Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The awkward and iffy people that Robyn Hitchcock brings to life never feel that way when they're shifting around in their own skin. They feel that they're like everyone else, experiencing things in typical ways, all while thinking that there is something sparking there that's making them a little insane. They need steadying and yet they are convinced that they'll remain teetering and tottering, very much off-balance and not quite meant for all of this.
Hitchcock sings here, "Be still/Let the darkness fall upon you," and it's his way of getting to that point where one can be removed from these particular situations, where they can be lifted from the din and put into a new space that fits them better. It's a form of meditation. The darkness, as if falls, is that warm towel laid upon the forehead and the eyes. It's lying on a table and being massaged to death, or back to life - the same thing, really. It's being taken out of the mire, but only briefly. Hitchcock's people are unbalanced people, embracing the oddities and the ways that love and life splinter in such sweet and beguiling ways. They are drawn to these splinters and contradictory tones. They are mad for them - mad for the others out there who appreciate them just as much as they do.
Hitchcock writes the man who fights the passion that he's dedicated to, the emotions that he courts, with the man singing, "Even though I'm wriggling, you know that I'm still hooked." He's attracted to the worm, to the worn hook, even knowing that he's going to get himself into trouble as he bites down on the pink morsel, the bait. He's the man who knows his weaknesses and cannot change them one single bit. He sings, "I'm so weak with you/I'm scared that you'll explode/Or walk away/You, in your strawberries dress," stuck eternally with them.