There’s something of the man out of time about waspish American comedian David Mills, pencil thin in his dark suit and even skinnier tie. A swell of melancholy underlies his acid humour, something more than straightforward bitchiness.
That said, it might be best to stay away if you’re easily offended. Coming to Edinburgh from London, the debonair Mr Mills has plenty to say about hipsters and issues like gay marriage and Scottish independence in his latest show. He skewers sacred cows (and Cher) with droll precision.
Perched on a stool, drink in hand, he’s like a dinner-party host concealing a knife from the guests he’s secretly added to the menu. His silver-tongued rudeness and brand of camp feels both old-fashioned and novel. His wrist-flick shifts between faux-courtesy and cattiness as he mocks the latest fashions are enjoyably off-kilter.
Mills isn’t as bluntly aggressive as his sometime collaborator, Scott Capurro, and astute observations crop up amid the outrageousness. Even jokes about the homeless are bundled up in a wry parody of letting it all go that stings him too. His sharpness is spiked with a jaded self-deprecation that rolls shock into wit and keeps the crowd with him as he cuts them down.
The Gospel Truth’s drily misanthropic tone won’t appeal to everyone but it deepens into something more as Mills fires pithy putdowns at members of the audience. This is a sharply funny and—in places—genuinely perceptive show, which ends on a daringly downbeat note. Give it a go.