Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock
Concert appearance: Tue., 27 Aug. 1996

12 Bar
London, England UK

Set list:

Antwoman acoustic
De Chirico Street
Each of Her Silver Wands
Serpent at the Gates of Wisdom
One Long Pair of Eyes
Beautiful Girl
No, I Don't Remember Guildford
Glass Hotel
I Am Not Me electric
You and Oblivion
I Often Dream of Trains
Encore: 1974
Encore: My Favourite Buildings
Encore: The Leopard
Encore: Let's Go Thundering

What a difference a week makes. Last week Robyn was distant, messing
up several guitar intros and generally looking like he wished he
was elsewhere. This week he looked like he'd rather be nowhere
else but the stage of the 12 Bar. Jumping on stage in plain purple
shirt, and the return of the green jeans, he strummed his acoustic
and slowly counted in 5...4...3...2...1...I DREAM OF ANTWOMAN taken
at a nice gentle pace. Then "this had lots of verses, then I pruned
alternate verses" DE CHIRICO STREET sounding good. Hitting his
stride, EACH OF HER SILVER WANDS hit home like never before, preceded
by a rant about how the UK was being destroyed by the forces
of Conservatism - upper class yobs controlling lower class yobs.
On with the harmonica holder (whatever you call those things) and a
story about how you need to do more than just practice the mouth harp;
you need to lie in bed wearing harp & holder with glycerine dripping
into your mouth. Then into SERPENT AT THE GATES OF WISDOM followed by
ONE LONG PAIR OF EYES played like it had been written that morning
with Robyn still wondering at its beauty. "This song was written
in the same key as that last one, but has a completely different mood"
and next up was BEAUTIFUL GIRL sung with a big grin like he'd just
rediscovered love. "If you miss someone too much you turn into them...
though it doesn't seem to work for the Christian Church" and I"M
ONLY YOU with it's gorgeous guitar denouement. Then the new I DON'T
REMEMBER GUILDFORD sounding like it'll be one of the highspots of
the next album; and closing the acoustic set a "song about a fragile
place" - GLASS HOTEL.
On with the electric and the first few chords of I AM NOT ME,
stopped as Robyn asked if we minded if he "cranked it up a bit."
Getting a pretty positive response, up went the amp to 11 and
I AM NOT ME got a sound thrashing. Next up was "YOU AND OBLIVION"
and its death trains, followed by "A song I wrote in the piano in
1982," I OFTEN DREAM OF TRAINS with the electric guitar and
the "Baby" cries at the end fading into oblivion as we hung on
in silence until the very last note."I wrote that in 1982 on
the piano" said Robyn (again) "and I wrote this in 1988." FREEZE
rocked as never before to finish off the main set.
Encore time: white shirt and back to the acoustic. FEELS LIKE
1974 and then back on with the harp for what sounded like it
was going to be Only The Stones Remain but became MY FAVOURITE
BUILDINGS complete with the fake showbiz "Thankyou Thankyous"
and manic grins. This time there was also a duff chord which
inspire Robyn into some bizarre story about invisible mooses
(meese ? moosen ?) as he felt there was "several pounds worth
of encore to go, and it shouldn't be spoilt by me not remembering
the right chord" and the a gorgeous THE LEOPARD complete with a
"go tell Jack Nicholson, this time it must" line.
"None of these (encore) songs are on my new album, though they
will all be on old ones or the next one. So if you don't like
any of them, buy the new one" finishing with LET'S GO
THUNDERING by which time we all felt too struck by lightning
to demand any more.

Sorry if that went on a bit, but it was one of the best solo
shows I've seen him do. I can recommend RS Isopropanol Cleaning
Solvent as an inspiration to reviewing if anyone's doing next
week's show (it's OK, I have a valid work use for the stuff, it's
just that the ventilation here isn't as good as it could be...)
Or the 12 Bar Fantasy Lasagne if you prefer reviewing on a full stomach.
Just don't fall for the extra-salt-in-the-free-peanuts trick.

I'm off for a lie down.


If you have an addition or correction, please send an e-mail message about it to Bayard Catron.

If you ever see an error message or a bad link, please send an e-mail message about that to John Hedges.

Back to Query Page
Back to Main Page