Robyn Hitchcock Happened in Silver Lake, and it was Special

On the evening of Tuesday, March 21, former Soft Boy and leader of the Egyptians Robyn Hitchcock performed the first show of two at Zebulon, an awesome Silver Lake venue in Los Angeles. The second night, on Wednesday, would see Hitchcock perform a full set of Syd Barrett material--both early Pink Floyd and solo. We weren't there for that one, choosing instead to wallow in Hitchcock's own back catalog.

This writer spoke to Hitchcock four years ago. "Another reason I've been slow to finish anything—last year was the first since 1970 when I didn't complete a single song—is realizing that my self-involved world is dwarfed and irrelevant compared to what is going on all around it," he said at the time. "How to put the feelings that global warming and the return of fascism trigger into a song? It's easier to moan about it on Twitter. Britain is possibly less toxic as we don't as yet have guns and Jesus in our DNA like America does. But we're all destroying each other in the name of survival. On the plus side there are more photos of cats on the internet than ever."

Following an impressive opening set by Kelley Stoltz, who is also Hitchcock's drummer, the main man first ambled on stage alone to play some acoustic numbers. The opening track was a Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians song, "Balloon Man," which set the stage perfectly.

With Hitchcock, however, it's not all about picking out the individual tracks. The man is fascinating. His vocal style is as quirky and his mystical demeanor. His fans are dedicated--equally, gloriously odd--highlighting the cult standing of the man.

Hitchcock starts an anecdote then finds himself going in a totally different direction with it, and ion many cases doesn't find his way back. And it doesn't matter one bit. The journey is what's important.

The set covers his solo career (including an excellent "The Shuffle Man"), the Egyptians (of which "Madonna of the Wasps" is a gem) and of course the Soft Boys ("I Wanna Destroy You" is the highlight of the night).

The whole night was a reminder of what a treasure Hitchcock is.