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Playing some shows…

Posted on Sunday, May 28th, 2006

So, the time has come to get some music together for some shows I’ll be doing in the UK starting next week. I’m kinda undecided what to play, part of me wants to play some things that have been out on record, part of me wants to play lots of new stuff, part of me wants to play one long 50 minute piece of music and part of me wants to run a fucking mile and go nowhere near a stage…. That is always my dilemma, of course, you know like having so many things that I could do and then doing something else just for the sake of it. Thank goodness I don’t have a record company breathing down my neck saying… promote your new album dip shit….. Well, I just don’t really want to play stuff from continental, just yet, not at least while performing to the film lumiere with just my guitar and my lil laptop… No, I think the pieces on continental will really come to life in a live situation with some other musicians on board… That, and it’ll give me someone to talk to on tour, which will be quite a novelty in itself.
I go a package in the mail yesterday and it was finished copies of Everlasting and Waiting For Dawn which Vinita at Rocket Girl sent me and I have to say it feels really nice actually having them in my hand after talking about them here for so long. Anyone who comes to my performances may hold them in their hand as well, but not before parting with some cash in order to keep the Guthrie children fed and clothed. I’ve made some postcards as well, you know, a little series of five cards based around the theme of what I’ve been doing recently. They are very chic indeed and no home should be without a set.. Look, bottom line is, when you come to my show bring lots of cash and possibly some lo carb snacks as well… It’s difficult to put a price on good art, very difficult at least for the artist as his livelihood depends on it but one thing I can guarantee is that either my performance will be priceless or the look on my face as my computer crashes again, I break a string or I realise that I’ve played the whole set with my fly open, will be priceless… mmm experience talking here, folks…Whichever way it’s all in the interest of entertainment, innit?
I can’t describe with words the feeling of elation which I experience while doing a performance which goes smoothly. However I can make a good stab at describing the awkwardness of when I fuck up beyond belief… I don’t have one of those faces that hides things too well, you know the professional, hey that wasn’t flat, it was jazz face, nor do I have a bass player to make faces at, to trick the audience into believing it was him who fucked up… So I can do no more than invite you all to share in my humiliation but politely ask that you refrain from pointing and laughing….To say I feel exposed when onstage on my own is an understatement but, wtf, that’s what I do so I shall now shut the fuck up and get on with it….
Soooo, what else…. I’ve been tweaking certain elements of Lumiere and I’m happy to say that I’ll be showing the widescreen version wherever possible… Also been amending little parts here and there which I wasn’t happy with last time I did an cut.
I shall, whenever I get the chance, try to do a daily weblog while doing this tour. I say ‘whenever I have the chance’ as I don’t expect to be able to get online every day but I’ll do it as often as possible…
As I understand things I’ll be having a few guests, at some of the shows, after the film to make some little collaborations and I’m looking forward to that immensely.
So all is well…pour l’instant

me, preparing my calm cool and collected look for my forthcoming performances

38 Responses to “Playing some shows…”

  1. Ian

    Well, I ordered Violet Indiana’s “Casino” today. I should get “Continental” (finally) next week sometime after Memorial Day. I hope that it helps keeps the Guthrie “chillins” fed somewhat. Hehehe.

    As far as your shows are concerned, play a mix of things: old, new, extra added nouveau. Do what you do best. Do what you normally do. Play what you want…after all it is your show. Hehehe. Do something different to what you’ve done normally done though–the element of surprise.

    I think that you’ll do just fine. Keep up the faith! Did you know that your music helps many people make it through the day or through the moment? Somebody, somewhere is listening to your tunes while going through a breakup…while going to work…while at work…out with the kiddies…or whatever. A lot of people don’t get to do what you do. So, count your blessings. Put some new strings on your guitars, get your pedals and amps in order, and rock on.

    Indyenna (Ian)

  2. mike

    I listen to your old music sometimes when I take the “kiddies” to school – only thing that isn’t Green Day that they won’t complain about. The 15 year old really likes “that Scottish lady.” 6.45am and he’s yelling “Rikkirikki Dielie Yaya!” in my effing ear…

  3. mark

    good luck robin with the uk tour
    i i could make it i would buy the postcards and cds what about putting out the dvd of the flim

  4. robin guthrie

    Come on Mark, Swansea’s not so far from Bath…..

