Luke Wright doesn't invite audiences to buy a printed anthology of his work after he performs: he invites them to buy his CD. Wright's poems may already sparkle with wit on paper but they're never better than when delivered by the man himself and he knows it. An assured performer, Wright walks a dangerously thin line between politically weighty poetry and observational stand-up but emerges completely unscathed, with his show ultimately begging the question: why aren't all poets this funny, or if you prefer, why don't all comedians have this social conscience?
On the politically weighty side of things, Wright pulls no punches in a number of poems that offer an occasionally scathing image of modern Britain, warts and all. The cult of celebrity, political scandal, the media's obsession with private tragedies: Wright's got plenty of bones to pick. Still, he's not completely without pride for his nationality, even if it does manifest in the form of an ode to motorway service stations.
On the sillier end of the scale, Wright's show is peppered with gags, both in verse and in conversational sections between his poems. 'You might think this first line's a bit crude, but it's a reference to Marlowe so it's actually very clever', Wright explains before launching into a love poem for his dream woman and her 'tits that crashed a thousand cars.' Jean-Claude Gendarme, another poem in similarly ridiculous vein, sees Wright blurting out utterly broken yet still entirely comprehensible Franglais in an imagined roadside negotiation with a French copper.
These comic moments aren't simply light relief or breaks intended to let audience members catch their breath in amongst all the heavy stuff; Wright's sense of humour is inseparable from his craft to the point that, even when he's got an axe to grind, he can't help but go for the odd laugh. He gets one every time.