Gavin Webster: Bill Hicks Wasn’t Very Good
…But he was certainly better than this
This article is from 2012.
Outrage at the Fringe is usually induced by some Sadowitz-esque remark about a tragedy which occurred an hour before the gig. But there aren’t many forbidden topics for comedians themselves, a gauntlet which could, and should, have been slammed to the floor by Geordie funnyman Gavin Webster.
Flimsily tackling the Messiah of commentary comedy, Webster sticks with the same type of unambiguous show title that he used last year, reintroducing his trademark bitterness and north-eastern twang. This initially scrambled routine about class divisions and hard labour actually displays far more careful orchestration. Webster stands on the shoulders of Hicks to amplify his own political voice, often running off on tangents inspired by the American’s original material.
But Webster has only laid the groundwork for something more substantial and inventive. His set is performed with contempt for regal and righteous members of society, a general anger which echoes Hicks’, but comes nowhere near emulating. If Webster can summon the power and politics of Hicks, this will be a far mightier routine.
The Stand II, 558 7272, until 26 Aug, 5.50pm, £7--£8.