Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Robyn Hitchcock — I Often Dream Of Trains In New York

This performance of Hitchcock's third solo album, 1984's primarily acoustic I Often Dream Of Trains, was recorded at New York City's Symphony Space 53 weeks ago.
Hitchcock was joined at the acoustic concert by Terry Edwards (vocals, keyboards, trumpet, soprano sax, guitar), Tim Keegan (vocals, guitar), Gaida Hinnawi (vocals) and Amir El Saffar (trumpet).
I Often Dream Of Trains isn't among my favourite albums from Hitchcock's catalogue (including his Soft Boys and Egyptians records) and contains few songs that I've seen him play live, apart from the excellent "Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl," which starts the CD as a "cassette fragment."
Most of the songs are pretty gentle and mellow, but pleasant pop material can be found in "Sounds Great When You're Dead," "This Could Be The Day," "Ye Sleeping Knights Of Jesus" (which was covered by The Replacements on 1985's The Shit Hits The Fans live album), the title track, "I Used To Say I Love You," "My Favourite Buildings," "That's Fantastic Mother Church," "America," "Up To Our Nex" and "Goodnight I Say."
The one song that really stands out for its uniqueness is the a cappella "Uncorrected Personality Traits," which comes across as Monty Python meets a barbershop quartet.
This package also includes a DVD of the concert that features an introduction, soundcheck, credits and a short film called Beyond Basingstoke. Like with most of the DVDs I own, I haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it yet.
I Often Dream Of Trains In New York probably isn't essential for most Hitchcock fans, but more dedicated followers (I'm staring right at you, Craig Laskey) should have a stronger appreciation.

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