November 14, 1986 |
Robyn Hitchcock, who will appear at Haverford College tomorrow night, is one of the most original and underrated of all current rock-music creators. This English songwriter, guitarist and singer has spent the first half of the 1980s creating literate, funny and occasionally scary visions of modern life. Singing in a scratchy murmur, Hitchcock has led two bands, the Soft Boys and the Egyptians. For both of them, he has written songs that combine rough- edged rock with verbal inventiveness.
March 24, 2007 |
Not to worry, dear reader: There are no creepy, crawly, disgusting creatures oozing across the screen in Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death . . . And Insects, the one-hour documentary film being shown on the Sundance Channel at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The dark and disturbing stuff that goes on is all inside the head - and the songs - of Hitchcock, the British singer and guitarist who plays the World Caf? Live on Monday with his band the Venus 3, which includes Peter Buck (of R.E.M.
November 17, 1986 |
Robyn Hitchcock sang of fish and death on Saturday night at Haverford College. Hitchcock, England's quirkiest songwriter, and his band, the Egyptians, were promoting the release of his staggering third album in a year, Elements of Light (Relativity). He relishes singing of peculiar twists in everyday situations, equating the morbid and the mundane. Too often, however, he merely shocks rather than enlightens, as when he sings "Sometimes I wish I was a pretty girl so I could rape myself in the shower.
November 21, 2008 |
Trust perennial eccentric Robyn Hitchcock to put a twist on the complete-album craze. As CD sales have plummeted, more and more artists have taken to staging live-action listening parties for their fans, performing a classic (read: old) record in its entirety and replacing the vagaries of live performance with a guaranteed set list. Even the most vibrant of acts can't escape a sense that they've turned into their own tribute bands. Hitchcock's show Wednesday at World Cafe Live was billed as a re-creation of his 1984 album I Often Dream of Trains, but deviations from the record began before the first note was played.
March 6, 2014 |
Robyn Hitchcock may just be the last of the great English eccentrics. Like Kevin Ayers, Roy Harper, Robert Wyatt, and his hero, Pink Floyd fire-starter Syd Barrett, Hitchcock has forever crafted a sound - alone or with his first notable ensemble, the Soft Boys - whimsically and surrealistically literate with melodies steeped in folk traditionalism, psychedelia, and art-pop. His lyrics, sung in a gloriously nasal English accent reminiscent of a young Lennon or Bowie, express pent-up ire, frustration, mirth, and joy, while dazzling the listener/reader with their bold, odd intelligence and black humor.
December 1, 2004 |
When Robyn Hitchcock was a boy, he wanted to be a mad scientist. "The only problem was I was never very good at math," says the 51-year-old singer, sitting at a Philadelphia restaurant. "Then I heard Dylan, and my soul was magnetized by music. And I wanted to be a cult figure, a curly-haired Jewish boy from Minnesota with sunglasses. " That didn't work out either, recalls Hitchcock, whose lovely, unsettling and perfectly titled new album, Spooked (Yep Roc), was recorded last winter with American roots musicians David Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
March 11, 2011 |
RAY DAVIES got the whole "music and conversation" show-concept going a few years back, spinning a night of tunes and tales off his "X-Ray" autobiography and deep catalog of Kinks Klassics. In the next few weeks, Philadelphians will be privy to several more of such mixed-media concert treats. Rodney Crowell has a songs-and-stories showcase - tied to his artfully spun new hard-luck-life autobiography, "Chinaberry Sidewalks" - coming next Friday to the Sellersville Theatre. Peter Asher will regale us with tales and tunes (as half of Peter and Gordon, and as hit producer for the likes of Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor)
January 31, 1992 |
"People are really looking for the idiosyncrasies now," Robyn Hitchcock says uneasily, sounding more than a little trapped. A singer/songwriter with a weakness for classic '60s pop and an image that's kept him perpetually on the fringe of the music business, Hitchcock has acquired a reputation for unusual themes and free-associative situations in songs that don't always offer conventional narrative. With the current Perspex Island (A&M), he's tried to change that, to subordinate the science-fiction oddities to the music.
November 13, 1996 |
On the surface, Billy Bragg and Robyn Hitchcock, who will share billing tomorrow night at the Keswick Theater, appear to be cut from the same cloth. Both are British singer-songwriters with longtime cult followings. Each is reappearing after a lengthy absence, and both are blessed with a gift of gab that often makes the spoken interludes the highlight of their concerts. But Bragg, whose new William Bloke (Elektra) is his first album in five years, and Hitchcock, whose Moss Elixir (Warner Bros.
October 26, 1990 |
Shortly after spinning a surrealistic tale of avenging turnips, Robyn Hitchcock mused: "I'm not being metaphysical. I'm not being literal either. Doesn't leave much margin, does it?" But within that margin Hitchcock created a vivid universe of inspired lunacy Wednesday night. Before a sold-out house at the Theater of Living Arts, Hitchcock put his weird and whimsical songs to that tunesmith's acid test, the solo performance. Touring without his backing band, the Egyptians, he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar for a stripped-down 90-minute survey of his last three albums.