Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

The Soft Boys
Concert appearance: Thu., 26 Apr. 2001

The Electric Ballroom
London, England UK

Set list:

You'll Have to Go Sideways
Kingdom of Love
Queen of Eyes
Tonight
Old Pervert
My Mind is Connectedů
Bells of Rhymney (Pete Seeger/Idris Davies)
Insanely Jealous
I Wanna Destroy You
Human Music
Leppo and the Jooves
Underwater Moonlight
Encore: Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd)
Encore: Airscape
Encore: Rock 'N' Roll Toilet
Encore: I Got the Hots
Encore: The Face of Death
Encore: Mr. Kennedy

Just been to the Electric Ballroom gig but didn't write down the set-list.
This might be a very boring thing to say but the band were fucking
brilliant, and they played all of UM except Positive Vibrations. I Got The
Hots was essayed in a laid-back almost country-rock style, which actually
worked, bizarrely enough. Robyn was very apologetic about it, saying that
he doesn't play this one very often, and that once we'd heard it we'd know
why.

The place was pretty full and they got a rapturous reception, which was
nice given London's sometimes 'too cool to clap' reputation. Robyn was on
mischevious lyrical form, but I was fairly drunk and the only change I can
remember now is the substitution of 'boy' for 'girl' and '...disinfectant
is the only thing that passes my lips' in Old Perv. But I know that Kingdom
Of Love and Insanely Jealous had some interesting twists. Damn that
alcohol. No Joe, damn you for drinking it.

Generally, he kept things succint between numbers and this tactic served to
heighten the excellence of the songs, the power of the band's presence and
their instrumental dexterity. (Though no bloody sound engineer has given
Matthew his due weight yet, and the general mix in Camden was rather shitty
to begin with as well

He mentioned that the last time they played here it was opening for the
Psychedelic Furs in 1980. Last time I was at the Leccy B'room I saw Jesus &
Mary Chain inciting a riot, throwing things at the security guards
etc...Though I'm generally rather immoderate politically the lovely,
pacifistic Soft Boys experience (pace, I Wanna Destroy You) was eminently
preferable ;-)

Superb version of Astro Dom as well with Sonic Boom earning his corn for a
change. But why do they play Airscape? It's a fragile little song that
needs gentle nurturing, they bludgeon it to death...The other element (no
pun intended) I have a problem with is Robyn's wah-wah guitar noodlings
under Kim's superb crescendoing solo in Insanely Jealous. It's not
necessary, and for me the only residual bit of 'nuclear arms race axe
rivalry' from the old days...My Mind Is Connected is certainly my fave
newie - wonderful, wonderful song...As far as I remember though, that and
Mr K were the only new ones they played.

Jmbc


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