Robyn Hitchcock... Gigography

Robyn Hitchcock's ROCK ARMADA
Concert appearance: Sat., 6 Nov. 1999

The Magic Bag
Ferndale, Michigan US

Set list:

Mexican God
The Devil's Coachman
Arms of Love
My Wife and My Dead Wife
I Feel Beautiful add tim
Alright, Yeah add Jake Kyle
The Cheese Alarm add Kimberley
Jewels for Sophia
Sinister But She Was Happy
Madonna of the Wasps
Queen of Eyes
Sleeping with Your Devil Mask
Encore: Airscape encore (solo)
Encore: Reynardine (Traditional, arr. Fairport Convention) add Kimberley
Encore: Kingdom of Love
Encore: America full band
Encore: Birds in Perspex
Encore: Beautiful Queen
Encore: Adoration of the City second encore
Encore: Elizabeth Jade

An incredible 5 minutes of America which at one point the rhythm section held
it tight while Robyn and Muppetman engaged in some nice long soloing.
I talked with Paul the tour manager (super cool guy) and he said I could hook
up to the sound board, but he thought I'd get a better sound with my Audio
Technica AT822. The management at the bag was a bit stand-off-ish, and I was
drunk. We decided to just get the audience recording. Plus the soundboard was
way in the back and I wasn't gonna give up my excellent seat next to Carissa.
Anyway the recording turned out just fine, and I'll get back to those of you
who wanted to trade.

In my drunkeness I forgot to talk to Robyn, who was standing right next to
me, after the show. I did talk with all of the lounge who were all cool
cats. Have fun future feg show-ers. Robyn almost always comes out after the
show, and either I'm still growing or Robyn's shrinking. I remember him
being taller.


I've never been to the Magic Bag, in fashionable Ferndale, before. It's a
nice club with groovy globe lighting and lots of places to sit. I arrived
with my friends, proto-fegs Andy and Caroline, and sat in the back, where
we observed the Departure Lounge's set. I thought they were all right,
but somehow reminiscent of most of the other British pop I've heard
lately. "Captain Keegan" wore a silly hat and Lindsay the drummer was
very enthused.

The show began with just Robyn and his acoustic guitar, and he was
gradually joined by more and more band members until the Rock Armada was
fully in place. And damn, did they rock. Kimberly is an absolute hoot -
I was literally laughing out loud every time I looked at him. He grins
maniacally, makes goofy faces, bugs his eyes out, and appears to be
physically attacking his guitar in an attempt to subdue it. He actually
did a fairly good job of upstaging Robyn much of the time. Tim was very
solemn, even when someone screamed "CAPTAIN KEEGAN!" During the second
encore he came out without his goofy hat, revealing himself to be
crop-haired and terribly cute. *sigh*

They played many of my favorites, including a rocking version of "Queen of
Eyes" and a lovely rendition of "Airscape" (which Robyn did solo, with his
electric guitar). This included a bit where Robyn stopped playing and
sang the sad altered lyric a capella: "The quick explosion and release of
sorrow." I was hoping they would play "Only the Stones Remain," and
actually thought they were about to at one point, but it turned out to be
"Adoration of the City," which I'd never heard before, and enjoyed. Robyn
and Kimberly played a folk song together, called "Renardine" (sp?) - not
quite up my alley, but interesting. "Antwoman" featured a guy from
Departure Lounge playing oboe (for the "antvoices"), and the song rocked a
lot more than it does on the album. The songs from Moss Elixir suffered a
little without Deni Bonet, but Kimberly filled in quite nicely. They did
not play "Glass Hotel," sad to say, but the show did end with - hooray!! -
"Elizabeth Jade," which made me VERY happy.

After the show, I talked to the fegs and gave a couple of tinfoil figures
to Kimberly - a human for him and an Anubis for Robyn. He was very
friendly. Then we waited around in the lobby for Eddie to fetch his car -
the plan was for him to follow us back to Ann Arbor, crash with me and
then be on my radio show the next morning. While we waited, I observed
that cute Mr. Keegan talking to people, and went over to shake his hand,
resisting the temptation to smooth down the cowlicks left over from taking
off his hat. Eddie arrived and we were getting ready to leave when a tall
shaggy-haired figure entered the lobby. I enquired of Robyn whether he
had received his Anubis. He said yes, and said he had managed to get the
Thoth I had given him in July back to England in one piece. I mentioned
how he had said his hand was clammy when I met him in Chicago, and he
said, "Well, I exude all sorts of fluids on a regular basis." "I would be
worried if you didn't," I said. He seemed very happy with the show and
went on about what a good place Detroit is to play. He went on chatting
with fans until the management kicked us all out.

n., wishing I could go to Cincinnati, too…

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