Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

The Soft Boys
Concert appearance: Fri., 25 Oct. 2002

Hoboken, New Jersey US
Set 1

Set list:

Hear My Brane
Kingdom Of Love
Queen Of Eyes
Unprotected Love
My Mind is Connected…
Mr. Kennedy
Vegetable Man (Syd Barrett)
La Cherité
Man With The Lightbulb Head
Where Are The Prawns?
Underwater Moonlight

From woj

From Ed P.

I gave Matthew a copy of my Baltimore 3/19/01 on DVD ("great, can we put some of this up on the website?"). Asked Morris if he knew who the opening act was going to be -- "I dunno, I don't think there is one. [checks schedule posted on door] Oh, looks like we're doing two sets..." Rebuffed my suggestion that they find some acoustic guitars and work out "Bananas" or "Book of Love" or "Heartaches Begin" before the show... Matthew at least laughed at this suggestion...

show time, shortly after 10:00 pm. "Hear My Brane" -- damn fine way to start a show, ripping. [after typical robyn-isms between songs]: "and that's all the information currently available, now back over to Chief Moose of Maryland..." (several sniper references throughout). Also, Kingdom, Q of Eyes, Unprotected Love... and The Man with the Lightbulb Head (!) in a great 55-60 minute first set. 30 min break, then back for more. 60-70 minute 2nd set, highlighted by "Strings," "Anglepoise Lamp" (!) ("one of my early songs observing how things change into other things -- and I was right! they do!"), "When I Was a Kid," "Jealous" ... ends 12:50 am, time for one encore anyone ever been to a robyn-related concert with a one-song encore before? I'm betting there's a 1:00 am curfew on live music... plus, the band (esp. Robyn) looked completely whipped by the end -- "Only the Stones Remain" the choice for encore, and in said exhausted state, Robyn sticks to lower registers singing, no hand waving...

From Max

The concert itself? Well what can I say, it was really great. The sound was great, the band seemed in great spirits, with Mathew passing out free beer to lucky audience members and water to some young(and I do mean young)ladies in the audience. The first set was nearly an hour and the second set was about an hour also, that's minus the lengthy delay between the second set and the encore. Prior to the encore Robyn said his voice was shot and that they were only going to do one more, Only The Stones Remain. He sang it in a lower register and did not wave his arms about as per the usual. I saw a copy of the second setlist, he dropped two songs from the list, OM and something like(I don't remember exactly what it said) If you know(remember)The Time. That second one was the second song of the encore, does anyone know what that could be?

From Kay

Of all of Robyn's songs the one that truely unnerves me is "Lightbulb Head." I used to think I's outgrow this but as I learned Friday -- I havent so far.

The lighting effect, which had half of Robyn's face pink, and half purple was grotesque in a good way. He wore a shirt I havent seen for the second set(first set was lizard shirt.) Matt has lost weight from the last tour, and got rid of the white tee-shirt for a golden brown button down shirt-- good color on him,he moves around more than most bass players

Morris had on a tshirt with french writing on it and seems to lean alot to the left while playing. Is there a technical reason for this? Kimberly had on a small flower pink and black shirt he wore for the last tour and is now ahead of me in the search for a good conditioner. In fact, they were all in good hair.

I know all the males on the list have winced thru the last 2 paragraphs but visuals do count. And playing ? They were very tight. Matt's chunky bass really filled in properly under the inticate guitars and Morris will go done in some hall of fame as"the impeccible drummer." In fact, before starting one song Robyn made a joke about how really only Morris and Matt understood the timimg, he and Kimberley just faked it.

And most of all I just realized all over again what a great rock n roll band they are. The sounds just fit together right and make you move. For the life of me I cant understand why more people, (besides more women) dont realize that they are one of the best bands around.

You know what would blow my little mind? Katie suggested it to me and I realized it would be heaven. Covering a Beatles song -- and not a late with surrealistic lyrics and odd instrumentationm beatles song but ... "She Loves You" or "Help" or "I Wann Hold Your Hand" or ... any of the simple early ones with great harmonies. Any of the ones that took my little childhood heart and blew it away(and theirs, since we're of similar vintage.) I cant think of many bands who could really pull it off -- they could.

From Barbara

Wow. . . it's three days later and I'm still smiling! The combination of the perfect venue, great crowd and Robyn and the boys made for an absolutely amazing night. Oct. 25 was family night at Maxwell's, with some young kids grooving to the sounds. I say, start them early on the road to superior musical taste!

Arriving early and securing my spot right at the foot of the stage was very wise planning on my part. Being right at the step RH and the boys climbed to reach the stage satisfied the 16-year old groupie that still lives deep inside me (yes, he brushed against me!)

The performance was in a word, amazing! My mind is completely blank over what they started with, but they followed with pitch perfect versions of Kingdom of Love and Queen of Eyes. Other highlights of the first set were a wowzer version of Underwater Moonlight and, of course, all the best from Nextdoorland.

