Sunday, 5 October 2014

So, Long Time No See

This weekend my partner and I had a lovely trip down to Canberra to see one of our favourite comedians (more hers than mine), Bill Bailey. We do love our comedy and we do try to make an effort when an international act that we love decides to visit our far away and mysterious country. One decision that we sometimes have to make, if the artist is doing a multitude of cities, is where to see them. Or do we want to drive 80 km north to Sydney, deal with the traffic, pay a heap for parking, have the smell of urine constantly surrounding us, stay in a $300/night hotel and stumble back in teh morning OR do we want to go 200 km down to Canberra, a leisurely 2.5 hour drive with wonderful scenery and stay in a nice hotel for $200 right next to the venue and visit the great bookshops and yummy restaurants around the city and maybe take in a sight or two.

We often see people in Canberra.

People often know Bill Bailey from his most famous role as Manny in Black Books, but others may also know him as a regular guest on QI. He is a sometimes surreal comedian (but not on the level of Noel Fielding), sometimes political and always has his instruments with him. Yes he is a musical comedian and while I agree this often means a shit comedian, Bill is the only one I like.

Bill was great last night and I had a lot of fun. But he did cover versions at the end of his set, 'Poker Face' by Lady Gaga and 'Wrecking Ball' (maybe) by Miley Cyrus. I'm sure they were great, but I don't know these songs. I don't listen to top 40 type of music, not just because I'm getting old, but I have never liked it. And I really don't want to come across as a snob, because Bill asked us if we knew Dancing With the Stars (he was asked to go on it) and the audience booed and he called us snobs. I find it amazing that there is any overlap between Bill Bailey fans and Miley Cyrus fans. But I guess people just hear this stuff on their radios. But he did a cover of ABBAs 'Waterloo' as Rammstein. It was great.

While we were down there we visited one of our favourite second-hand bookstores, 'Canty's'. Canty's is in a weird industrial section of Canberra know for porn and fireworks. Look, both are really fun in moderation, but books are our thing. Some may say Canty's is a bit expensive, but they do have a great range of books and most of the expensive books are great quality. So new paperbacks that have been read once and look nearly new tend to go for $9.50. When you can buy the same thing online new for $13 or so it does make it a tough decision. But still greatly cheaper than the $24 or so that you would pay in chain bookstores in shopping centres (if you are even lucky to have one of those around). So I mainluy like to go for possible out of print finds or they have a great selection of remainders that are pretty cheap compared to other remainder places.

I picked up Theo Gray's 'Mad Science 2' in hardcover for $13. I got a e-copy to review last year and loved it and I have been meaning to get a softcover copy for a while. So this was a great find. I also found a hardcover of Dana Mackenzie's 'The Universe in Zero Words' which I have read some great reviews from  Goodreads friends (David's review of 'The Universe in Zero Words').

While in Canberra I also like to hit up The Games Capital in the city and also Impact Comics which is a couple of shops down. I have a great games store in my city now, but before it came along I was limited to my visits to The Games Capital. They are friend;y and have a great range. The only downfall to this is their popularity. Sometimes they might not have the game you wanted in stock because they have just sold out. And I have also gotten great recommendations from the staff over the years.

Impact Comics is just a really good comic book store. Not too many surprises and just what you'd expect from one. Also not overpriced from what I have seen which can be common. I picked up another volume in the DC Showcase range called "The Great Disaster Featuring the Atomic Knights". These volumes are thick phone book like reprintings of comics from the 50s,60s and 70s that may not have stood the test of time, but damn are they entertaining in their pure schlock and badness. This volume revolves around stories set in a post-apocalyptic setting with Hercules thrown in and other shenanigans. I read the first couple of stories last night after Bill Bailey and boy were they hilariously and entertainingly bad.

 So this morning I made my partner happy and we visited a couple of markets, one with mainly hand-made stuff in the same location as the Bill Bailey concert the night before and we also went out to The Old Bus Depot Markets which we have been to before, and that is mainly food and some dodgy art.
The hand made market was fairly cool and big for that type of thing. There was plenty of naff earring and handmade jewelery but there was also some innovative stuff like funky dolls houses made from vintage suitcases and some nice wood worked stuff that didn't scream elderly retiree.

Overall a fun trip. We're doing it again in three week to see Brian Cox.

No comments:

Post a Comment