Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

The Soft Boys
Concert appearance: Sat., 17 Mar. 2001

Austin Music Hall
Austin, Texas US

Set list:

Soundcheck: Where are the Prawns?
Soundcheck: Tonight
Soundcheck: Kingdom of Love
You'll Have to Go Sideways
He's a Reptile
Where are the Prawns?
Old Pervert
Queen of Eyes
Underwater Moonlight
Human Music
Sudden Town
I Wanna Destroy You
Insanely Jealous

Shirt(s): Blue tee w/floral pants

[The soundcheck] thrilled me to the bone. Instead of hearing the songs coming
out of a car stereo, the band was only a short distance away. After
playing the songs, they sang a few harmonies, to check the mics and
PA, I guess, and they sounded wonderful.

The band walked out of the building to get into a car for dinner, and
Robyn encountered a long line of traffic cones. "Nice cones!" he
said to the facilities guy who was moving things around. "You have
to align them properly. Don't you feel the force field they give off?"

And then I waited in line in the cold drizzle to get into the show.
Mark Eitzel and his band opened. Mogwai and Stephen Malkmus followed
the Soft Boys (and the Matador records people were handing out shwag
and promo CDs by the bucketload).

Then the band came on. Here's a breakdown of the details:

1. Robyn: blue/white Telecaster; blue t-shirt, green flowered pants,
and black boots. There was no blinking, but a lot of flipping his
bangs out of his face. His hair is entirely gray, silver, and white,
and shorter than the last time I saw him.
2. Morris: a red, three-piece kit, with two Zildjian cymbals, and a
neat tiny tambourine on his hi-hat. He wore sunglasses for the whole
set and seemed to be having a real good time.
3. Kimberly: the grinning gnome face action was in full force. He
jumped around a lot, too. He is a Laugh Riot. He played a white
4. Matthew: he played a black Fender Precision bass (iirc). He wore
the only Soft Boys t-shirt I saw that night.

The only things for sale was Matador records stuff. Not a single
Soft Boys t-shirt for sale anywhere. The one Matthew was wearing was
white, and simply had the words Soft Boys in black in a sans-serif
typeface. It sure woulda been nice to have been able to buy one.

The performance? Amazing. They only had time for a short set, so
Robyn kept the banter to a minimum. The songs didn't have the
piss-and-vinegar that they did back in 1980 (like, say, they did at
the Maxwell's gig back then), but they still rocked. The songs were
more "comfortable," I guess. The coolest thing was that they all
played the songs as though they had lived with them for a very long
time -- it didn't sound like they had rehearsed them for a month
after not playing together for 20 years; Matthew in particular
surprised me with the numbers of new fills and feels he found in the
songs. He is one helluva bass player.

- Gene

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