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Exeter Review - 8 Miles High

back in '88 Robyn embarked on a tour of the "toilets of southern england" and my friend and I would trundle along and try and find the venues in daylight hours. shortly afterwards the band would arrive, see our huddled forms and realise that's where the gig was.

... i'm wandering into Exeter town centre with a vague map of the venue and trying to remember what the website said... up an alley, behond the bike sheds.. something like that. There's a nice hotel and i notice there's a white van outside that looks a bit like the one the band are using. Then i see Hessu wander out, followed by Peter, so i wave and wander over. I chat about the Bristol gig, Peter said it was good. I also ask if 'Higsons' is likely tonight and Peter reckons it could well be and he'll see what he can do. I leave them to it and wander off to get coffee and find the gig...

... I watch the van from up the street and it turns off the main road, up a small side street, so i cut up another street and keep track... it edges back and forth and heads up another small street and i scuttle after it and there is the venue! Hoorah!

Later that night i eat at the nice cafe in the Phoenix and chat with Robyn and Peter. A friend turns up later and we able in to the show and head for the front, Peter side. Oddly, i haven't actually been at the front the whole time, but now most of the regulars have gone i make the most of it.

The set is quite familiar and the band are really hitting the ground running now, Peter is improvising more and Scott seems to be adding more backing vocals. Robyn looks at me, then Scott and then back to me during that line in 'ole tarantula' and then he smiles. Peter does some leg-kicks and even jumps at one stage and i resist the desire to reach out and touch his feet as he's that close... one time he nearly stepped on my jacket which is at the front of the stage. He's loving every moment of it and it shows when he does a half-twirl with leg-kick and i have an urge to hold up a "5.9" sign.

Morris is here again and adds his enigmatic air to events. 'Oceanside' makes an appearance and i bounce up and down. They end the set with 'driving aloud'.

For the encore we get '8 miles high' and then 'i wanna destroy you' before the rattle of 'listening to the higsons' kicks in, Bill on bass, Morris on guitar and Scott on percussion, all trying to keep time to Peter's drumming.

They come once more for 'queen of eyes' and then it's onto the usual signing and posing outside. A dj plays some cool tunes and Scott sings along to the Sonics' 'strychnine'. At midnight the music stops, but Peter and I shout for more and we get one more track. Then it's into the night... my friend catching the sleeper to London, me to a 'hotel' that has a ludicrously early check out and an even more unlikely breakfast time.

That's it for me for the tour...

although i may write more.

It's been a wonderful time, the band are loving it and even audiences who might have been new to Robyn's stuff have been won over. Every show has been brilliant and the front row has been friendly!
-Laurence Arnold
Posted on 28 Jan 2006 by Stoffel
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Christophe Claessens 2003-2009. Contact me if you have some news to add.