Wilson Dixon's 'For The First Time. Again.'

Wilson Dixon delivers his entire set with a nonchalant Southern American twang. It's this charming, fact-of-the-matter delivery which places the audience under his spell from word go.

 

The local genius who invented this foreign - yet immediately familiar - character has long since receded from the limelight. Wilson Dixon is unassumingly Wilson Dixon; a simple man, standing on stage each night strumming his guitar, telling a hundred odd strangers of his not-quite cliche life, love, and horse back in 'Murica.

 

Equipped with his iconic hat, ponytail, moustache, and sunglasses, there's a little left to the imagination. The layperson takes Dixon as they get him, forced to fill in the gaps in the story themselves - a technique that's worked so dazzlingly that even my friend, who insisted we need go to the show (and has been a fan of the comedian for several years), was under the impression that Dixon's originator actually hailed from the States.

 

Aware of the limitations of country music, Dixon tells the audience that the genre just wasn't quite built to accommodate the dark stories unfolding in the news each night. He has a crack at it anyway, spilling wordplay upon punchline upon character grin. Off the back of his first album, 'Wilson Dixon's Greatest Hits', he's working on some new material, he says. Like everybody else in the audience, I too thought this was a joke, until I found the very real link to his iTunes discography.

 

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The polished, intelligent progression of his show finds its hooks in wandering the beaten track of American ignorance and isolation (always avoiding the realm of cliche, somehow), political commentary, and resounding imperative to be a little more light hearted in our modern soul searching. Everything is supported by the backbone anecdotes of his ex-wife Maureen, who we learn left him for the man next door.

 

There's a lot to be said for the understated delivery of Dixon's work, engaging and rewarding without requiring the signpost 'to laugh' - offered by a large number of his contemporaries by way of incessant yelling. Each word, accompanied by soft strumming, delivered with linguistic flow and flourish, packages the hour in not only a great night out, but a pleasant aural experience.

 

For The First Time. Again.
Toto's Montecristo
'til 6th May
NZ International Comedy Festival

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