Robyn Hitchcock Archive

Robyn Hitchcock – The Executioner (Live)

I have been generally pleased with the recently instituted concept of established acts touring behind a “classic” album has taken hold. (Somewhere The Strokes are de-tuning their guitars for their This is It tour). Many such feature-album type shows caught over the years include notable TSOI favs such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Wedding Present, The Cure, Joy Division (via Peter Hook).

Brian Wilson started this phenomenon when he trotted out the fabled Smile album in 2004, some 30+ years after he shelved the most infamous album never released. I suspect that you will find that the recent rash of “classic” album tours can be traced to Wilson’s Smile tour and his follow-up Pet Sounds tour.

Here is a notable track from the ever-cool Robyn Hitchcock‘s generally most revered album, Eye which he played in its entirety to an enraptured crowd in Gowanus Brooklyn in 2011. A sampling of Robyn’s inimitable banter included, natch.

11/19/11 Bell House Setlist

Cynthia Mask
Queen Elvis
Flesh Cartoons
Chinese Water Python
The Executioner
Sweet Ghost Of Light
Linctus House
Transparent Lover
Beautiful Girl
Clean Steve
Raining Twilight Coast
Glass Hotel
Agony Of Pleasure
Satellite
The Aquarium
encore break
One Long Pair Of Eyes
Madonna Of The Wasps
Ole Tarantula

Download: Robyn Hitchcock – The Executioner (Live)

Robyn Hitchcock/Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello – Mystery Train (Live)

Robyn Hitchcock opened on three of the stops on Nick Lowe’s limited US tour. I don’t know Nick Lowe from boo, but I will make a point to see Robyn Hitchock whenever the opportunity presents itself. The show at Grand Ballroom in New York on April 9th started out pretty weird from the get-go. It was set in a carpeted ballroom with stackable chairs laid out like one would expect at a Donald Trump hosted Learning Annex Seminar. On top of that, the crowd looked as if it was pulled from a Larry David stunt double convention…that is nearly all old balding dudes. Robyn Hitchcock started the show and was, as usual, very entertaining.

The Nick Lowe set was surprisingly good as well. My perception is that Nick Lowe is like an UK version of Lee Hazelwood; a highly regarded (British country?!?) songwriter whose renown was more for writing songs popularized by others. Like a UK based Hazelwood he seems to have wry dark humor to his songs and a lot of cool cred in particular among UK artists like Hitchcock, despite having been out of the picture for quite some time. (In one of Hitchcock’s inter-song dialogs he referred to himself as Nick Lowe’s psychedelic little brother.)

Nick Lowe was in the middle of his encore when the audience flipped its collective shit when Elvis Costello joined him as a surprise guest. Elvis Costello, for whatever reason, has never caught my interest so I was a bit nonplussed with the reaction when he joined the two, in my opinion, more engaging performers in Nick and Robyn. Seeing how seldom the headlining Nick Lowe performs, I was further surprised when the up-till-then polite crowd started rushing the stage and taking cell phone photos like Hannah Montana fans. Weird. Anyway here is the final song in the encore with Robyn Hitchcock leading the three in the Elvis track “Mystery Train”.

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Download: Robyn Hitchcock/Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello – Mystery Train (Live)

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Brenda’s Iron Sledge (Live Video)

Robin Hitchcock – Brenda’s Iron Sledge
Old Grey Whistle Test
1985

This is a great clip of Robyn Hitchcock on The Old Grey Whistle Test playing one of my favorite songs from “Black Snake Diamond Role.” Though, I’m not a big fan of the suit he’s wearing.

Download: Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Brenda’s Iron Sledge (Live Video)

Robyn Hitchcock – Glass Hotel (Live)

One thing I can’t stand is the “singer/songwriter” genre of music but one exception to the rule is Robyn Hitchcock. I’ve seen him play solo a few times and he is fantastic. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to the songs with a full band, but whenever I see he’s playing I make sure I’m there. This song is off of a promotional only cd “Live Death” that was released in 1992. The songs on the cd were recorded live in Minneapolis, New York and Santa Monica.

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Download: Robyn Hitchcock – Glass Hotel (Live)