SXSW Review: Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift, Modern English, March 15, Waterloo Records

Emma Swift and Robyn Hitchcock
Taking advantage of the fact that he was playing a day show at a record store, Robyn Hitchcock took a moment to muse upon records, CDs, and the state of the music industry in general during his Wednesday afternoon slot at Waterloo Records. He mentioned the “frightening accuracy” of the CD (“Like a drone missile”) and went so far as to refer to the start of the CD era as the beginning of the end of the music industry. That said, he seems to still have a soft spot for actual records and took a moment to hype up his latest release, a 7 inch single with Emma Swift which was produced by Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake. “He’s a real sweetheart and I miss his glockenspiel,” Hitchcock said of Blake.

Aside from the two songs off of that record, other highlights of his set were “Madonna Of The Wasps” and a great version of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like A Woman,” which Hitchcock introduced by saying, “If there’s any songwriter who’s better than Emma and me, it’s this guy. Except when he’s not.”

Modern English
Following Hitchcock on that same stage were “80s new wave/post-punk band Modern English, promoting their latest release Take Me To The Trees, and of course playing songs from throughout their career, including the stone cold classic “I Melt With You.” They sounded fantastic and made it clear to any casual fans that there’s much more to them than just their big hit. Of course, the hit was still what everyone was most looking forward to and by the end of their set, everyone was singing along, much to the amusement of singer Robbie Grey when he caught the crowd imitating his accent. “You’re trying to sound English! That’s hilarious!”

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest