Bill Bailey at the Albert Hall, and the V&A

On Thursday Dan and I took the day off work and went up to London. Mainly to see Bill Bailey at the Albert Hall in the evening, but also to have a meander around the V&A.

V&A was awesome, way too much to see in one afternoon. The plan being to look only at specific exhibits. I wanted to have a look at the Asia exhibits and the textiles exhibit. We came in the back door – from the tube station tunnel – and quickly found the Asia exhibit. My main interest was the embroidered fabrics, which were in all cases gorgeous, delicate and fine, but not really seeming to go much further than chain and satin stitch. To think that all these huge cloths of intricate and perfectly repetitive design were embroidered by hand is awe inspiring and made me weary on the creator’s behalf.

The textiles exhibit was… never found. That place is a maze! We had neglected to pick up any sort of map, but it was well signposted to be on floor 3 so we headed up there. After much wandering around, where we saw silverwork, prints, miniatures, jewellery, sculpture, ironwork, and musical instruments our time in the museum was up and the textiles exhibit had not been located. I suppose that just gives more reason to go again. Though I think the Natural History Museum is next on our list of London sights to see.

So Bill Bailey at the Albert Hall was awesome. Though I hadn’t realised it the seats I’d got were in a box on the second circle. The box seated 5 and Dan and I were the front two. Compared to last time I don’t know what being in a box added to the experience. We were closer than when we went to see Cirque Du Soleil and had a bit more space to make ourselves comfy.

The performance itself was cool. Bill was there with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He performed a bit of his old stuff that I’ve seen on DVDs but backed up by an orchestra I couldn’t make too much of my usual complaint of comedians recycling shows because it was different and interesting. He certainly elaborated on his Cockney music bit a lot more with the aid of the trombonist.  All in all the show was very funny; Bill Bailey is ridiculously talented (to my ears anyway) at piano and guitar. Made me wish I’d practised more when I was a child.

The only downside of the evening was that as I came away from the Royal Albert Hall I discovered that I’d lost my travel pass. I’m usually the most paranoid person in the world about checking the presence of things like tickets, wallets and keys, but no – this time the ticket slipped by me. Where I have no idea, the last time I remembered having it was at South Kensington tube station. So in sadness I had to get a £4 single to get me back to Waterloo and there pay another £20 for a train ticket to Eastleigh – and true to sod’s law my train ticket was never checked. Whereas it’s certain that if I hadn’t bought a ticket and tried to wing it the conductor would’ve been up and down that train with extreme vigilance.


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