  5. robin guthrie

    Mike, she used to yell “Rikkirikki Dielie Yaya!” in my effing ear as well…

  6. mark

    robin yes i would come to bath from swansea last saw you in brighton with mr budd but im in butlins minehead other side of bristol on that day but would be there with the kids can i bring the kid ones 6 and the others 1 i am but trying to get baby sitter for another show but no luck

  7. Scott

    Hi Robin,
    I just found your blog!
    It’s nice to hear a talented guitar player like yourself talk about messing up onstage. I play in front of about 2,000 people on a regular basis and boy do those “jazz” notes hang out there when they inadvertantly escape from your guitar!!! I have a request for you: Please come to the east coast of the USA to play. I would gladly come to a show and purchase large quantities of stuff.
    If your worried about what to play in upcoming shows you could always detune to E flat and play old Van Halen covers!
    Seriously, Thanks for all the great music through the years….in some ways your music has been the soundtrack of my times.
    All the Best,

  8. edmur maia

    Dear Robin.:
    I`d be glad to go to your show,but I don`t think I can manage It this time,cause Brazil is so far from Bath…..
    Putting out the dvd of the film, as Mark said, is not a bad idea at all.

    Edmur Maia,Brazil

  9. Arthur

    If only you could play some shows in France, too… I remember a concert of the Cocteaus in Rouen, with Moose opening, and it is such a good memory. And the music you do now is still so much impressive, i would be very very very happy to see you on stage again. (sorry if i made some mistakes in English)

  10. Ian

    I just got your “Continental” CD in from Barnes and Noble. I am really liking “Conquering the Romantic” tune. It is in repeat mode in my CD player. I also have the “Mysterious Skin” CD in there. I like “Neil’s Theme” and “Snowfall” on there. I just ordered Violet Indiana’s “Casino” because of “Heaven”. I couldn’t order the “Russian Doll” CD because Barnes doesn’t have it available in the warehouse.

    Well, if you are ever in the States touring–you should play “The Orange Peel”(www.theorangepeel.net)in Asheville, North Carolina. There are plenty of “Cocteau” fans here in Asheville, North Carolina.

    Carpe Diem!!!
    Indyenna (Ian)

  11. Niamh

    Hey Robin, thanks a million for doing Irish dates, I’ll be up the front weeping like a child probably 😉


  12. mike

    5 days and counting! will be coming with a wallet full to purchase the merchandise etc. … can I ask if photography is allowed during the gig???

    hope the first dates go well!

  13. vurt

    looking forward to seeing you in york next week, i’m sure evn if there is the odd hiccup it will be a fine evening.

    if i wanted to buy everything on offer how much folding stuff should i bring???

    will i be able to buy continental on the night?

  14. Aido

    When are the Irish dates ?.

  15. Cicobuff

    Come on Robin, what could go wrong, it should be a walk in the park…..Channel 4, The Tube, broadcast to the nation, backing tape glitch!…heck playing to a few hundred then is going to be a walk in the park! Looking forward to the Stratford show, will be great to see your guitar genius live for the first time in ages…bum notes, pedal fuck ups or not, I will still be grinning 😀

  16. Steve Roby

    Robin, is there any chance that Everlasting and Waiting for Dawn will be available to those of us who live in cities in which you have probably never set foot in your life and aren’t likely about to? Like, for instance, Ottawa, Canada? The one time I’ve been in the same building as you was 500 km SE of here when I saw the Cocteau Twins in Boston ten years ago while there for a work trip.

    I’ve managed to get some pretty obscure stuff of yours (e.g. the drifting a.f.u. mix cd) and I’d hate to miss these EPs. (Also looking forward to the John Foxx collaboration; he’s put out some remarkable work in the last few years.)

  17. Steve Roby

    Robin, is there any chance that Everlasting and Waiting for Dawn will be available to those of us who live in cities in which you have probably never set foot in your life and aren’t likely about to? Like, for instance, Ottawa, Canada? The one time I’ve been in the same building as you was 500 km SE of here when I saw the Cocteau Twins in Boston ten years ago while there for a work trip.

