Reports from the 12 bar.


Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 

From: "Matthew Knights"

Subject: See Kimberley Play

Robyn wore the salamander shirt for the final 12Bar show last night. If anyone taped the show I'd welcome an e-mail off list as I would really enjoy listening to it again. I felt last night's show was the perfect Robyn gig. As an old 'Softie' the biggest thrill was seeing Robyn and Kimberley head off into the night after their soundcheck, presumably for an evening meal somewhere and anticipating seeing Kimberley play for the first time since 1981. (Incidentally, I can't imagine R&K dining at McDonalds - I wonder where would they go to eat out?)

Suzy Hug jumped on stage about 9pm and charmed and entertained the neutral crowd, silencing the noisy element with a few intelligent words before her set began. Jake from Homer backed her up on guitar. By the final song she had won over the whole audience with a very good support act. As she left the room I spotted Kimberley standing by the door congratulating her.

Big R took the stage about 10.15pm with Lets Go Thundering and followed this with 52 Stations, Cheese Alarm, Trilobyte, that Furs song (News of the Day?) and others before switching to Telecaster. Robyn filled his set with plenty of stream of conciousness ad libbing chat. Kimberley joined in for the last 20 minutes and they played Queen of Eyes, Face of Death and - my absolute favourite - Insanely Jealous ( I felt smug at this point having shouted out "How about IJ!" a little earlier). They played Waterloo Sunset as an encore. Robyn enjoyed himself and left the stage with a cheerful"See you in July".

Mattrom: woj <woj@smoe.org>

>Subject: a note from Robyn

>got the following from antwoman this evening: Robyn has asked if this message from him can be 'circulated'

>>Apologies ofr the mouldy gig at the 12 Bar. The people upstairs wouldn't shut up, so I shut down. Normal service will be resumed ASAP. Love, Robyn

>anyone who was at the 12-bar care to explain?

I wasn't at the gig, but I know Robyn's gripe, and it seems to be common at the 12 Bar. The 12 Bar is a TINY place. If you took a two-car garage, and slapped a balcony in the top, stuffed a stage in one corner, and a soundboard in a closet where the water heater should go, you've got an idea of the 12 Bar. The stage area is actually high enough that the performers are looking at eye level with the people seated at the tables in the balcony (especially a tall guy like Robyn). Put fifty people in there and it's crowded. Put 150 people in there and it's jammed. The sound of people having ordinary conversation becomes a roar. When I went to see Robyn and Tim at the 12 Bar in August last year, Robyn came out onstage before Tim's set with a tin of tomatoes, and made the announcement that he was holding a tin of tomatoes and he didn't know why,but he did know that Tim was coming out on stage followed by himself. Thclub is small, and the shows are acoustic, and both he and Tim could hear all the conversation everyone else is making during the show, so please keep it down cos it blows their concentration. If the audience members couldn't be considerate enough to keep it down during the songs, then they'd stop until the audience got the talking out of their system. We did. Great show.

Look after yerselves...Doc

: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 11:16:05 -0000

From: "Matthew Knights" <mknights@harrywasp.prestel.co.uk>

Subject: Re: a note from Robyn

Robyn gave a strong performance and the talking from upstairs was only a problem in the first part of his set. I was downstairs and the talking from upstairs was loud, intrusive and persistent. Curiously, the noisy ones were quiet during the Homer support set but came to life as soon as Big R appeared. I couldn't see them but they sounded like media types - don't ask me to explain, I love my prejudices - and they conversed in avery animated way, over the music, as though they were at a party.

Naturally, Robyn was doing his acoustic stuff first and his poor Martin couldn't compete. He completely lost it somewhere around his third song saying "You'll find it much more comfortable outside, the people down here have bought tickets you know, this isn't a Rock venue. This is FOLK music". Robyn was dour and fierce and I could sense suppressed rage. He responded by firing off his songs in quick succession without any ad-libbing or stories at all. His plea for silence had no immediate effect but the talking did diminish a while later. When it came to the electric section,he really cranked up the amp volume, using the power of the telecaster to enforce silence on the audience. In my opinion, no apology is necessary as Robyn's performance was solid and professional.


There was a busload of folks there from Not Europe, whowere more concerned with impressing each other than listening to music (or allowing others to do so). I suspect that most of them were more used to conducting conversation over several hundred yards of cornfield rather than several inches of echoey London club.

Despite a perfectly polite and reasonable request from Robyn, the chatter continued, hence one of his more perfunctory performances. Not that the chattering ghastlies would have noticed.

Setlist something like:

      Arms of Love

      Cheese Alarm

      All That Money Wants

      Heartful Of Leaves

      Beautiful Girl

      Ghost Ship



      De Chirico St

      I Feel Beautiful

      This Could Be The Day

      Autumn Is Your Last Chance


      Goodnight I Say


      Beautiful Queen

      corrections welcome!



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