Robyn Hitchcock - Bowery Ballroom, New York - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Robyn Hitchcock - Bowery Ballroom, New York

by Kevin Orton Rating: Release Date:
Robyn Hitchcock - Bowery Ballroom, New York
Robyn Hitchcock - Bowery Ballroom, New York

There's a reason why I never try to miss Robyn Hitchcock when he hits town. He never puts on a bad show. The past three times I've seen have been solo acoustic gigs, all of which had their fair share of surprises. This time, Mr. Hitchcock was backed by a trio going by the moniker, The Nashville Fabs. The results were suitably fab.

He kicked off the set with a spare haunting, 'I Often Dream Of Trains' before launching into an eclectic set featuring highlights from his last album. Live, 'Autumn Sunglasses' did not disappoint. A performance that was as infectious as it was hypnotic. 'Mad Shelly's Letterbox' is a new Hitchcock classic in my book. 'Time Coast' proved even more rousing than its studio version. 

But its the classics Hitchcock fans are clamoring for and Robyn delivered them. In between his customary, witty surrealistic banter. 'Madonna of the Wasps' was a welcome choice, while 'Reptile' is an obscurity harking back to his Soft Boys days. Speaking of the Soft Boys, also on the menu were 'Queen of Eyes' and a fiery 'I Wanna Destroy You'. As many times as I've seen Robyn live over the years, he's never performed 'The Man With The Lightbulb Head'. A song my wife (also a longtime fan) was pleasantly surprised to hear. Along with the charming Emma Swift (his wonderful supporting act), he performed a positively haunting and gorgeous rendition of 'Queen Elvis'. He also played a striking 'Light Blue Afternoon' off the ultra-rare Tromso Kaptein. 'Winchester' has long been a personal favorite of mine, which I've never heard him do live. Was elated he included this gem in the set. I was also thrilled to see him dig deep and dust off another longtime favorite, 'Driving Aloud (Radio Storm)'. 

No Robyn Hitchcock show is complete without an ambitious cover. In the past, I've marveled him tackling the likes of, 'Visions of Johanna' without missing a word. For this show, he brought Lenny Kaye onstage to help out on a stab at the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. A song famous for its studio wizardry and a tough thing to pull off live. It was a stellar version and a fantastic send off to a memorable evening. Here's to many more, Mr. Hitchcock.  

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