Web Log  |  Life, music and everything else...

Recent Posts

  • 05.02.12 | trio !!
    Get up at 4am, lo-cost airline from Paris Orly, 80kg of equipment, 2 guitars, uncompromising lo-cost airline rules, can’t take my guitar on the plane,...
  • 30.09.10 | Kaboom!
    as seen on the Paris metro by Mr Steve Wheeler … ...

Recent Comments

Web Log Archives


Posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2007

OK…OK….OK, I know, I only write about stuff when things go wrong and It must seem like when many weeks pass without me writing that things must have, apparently, been OK.
Well, I have to agree, this is probably the case.
But hear this one out. It’s a doozy.
Seville is, acknowledgedly, the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of Southern Spain. It is the capital of Andalusia and therefore somewhere which sounds worth driving 1700km to have a look around, make a nice concert and, more importantly, if given the chance, taste some interesting new dishes. So I was happy and grateful to be invited to play at an open air festival there, in an old monastery, a most historical building, claiming a tree planted by Christopher Columbus after returning from the new world. How cool. Why not?
So jump in the van with a somewhat less than rock’n’roll attitude, rather more of a, well, a let’s take the children, I can’t remember the last time we spent some time together, kind of an approach..
It was a nice drive down there and I felt glad to see the sun and blue sky which seemed to be evading most of Northern Europe this year. It was a fairly relaxed journey which I spent listening to audiobooks while driving, with a stop of in Bordeaux at my favorite restaurant, one in Vitoria to pick up a teenage child and another in Madrid to break the journey. On arriving in Seville I met my production host, Andy Jarman,who warned me about leaving my musical equipment in the van as Seville is a city with a lot of crime. I was able to have him take my equipment to his place rather than leave it in the hotel or street. However you have to park somewhere I parked on a busy, well lit street as he suggested and emptied the vehicle of valuables which we duly did.
However, with the experience of recent events it was really not too much of a surprise to arrive back at our vehicle the following morning to find the left hand window broken in and all of our possessions either scattered all over the place or, in the case of all of my clothes, missing. My six year old daughter Violette had her clothes and some of her toys missing too and seemed thrilled by the idea of being robbed however my other daughter, Lucy Belle was gently sobbing saying ‘motherfuckers…. motherfuckers…..motherfuckers have taken my vans and cyberdogs’.
I had no idea what she was talking about as she is, of course, a teenager but later found out she was referring to her shoes and really strange big trousers which young people of a certain ilk take delight in wearing.
The strange thing is the thief largely ignored the items that I would have stolen had I been a Spanish junkie, you know like Lucy Belle’s credit card and cash, which she had, rather stupidly, left in the vehicle.
No, it sort of got me thinking that this person needed middle aged mans clothing with teenage girl underwear and all of our dirty laundry. Well, you know, I’ve not much experience of Spanish people so maybe that’s normal.
Another curiosity of stealing my clothes is that it was over 35 degrees and while I could understand stealing, let’s say, a Speedo, it seemed a strange choice to run off with a navy blue woolen suit, even if the thief would look very dapper indeed while wearing it, if not a little sweaty as I would have, had I had the fucking chance to wear it..
Anyway, I digress; I’ll get back to my tale. I fashioned a quick repair to the broken window with cable ties, the things which, increasingly, seem to hold everything in my life together, locked up and headed off to the police station to make a report. This took about an hour and consisted of contemptuous policemen grunting at us, shrugging a lot and regarding us with a look that said ‘what did you expect, you tourist filth?’ I understand that there is not much to be done in a situation like we found ourselves in at that moment, no rounding up of the usual suspects and no team of detectives following up leads. The only lead I had anyway was that the thieves would probably be dressed, well, just like us. I didn’t want to end up in a Spanish prison so we quickly left.
On arriving back at the van I experienced a strange feeling of déjà vu. Well not quite déjà vu as this time it was the right hand window which had been broken in, while we were in the police station, and this time it was a more professional and thorough job. What had been missed by the first thief wasn’t missed by the second one. To be robbed on a busy city street in broad daylight is quite something, even for someone from Scotland.
Welcome to Seville.
Now, call me old fashioned but this situation was starting to become, as my firstborn would put it, a little irksome. There seemed really very little to be done except smile and get on with it. So, we went to the venue, the aforementioned old monastery, and soundchecked, which was rather pleasant, ate and then tried to return to the venue only to find ourselves locked out. I imagined Christopher Columbus beating on the same gates shouting, ‘Come on guys…. hey, guys……let me in……I have some seeds’.


