Harriet Kaplan

Robyn Hitchcock @ The Troubadour – 05/03/2017

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Robyn-HitchcockBritish singer/songwriter/guitarist Robyn Hitchcock performed a 30 minute raw, potent intimate acoustic set followed by a full electric set at a sold-out show at the Troubadour on May 3rd in which he jokingly referred to as a “recital” and he further commented in jest, “he didn’t want to pay for an opening act.” Taking a short break, the quirky and critically-acclaimed artist returned to the stage with an extended performance featuring his full backing band that played with vigor, passion and joyous youthful exuberance anchored by Hitchcock, who has a grounded and steely presence. Between the songs, Hitchcock casually spoke off the cuff and in a stream-of-conscious way through the dynamic show with a running commentary on everything from aging, Donald Trump, Brian Wilson, Norway and a lot more.

Touring in support in his 21st album, Robyn Hitchcock, the 64-year-old seems to have no intention of slowing and is in top form going and strong with a 40 year plus career starting with Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians and various solo projects through that time span. Robyn Hitchcock is known for his distinctive voice and droll wit. The new LP Hitchcock himself describes as “an ecstatic work of negativity” touching on the state of the world and humankind against a backdrop of psychedelic-inspired folk rock. Hitchcock has been influenced musically and lyrically by Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Syd Barrett. Hitchcock’s lyrics tend to include “surrealism, comedic elements, characterizations of English eccentrics, and melancholy depictions of everyday life.”

The expansive, deep catalog plus some more obscure cuts and new material were featured prominently throughout the night along with a few cover songs. Some material worked better within the electric context than others, and at times, some of the momentum was lost, the songs not being as compelling, but regardless there were very few missteps. It was still a satisfying and creatively multi-faceted show. Robyn Hitchcock fans were clearly in awe. They watched with quiet intensity and seemed captivated by this legendary artist.

Solo Acoustic

Tonight (The Soft Boys song) | Victorian Squid | No, I Don’t Remember Guildford | Fifty Two Stations | Beautiful Girl

Full Band Electric

Kingdom of Love (The Soft Boys song) | Acid Bird | I Want to Tell You About What I Want | America | I Pray When I’m Drunk | If You Were a Priest (Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song) | Strawberries Dress | Madonna of the Wasps (Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians song) | So You Think You’re in Love | N.Y. Doll (Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 song) | Insanely Jealous (The Soft Boys song) | I Wanna Destroy You | (The Soft Boys song) | Sayonara, Judge | Mad Shelley’s Letterbox | The Bells of Rhymney (The Byrds cover) | Roadhouse Blues (The Doors cover)

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