Dixon not the Cripple Creek maestro


Wilson Dixon – Greatest Hits
Opera House, May 4

I’ve never met a man who can say he’s been punched by a horse before, nor have I ever heard anyone write a song about it. Such is life for Wilson Dixon in the town of Cripple Creek; a place that I can only imagine is as dusty and dry as Dixon’s sense of humour.

Wilson Dixon seems to be going for the “slow and steady wins the race” mentality, delivering a series of low energy jokes broken up by the odd country song that followed the exact same chord structure as several of his other songs. He didn’t bother hiding it either, introducing each identical song as sounding exactly like the last, because after all, “It’s country music.”

Dixon warmed the crowd with a local song about the bucket fountain, the absurd number of cafes in the CBD and the rich umbrella baron that preys on Wellingtonians who never learn, but from there Wilson’s grasp on the audience’s attention definitely hit highs and lows. I think the lulls in the show had something to do with Dixon’s incredibly slow pacing as well as the fact that sometimes his jokes and call backs tended to be on the subtle side.

At times there weren’t even punch lines to Dixon’s long winded stories about his various, stereotypically named family members, and instead relied on the humour to come from laughing at character itself. However, after a while, laughing at a redneck for being a redneck just resulted in the occasional lull, and I started feeling like the character was being laid on a bit too thick at points, with the proverbial marmite of the character overwhelming the toasty humour.

I wouldn’t say Wilson Dixon was unfunny, he was still worth a laugh, but he tended to evoke chuckles rather than fits of laughter from the audience. On an entertainment scale of sawdust to a dancing monkey, Wilson Dixon ranks slightly higher than a mediocre pub band.

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