Events > Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock

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Thu 05 Sep



Robyn Hitchcock

Cult artist, musician’s musician, force of creative wonder Robyn Hitchcock returns to Bath for his grandest show yet at Komedia, cabaret-style seating

With a career now spanning six decades, Robyn Hitchcock remains a truly one-of-a-kind artist: surrealist rock ’n’ roller, acoustic troubadour, poet, painter, and writer. From The Soft Boys’ art-rock and The Egyptians’ Dadaist pop to solo masterpieces like 1984’s milestone I Often Dream of Trains and 1990’s Eye, Hitchcock has crafted a striking oeuvre rife with recurring marine life, obsolete electric transport, ghosts, cheese and what one writer has described as ‘morbid eroticism’.

Born in London in 1953, Hitchcock attended Winchester College and the City & Guilds Art School before moving to Cambridge in 1974. There he worked his way up from the folk clubs to found Dennis & The Experts who metamorphosed into The Soft Boys in 1976. Though light years away from first wave punk’s revolutionary clatter, the band still manifested the era’s spirit of DIY independence with their breakneck reimagining of British psychedelia. During their original lifetime, The Soft Boys released but two albums, among them 1980’s landmark LP, Underwater Moonlight. “The term ‘classic’ is almost as overused as ‘genius’ and ‘influential,’” declared Rolling Stone   upon the album’s 2001 reissue. “But Underwater Moonlight remains all three of those descriptions.”

Hitchcock launched his solo career with 1981’s Black Snake Diamond Röle, affirming his knack for idiosyncratic insight and surrealist hijinks. 1984’s I Often Dream Of Trains fused that approach with autumnal acoustic arrangements which served to deepen the emotional range of his songcraft. Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians were launched that same year and immediately lit up US college rock playlists with albums like 1986’s Element of Light. Cited as an influence by REM and The Replacements, he signed to A&M Records in 1987 and scored early ‘alternative’ hits with “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps.” Hitchcock returned to his dark acoustic palette with 1990’s equally masterful Eye before joining the Warner Bros. label for a succession of acclaimed albums including 1996’s Moss Elixir and 1999’s Jewels For Sophia. 

The Soft Boys came together for a second go around in 2001, releasing Nextdoorland on Matador Records to critical applause. Hitchcock joined the Yep Roc label in 2004, releasing collaborations with like-minded friends Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings (2004’s Spooked) and legendary producer Joe Boyd (2014’s The Man Upstairs). Beginning in 2006, Hitchcock released a trio of albums backed by The Venus 3, featuring Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and the late Bill Rieflin. 

Robyn moved to Nashville in 2015 and gravitated to the Music City community, recording 2017’s Robyn Hitchcock with an array of local talent including co-producer Brendan Benson. In 2019, he joined forces with XTC’s Andy Partridge for the four-song EP, Planet England. 

Music aside, Hitchcock has appeared in a number of films, three of them by the late Jonathan Demme: 1998’s concert documentary Storefront Hitchcock as well as roles in 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate  2008’s Rachel’s Getting Married.

Locked down in Nashville by the global pandemic of 2020, he and his partner Emma Swift began their Sweet Home Quarantine livestream series, broadcasting weekly sets with their two cats, Ringo and Tubby. They also launched their own label and press, Tiny Ghost. 2021 saw the publication of Hitchcock’s first book, Somewhere Apart: Selected Lyrics 1977-1997, featuring 73 songs and 34 illustrations in a beautiful cloth-bound edition. In 2022 his first album for Tiny Ghost ‘SHUFFLEMANIA!’ was released, recorded at home during lockdown with long-distance collaborators including Johnny Marr (Manchester) Sean Ono Lennon (New York) Kimberley Rew (Cambridge) and Davey Lane (Melbourne). 

June 2024 will see his second book “1967 – How I Got There and Why I Never Left” published in the UK by Constable. To accompany this Tiny Ghost will release “1967 – Vacations in The Past” an album of the pop hits of that year covered by Robyn on acoustic guitar with some of his friends in Cambridge and Melbourne.

Meanwhile a collection of new songs is due for release in early 2025.

“I like to keep busy”, says Hitchcock: “We have all eternity to not exist.” 


AUDITORIUM TICKETS include unreserved table seating in the auditorium. 
The Auditorium is fully accessible – for information on our accessibility click here and don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.
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