been a Bill Bailey fan ever since I saw an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks many years ago. I personally prefer this DVD to his 2004 tour "Part Troll", although I can't say the same about Tinselworm as I haven't seen it, but I reckon it'll be difficult for it to match up to the fantastic content of this DVD, especially Bewilderness.


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          25.09.2008 19:47
          Very helpful



          One of the best british stand-ups!

          Bill Bailey is one of the funniest British comedians ever! He's not as popular as, say, Peter Kay or Steve Coogan but I know which one I'd rather watch. He is known for appearances on TV shows like Have I Got News for You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, and Black Books as well as his stand up routines. This DVD showcases two of his stand up gigs, Cosmic Jam and Bewilderness.

          Cosmic Jam was Bill Bailey's first show back in 1996. He is a natural performer, and sometimes goes off on the most random tangents (weasels for one example), he can seemingly talk about anything at all and make it sound interesting. Then there's Bewilderness made more recently in Wales in 2001 where he muses on the subjects of Owls and Stephen Hawking to name a few. He also combines his comedy with songs, from genres as far and wide as classic rock, rave and DrumN'Bass. The Axis of Evil springs to mind as one of his original works. He also incorporates music into a bit that he's doing e.g. the sound Ambulances make.

          No features to speak of, but it's a minor point really. He is a very likeable guy and fascinating to watch and this should be a must see for anyone into alternative stand up. All too much of the banal mediocre American stand up has transferred over here, but it's great to see people like Bill Bailey doing things their own way.


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            19.08.2008 20:09
            1 Comment



            Great buy for first time watchers

            The first Dvd from Bill Bailey in which we are treated to awesome weirdness from the surreal musical maestro. Bill has always had a strange stage pressence and loves to go off on strange tangents as and when it suits him. Its possibley the most strange beginning to a stand up dvd with him playing the guitar in a strange indian fashion. The Dvd has both cosmic Jam and Bewilderness. I've been a fan of Bill for a long time and when this two for one came up I was thrilled. The extras are great including interviews with bill and the great game "which Shed?" This is a great dvd to introduce people to Bills style and humour. Some of the jokes are a little hit and miss but the fact that he describes himself as "Part Troll" gives you an idea of where your headed, into a world of Glastonbury anecdotes and strange observations.


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              19.10.2006 08:53



              Buy it and cherish it

              Full review

              This is a double DVD of the Music/Comedy genius that is bill bailey. In the title Cosmic jam show he gibbers his way through topics such as people who photograph kebabs and the Cockney influence on both Classical and Rock music. He also performs what is perhaps his best song yet, Insect Nation. It must surely be released as a single at somepoint.

              In the second show Bewilderness (which has already been released on its own) he unleashes more stunning observations mixed with his own brand of surreal humour. For somebody who claims not to be able to tell jokes, he seems to be doing quite well on the stand-up comedy scene and I am certain we shall see more from him in the future.

              Both shows are around 90 minutes in length so you are getting 3 hours of pure bailey for your money, plus of course the hilarious special features including the "Shed Game" If you have never seen Bill before or consider yourself an avid fan, buy this DVD and you will cherish it. I have now watched both shows 3 times and they still bring a tear to my eye.

              Chapter List: Cosmic Jam:
              1. Glastonbury's Nutters
              2. Busking in Europe
              3. Welcome to the Snooker
              4. Brain Capacity
              5. Apocalyptic News at Ten
              6. Who Photographs Kebabs?
              7. American Cop Shows
              8. Small Decorative Concrete Pig
              9. If Donkeys had Cocaine
              10. Hats off to the Zebras
              11. Greatest Moments in Film and TV
              12. Cockney Classical Music
              13. The Stan Ellis Experiment
              14. Insect Nation
              15. The Greatest Cockney Rock Album in the World Ever
              16. Hats off to You
              17. Jazz Trio Story

              Chapter List: Bewilderness
              1. I'm Bill Bailey
              2. Nutters
              3. Belgian Jazz(song)
              4. The West Country
              5. Hunting
              6. Bovington Gurney
              7. Experimental Youth Theatre
              8. The Disfranchised Owl(song)
              9. Welsh National Dish
              10. The Pub Gag
              11. The Welsh Assembly
              12. Kinder Surpise
              13. Gwydion and the Druid
              14. England
              15. Guiness Book of Records
              16. Service Stations
              17. The Dutch
              18. Sirens
              19. Aled Jones
              20. Customs
              21. Relaxed Empiricist
              22. Brief History of Time
              23. The Language of Dentists
              24. Masculine Identity Crisis
              25. Sound Affects
              26. Wildlife Documentaries
              27. Voice Sampling
              28. Daytime Drum and Bass Babylon(song)
              29. Carol Vorderman
              30. Countdown(song)
              31. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
              32. Medieval Porn
              33. Eastenders(song)
              34. Unisex Chip Shop
              35. Unisex Chip Shop(song)
              36. Midnight in Parliament Square(song)
              37. Beautiful Ladies(song)
              38. Magic Roundabout(song)
              39. Jean-Michel Jarre(song)
              40. Stebbington Bailey
              41. Slayer(song)
              42. Chaucer Pubbe Gagge


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                30.09.2006 22:50
                Very helpful



                Two discs of hilariously surreal and off the wall stand-up comedy from a master

                Bill Bailey is perhaps most famous for his part in 'Black Books' or his captaincy on 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks'. What you get here is two of his stand-up routines, one taken from his "Cosmic Jam" tour of 1996 and the other from his 2001 "Bewilderness" tour.

