I headed to the GAMH last night to see Robyn Hitchcock perform I Often Dream of Trains. The show was originally scheduled for the Fillmore, but was moved to the (smaller) GAMH, probably because of the down economy, and the sad fact that Robyn Hitchcock frankly doesn't have a Fillmore-sized audience anymore, if he ever did.
This transfer was what pushed me to attend the show, and I probably would've given the show a miss if it was at the Fillmore. The GAMH is a more intimate venue that's closer to the BART, and a much easier venture on a weeknight. And even this place wasn't terribly crowded. Maybe RH performing songs from IODOT just isn't as big a draw as it should be.
Still, it's always great to see Robyn -- when I look out at a sea of paunchy middle-aged white dudes with glasses and facial hair, I just feel like I'm among My People. The audience was 85% male, and the pre-show conversations at my table (it was a seated show) centered around Belgian ales and Peter Himmelman solo albums. "Now I'm in my element, I'm where I ought to be"
For the show, Robyn was joined by Tim Keegan and Terry Edwards for most of the show, so it wasn't a pure solo show, but most of the gig was taken from I Often Dream Of Trains. He didn't play the songs in the same order as the album: starting with the piano songs, "Nocturne" and "Flavour Of Night", ending with the title track, adding a few of the bonus tracks like "My Favourite Buildings" and "I Used To Say I Love You", and skipping "Furry Green Atom Bowl" (My favorite song. Just kidding, "FGAB" isn't anyone's favorite song!).
The entire IODOT portion of the performance lasted a little over an hour, and then they came back with an encore of songs of similar vintage, like "Raining Twilight Coast" which was written for the Trains album but not released until Eye in 1990, and "Goodnight I Say", which came out on the first Egyptians album.
When I saw Robyn a few months ago (opening for Nick Lowe), he played most of Eye in it's entirety, so I've seen two of my favorite RH solo albums performed live this year. I'd really like to see a Fegmania! show, but that's about the only other Robyn album I could handle from start to finish. Maybe his upcoming one Goodnight Oslo? That might be the best album of his career, who knows?