    I’ve managed to get some pretty obscure stuff of yours (e.g. the drifting a.f.u. mix cd) and I’d hate to miss these EPs. (Also looking forward to the John Foxx collaboration; he’s put out some remarkable work in the last few years.)

  18. John from Chi-town


    Do you ever get an “itch” to collaborate with another guitarist? Or are you now simply more settled in doing what you do?

    Someone e.g. like Kevin Shields, always intrigued me what sort of chemistry might develop between you two.

  19. Alan

    Aberdeen – Sun splitting the steets of the grey city. Wife and I drove up from Perth. There You were standing in front of the Belmont Picture house screen twiddling with your PC and gadgets. Oh dear , must have seemed like doing the opening slot in a school show – you are a very brave man. However, I can understand the logic of starting up North – Scots and particularly the Northern types wouldn’t give you too hard a time for not getting it right first time (although it pretty much sounded and looked good to me).
    We drove back home, an amazing sunset adding to a great day, listening to newly purchased Continental (ta Kevin) and reflected on your show. Your music continues to impress – where you get it from is beyond us. With Lumiere we re-connected to your music, past and present and that’s a good thing, right. People of a like mind take note – attend and enjoy. Oh and buy the triple set of CDs (with postcards) – 20 squid well spent.
    Next time your touring think of Perth with our brand spanking new concert hall – if you play it we will come !!
    Al (fi Carronshore – I hide it well)

  20. clive Booth

    doing my best to join you all in Stratford next Thursday. Last saw Robin with the CT in Birmingham mid-80’s…. sheer delight ;o)

  21. D.B. Parkes

    hello robin..
    you weren’t joking about being nervous were you?
    i was one of the two geezers you spoke to before the performance..and what a blinder it was..as good as the two times i saw the cocteau twins..if anything more intense.
    it was great to talk to you..even if you were in a state of acute panic..i hope we did a little to alieviate it.
    and robin,yes,it was worth it..

  22. Anonymous

    Dear Robin.:

    I`ve just received my copy of Continental,and I have to say that I`am really enjoying It.
    Songs like “Crescent” and “Last Exit” make me cry…
    Thats what we expect from the man who gave world cocteau twins.I actually find It evan better than cocteau.

    Edmur Maia,Brazil.

  23. James

    Weeeell.. Pretty cool animation, and relaxing music.. but my god that buzzing all the way through was annoying as hell (and the noise from the strings on your guitar could be heard louder than the actual music from the speakers 😀 )!

    Also I apologise for the impression you must have got of Liverpool from the people asking questions.. seriously, b.r.a.i.n.l.e.s.s or what?! I’ve lived here since i was born – 18 years, and they were the strangest people i’ve ever met… my faith in humanity has been lost!! Me and my friend were sitting at the front like what the hell! And I was ready to hit the next person who asked ‘where do you get your inspiration from?!’ haha.. its obvious it just flows from your personality, who writes music consciously thinking about whats influencing them?!

    I don’t know anyway, it was an odd night, annoyed with the cinema more than anything… Also if you’re still doing the tour then I don’t think i’d bother with the second half, just my opinion! Listened to some more of your solo stuff tonight, really good.. can’t wait to hear Continental in a live situation.

    PS this may seem like a negative comment but i’m just being honest – Cocteau Twins and some of your solo stuff is really some of my favourite music and can be very uplifting so please don’t get the wrong impression!


  24. Stephen Patman

    Hi Robin, it’s Stephen (Chapterhouse). As I have grown increasingly more sentimental with old age and pondered on all the people that have come and gone through my life mainly due of my flakiness I’ve been meaning for some time to drop you a line and say hello. The last time we met was a pretty twisted and drug addled time for the both of us but I really enjoyed working with and getting to know you (see what I mean about sentimental!). The years following that time were very fucked up. Going through a horrific record deal, a horrific marriage and a horrific divorce kind of kept me a bit too pre-occupied to keep in touch with a lot of people. Anyway life is fine and dandy now. I work alongside Andy and Ashley from the band making music for TV. It’s not as evil as it sounds (honestly) and it makes silly money. We’ve got a studio each in Covent Garden and a team of producers (pimps) that go out and do all the smoozing and arse licking to bring in work which makes life much simpler. Having said that it doesn’t leave a lot of head space to get down to any personal musical output which can be frustrating.
    Hope things are good with you. It would be great to catch up if you get the chance.


