Last night, I had tickets to go and see Billy Connolly in Cardiff. After spending most of the day in bed with a migraine, I wasn’t sure I was going to be well enough to see the show. The symptoms subsided enough for me to be able to go out to see him, and I’m so glad I was able to go.
I’d never seen him live before, not even his stand up stuff on TV. I was in the same predicament as I was seeing Josh Widdicombe, but I knew the two of them would be poles apart in terms of their material. I’d heard how good Billy Connolly was live and had been convinced to go by my friend who had seen him a few years ago.
Billy Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease 3 years ago, the same day he was also diagnosed with prostate cancer. Talk about getting the shitty end of the stick, eh? Despite his ill health (now thankfully cancer free), Billy’s outlook on life is admirable. Anyone who can find humour in a diagnosis like that is an absolute hero.
Was it any good?
When he entered the stage, I barely recognised him. The past 3 years have taken a toll on him, of course they have. But that didn’t stop him from standing there for 2 full hours, with no interval. The only thing supporting him was a table to his left side. Explaining to the audience that it’s the left side of his body that is affected most by Parkinson’s, this was evident in his tremors. In true Billy Connolly style, he made a joke about it.
In addition to confiding in the audience about his health problems, he gave us all valuable advice on how to sneeze whilst keeping our eyes open. In the meantime adding hilarious sound effects (similarly to the ones of a cat being run over by a van and his plane journey for Comic Relief).
Although Billy now lives in America, he made little reference to it. The entire show was based on his experiences living and working in various parts of Scotland. Only he could make a funny story about death. He told us all a story about a time where he played a gig with his close friend in a hospice. During the performance a resident died! Other stories included the time he was signing autographs for fans which resulted in him being pulled over by the police. The whole scenario was misinterpreted as he was mistaken for doing a drugs deal.
His ability to have numerous stories on the go at the same time but still manage to come back to each one was amazing. Very educational too! Did you know there’s an actual genre of music called “Wanky music”? True story. “Google it if you don’t fucking believe me” he joked. I did believe you Billy but of course, I had to Google it. He also told us how you can slice a banana without peeling it. If you’ve tried this you’ll have to let me know!
Is he still rebellious and eccentric? Yes! And I wouldn’t have him any other way. At 73 years of age, he is still able to captivate the audience with his hilarious tales. For those who are easily offended, this isn’t the show for you. With the occasional and very casual dropping of the C-bomb, Billy Connolly isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Although I’m not entirely sure why the show was called ‘High Horse’, I would definitely recommend going to see him. If your sense of humour is dark and of the politically incorrect kind, you’ll love him. I’ve got a feeling this will be the last tour he does before retiring so I’m glad I got to see him.
If you’d like to see Billy Connolly live, check out the rest of his tour dates here.
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