Friday, February 28

Robyn Hitchcock & Soft Boys - Invisible History rarities

'Invisible History' rarities comp
various dates & venues 1977-1991
soundboard & FM recordings (quality range: VG to VG++)

ROB SEZ: Winding up Robyn Hitchcock month with this rarities comp, including the Soft Boys, Robyn's solo years, as well as RH & the Egyptians. Click on the track info above for details. Some of these appeared later on official releases, but many remain vinyl-only B-sides & ROIOs awaiting your listening enjoyment. As with most of the other shares in February, huge thanks & credit go to Dr. Forrester. (Come back next Friday for something special that Alex Chilton & Big Star fans will want to know about.)

Friday, February 21

Soft Boys - Rout of the Clones (live 1978)

‘Rout of the Clones’ bootleg
Cambridge & Leicester, UK
Live Compilation 1978
soundboard recordings (quality: VG+; surprisingly solid quality, given the age & era of the source tapes)
01 Blues In the Dark
02 The Bells of Rhymney
03 Sandra's Having Her Brain Out 
04 The Pigworker
05 School Dinner Blues
06 Cold Turkey
07 Leppo & the Jooves
08 Have a Heart Betty
09 I Like Bananas
10 Wading Through a Ventilator
11 The Rat's Prayer
12 Give It to the Soft Boys
13 Hear My Brane
14 Return of the Sacred Crab
15 Mystery Train
16 Muriel's Hoot 
     - Rout of the Clones
17 (I Want to Be An) 
     Anglepoise Lamp
18 Poor Will & the 
     Jolly Hangman*
*rehearsal recording, quality VG-
(click on artwork, right, for venues & dates) 

ROB SEZ: OK, Soft Boys & RH fans: here's another one for your enjoyment. We're going back to near the beginning of the saga, featuring live recordings from the band's second year. The Asking Tree gigography indicates these performances all took place during one week in late November 1978 — about 3 weeks after the Portland Arms gig featured here last week. The sound/performance is rough & raw in the best sense, but even at this early date, the recording shows off the band's musical adventurism and Robyn's skewed wit. Once again, I'm fairly certain we have Dr. Forrester to thank for sharing this way back ... I dunno when.


Friday, February 14

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Athens, GA 1988 (sbd)

Uptown Lounge
Athens, GA
March 2, 1988
soundboard recording (quality: VG+; liberated bootleg, ripped from my CD; there's occasional slight distortion, but it's not intrusive)

01 I Often Dream of Trains
02 I Wish I Was a Pretty Girl
03 The Cars She Used to Drive 
04 Acid Bird
05 Bass
06 Tropical Flesh Mandala
07 Element of Light
08 I'm Only You
09 Birdshead
10 Flesh No. 1
11 Balloon Man
12 The Man with the Lightbulb Head
13 Heaven
14 Uncorrected Personality Traits
15 Listening to the Higsons
16 The Queen of Eyes
17 Globe of Frogs
18 Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands*
19 The Crystal Ship+
*Track 18 = RH live session, KCRW Santa Monica, CA
                   1989-04-24 (FM) 
+Track 19 = RH live session, KROQ Los Angeles, CA
                   1989-04-24 (FM)

Robyn Hitchcock - vocals, guitar, bass
Andy Metcalfe - bass, vocals, drums
Morris Windsor - drums, vocals, guitar

Peter Buck - additional guitar
ROB SEZ: Continuing to celebrate the musical genius of Robyn Hitchcock this month — heard here in his "...and The Egyptians" incarnation. Offered for your listening pleasure is this liberated bootleg of a lovely soundboard recording. It's from an RHE show in Athens, GA — with no venue specified, but a blog reader who remembers being there says it was at the Uptown Lounge. The helpful Asking Tree gigography tells us this show was the first American performance on the tour supporting the just-released Globe of Frogs album. Athens local / Hitchcock fan Peter Buck played supplemental guitar on many of the songs. (FYI: this one's not available via

Friday, February 7

Soft Boys - Live at the Portland Arms 1978 (vinyl rip)

The Portland Arms
Cambridge, UK
Nov. 1, 1978
soundboard recording (sound quality: VG++; hi-resolution vinyl rip from Live at The Portland Arms LP [Glass Fish] release) 

01 Give It to the Soft Boys   
02 Sandra's Having Her Brain Out   
03 Give Me a Spanner, Ralph   
04 My Evaline   
05 Human Music   
06 I Like Bananas
     (Because They Have No Bones)    
07 Horns Large Horns   
08 The Book of Love   
09 Wish I Had My Baby   
10 White Shoe Blues   
11 In the Mood   
12 That's When Your Heartaches Begin   
13 Have a Heart, Betty (I'm Not Fireproof)   
14 The Duke of Squeeze   
15 All Shook Up 
16 Postman's Knock*
17 Deck of Cards*
*Trks 16 & 17 are from the same performance, but were not included on either of the official "Live at the Portland Arms" releases.

The Soft Boys:
cover of the original release on cassette, 1983
Andy Metcalfe - bass, vocals
Morris Windsor - drums, vocals 
Robyn Hitchcock - guitar, lead vocals, harmonica  
Kimberley Rew - guitar, vocals
Jim Melton - percussion, lead vocal (track 11)
Mungo Carstairs - saxophone, vocals 
Airborne Alice - additional vocals

ROB SEZ: Among Robyn Hitchcock & Soft Boys fans, this is a well-known release, taken from an early acoustic performance — offered here in all its lossless glory. It was first released in 1983 on Moonlight Records as a cassette-only edition, and reissued on vinyl in 1988 on Glass Fish Records with new artwork. It's never been released on CD. Tracks 1-15 are from a hi-resolution rip of the LP. (I cannot recall my source for the two bonus tracks, but I do know they're from a lossless source. A couple of tracks from this performance appeared on an officially-released compilation, but these are versions from the vinyl rip, so in that sense aren't exactly the same.) The set is now nearly complete, lacking only "Wey Wey Hep Uh Hole", which was played next to last in the setlist. HUGE THANKS to Dr. Forrester for sharing this one.