  25. Joe McLeod

    Hey Robin, saw the show at Aberdeen and I was the tubby bearded 42 year old guy talking to you outside. Your comment about not getting any royalties from the old days once an album goes “Midprice” is shocking and just ain’t right. How about getting a DVD compilation of the old videos out? Re-visiting old stuff may not be what you want to do at the moment but it gets the cash in. I really enjoyed the show but would have liked a bit more volume as I think I’m deaf from too many gigs in the old days. Super stuff, keep it up.

  26. Ben

    hi robin

    just caught your show in york today. really interested in the integration of music and visuals – raised questions of artistic chicken-and-eggery!

    i write for an established online film magazine with an international readership. if you’d be up for an interview – might be useful for promo purposes? – please drop me an email.


  27. Ben

    PS: youcanemailbenhere@yahoo.co.uk

  28. Andrew

    Oxford was brilliant last night. Thanks so much – the music was fabulous. Really special and different concept of a live gig.

  29. Vincent

    Continental, du génie à l’état pur, quelle belle musique, que de belles émotions….MERCI MERCI MERCI!!!!!!!

  30. MikeK

    Hi Robin,

    Really enjoyed the Liverpool show. I agree with James about the sound, but the music just shone through the gremlins for me. I for one thought the second half was great, the last piece you played was lovely.

    As for the Q+A (I went totally blank of course), I suppose there were a few dumb
    questions (I can’t believe someone asked you if you made the film!), but other than
    that (and the avid fan/heckler) it was really nice and I though your modesty and
    humour came through.

    Of course three or four questions popped into my head when I was safely 15 miles away, oh well…

    Loving the CDs I bought, trying to identify which tracks you played. The only thing I regret is I was too shy to get an autograph. Bugger!

    Good luck with the other shows,


  31. brent

    count me in as someone who wants to hear the ep but who won’t be close to any of your shows (toronto, canada). I’ll pay you $$$$$ ;)….

  32. jim fletcher

    My wife and myself saw you at the Stratford gig. We were on the front row. Just want to say thankyou so much. I know the film fucked-up; there was a dickhead talking from the projector room; you had to use a lighter to see what you were doing – but none of this mattered. Just to see you play again; you’re music has been with me since the age of thirteen and it’s ingrained within me now as it was then. The film and music were a kind of soundtrack to your life and all of your work has been my soundtrack – Jesus, it even brought Ana and me together in it’s own subtle way. So, okay, the gig was uncomfortable for you, but for us it was so, so special. Had so many questions for you, but how do I question someone who has influenced my life so much? Anywho, I was the lanky long-haired idiot who mumbled to you about my band Slab and whether you could give us a listen sometime. We’re not ethereal… we’re almost the ethereal anti-christ! But we enjoy every minute of what we do; just as you so obviously do. So thankyou again!

    Jim (www.ontheslab.co.uk)

  33. Mark Kraft

    Not sure whether you’re interested or not, but I just heard this:

    This year CocteauFest will be held in the UK. Details are as follows:

    Date: Saturday, September 2, 2006
    Location: Aqua Bar, Lower Mosley Street
    City: Manchester, UK
    Time: TBA
    Cost: TBA

    For more information or updates on this event please visit the official CocteauFest website:

  34. Mayumi

    Hi Robin, I am Japanese girl.
    I’m really surprised because Stephen Patman from Chapterhouse was on comments! I am listening to their wonderful album “Whirlpool” which was reissue recently. And I really regret that they don’t make themselves music now. I want you to collaborate with Chapterhouse or produce them to make something good again.
    My English is right?

  35. mattieu moreau


    i’m writting to you from Paris, France.
    i’m working on a book project and that’s why i’m getting in touch with you.