I spent most of the show looking at the audience to see if any of them were wearing any of my clothes. I played as well as I could,which was not bad for someone who knew he would smell real bad the next day. No really, I kinda, sorta, um, er, well, how do you put it, mmm, enjoyed the performance. I could see the moon and the stars as I played and it sounded just lovely. Just for a moment I forgot that someone needed my dirty laundry more than I actually did and that felt just fine….
Trouble was, the next day I had to go to France.

37 Responses to “Seville”

  1. Edmur Alencar

    Well, Robin, you troublemaker, you did It again!
    What comes next? A drunken bar fight? Heh heh heh…
    I think you might need an ancient fire ritual to remove bad luck and difficult karma.

  2. Lucy belle

    Yep, pretty irksome…

    I must correct you though, “Cyberdog” is a brand of futuristic clothing (obviously) and the “Cyberdog” clothing I was referring to was my dress with the plastic straps, my pinstripsed trousers with the chains are made by “Criminal Damage”.
    My work here is done, I’m now waiting for the French story 😛

  3. vanderlei

    The more you talk about what life is like in Europe the more I see that Brazil is not too far behind.

  4. clive Booth

    Blimey Robin, hard luck. The good news is though, as we’ve all experienced, is that like a sine wave, life has these ups and downs and you are inevitably destined for some nice big high’s any day soon… hopefully three in a row! Glad the gig went well anyway, sounds quite dreamy….

  5. mike_in_york

    Robin, firstly glad you enjoyed performing; secondly, I can concur with the attitude of Spanish police when confronted with a foreign “tourist” wishing to make a crime report, actually you should feel honoured, you got a grunt! when same happened to me about 10 years ago on Costa Brava, all I got was shrugs and a lot of quickly spoken words I couldn’t understand (but then you get that when you get back to France I suppose?); and thirdly, I don’t mean to upset you but I think Jeremy Clarkson has stolen your prose style! You should definitely consider writing a travelogue as a sideline – reading this stirs the fire in my belly ready for my trips to Sweden and Canada which approach forthwith! those countries should be warned, I will take no prisoners – cross me at your peril!

  6. nickylee

    i wish i was there to watch robin! jesus, god, valentine…

    if iam to meet god id tell him…in my next life i want to have robin’s, simon’s, or elizabeth’s talent in making music..at least half as good as them…

    why were you born like this? and i don’t think you even know how bloody good you are, robin! but somehow you give me this idea that you are one impatient person..do i have to be like that to be as good as you? hehehe i love you!

  7. Gaelle

    Yes, go on with the french story. Your frightened look in the car was priceless. I want your personal thoughts and more pictures. x

  8. JAM

    while at university i went to visit some friends in Cape Town – strangely enough this weekend i decided to take my entire music collection with me for some odd reason that had little credibility but anyway arriving back home i was quite happy i did coz anything else of value i had was missing – yeah got hit but the oddest thing was that every piece of clothing i owned was taken too – from socks to jocks – the only think left was a seriously nice shirt my gran made me – strangest was that it was on the same hanger as a jacket that was also taken – i took this as a blessing and bought another set of clothes i alternated wearing for a month looking the same every second day – this was 17 years ago i dont miss anything ive lost and i still wear my Gran’s shirt!

  9. theguyintheseefeeltshirt

    Hi again Robin!

    The show was excellent, and meeting you and Lucy Belle was a real pleasure. I have some cool pictures which I’ll send soon (sorry for not having done yet, Spanish lazyness I guess…)

    So… I think I should start visiting our local flea markets on a regular basis to see if I find some special offer on “rock-star-dirty-laundry” packs ;-P

    Hope you’re not having too much trouble in Scotland this time!

    Big cheers…

  10. Alexander Pieri

    Hy Robin,
    A sincere compliment for the 2albums you made with Harold Budd, and I saw around internet that you will perform with Harodl Budd. Sadly wont see it nothing of it from Croatia 🙁 Will you and budd intend to publish a live cd about your perfomances? That would be good! At least for me.

    best regards,
    alex, croatia.

  11. R

    Robin wrote:
    ” it was over 35 degrees and while I could understand stealing, let’s say, a Speedo, it seemed a strange choice to run off with a navy blue woolen suit,…”

    I’ll tell you why: it is because these are Swedes! Great hordes of swedes criss-crossing the iberian peninsula, viscious and unforgiving, with their warm-clothes nordic mentality…! And, they do not touch credit cards because they are such a high standard money means little to them…
    Them Swedes!
    –sorry about your misadventure!


