Entirely true story, right. You can measure my depression by how often I’m listening to Balloon Man. It’s been bloody decades now and even when things are tremendously shitty, it has never once failed to cheer me up.

There’s a bunch of other Robyn Hitchcock numbers that hit the right spot in that particular regard but Balloon Man is the most of them, it’s an unceasingly silly joy of a song and “I wish I could ride a horse” is up there with “I’m going to burn your bongos tonight” as peak-fun-Hitchcock lines go.

Many thanks still to the old dude at the other table at Telfords one night in the nineties who asked me and a friend whether it was our first Hitchcock gig (it was) and promised it’d stick with us and we’d have a ball. It did, we did. Haven’t looked back since.


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