Robyn Hitchcock (Thursday, November 4th, 2004, Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis)
By David de Young
Robyn Hitchcock performed a special free show at The Kitty Kat Club in Minneapolis Thursday night. Announced just the previous night at the Cedar Cultural Center show, word had gotten around quite quickly as it does in this town, and the turnout was very good. I noted that many of the people who had attended the night before did double duty and returned, including writer Jim Walsh. Hitchcock announced “Jim Walsh is in the house” at the start of the show when he spotted him in the crowd as he took the stage.
Opening up with "The Ghost Ship," Hitchcock performed a longer set than the night before consisting of 21 or 22 song set (depending on how you count).
Hitchcock complimented former 12-Rod and oftentimes KKC soundman Ryan Olcott for nice job on the reverb before proceeding into "A Skull, A Suitcase and a Long Red Bottle of Wine." He dedicated the next song “Mexican God” “to our glorious leader again.” (Note the pertinent lyrics: "This is the evil I wished on so many / Time will destroy you like a Mexican god.") Political commentary was as much a running theme through Hitchcock’s two club shows here in Minneapolis as was the music. One of many political comments Hitchcock made throughout the night was pointing out that the only way to get rid of George Bush is to work to eliminate the ignorance that made it possible for him to be elected in the first place.
"One Long Pair of Eyes" was a joy to hear live. This song is from Queen Elvis, one of the first Hitchcock albums I bought on CD, and one of the first CD’s I ever bought (as opposed to LP’s and cassettes). Of course Queen Elvis the album does not contain "Queen Elvis" the song which is actually on Eye. "I Often Dream of Trains" was dedicated to Jim Walsh, Robyn saying Jim used to request it all the time.
"Viva! Sea-Tac" was next, followed by "My Favorite Buildings" which Hitchcock dedicated to the Foshay Tower. Before playing the song he wondered if Foshay was an anagram for anything. Coming up with a little bit of a stretched one, he then made up a poem about it on the spot that scanned and rhymed as well as any and referenced Ray-Chel and Ray Charles.
Hitchcock played "Beautiful Girl," a bopping version of "Peggy Sue," then "Chinese Bones" (a repeat from the night before.) Thinking he ought to start wrapping things up, he wondered what time it was, then wondered aloud about time in a more general sense saying, “We have another 4 years to get through. Better start making some entertainment.”
"My Mind is Connected to Your Dreams" from Neverland was next. And this was when the tears almost started to flow (for me anyway) for some reason. Waves of sadness, joy, peace, worry about the mess the world is in now.) It felt as if Robyn were doing some kind of distance Reiki on the room unblocking a whole lot of clogged up crap I’d been holding inside of me. Last night he had said he was going to do another show tonight to help cheer us up, and he surely delivered. This was one of the most healing shows I’ve been to in some time. And though I probably made a fool of myself afterwards telling him how much that show meant to me and probably to a whole lot of other people, I am glad I told him what I did.
After "Only the Stones Remain," Hitchcock played what was probably a very recently made-up ditty, a countryish sounding song that went “Everybody knows that W sucks, but Rumsfeld is the anti-christ.”
Jim Walsh shouted out a request for "Positive Vibrations," but instead we got a dark version of "The Main Thing" by Roxy Music. “Roxy Music requests itself,” he said, noting the song was once the beginning of Side Two of Avalon. (Avalon being one of my favorite albums of all time, you see how this is going.)
After a cover of "Cripple Creek" by the Band, he played "Television," the opener off the brand new Spooked, released October 6th on Yep Roc Records. After playing "Sleeping With Your Devil Mask" (the other repeat from last night) he suggested that part of the reason he’s been able to stay sane over the years is that he’s always let that stuff like that come out. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, he said, “can’t access that part of himself.”
Hitchcock’s encores included "A Day in the Life" and "Ted, Woody and Julia." He stayed at the Kitty Kat Club well after the show sharing a bottle of wine and talking genially with fans.
Robyn Hitchcock Set list – Kitty Kat Club 10/4/05
1. The Ghost Ship (You and Oblivion)