  12. Oliver Saunders

    Hi Robin

    I just found out your 2 cd’s with Harold Budd came out a month or so ago(just ordered!!), but no mention (i think ), on yor log , have i missed something ?

  13. Bernie Thomas

    There are some pretty desperate and pathetic fuckers in Spain walking about in broad daylight

  14. Glen

    Sorry we didn’t manage that aftershow beer in Seville, Robin. Too many bars, too hot, too many dodgy-looking dealer types on every corner. Hope you managed to enjoy the rest of your trip.

  15. nicky

    i know this wont get answered by robin ever coz this might be his top secret…but guys dont you agree that robins guitar sound is so perfect that it plays between sonic and a guitar sound. others bands who followed his style the timbre of the guitar is just too electronic..unlike robin’s it still sounds like a guitar but only more shimmering…its so beautiful and relaxing..we will never find someone who does it well than robin. not in this life time!

  16. AdBook

    Robin,how do you feel about all your recordings being downloadable-for a fee to Leesa- from a certain forum?
    Are you getting any money out of this?
    Or out of the blatant self-profitting sale of t-shirts&stickers -oh,maybe this should go to 4AD?-that you see the moment you go to the “official” website?
    And how about Liz,whose COMPLETE works are there,violating any copyright rules?
    Do we have to understand that you yourself sanction this?
    I would like to know…

  17. power-u

    Hey folks! if you want to download ALL of Guthrie’s recordings,join mmmenderella’s cocteau cafe for a small fee and support Robin!
    Pass the info!

  18. Phil

    How do I get the free downloads?
    Thank you Robin,you’re very generous!

  19. Kathy

    I have been a fan for a long time and have thus bought all your records,I don’t think it is fair that leesa gets money for the downloads instead of you.Whyever did you let her go that far?

  20. robert

    I have downloaded Robin’s stuff from Dials but now feel a bit guilty about it…apologies.
    Next time,I will buy your CDs.

  21. Cecile

    If you like Robin,buy his music and don’t download it paying somebody else!

  22. stickypudding

    I only want TWO stickers,why do we have to buy FIVE?

  23. Dirk

    Where is the link for the t-shirts?
    I want mine too.Cheers.

  24. mike

    Oh,dear,first the Cocteau DVD rip-off and now music downloads…
    This is never-ending.
    And what the hell is going on with stickers and t-shirts???

  25. valery

    I am sorry to hear about the illegal downloads.Buy the music,support the artist.

  26. wergo

    Robin,thank you for making your music available in Dials for a fee but shouldn’t we be paying you directly? I’ll be glad to know that the money goes to you and yours.

  27. piano works

    Don’t buy illegal stickers! Instead,buy Robin’s music.

  28. cyberwow

    Are the t-shirts from your private collection?
    They’re nice but pricey…

  29. Pete

    Wouldn’t it be better if you had a Paypal button on your myspace page instead of Leesa pocketing the money?
    Just my two cents…

  30. olivier

    Let me get this right,I pay a fee at the cocteau twins forums and then download all of Robin’s stuff PLUS a lot more?
    Hmmm…don’t get it.

  31. 30 to 40

    Thank you,thank you,thank you!
    I loved the downloads and the interview.
    How do I pay my fee now?

  32. anonymous

    I paid my membership but where are the downloads now?
    I want my money back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (Alternatively,you can also mail me a CD-R, 😉 )

  33. LondonFlame

    Did you ask leesa to shut the Dials Forum down?

  34. the airfields

    hi robin

    crazy travel stories

    canada isn’t so bad

    you should mix one of our songs, your stuff always sounds grand!

    have a listen on our site, if you like, message back

    great work on mahogany by the way…


  35. hero

    Hey Robin,how can I get a copy of the Tishbites DVD?
    Thank you and keep the tunes up.

  36. tien-ann shih

    almost as good as your last adventures coming back from new york.

    i lived in seville for two months two years ago. i was grabbed by a menacing teen on a bike. i saw him circle around me for a few minutes before he he sped by me. when what came of it was that he grabbed my breast i wasn’t too astounded. after all, this is not the first time some dude has tried to grab my breast in broad daylight. and teens, what can you do?

    then i realized that he wasn’t even going for my breast, but rather my gold necklace, i was offended.

    i’m gonna make sure to keep my distance from you in lima. i don’t think that we’ll get killed or anything, but somehow you’ll do something, our drunk hosts will intervene, and next thing you know we’ll be getting robbed at a brothel. i’m putting money on it now.

  37. watchlar

    hey robin, i bet you are really getting sick and tired of idiots filling up your blog with attacks against someone else entirely aren’t you?

Leave a Reply