Then, a second set... a new thing for the band, according to Robyn. And an extra surprise... Matthew S. handing out some nice, cold beers to a lucky group of us in the front (again, my early arrival proves fortuitous for me! Thanks again for the beer!) Highlights of the second set: Airscape.. one of my favorites, and I actually shed a tear. Favorite song, favorite man, it all proved a bit overwhelming! Another highlight, fantastic version of Man with the Lightbuld Head, the interplay between Robyn and Kimberley was well-worth the price of admission. It was obvious how much they were enjoying the show ... making it all the more enjoyable for us.

Another highlight: Matthew Seligman! Who knew he was so cute! Every time someone said something to him, a huge smile lite his face.. a great thing to see. He was thrilled to be there, and we were thrilled to join him!

From Ed G.


[Show started at about 10:20. Note that the Robyn quotes here are approximate at best. Some quotes also have gaps.]

Robyn: "Infinity goes up on trial, and the same can be said of Maxwell's. Tonight we're opening for ourselves."

Hear My Brane. Very powerful version, such a danceable song. What struck me and my wife later is how the song completely established that the band up there really was the Soft Boys. Nobody else would (or could) have played it.

Kingdom of Love. Very sultry version, with the last verse kind of skinned back. Kimberley really thrashing toward the end. By now it's clear that the band is very tight and meshing well. I liked how Matthew's volume was turned up a bit more than last year; the difference was immense.

Robyn: "I often wonder if the person in this song is a man singing to a woman, or a woman singing to a man, or if they're gay, then a man to a man, or..." Ran through other permutations, then abruptly finished with "That's all I have to share at this time. And now over to Inspector Moots in Maryland."

Queen of Eyes

Robyn: "One of the things about being a legendary defunct band is that everybody thinks they can kiss you and they're cured."

Unprotected Love.

Mind is Connected. Matthew gets that slinky bass sound on this song by tuning the high (B) string up and down as he's playing.

Robyn: "Smoke while you can, NY, before you go the way of California. Of course you can still smoke in Virginia, after they've finished pulling all the bullets out of you."

Mr. Kennedy. Played with a harder edge than on the album -- great, especially the double guitars at the end.

Robyn: Something about Syd Barret, like "he was there before we were so he wasn't there".

Vegetable Man. Robyn started the second verse sotto voce and ended it snarling, sounding a bit like Johnny Lydon. Then in came Kimberley with the wah pedal. Incredible version of a great tune.

Robyn, as the band starts tuning down their guitars: "The sound of guitars tuning is one of the most erotic sounds known to man. It can cure impotence -- in men and women.".

La Cherite. As the song started, he dedicated it to Michelle.

Man With The Lightbulb Head. Kimberley did the falsetto bits.

Robyn: "This is from when there were a lot of wah pedals around Cambridge but I didn't get one. The band and I were saving up to buy a bicycle. I didn't get one until they were gone. You had to be there."

Where Are The Prawns?

Robyn: "Thanks. We'll conclude side one with this. Take time to find yourself a drink." Followed with some anti-Bush stuff.

Underwater Moonlight. Matthew's new-found assertiveness completely carries the song, and Kimberley's solo was burning. Kimberley also helped out the mid-song rant with some slide guitar effects. Can't do the mid-song part justice here, but it dark and funny at the same time: "Descend only lower, into perpetual solitude, down into the seaweed ... furballs ... diabolical, submarinating ... Sink a little lower, under the barnacles, you've been dead 3 1/2 minutes ... Captain! They want to play you a Jewel CD! Wake up NOW captain! Join the Book of the Month Club! It's a cry for help!".


Robyn, as the band retakes the stage: "Matthew's just preparing some drinks to hand out". (he actually was doling out beers to the audience). Robyn said not to worry -- "Safe, safe, everything we do is safe."

I Love Lucy

Pulse Of My Heart. In case anybody's wondering, Robyn plays the guitar solo on this one.

Robyn: "This is a 'I Wanna Be A Seven-Winged Bat', originally called 'Anglepoise Lamp'".

Anglepoise Lamp


Robyn: "This is only available on side 3." Plug about it being for sale in back. Something about "a fellow in Kent had a picture of the universe forming up in his attic, a sepia print that belonged to his aunt." (wish I could remember this one -- it was very funny and very weird).


Robyn: "This is also from side 3, but it's a very different tempo."

Disconnection Of The Ruling Class. Lots of hand-waving, then co-leads from Robyn and Kimberley. Very nice.

Robyn: "This should be played in a stadium, not a back room."

Strings. Took it down in the middle, with Robyn almost talking the "Evil is the new enemy..." part. Then back to hard and loud with "Father is coming...". Robyn and Kimberley trading guitar parts. Intense.

Robyn: "This is dedicated to people trying to be in tune everywhere."

Bells Of Rhymney. Beautifully played and sung.

When I Was A Kid. Nice slashing guitar work by Kimberley.

Robyn: (something about 500 rabbits following a train). Asked if the "train" he was talking about should be called a train or a tram here in the US. Some in audience say tram, others say train, all at once. Robyn grins and says "I'm glad you're all informed -- this touches on the subject".

Sudden Town

Robyn: "We'll leave you with this"

Insanely Jealous. Incredibly intense version. This is my wife's favorite UM song, and we were both blown away by it.


(Robyn claims his voice is shot)

Only The Stones Remain. Robyn practically talks the song, but it still works, and works well. Once again, the music is tight, hard, and loud.

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