Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Grant Lee Hitchcock Grant Lee Phillips and Robyn Hitchcock
Concert appearance: Mon., 16 Oct. 2000

Arlington, Virginia US

Set list:

Gene Hackman
Honey Don't Think (Grant Lee Phillips)
Queen Elvis
St Expedite (Grant Lee Phillips)
Ye Sleeping Knights of Jesus
Heavenly (Grant Lee Phillips)
Lonesome Serenade (Grant Lee Phillips)
Dark Princess
My Jolly Mouth
Mighty Joe Moon (Grant Lee Phillips)
I Saw Nick Drake
Arousing Thunder (Grant Lee Phillips)
Four Lonely Lamps
Fuzzy (Grant Lee Phillips)
I Used To Love You
Happiness (Grant Lee Phillips)
I Am The Walrus (The Beatles)
Mockingbirds (Grant Lee Phillips)
Cynthia Mask
All I Have To Do Is Dream (Everly Brothers)
Satellite Of Love (Lou Reed)
Golden Years (David Bowie)
Across The Universe (The Beatles)

Tonight's show was the show of 1000 cover versions! We were treated to 2
encores and I think Grant and Robyn played every song they could think of,
and a few that didn't exist! I'll just list all the songs they played in
no order since I can't remember the order:

Gene Hackman - opened the show with Grant playing keyboard insted of slide
guitar like last night.
Queen Elvis
I Saw Nick Drake
Antwoman - Great to hear this live! It started with Grant playing a loud
bass sound coupled with a cymbal on the synthesizer, then he joined on
guitar. Then after the song ended they paused for a bit and then went into
a jam on the song! Very heavy groove!
Dark Princess
Cynthia Mask
Sleeping Knights Of Jesus - another surprise selection from IODOT!
I Used To Love You - played on piano without Grant
Satellite Of Love - Robyn on piano and Grant on guitar! Beautiful!
I Am The Walrus - Amazing! Grant played strings on the keyboard and Robyn
sang and played a percussion tomato (that being a plastic tomato filled
with seeds or something!)... this was an outstanding version, I can't
believe Robyn can remember all those words and Grant played perfectly! I
think it must have been the highlight of the show!
Golden Years - Robyn did another dance sort of like last night while Grant
played and then Grant stopped playing and they danced together while the
crowd kept the beat! They also sang some of Fame on this one!
All I Have To Do Is Dream - yes Robyn and Grant take on the role of Phil
and Don for this cover, interesting choice and well done!!!
Across the Universe - this closed the show, they had some chord troubles
at the first attempt but then got it together for a great version trading
off the vocals.

There were also some great improvised songs and Robyn and Grant eating a
Milky Way bar with some amazing chocolate flavor!

These two shows were the loosest and most intimate I have seen, a feeling
enhanced by the size of this venue. I hope Robyn plays there again and
next time makes it three or four nights!!!

The night started well enough when I encountered Doug aka "Mr Pathos"
as we were both exiting the metro station. Alas, he was not going to the
show, as he had to get up at some ungodly hour this morning. After a bit
of catching up (both literal and figurative - he walks swiftly!) we
arrived at the "Iota Club and Cafe". (incidentally, Doug's favorite bar.)

As I was about to enter the club, who should pop his head out the door but
the man himself. "I'm just going out back to carve some pumpkins," Robyn
said to no one in particular. I asked him about the prospects for
recording the show, and he said that I was welcome to run a tape, but that
soundboard access could be tricky as he and grant were already hooked up
for recording. I never saw a sound person the entire night, so that was
basically that!

Chris showed up shortly and we entered the "Cafe" half of the place.
He ordered the mushroom-wich to remind himself of whether he liked it or
not. The food is pretty good there, if a bit pricy.

Anyway, on the the main event. We entered the club section just as RH was
making his way from the bar to the stage. The show began rather
inauspiciously with "Gene Hackman." I am a devotee, but this song tries
my patience. After Queen Elvis and a grant song I think is called "St.
Expidite'" They began to hit their stride. "Should we play SKoJ?" Robyn
mused. "Or.." I don't remember what the other option was - will have to
wait for the tape. I hope it was not something really cool, as I replied,
"SKoJ!" And they proceeded to do a quite good version of Sleeping

Grant promised other old "jaw-dropper" songs later in the night, and boy
did they deliver! Another theme was made-up songs, and little bits of
songs, like Grant doing a hilarious Richard Butler impression that Robyn
eventually identified as "Ghost in You". This prompted some excitement
from audience members who no doubt link RH to the song due to WHFS' old
heavy rotation of Robyn's 12" featuring his cover of the song. Neither
this song nor "Spoonman" got too far, however.

I would agree with Ben that the top highlight of the night was "I am the
Walrus". Robyn remembered all the words and even vocally duplicated the
sound effects. All the covers (the complete ones) were quite good, in
fact. Those of you who bash Robyn as a covers artist must never have
heard him on a good day.

As promised, there were four freshly carved jack o' lanterns sharing the
stage with grant and robyn. I think each of them did 2 pumpkins - the one
on the keyboard looked rather like one of the red lemons from _Respect_
(or am I thinking of _1976-81_?) Let us know if they show up in NY!

Robyn did not get his second coffee for a while, and declared in a
funny-scary voice, "There must be a penalty! One square of chocolate must
you give me!" Someone threw him a Milky Way bar! He and Grant proceeded
to share it and Robyn talked about Mars bars and the Milky way, and saved
some "for the return trip." "Got any more food?" Grant asked the crowd.

All in all, a relaxed intimate and very fun set, more "party-like" than
any gig I've been to, save the Kelley Deal 5000 show I saw with Rich at
the now-defunct Phantasmagoria in Wheaton. I've never seen two performers
dance together while the audience keeps the beat!

NYC/Mass people - do not miss any of the forthcoming shows if you can
manage it! And record them!


PS- lots of list-relevant topics laced into the rapid-fire jokes,
including GW Bush, musicians as demigods, and a "pseudo-Beatles
interview" very funnily recreated by Robyn! Are they reading the list? I
doubt it - they're too busy doing this great tour!

PPS- a moment of synchronicity - a couple weeks ago i dreamed i was at a
robyn gig and he was playing the keyboard, but could not figure out how to
work it. This happened! After grant set the synth to weird noises for
"Antwoman," RH sat down to play "i used to love you" and said bemusedly,
"How do you make it sound like a piano?" He figured it out quickly (and
by luck, he said), though.

Then this morning my clock radio wakes me up with "Golden Years," as
covered the night before. Go figga!

PPPS - Though i did not think so at first, I think Grant is the best
partner RH has ever worked with live! Keep it up boys! I usually
preferred RH solo, but they really bounce off each other nicely. And not
being the only performer no doubt is reassuring to someone self-conscious!

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