Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock
Concert appearance: Sat., 15 Nov. 1997

West Hollywood, California US
Set 1

Set list:

Gene Hackman
The Devil's Coachman
Serpent at the Gates of Wisdom
My Wife and My Dead Wife
I Feel Beautiful
Queen Elvis
Cheese Alarm
I'm Only You
Glass Hotel
Beautiful Girl
I Something You
Clean Steve
Nietzche's Way
I Often Dream of Trains
We are the Underneath

Length: 76

Okay, first things first:

shirt: black with big white polka dots. Black trousers.

First set:

Gene Hackman
Devil's Coachman
Serpent At The Gates of Wisdom
Dead Wife

I Feel Beautiful
Queen Elvis
Cheese Alarm

I'm Only You
Glass Hotel
Beautiful Girl
I Something You
Clean Steve

Nietzsche's Way

I Often Dream Of Trains
We Are The Underneath

A great, well-delivered set. Robyn was relaxed and enjoying himself, the
songs with a band were tight, and the new songs were great. The new
songs: "I Feel Beautiful" is a gentle, touchy-feely love song which was
introduced by Robyn saying "This is a song that Jon and I just built."
Those in attendance could see some JB influence, in a way I can't quite
quantify... the main line "I feel beautiful because you love me" had me
cringe at first, but the overall effect was rather haunting. We Are The
Underneath is just a good solid rock song.

Half an hour after this set, Jon Brion reappeared and said that Robyn had
asked him to go sing a few songs. Jon interpreted that as "Go kill some
time so I can have some wine and cheese." Anyway, this time everything
Jon touched was golden, in my book. He did a couple of fun songs, then
Robyn, Grant, and Ethan the drummer materialized and, with Jon, started
up with a Dylan song.

I didn't write down the setlist for the second set (seventy minutes, all
covers except for the impromptu ones and Grant's song), so I'll just
mention some of the most memorable bits...

After four or five songs, Robyn talked Grant into singing a Grant Lee
Buffalo tune (with Grant switching to guitar, Robyn to bass, Jon to
drums, and Ethan going for more beer). This they did. Then, while
sitting and playing bass, Robyn made up a song about hair ("C'mon
hair/grow on out of my body/c'mon hair/grow on out of my soul"). Many
times, Robyn seemed to get ready to sing a new line, when Grant would hit
a piercing note on the guitar, and a slghtly irritated-looking Robyn
would have to wait another measure or two. But they kept on, and it

Then Grant agreed to make up a tune, with Jon moving to keyboards... and
Robyn on drums!

My eyes went out on stalks when Robyn stepped behind the drum set. Never
in my wildest dreams did I think I'd see that. He started making some
noise that vaguely resembled the percussion in Devo's version of "(I
Can't Get No) Satisfaction," at a slower tempo. The others struggled to
come up with appropriate accompaniment.... a metronome Robyn was not....
and the result was, well, musically forgettable, but visually forever
burned into the cerebrum of all present.

Robyn tried to talk Grant into playing drums, to no avail, so they went
back to a more conventional arrangement (with Ethan reappearing) to
complete the set. Everything beyond this point was gravy, and we lapped
it up, happy as clams. The only thing I remember offhand from this is
Arnold Layne; if someone did write down what was played, I'd love to see
that list. Finally it came to a close at about 1:30.

About two and a half hours of music in all, Robyn letting it all hang out
at the end of his little US trip. This was a treat.


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