THAT Bill Bailey is a genius goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway: Bill Bailey is a genius.

Here he was on the last English date on the Larks In Transit tour, an extravaganza so prolonged it makes the Brexit palaver seem brief, to the point and focused.

Thus, it was a bit familiar material, a bit new stuff and a bit musical virtuosity, of which the latter makes Bailey unique. If he just did the musical routines we’d have all gone home happy.

As it was, regular Bailey-watchers had a chance to enjoy again the likes of the Bin of Wonder, Theresa May’s speeches set to trance music, the bird calls quiz, Jason Statham’s walk, West Country accents, immigration officers around the world, the Battle of Maldon and the little Indonesian phrasebook.

Musically, he was walking around his house with a rock guitar and amps in every room scaring off doorknocking Jehovah’s Witnesses, doing Tom Waits’ version of Old MacDonald, playing a guitar fashioned from a Bible, handbell rock classics and messing about with minor and major keys.

He bantered with the audience constantly and expended a fair amount of energy bounding around the stage during his energetic routines.

Brexit loomed large (he’s not a fan) as did the Conservative leadership contest, but this was not really a topical stand-up show, more like 20 years of collected ramblings of an unconventional mind.

I particularly enjoyed his Mexican wave-style laugh, chihuahua and airplane toilet rolling from one side of the audience to the other – all of which were topped by his Mexican expression of disappointment (as in the anticipation at opening a gift turning into a giant sigh of despond when you realise it’s socks).

There was a marvellous new phrase to describe dismay – ‘a short walk down a windy beach to a café that was closed’ and it cannot be revealed here which leading politician was described as ‘the Pablo Escobar of the home counties’.

The hard-working Bailey ended, because he could, with a bizarre operatic interlude before his traditional rock out finale and when he was finally persuaded to leave the stage we exited to the sounds of Pass The Dutchie as the house lights came up.

It was that kind of evening, so much laugh out loud brilliance that the repeated material can be forgiven. If rock’n’rollers can play their greatest hits, why not lefty comedians with a penchant for saving the world’s wildlife?