Robyn Hitchcock at the Triple Door, Seattle | 29 November 2007
This was the second night of Robyn Hitchcock‘s two night stand at the Triple Door. Since he seems to spend a lot of time in Seattle we Seattelites have quite a few opportunities to see him live. In fact it was nearly a year to the day that I saw him at the Crocodile, and I think he’s played a time or two in between. We’ve got it good here, and I certainly don’t take it for granted, so I showed up for night number two at the swanky, dinner theatre-ish Triple Door.
Hitchcock is like the Gary Larson of alternative rock, weird references to avocados, chick peas and bringing a miniature penguin on stage don’t even begin to describe this man’s oddish sense of humor. He was in a very talkative mood this night, going into silly, non-sequitur monologues that had me laughing. Robyn Hitchcock, like Billy Bragg, can be just as engaging singing or talking.
The show started with Hitchcock appearing solo on stage and launching into a Dylan cover (I think it was Dylan, anybody know the name of the song?). Sean Nelson then joined him for a beautiful acoustic version of Queen Elvis, and then the rest of the band strolled out.
His band being the Venus 3, Peter Buck, Scott Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin along with Sean Nelson providing harmonies, are as you might have guessed no slouches. Buck alternated between a 12 sting and 6 string throughout the night, sticking mostly with the 12 to provide that Byrdsian (they covered 8 Miles High for the encore) sound so many of Hitchcock’s songs tend to have. I was surprised at how different the set was since the last time I saw him, since the guys in his band all have ‘day’ jobs in other bands, I figured we would hear a lot from Ole Tarantula and the same older songs I’d heard a year ago. Not the case, we got songs from Black Snake, Respect, Globe of Frogs, Jules for Sophia, they even did the Soft Boys‘ Kingdom of Love, which was a real treat.
It’s always a pleasure to see a show at the triple door, it’s so un-rock, but in a good way. Having the opportunity to See Robyn Hitchcock in this setting was not lost on me and I don’t think anyone else in the packed house. After the show, both Pete Buck and Hitchcock showed up at the merch table to sign cd’s and just hang out. Besides the usual cd’s for sale, he was also selling t-shirts he designed himself, so maybe he is thinking of taking over where Larson left off. I picked up the shirt with the running bananas on it.