Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock Tim Keegan
Concert appearance: Mon., 2 June 1997

Mill Valley, California US

Set list:

Soundcheck: Shuffling Over the Flagstones
Soundcheck: Chinese Bones
Soundcheck: Don't Even Think About It
Soundcheck: Alright, Yeah
Soundcheck: I'm Set Free (Velvet Underground)
Gene Hackman acoustic
I Don't Remember Guildford
Clean Steve
Madonna of the Wasps enter Tim
Jewels for Sophia
I Saw Nick Drake
Dark Princess
Glass Hotel
You and Oblivion electric
Insect Mother
Only the Stones Remain
Encore: Autumn is Your Last Chance encore 1
Encore: Queen of Eyes Tim re-enters
Encore: Queen Elvis
Encore: Beautiful Queen
Encore: I Often Dream of Trains encore 2

Shirt(s): flourescent green

as you've no doubt heard, the mill valley show was spectacular. i
pulled a real boner though, messing up the taping of it. i took a
called third strike in the ninth, dropped a touchdown pass, missed a
game-winning free throw etc.

let me also add my two bits on the two shows. after the sacramento show
(it was so cool meeting all the fegs, by the way) the consensus was that
it had been a subpar show. i agreed at the time, but upon listening to
the tapes, i'm not so sure anymore.
robyn was much more friendly and chatty, both to the audience and to
tim, in sacramento. and the first half of the sacramento show was just
dynamite. i think that, whereas in mill valley they really ended with a
bang, in sac it was just the opposite: the first half was SO marvelous,
and the second half was somewhat lethargic. the two highlights for me
were the harmonicaized Only the Stones, from mill valley; and the line,
"They opened Peter Sellers heart, and they told him a story," from
Chinese Bones in Sacramento. it's funny. the pa systems in mill valley
and seattle sounded much better than sac during the show, but the tape
of the sac show sounds the best, so that may have something to do with
i left the damned seattle setlist at home. could you post it debora?
otherwise i'll put it up on wednesday. it was a great show, with very
little storytyme.

My Encounters with Robyn:
after robyn's soundcheck at mill valley, and before tim's, he went out
to talk to some friends of his in the audience, and passing by me,
pointed at my lapel and said, "Nice."
i of course assumed he was pointing at the microphone pinned on my coat,
and, as i was already somewhat unnerved, this being my first attempt at
taping a concert, i decided i'd ask him permission. so after he was
done chatting, i went up and said, "hey robyn? i've heard you don't
mind, as long as its discrete."
"what?" sez he.
"taping," sez i, "isn't that why you said 'nice'?"
"oh...taping's fine, but i was talking about this" he said, grabbing the
thoth button located a couple of inches away from the mic, "made this
"no," i answered, somewhat incredulous, "i got it from the fan club.
from sandra and trudi."
"you bought it?"
"well, it came with the membership package." [a note from the editor:
we believe this package included said thoth button, the carolyn hamilton
discography, two 'professor' postcards, and a package of soft boys
buttons. but that was a long time ago, so don't hold us to it.]
"i thought they were bigger than that. did it always have these spots?"
he asked, referring to the brown blotches that now ring the perimeter.
"nah, that's just age i guess. i've been wearing this forever."
then i asked him if he was really a socialist, as i'd heard in the radio
interview. he thought about it for a while, and said yes, or at least
that he couldn't see any possible use for capitalism. gave a nice
little sermon, actually, though he was preaching to the choir, of
course. i was going to put in a few good words for bakunin, but his
manager [a pretty swell guy, incidentally] came up and started talking
to him, and that was that.
the next night, while sydney and some other blokes were getting their
(blokes is a term of affection, right. if not, then, sydney and some
other mates were) getting their epidermis autographed, and i told him
that i love GROOVY DECAY, even knowing that he hates it. he replied,
and please notice the quotation marks, "those are good songs, but i
hated the sessions. and that colors your opinion of the record." i
would have said "great" songs, but there you have it anyway. straight
from the horse's, er, lobsterman's mouth: an endorsement of GROOVY
i then told him that in my opinion the KERSHAW version of 52 Stations
was out of this world, and he expressed great surprise that that song
was on that record, even asking me if i was sure. (i am. i think.)

