Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

The Soft Boys
Concert appearance: Sun., 11 Mar. 2001

Three Kings
Clerkenwell, England UK
Underwater Moonlight re-release party

No set list available.

Matthews Seligman posted this entry to
[web page archived at]

Things that happened at the feghorn (11/3/01):

Before the Gig:

Robyn and I arrived at the same time. The tiny pub that is the feghorn, which is really the Three Kings in Clerkenwell Close, was empty. It doesn't work on Sundays unless John Eichler the landlord is having a party. And that's what today is. A party for people that Matador have invited. Matador are the first 'proper' record company we've had while I've been in the band. And John Eichler was the landlord of the Hope and Anchor where we played a lot in the late 70's and 80's. It would take a book to talk about all that, but leave at this – he helped a lot. A lot, a lot. He 'retired' as a music landlord not long after we did and doesn't usually have bands at the Three Kings so we have to keep the noise down. We will try. Tottenham v West Ham is just reaching a messy conclusion so we switch over to see if Kimberley's song got selected for the Eurovision song contest. The show has finished on TV so we don't know. We decide to go over to Thai Jen's for a thai meal and Robyn says hello to a hardcore Soft Boys follower (he tells me later) on the way in. He and the woman with him have nice smiles. He doesn't look unlike the press guy from Matador, Rob, who's joined us by now along with an Italian journalist. Michèle's there too, and Hiromi my wife. We all sit down and Kimberley and Lee his girlfriend turn up soon after wards and tell us Kimberley didn't win. In fact he came last. I want to congratulate him but don't. Hiromi, who is Japanese and likes the Soft Boys because they talk about seafood a lot, orders a whole crab, innocently unaware of the heavy Robyn-esque symbolism of it, and tucks into it. Michèle accepts the waitress's offer to change the rice because it has gone cold. The Italian journalist tucks into Robyn, with Kimberley for afters. Then Matador, or rather Rob from Matador, pay the bill which is very nice of them and as far as I can recall is something that has never happened before to the Soft Boys at least not whilst I was in them. Hiromi is embarassed because she wouldn't have ordered a huge crab if I wasn't paying for it. Rob says he doesn't mind, referring to the seafood analogy, and we all leave except Hiromi whose friends have arrived.

The Gig:

Starts up OK, but we have to play very quietly cos its Sunday evening which is very good practice but a bit difficult. John and Robyn swap banter from either side of the bar as they negotiate the volume levels. Robyn tries to get the audience on his side, which he does, but John still wins. We play side 2 of the original UM first. You'll Have to go Sideways gets its first performance live and is very spooky, and Underwater Moonlight is very funny so I have to stop playing cos I'm laughing. Then a few outtakes like Reptile and Stones and after wards none of us can understand how they didn't get on the record but I think the real reason is just they were done at different times, a while before or after the main sessions for UM. Insanely Jealous is at the end and that's when it feels like we are coming to life. There's a searing kind of noise the band makes when its sounding like the soft boys, and we make it around now. It's called volume I suppose. We stop and everyone is very complimentary, but nothing's really happened yet.

The second set is much shorter. Airscape, Human Music and some new ones - Sudden Town, My mind is connected to your dreams and Mr Kennedy. Oh and Bells of Rhymney (is that spelt right?). It's much better. Must be the volume. And emotional feedback. Feels like something is happening. Then it stops again.

After the Gig:

Really nice. Every one saying they like it. All Hiromi's friends are surprised because they didn't know I did this. Robyn gives me a hug. I'm feeling really tired so I decide to escape early, and start packing up my gear. It's great packing, carrying your own gear. For a start, you have much less of it when you have to lift it yourself (like no spare guitar etc.). And a nice after gig ritual. People come and talk a lot though, so it's hard to get things done, and no one seems to be able to find a pen that doesn't smear on the cover of UM. Nigel Cross comes and says hello to me. That's really nice, and also something that never happened before! He's really friendly and helpful, and points out the plusses and minuses. He doesn't like the way we do pervert now, but he does confirm some of the old sound is back. People like Nigel is the acid test really, so I'm really pleased.

Start carrying the gear out. Meet some great guys from what used to be Rubber Band back I can't remember their new name cos it isn't as good. They met me with Janine in Pasadina. Janine? I can hardly remember. I hope she's OK. She was an Andy fan, as far as I remember and played bass, with a funny accent. And a bloke called Anton Barbeau who gives me his demo. it's great, really good. Check him out on "".

Someone comes and talk to me while I'm carrying my amp out so I have to stop and stand there holding my amp in both hands until he releases me! It's really funny, a real comic moment. I'm almost dropping it when he lets me go. Home, bath, sleep. My arms are hurting, my hand is hurting, but we're happy.

-- Matthew

If you have an addition or correction, please send an e-mail message about it to Bayard Catron.

If you ever see an error message or a bad link, please send an e-mail message about that to John Hedges.

Back to Query Page
Back to Main Page