Thursday, March 10, 2011

Robyn Hitchcock & Joe Boyd -- Birchmere - Mar 9 2011

Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd - This was the most expensive book reading tour I have ever attending, but of course there was some music tonight as well. Yet I still would have attended even if Robyn Hitchcock had left his guitar home. Hitchcock is the wittiest musician I have ever seen when it comes to stage patter and between song stories. Add him to a book reading by Joe Boyd, whose "White Bicycles" is one of the best rock music books you can find, then you have a great evening of gripping story telling and song. Hitchcock began with a song which got things rolling nicely and they continued with Boyd telling stories and reading passages from his book followed by Hitchcock covering a song by the person or band that Boyd had just talked about. Hitchcock's own songs are some of the finest out there, but it was a lot of fun seeing him play all of these different songs with his own unique interpretations. And the songs were diverse as Joe Boyd has worked with a fascinating variety of musicians from classic blues musicians to Dylan to Pink Floyd to psychedelic folk bands to REM. In fact, I was trying to think of other people in the music business who have been involved with promoting so many brilliant and varied musicians. Yes, his boss Jac Holzman of Elektra would be one, although being head of a huge label would allow one to accumulate a wide array of talent. Boyd was the guy out in the field finding it and promoting it. Probably the best comparison I can make would be to John Peel, the late great DJ who was always able to find musical gems long before the rest of the world caught on.

But as for this evening, the Birchmere audience was entertained with eight Robyn Hitchcock songs, lots of Joe Boyd stories, along with some Hitchcock quips and interludes. Hitchcock asked Boyd to talk more about the Jim Kweskin Jug Band as he knew the name, but not much detail which lead to some interesting unplanned stories. And o as I am likely the one person in the USA with the most written information on the Incredible String Band, I really appreciated Joe Boyd's passionate reminder to the audience of how good they truly were. If you are reading this review, his book is a must read. And this presentation is a great way to enhance that reading.

Set list: Original tune/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan)/My White Bicycle (Tomorrow)/Chinese White (ISB)/I Can Hear the Grass Grow (The Move)/Reynardine (Fairport Convention)/River Man (Nick Drake)/Arnold Layne (Barrett/Pink Floyd)

Quote of the Night: It was a night of quotes, but I liked Joe Boyd's story where David Hidalgo of Los Lobos said to him that to thank the members of Fairport Convention for releasing the UK folk rock classic "Liege & Lief" which was so inspirational to him because if he had not heard it, he would still be playing heavy metal in East LA.

1 comment:

Steve said...

1. Spoken Introduction – Robyn Hitchcock
2. Way Back in the 60’s (Incredible String Band) _ Robyn
3. Newport 65 _Boyd
4. It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (Dylan)_Robyn
5. UFO Club _Boyd
6. My White Bicycle (Tomorrow)_Robyn
7. Scotland – Meeting Robin Williamson_Boyd
8. Chinese White (incredible String Band)_Robyn
9. How Many of You have heard of the Move_Boyd
10. I Can Hear the Grass Grow (The Move)_Robyn
11. Geoff and Maria Muldaur/Kweskin Jug Band/Fairport_Boyd
12. Reynardine (Fairport Convention)_Robyn
13. Nick Drake_Boyd
14. River Man_Robyn
15. Syd Barrett_Boyd
16. Arnold Layne_Robyn