                "Cosmic Jam" appears for the very first time on DVD, allowing you to see for yourself Bill's unique take on things like the influences Cockney music had on classical composers, music festivals and what would happen if insects rouse up against their human oppressors, ("nightmare vision, it probably won't happen, alright?")

                'Cosmic Jam' is one of Bill's more wacky stand-up routines. A lot of the subject matter revolves around drugs. This might put some people off, but Bill isn't necessarily advocating their use, merely relating his own 'experiences'. If you're dead against drugs, you might not fully appreciate Bill's sense of humour; however, I don't think it's important that you yourself have used substances in order to find Bill's work amusing. I doubt that most people would find these parts offensive

                The other main subject matter throughout the show is music. For the majority of the set Bill has his guitar slung over his shoulder. If you're only familiar with Bill from the likes of 'Black Books' or 'Nevermind The Buzzcocks', then you may not be aware that he is a very talented musician. In particular I found his 'episode' of 'Starsky & Hutch' hilarious. More than any other Bill Bailey DVD I've seen, 'Cosmic Jam' demonstrates just how gifted a guitar Bill is, (on his other DVD's he tends to play keyboard). Bill is also joined by his band towards the end of the show for some very entertaining songs.

                I was in stitches pretty much all the way through this. From the outset, I found Bill's surreal comedy is an absolute delight. Although now (at the time of writing) ten years old, because Bill doesn't rely on current-events for his comedy, the subjects and the humour hasn't aged and I think it'll be as funny ten years down the line as it was then and is now.

                The recording is a little grainy, having not been remastered and some people might find the stage colours a little overwhelming, but this, I thought, adds to the surreal and off-the-wall nature of the comedy.

                The menu is well made and easy to navigate. Ants appear onscreen moving around the titles and I thought this was a nice touch, tying in well with the overall theme of 'Cosmic Jam'.

                The special features on this disc are an interview with Bill in his shed, (filmed many years after the actually event of the show) and 'The Shed Game'.

                The interview is amusing and has Bill talking about the show, as well as giving you some interesting trivia about how the stage was created and set and some of his own thoughts about the show. Although I've not watched this again and again, I still think it's well worth watching at least once and it does have some amount of repeat value.

                'The Shed Game' is a nice distraction. Basically, Bill hides in one of three sheds, which then get moved around and you then have to select the correct shed. The game isn't challenging in the slightest, but Bill reactions when you pick a shed are entertaining. This probably won't appeal to everyone, but I for one enjoyed it and thought it was an appropriate extra.

                Even without the second disc, 'Cosmic Jam' is a brilliant piece of comedy stand-up and well worth buying for its own merits.

                'Bewilderness' has previously been released on DVD; however, this version is the full length 'Directors' Cut' of the show. With the additional scenes back in their rightful place the some of the jokes make a little more sense than on the original and not quite so random.
                Once again, there is tonnes of music throughout the show. From Belgian jazz, to European sirens to life as an owl, Bill's take on things is wonderful and his playing is absolutely first class. My personal favourite is his Jean Michael Jarre 'parody', but the music throughout the show is superb.
                Of course, as well as the music, there's the comedy itself. I particularly enjoyed Bill's Welsh accent and jokes about the Welsh Assembly. Bill actually seems almost affectionate about the Welsh, laughing with us rather than at us and I found this refreshing from the typical Welsh/sheep jokes most comedians tend to fall back on. I can't think of anyone taking offence to Bill's comments and he's not above taking the mick out of his own country and county, but it's all done without malice and is genuinely funny.

                In many ways, 'Bewilderness' is less surreal than 'Cosmic Jam', but at the same time is just as wacky and off-the-wall and, most importantly, is still hilarious viewing.

                Bill seems much more interactive with the audience than compared with 'Cosmic Jam', talking to individuals, as well as sampling (or recording to his keyboard if you're unfamiliar with the term) a member's voice for use in a song. Certain things seem0 quite spontaneous and I think this helps the show overall.

                Again, the menu is well designed and you won't struggle to find your way around. The division of the show into 'Songs' and 'Jokes' help you to easily find particular sketches you might want to watch again.

                The special features are under the title 'Legacy Of Dreams' and whilst these a mostly just sort clips and mini-interviews, they are entertaining.
                There's also a 'Biography', which is actually Bill talking about sheds. Whilst this may sounds dull, I thought Bill's comments extremely funny and the theme music that goes to this is catchy and deliberately cheesy.

                I think the rating of 15 is justified because of the drug references on 'Cosmic Jam', though 'Bewilderness' perhaps could be show to over 12's without any great concern, but that's very much down to personal preference I think.

                I've tried many times to pick a favourite out of these two discs and every time I think I've decided I realise I have to change my mind - they're both equally as funny, though for slightly different reasons.

                Whilst Bill Bailey's sense of humour might not appearl to everyone, (Bill can go off on wierd and wonderful tangets that some people may find a little too "far-out") I would still highly recommend 'Cosmic Jam' to any fan of the man himself, or anyone who enjoys the comedy of the likes of Eddie Izzard, Ross Noble and Lee Evans. Two amazing shows that I have watched again and again without ever getting bored or fed up of.


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