Ultimately, British rocker Robyn Hitchcock did provide “something completely different” at Headliners this past Thursday evening. A one-man band, armed with guitar, harmonica, voice and British humor, Robyn Hitchcock entertained the partially seated crowd after Kentucky native Kelsey Weldon. With over 30 albums of material to choose from he hit a variety of older numbers and a few covers.
While the set reflected a great deal of humor, the spaces between songs revealed a darker, more British sarcasm. Skipping over the traditional “thank you” after ending a song he simply stated, “It’s not really all bad. It’s worse.” The intra-song commentary ranged from topics like Reagan and Bush, to Morrissey and Dylan. One song intro went something like, “This next song is only available from an album released in Norway on vinyl and was only available by mail order. I don't even have this album."
The crowd, young and old, appreciated the quips and music. As the crowd stood and applauded for an encore, Hitchcock came out from backstage, guitar and mic unplugged, and walked right into the middle of the crowd. He gave the crowd their encore, playing another few numbers, including covers from David Bowie and the Psychedelic Furs.
Before ending the show Hitchcock walked to the back near the soundboard and found a "volunteer" for an Everly Brothers' duet. Ironically, I had spoken with this "volunteer" before the show started while she was selling albums and learned she was an Australian singer based in Nashville and happened to be Robyn Hitchcock’s girlfriend, Emma Swift (www.emmaswift.bandcamp.com).