Robyn at Alexandra Palace
I'd had the last week of February booked off for months and months and months, since Robyn Hitchcock announced a one-off electric show at the Alexandra Palace for the 25th. Some time later, he bracketed the London performance with the announcement of a handful of solo acoustic gigs, including one in Brighton on the 22nd, so I snapped up a ticket for that one as well. Brighton was intimate, the kind of presentation I've become accustomed to over the past couple of years worth of livestreams, while at the Ally Pally, just days short of his 70th birthday, he rocked out with a band comprising the surviving members of The Soft Boys, bolstered by Bedders from Madness on bass.
On both nights, Robyn was joined for a few numbers by his wife and muse Emma Swift, whose spellbinding harmonies have been a highlight of his music in recent years. They've sung 'Glass Hotel' together countless times and I never tire of it. In Brighton I was reaching for my hanky before they'd got out of the first verse.
Here's an audience recording of 'Glass Hotel' (preceded by a snatch of typically amusing Swiftcock banter) from Chicago in April 2022, the natural echo of the hall only adding to the majesty of the song.
Twice!! Living the dream, my friend. Terrific clip too. Hope you are well, Swede. - Brian
Every opportunity I get! Great to hear from you Brian.
I love reading about your Hitchcockian pilgrimages; and another great gig photo to boot.
He's apparently planning to spend 2024 writing and recording, so no more shows until 2025. Fortunately the weekly livestreams will continue, as far as I'm aware.
Great clip - so glad you got to see him, TWICE!
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