Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift – Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, Pennsylvania – January 28, 2016
On the occasion of my 23rd live experience of Robyn Hitchcock this past Thursday at Sellersville Theatre, Hitchcock was in fine, if not slightly nasally solo form. He took a respectable crowd on a trip through his vast catalog, dipping into the depths of his odd, one-of-a-kind psyche during nearly 90 minutes.
There were poppy gems like “So You Think You’re in Love” and the impassioned gorgeousness of “Airscape.” The audience of this lovely seated venue were highly engaged, even singing along to such classic weirdness as “Victorian Squid.” Then there were the other-worldy moments of two voices. Opener Emma Swift, a brilliant singer-songwriter in her own right, added harmonies to “Queen Elvis” and, among others, the deeper cut “Linctus House.” The latter was an emotional powerhouse with a female counterpoint.
And one could not leave the clutches of Hitchcock live without some weird banter and this show, which was mostly light on in-between song talk, did see Hitchcock riff of the idea of the future feline dynasty to hold power on Earth.
The encore was no surprise content-wise as he went into his “record collection,” as he likes to put it, and pulled out three David Bowie covers. He did “Quicksand,” “Soul Love” (which he performed the last time he played Sellersville in 2014) and, with Swift accompanying him, ended the night with “The Prettiest Star.” The crowd had a rapturous response to his acoustic Bowie versions and showered the love on the show that one expects with a Robyn Hitchcock gig. He will be back in the area in Arden, Delaware in March and hopefully will make it back to Philly sometime soon.
Emma Swift played a brisk and engaging acoustic opening set. With a spine-tingling cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Jackson” sandwiched in-between her own work, which has a Nashville twang on top of her native Australian tongue, it was a great way to warm up the ears and rock soul of the crowd for Robyn Hitchcock.
Copyright ©2016 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 31, 2016.
Photos by Chris Sikich © 2016