    I already have contibutions from Daevid Allen, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Chris Baliley (The Saints), Barry 7 (Add N To X), Pete Bassman (Darkside/Spaceman 3), Andy Bell (Ride/Oasis), Bob Bert (Sonic Youth/Pussy Galore), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwaï), Jean-Jacques Burnel (The Stranglers), Gina Burch (The Raincoats/Red Krayola), Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Will Caruthers, Charlemagne Palestine, James Chance (The Contorsions/Teenage Jesus & the Jerks), Rhys Chatham, Billy Childish (Three Headcoats), Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle/Coil), Clint Conley (Mission of Burma), Cosey F Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), Paul Cox (Too Pure Records), Dale Crover (The Melvins), Robin Crutchfield (DNA), Tom Cullinan (Quickspace/Faith Healers), Mark Cunningham (MARS), John Danielle (The Mountain Goats), Ana Da Silva (The Raincoats), Deerhoof, Stanley Demeski (The Feelies/Luna), Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart/Pere Ubu), The Electric Prunes, Mark E Smith (The Fall), Jad Fair (Half Japanese), Bob Fay (Sebadoh), Pat Fish (The Jazz Butcher), Don Fleming (Dim Stars/Gumball), Eric Gaffney (Sebadoh/Fields of Gaffney), Mark Gardener (Ride), David Gedge (The wedding Present), Andrew Gill (Gang Of Four), Michael Girra (The Swans), Vic Godard (Subway Sect), Paul Haig (Joseph K), Jennifer Heremma (Royal Trux), Herman Düne, Terry Hessels (The Ex), Tom Greenhalgh (The Mekons), Robert Hampson (LOOP/Main), John Holmstrom (Punk Magazine), Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata), Hans Joachim Irmler (Faust), Jonathan Kane (The Swans), Ivan Jullian (The Voïvoids), KAS Product, King Congo Powers (Gun Club/The Cramps), Kramer (Shockabilly), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Daniel Johnston, Brad Laner (Medicine), Jon Langford (The Mekons), Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh), Gary Lucas, Lust Mord, Colin Newman (Wire), Tony Mainmone, Marlene Marder (Liliput), Gillian McCain, Mac McCaughan (Superchunk ), Richard McGuire (Liquid Liquid), Legs McNeil (Punk Magazine), Glenn Mercer (The Feelies), Roger Miller (Mission of Burma), Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Bob Nastanovich (Pavement), Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas), Buzz Osborne (The Melvins), Stephen Pastels (The Pastels), Mark Perry (Sniffin‚ Glue Fanzine), Robert Poss (Band Of Susans), Pram, Kurt Ralske (Ultra Vivid Scene), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Bettina Richards (Thrill Jockey records), Michael Rotter (Neu!/Kraftwerk), Salaryman, Jon Savage, Russell Simins (Jon Spencer Bluex Explosion), John Sinclair (MC5 Manager/White Panthers), Nikki Sudden (The Swell Maps), Sonic Boom (Spaceman 3/E.A.R), Tobin Sprout (Guided By Voices), Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex), Morton Subotnick, Ian Svenonious, Wharton Tiers, Mayo Thompson (Red Krayola), Daniel Tracey (TV personalities), Ari Up ( The Slits), Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500/Luna), Mike Watt (Minutemen/fIREHORSE), Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Doug Yule (The Velvet Underground), Yoshimi (The Boredoms), Peter Zaremba (The Fleshtones) …

    i’m trying to get in touch with Robin Guthrie. Robin, if you read my e-mail, can you please get back to me and i’ll tell you more about my project ? if someone on this forum can help me to get in touch with him, that would be much appreciated !!!


    Mattieu Moreau

  36. Industrial Cutie

    Hi Robin,
    The show last night at the Ritzy was incredible. Thank you SO much for a wonderful evening. I saw you in Oxford and that was great, but last night the volume was turned up and the collaboration with Kevin Shields was incredible. Have you guys played together before? What a wonderful finale. I have been listening to Waiting For Dawn all day. Thank you for making an indie girls dream come true. Seeing you both on stage together was so natural.
    I hope you will come back soon for another musical fix.

  37. ricardo

    robin, how much $ do we need to bring to your seattle show?

  38. T

    I’m really amazed to hear about Robin and Kevin Shields having performed together recently. Can those who were in attendance describe this live collaboration?