My Encounters with Steve:
steve came up to me during antwoman at seattle, put his arm around me
and said, "Taping again, eh? how's it going." i gave him the old
thumbs up, and said, "great show!" so now i've got that fun little
conversation on the tape. i don't know if this was his intention, or if
he recognized me from sacramento, and just wanted to say hi. if the
latter, then i'm flattered of course. if the former, well, i guess it's
pretty cool anyway.

i know there's been some mixed opinions about this tour, but i thought
he was really on top of the game. i guess i'd still rank the driving
aloud tour, and last fall's go-round with billy bragg as the best i've
seen of him. but these three shows were very top notch. i will never
forget that Only the Stones from mill valley.
-eddie tews

Here is the setlist for Robyn's show at the Sweetwater Cafe in Mill
Valley, CA on 02 June 1997. Some comments and personal observations

Soundcheck (Flourescent green trousers and a blank charcoal T-Shirt):

Shuffling Over The Flagstones
Chinese Bones

Mother(?) (The lyrics went something like: "Mother loves you/Mother
drugs you...")

[Tim on acoustic, Robyn on electric]
Alright, Yeah
I'm Set Free
Main Set (Same green trousers; white shirt w/black polka dots):

[Acoustic; Martin guitar]
Gene Hackman
I Don't Remember Guilford
Clean Steve (w/harmonica) ("You could have knocked him down with
Marin County...if you could afford it...")

[Tim joined him playing acoustic guitar]
Madonna Of The Wasps
Jewels For Sophia
I Saw Nick Drake
Dark Princess
Glass Hotel (I think he left out a verse)

[Electric; Blue Telecaster]
You And Oblivion
Insect Mother
Only The Stones Remain

[Electric; Dark green shirt w/little black diamonds]
Autumn Is Your Last Chance

[Tim returned on acoustic]
Queen Of Eyes ("We're going to play this at 1980 speed.")
Queen Elvis (w/harmonica) ("By 1989, I was writing songs I swore
I would never write.")
Beautiful Queen
Second Encore w/o Tim

("This is dedicated to the former Chris Hamburger who let me make
some demos about 20 years ago.")
I Often Dream Of Trains

This is among the best shows I've ever seen, Robyn or otherwise.
Robyn's stage banter was fresh and spontaneous and Tim Keegan was the
perfect complement. He looked a bit like Robyn's little brother. The
humourous interplay between the two of them was reminiscent of the
old days with Andy and Morris (I guess if one spends enough time with
Robyn, the humour begins to rub off).

Good crowd (100-125). Enthusiastic applause and laughter accompanied
nearly everthing Robyn sang or said.

I had the good fortune to meet Eddie Tews who drove all the way from
Redmond, WA to see the show. Thanks for the Soft Boys tape, Eddie.

Beer report:
Good, but expensive. Anderson Valley Boont Amber and Barney Flats
Oatmeal Stout on Tap (Yummy!!! :)) However, it was $3.75 per pint
(OUCH!). Fortunately, my friend Nathan and I arrived early enough to
take advantage of the Happy Hour price of $2.50 ;)

Other observations:
1. Robyn certainly seems to draw the babes to his shows
2. The help at Sweetwater was extremely rude
3. See #1

I'm sorry I missed the Sac and SF shows, but I was in the midst of
moving. Ergo, I was short on both cash and time. I am just now
beginning to sift through the reams of posts regarding those two
shows. I look forward to reading about what I missed.

If I think of anything else about the Sweetwater gig, I'll be sure to
post it.

Rock on, kids!!!

It's good to be back,
--glen u

"It's not a six-pack; it's a support group."
--Source unknown

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