Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock Tim Keegan, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings
Concert appearance: Tue., 13 Jan. 2004

Bluebird Café
Nashville, Tennessee US

Set list:

Mexican God acoustic
I Got the Hots
Balloon Man
You Remind Me of You
One L
Queen Elvis enter Tim, still acoustic
Queen of Eyes
DeChirico Street
I Saw Nick Drake
Madonna of the Wasps
Jewels for Sophia
Encore: Television Robyn, David, Gillian
Encore: Bang a Gong (Get It On) (T. Rex)
Encore: If You Know Time
Encore: Odds and Ends (Bob Dylan)
Encore: Please, Mrs. Henry (Bob Dylan)
Encore: Look at Miss Ohio (Gillian Welch/David Rawlings)
Encore: Minstrel Boy (Bob Dylan)
Encore: Well Well Well (John Lennon)

Some photos
courtesy of John Brassil

OK, I got my Googling done (wanted to be sure on the Dylan stuff - sometimes those Basement Tapes things run together), and I'm still psyched, so here 'tis.

clothing: B&W harlequin shirt, dark blue pants (but apparently not jeans)
blinking: moderate with heavy interludes
unibrow: not present

Robyn acoustic
1) Mexican God
2) I Got the Hots
3) Balloon Man
4) You Remind Me of You
5) Solpedeine
6) One L

Robyn & Tim, acoustic
7) Queen Elvis
8) Queen of Eyes
9) DeChirico Street
10) I Saw Nick Drake
11) Madonna of the Wasps
12) Jewels for Sophia
*end regular set*

Robyn acoustic, David Rawlings electric guitar, Gillian Welch electric bass
13) ?? Television Come Toward Me??? (new original? lots of lyrics about television - I think lower-case television, though maybe with Television-mania abounding, could be a tribute to Verlaine & co.)
14) Bang a Gong (Get It On)
15) If You Know Time
16) Odds and Ends
17) Please, Mrs. Henry
18) Look at Miss Ohio
19) Minstrel Boy
20) Well Well Well

It was really really good, though I think Melissa (who's been even more out of sympathy with Robyn than me) would stop at "good." We went with a friend who had never seen Robyn before, and I know she was utterly thrilled when Gil and Dave joined Robyn for the encores, so that was a special treat for her, and for us, having brought her in the hopes that she'd enjoy it -- getting Gil and Dave cemented it as a great evening for her! The fact that the show opened with "Mexican God" and closing with "Well Well Well" did the same for me. :-)

(Me, I've never cared much for Gillian Welch's records, but I love Gil and Dave in other formats -- either as the Esquires, which means Dave sings a slew of great rock covers, or as a backing band, like tonight or when they backed Ryan Adams a few years ago at "Kimfest," which was the only time I ever have been able to stomach that two-bit ripoff artiste. But I digress.)

Anyway, Robyn actually looked healthier and fitter than I've ever seen him, and he was in excellent voice and good spirits. The between-songs banter was less surreal and less digressive than it used to be, but the stories and ideas therein were smart 'n' fun as always. Topics included tuning sounds that would drive rodents into ecstasy, and the convergence of mobile phones/portable music players/digital cameras. And with Tim and Gil'n'Dave, Robyn would refer to songs as initials when away from the mic, like "how about QOE next?"

At one point Tim suggested "Guildford," but Robyn rejected it as too long, even though those of us close enough to hear Tim encouraged Robyn to play it. I was hoping it would turn up in the encores, but Tim never reached the stage again.

Umm, what else? When I got up the nerve to meet Robyn after the '97 show, I felt like I went all fanboyish, and we had a missed communication about "St. Petersburg" (me meaning "song," Robyn hearing "large city on Florida's Gulf Coast") that somehow made the whole thing awkward. So even though he seemed cheery and signed stuff for whoever wanted stuff signed, I didn't chat him up. However, I did hear him say that he not only had been recording with Gil and Dave for a couple of days, but writing with them too. News, I'd think.

I did introduce myself to Tim, who was sweet and personable, and we had a nice chat about our mutual Jazz Butcher fandom. His solo/acoustic opening set (Robyn introduced him as "Almost Nashville's Own Tim Keegan," which is a good enough Nashville reference that I should have been tipped off right then and there that Robyn had been in town for more than a couple of hours!) was pleasant, though I missed the Departure Lounge's melange of instruments, which IMO elevates Tim's stuff from "pleasant" to "memorable." Tim's apparently back here in his former home to put the finishing touches on a Tim Keegan solo album.

Also gleaned: Robyn finally playing here again, and not in the midst of a big ol' tour, had to do with Tim (who as it turns out has been asking Robyn *for years* to play here again -- good man!) being back in town to work on his album, and it somehow evolved into a larger thing with Robyn doing some recording of his own -- and of course, this show.

In the audience: well, Gil'n'Dave, but also former Superdrag/Who Hit John bassist Sam Powers, and the Last of the Full-Grown Men, Webb Wilder. More luminaries too, probably, but I didn't recognize 'em all. Bill Lloyd must have either slipped in and out without me seeing him or be on tour somewhere; I can't imagine that he'd miss this if he could help it.

Last Robyn words from the stage: "See you in another seven years!"



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