Pick of the Political Pops: Robyn Hitchcock “Television”

Here in Americana-UK Towers we have recently renewed our television licence. It cost us a grand sum of fifty-three quid since The Editor is too tight to let us have a colour TV and we make do with a 66-inch curved screen surround sound job (set to black and white). The £157.50 demand for colour was beyond his ken and since several of our members have lied about their age none of us are seventy-five or over and hence (currently) eligible for a ‘free pass’. Also since we are only visually impaired when blind drunk this applies infrequently (ish). We don’t feel guilty about this. And we don’t see why the right-wing press should feel guilty either in blaming the BBC for their outrageous demand that the frail and elderly stump up out of their paltry state pension for something that should clearly be funded by sacking the lot of the left-wing shower and making them employ small children in the fabrication of fashion garments as a means of income generation. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Robyn Hitchcock “Television””

Pick of the Political Pops: Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians “The President”

So for the past couple of weeks we have been considering notions of ‘democracy’ and in this latest instalment of ‘PPP’ we are going to further postulate on the idea of ‘rule’ (cracy) by the ‘people’ (demos). This time we are struck by vagaries of the US presidential election system and just exactly how that thing works. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians “The President””

Robyn Hitchcock + Annie Booth @Celtic Connections, The Drygate, Glasgow, 26th January 2020

There are precious few things better than spending an evening in the company of Robyn Hitchcock and when that evening is being held in a brewery, than, all the better for that. However, this wasn’t a raucous event, with a seated audience mainly drinking in Hitchcock’s songs and his usual, unusual song introductions. Two songs in he did sing us ‘I Pray When I’m Drunk’ (scoring the first fish mention of the night with mackerel) but any hedonism was confined to his recollections of a legendary Soft Boys’ gig back in 1980 in Paisley’s Bungalow Bar -several of the audience tonight proclaiming their attendance also. Continue reading “Robyn Hitchcock + Annie Booth @Celtic Connections, The Drygate, Glasgow, 26th January 2020”

Robyn Hitchcock, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th May 2018

I don’t know if Brian Ferry’s ears were burning the other night but if so it was probably because he received several mentions from Robyn Hitchcock in his fantastical  and  extremely funny in between song patter at Glasgow’s Oran Mor. Ferry was but one thread in Hitchcock’s surrealistic tapestry of tales as he let his imagination roam, talking of handkerchiefs zapped into space and how to determine a song’s cheese factor amongst other oddities. Continue reading “Robyn Hitchcock, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 24th May 2018”

The Stephen Stanley Band “Jimmy & The Moon” (Wolfe Island Records, 2017)

Most people wilfully misremember the 1980’s – they selectively associate the decade with musical excesses with 12” extended mixes of new romantic and electro-pop music. Parallel to this were a myriad of other things, one of them was College Rock and this record reminds me of those times (the college rock bit, not big hair and slap bass – now I’m doing it). There are few songs that I hear echoes of bands like Big Dipper: Stanley has been around for a long time (in the Lowest of the Low) so this is more like post-grad rock. Continue reading “The Stephen Stanley Band “Jimmy & The Moon” (Wolfe Island Records, 2017)”

Robyn Hitchcock “Robyn Hitchcock” (Yep Roc 2017)

Robyn Hitchcock releases his twenty first studio album, his first since 2014’s ‘The Man Upstairs’, and has chosen after all these years an eponymous title. “It’s ‘Introducing Robyn Hitchcock” he has said, working on the principle that the album will serve as a good entry point for those new to his music. Like it and you’ll find plenty similar throughout his career and if you don’t, well there’s no point in investigating any further. It’s not difficult to envisage many who will be prepared to seek out further work by this surrealist music icon after listening to this as it is a triumphant return. Hitchcock relocated to Nashville in 2014 and the seeds of this album were sown when he was tempted into the studio by producer Brendan Benson who urged him to make a record like the Soft Boys and Hitchcock has responded by delivering a piece of work that ranks alongside anything he has done. Continue reading “Robyn Hitchcock “Robyn Hitchcock” (Yep Roc 2017)”

South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas

I normally advise Americana-loving friends who enquire about sxsw simply to visit Austin at any time of the year and check out venues like the Broken Spoke or the Saxon Pub to get the authentic Austin feel. You’ll be sure to see the likes of Jon Dee Graham, William Harries Graham, Bob Schneider, Darden Smith, James McMurtry and other such stalwarts of the scene. But there are certain sxsw American events that are unique to that week and are not to be missed.

The Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress has a yard at the back which is covered by a gazebo during sxsw and it is really worth spending a whole afternoon there, because the music is invariably top notch and the audience respectful and very much “up for it”. A common characteristic of all the places I shall describe is the superhuman amount of alcohol consumed. I’m by no means teetotal but I tell you, the amount these guys put away is mind-boggling. Nursing a three dollar local IPA, I was hugely entertained by a highly-wired Austin Lucas (whose Alone In Memphis always brings a lump to the throat), who also duetted with Mara Connor. Continue reading “South By Southwest Festival 2017. Austin, Texas”