Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra Cover Orchestral music is one of the most powerful and moving spectacles ever created by man. Just think about it for a moment if you will. It can be emotional. It can be rhythmical. It can be grand. And it can be funny as well. Yep, that's right, I said 'funny'. As seen in this 60-minute stand-up show recorded in 2009 with Bill Bailey.

Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra

Accompanied by the theme from '2001 - A Space Odyssey', bearded comedian, Bill Bailey, steps onto the stage of the Royal Albert Hall, in London, and introduces to the audience, his conductor for the evening, Anne Dudley, plus the BBC Concert Orchestra too.

You see, this live show is Bill's 'remarkable guide' to orchestra music. Plus it is a grand spectacle that is heard with the ears, digested by the mind, and lavished to whoever gives a toss.

Bill gives a toss. And what now follows is what he tosses:

  • The essence of mood music -- or in Bill's case, comparing 'Mama Mia' with the act of being hit around the head with a piece of furniture from Ikea. Painful, but you have to admire the carpentry.
  • The Flute -- a somewhat melancholy instrument that is reminiscent of a 'Ford Fiesta' being burnt by a small group of children in France.
  • The Oboe -- it's like 'Emmerdale' without the 'Farm', and signifies the fall of Communism from the Soviet Union.
  • The Clarinet -- bank music for the masses.
  • The Base Clarinet and the Muted Trombone -- these two instruments are the same as a twenties villain entering and exiting a building. Think about it.
  • The Bassoon -- correct, this rather large piece of wood-wind has a secret crush on the 'Bee Gees'.
  • The Theremin -- invented to be a security device, played by the touch of jelly fish.
  • The String Section -- its holiday season!!!
  • The Xylophone - the strip song with a plonk-pink.
  • Cockney Moonlight Sonata -- It's there at a touch gu'vnor.
  • The Trombone -- the rebel bass, just like the 'William Tell Overture' done with a bit of how's your father.
  • The theme From A Seventies Cop Show -- American Style, Latin beat.
  • The NBC News Theme -- identical to ET on horse back, being chased through the forest by Darth Vader.
  • The Doctor Who Theme Tune -- performed in the style of Belgium Jazz. Ne's pa?
  • Eastenders -- the dramatic alternative.
  • Alpine Cow Bell -- 'The Swan' with some ding-a-ling.
  • And The Power Ballad 'Insect Nation' -- human slaves vied by a Harp.
Now once the last song has been played, and the evening comes trickling to an end, Bill, Anne, plus the orchestra, take their final curtain call - though God knows where they are going to take it too, ha!

Now like most of my fellow class mates at school, I was asked by my music teacher, Mister Preston, if I would like to play a musical instrument during my time studying there.

I did. I chose the flute. But I got the clarinet instead.

OK, to be honest with you, I didn't care that much what instrument I was given really. Just as long as I was learning something that made a bit of noise, I was as happy as Larry (whoever he is). And do you know what? I was very good at the clarinet you know. I made the grade. I was in the school band. I was a member of the South London Junior Philharmonic. And I even started to learn many other musical instruments as well - like the piano, the saxophone, and the alternate clarinet derivatives.

Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra Screenshot

However, as time ticked on, there came a turning point in my adolescent life, when I had to choose what I wanted to do with my future. Mr Preston wanted me to pursue a musical career. My art teacher, Mr Brown, wanted me to be an artist. Plus my computing teacher, Mr Kanadola, wanted me to be the next Bill Gates. Me. Personally. I did not know what this f*ck I wanted to do. So I decided to play a game with myself (no, not will my c*ck), and the end result was that I tried to amalgamate all of these subjects into one - multi-media.    

Listen, I have to confess, not multi-media straight away. Oh no. I did a stint at programming and graphic design first -- then I elbowed music into the proceedings when I could. And I suppose that is why when I watch a program like 'Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra', I can not help but ponder about the path less traveled.

Bill Bailey

Anyway, that's enough about me and music, huh? What about Bill and music? Hit or miss?


Well, I just love this type of program you know. Not just because of the feelings it gives me about my own past. But because it just goes to show how moving, funny, and inspirational, music really is within the scheme of things.

As ever, Bill is just magical as the pseudo-conductor for this feature. He manages to entertain, inform, and amuse all in sundry, with his alternate take on musical satires in society. Also, kudos has to go out to the Orchestra as well. Whom both collectively, and individually, harmonize and complement Bill's North Country brand of madness, instilling 'Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra' with some extra added class and zeal that is a joy to listen to.

My own personal favourite segments in this program was the Cockney version of 'William Tell Overture' (because I am a bit of a Cockney myself), plus the Alpine Bell 'Swan song' (as it was funny with Bill and that chap bumbling about all over the stage). Here, check this out to see what I mean.

Great, right? Just like the rest of this show in fact. So if you like your entertainment clever, informative, jovial in tone, and rhythmical to the ear, why not give this one a bash?  You won't be sorry.