Wilson Dixon Rides Again, The Stand, Edinburgh Festival

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The Independent Culture

Wilson Dixon, the alter ego of Australian comedian Jesse Griffin, is more of a good ol' boy than a Rhinestone cowboy in the canon of country music pastiche. His mellow, unruffled delivery of song and chat is both the strength and weakness of his show, as ultimately the lack of pitch and range make that country road look a little flat in places.

The first 20 minutes of the show sparkle, though, with witty introductions of his songs such as: "This is from my first album, Wilson Dixon's Greatest Hits." Meanwhile, there is gold in the songs themselves, with the number "Life is Like" containing a host of amusing similes such as: "life is like a dog licking himself/ full of impossible dreams."

The second half of the show is mostly made up of a yarn about hunting down "The Man With No Name" and another man with no name, nicknamed Joe. Here, too, there are terrific moments, including a song packed to its logical conclusion with metaphors but also missed opportunities to finish ideas, such as having a Western-themed bar in an actual Western town.

Country music is a well-trodden comedy route, as live acts such as Rich Hall's Otis Lee Crenshaw and Chris Green's Tina C can testify, and Dixon is certainly a welcome addition to the genre. The odd "yee-hah" moment would cement this inclusion still further.



To 24 August, except 11 (0131-558 7272)

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