London Highbury Garage

Dear [B]Robyn[/B], you are nice...

“DEAR ROBYN, YOU ARE NICE… I still can’t get over how someone so exceptionally laser-visioned and razor-tongued, so boldly unself-censored and leggy as you can also be so alarmingly warm, fine-hearted and cuddly. You are one great giant of a dude…”

So writes Jonathan Demme, the director of [I]Storefront Hitchcock[/I], a film of former Soft Boy and prolific solo artist Robyn Hitchcock playing in a deserted shop in New York. Often condemned as whimsical – and yes, there is a song on this ‘live soundtrack’ LP called ‘No, I Don’t Remember Guildford’Hitchcock‘s unique linguistic gifts are always bound with a strong emotional thread. His monologues are gently skewed perspectives from an upside-down telescope – “If it weren’t for our ribcages there’d be spleens a-go-go” – while the songs are DNA-complex strings of image and melody. The tendon-tight, coffee-addled ‘Freeze’ is a neuroses espresso, while new song ‘1974’ is as twitchily poignant as anything he’s ever written – “Syd Barrett’s last session, he can’t sing any more”, sighs Robyn regretfully. “He’s gonna have to be Roger for the rest of his life”.

When your head is a planet, stardom casts a weak light. Robyn spins on his own axis. Get in orbit.