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Robyn Hitchcock: The President

I can almost hear it raining.

Nothing ever cheers me up faster than listening to some Robyn Hitchcock, from The Soft Boys to The Egyptians and now it’s been a steady run of songs that just hit that magical spot. Some more than others.

Element Of Light (1986) has some of my favourite lyrics of all time nestled amongst it (“I’m going to burn your bongos tonight” is an unreasonably special one to me) and my favourite Hitchcock song in Airscape. It’s one of those albums without a single duffer on it and runs the gamut from power pop to prog and so much in-between.

The President is one of a couple of the more “serious” tracks (it’s all relative) on the album and one of those I should really stop trying to sing along to because I completely strangle the thing. Ditching much of the surrealism and storytelling present in the rest of Element Of Light for a much more abrasive, heavier, sound and a kick at Reagan, it ticks along alright for a bit and then the chorus hits and it’s just sublime.

As an aside, I still remember a bearded guy at the table opposite the first time I rolled up to a Hitchcock gig. He leaned over and asked if it was my first time seeing him, to which I answered yes. Moments later he followed it up with “if you can leave here without him becoming a favourite, you’re a better man than I. Have fun!” and returned to his pint.

I was categorically not the better man. To be honest, I don’t want to be either.

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