Subject: jazz cafe set
Hello to the virtual and
I typed in the set list from the Jazz Cafe gig two weeks back.
My favourite from the evening was 'Adoration of the City'. (It sounds
great on the electric guitar,
esp. with jazzy saxophone and rhythm banana.)
robyn hitchcock, jazz cafe,
[solo acoustic, black shirt with white spots]
From: "Matthew Knights"
The Dear Janes supported Robyn. I only heard their last few songs as I walked in and wasn't impressed - the sort of live music you talk over. While waiting for Robyn I spotted one half of Coffee & Cream in the audience. Was it Coffee ?Was it Cream ? I'm not sure. Robyn came on with his Martin and black&white polka dot shirt and launched into Gene Hackman. He mentioned his film and said It is being held up so they can edit in Gary Glitter. The audience enjoyed that. His guitar and voice were powerful and clear and after a few songs I laughed when Robyn introduced 1974 with "You're born, you have a series of hot drinks and then you die". Tim from Homer played guitar for a few songs but he seemed subdued and unhappy. His usual stage chemistry with Robyn was lacking.
Both artists complained about the cold air on stage. Tim begged for the AC to be switched off. Robyn asked for a cup of coffee.
For me the best song was a thrilling performance of Devil's Radio which made my spine tingle. This was due in great part to Robyn's muso chum who jumped on stage and played 'zoot horn rollo' style saxophone all the way through. It sounded similar to the Moss Elixir version. Later Robyn switched to Telecaster and I was relieved he did not use the fuzzbox which I think sounds so tacky. Instead he used a lot of reverb on Glass Hotel and a lot of echo on some old song about a lizard which worked well. He did a long encore and played about 80 minutes altogether.
I hadn't seen Robyn for 18 months and I really enjoyed myself. Well done RH.
Subject: What were the sound engineers on? + new gig
I know I've retired into the deepest darkest depths of lurkdom, but I'll briefly mention some of the highs and lows of last night's Jazz Cafe gig.
Firstly, I didn't rate the Dear Janes much at the 12 Bar, and I still don't rate them much after last night. But I don't think they deserve The treatment they got from the sound engineer. Okay, to be fair he'd sorted the sound out by the end of their set, but where was he during the sound check? The guitars were too low, the bass was a muddy puddle, and the drums (bass drum + bongos + hi-hat/ride) were a mess.
Anyway, enough of the Dear Janes. Robyn was on pretty good form - great vocals, great guitar, etc., etc. I didn't make a note of the set; it consisted of most of the stuff he's been performing recently, but we did get a good selection of new songs, some of which I heard for the first time (Adoration Of The City, Freeze, Feels Like 1974, I Feel Beautiful).
Tim joined in for a good proportion of the set, and Ntchuks for quite a few songs as well. Highlights? 'I Feel Beautiful' felt beautiful, and 'I Saw Nick Drake' with sax was nice. We also got a pretty experimental version of Airscape... a bit haphazard during the solo, but 10 out of 10 for effort. Robyn also had some sound engineer problems - guitar effects not working, until he complained about it into the mike and suddenly they sprung to life. "How did you do that?" he asked looking at the soundengineer, "he must be a Scorpio!" We also had one song dedicated to Baby Spice (the man has taste! Go on, let the flames roar!), but I can't for life of me remember which song or why (I don't think he even hinted at why though). All in all, another good gig showcasing some strong new songs.I can't wait for the next album!
PS I didn't get to record this one before you all ask!