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having fun with robyn on stage

introduction to 'silver wands', clerkenwell 17/7/94

For completists, I normally take my watch off before gigs, and have done ever since July 1987, but I was in the sun earlier this week and if I expose my wrist, where the watch has been, there's this very very bright orange, like the stuff they used to put in flypaper in the fifties. Like Lucozade. Whey you were a kid, they'd say "Well, you can have some flypaper or you can have some Lucozade" and you'd say "What's the difference", and they'd say "Well, texturally enormous but colour-wise, identical". So you'd call their bluff, and say "OK then, my man (as you said in the fifties), a florin for you, my man, if you will pour me a beaker of your finest flypaper". And they would. And it wouldn't look that different from the Lucozade.

Apparently they'd try to sell Lucozade as something to bolster the health of pregnant women. They tried that with flypaper as well. Disastrously.

[plays opening of 'Silver Wands']

Oh God, did I introduce this one or not? The one about the little guy in the white wedding dress? Did I do that introduction at the Jazz Cafe? No? Oh, God! Well, in that case, you won't have known what the song was about. This one's about a little guy - he's flat chested, he's a guy - about 5'3", small, what they call small but perfectly formed, he would fit very well into a gun case. There's actually a theory that there's a velvet case with his outline in it, and you put him away like an antique shotgun at night, and you need a licence to have this small guy. Anyway, this little guy, he's quite plain, pointed nose, a face like the flicker that you have when you light a cigarette lighter, for instance, you just get a flame for a second. He's got that kind of flame for a second face. And you could just blow him out, basically. Anyway, he's in a white wedding dress and walking down an abandoned railway line on the Isle of Wight with his arms outstretched, and there's no rails on the railway line where they used to be, it's been abandoned since 1953. So he's walking around like that, feeling his way. He's pretending (shall we look into his head?) that he's a buffet car. Selling 1953 goodies, that would be nice. And inside the buffet car, there are hundreds and hundreds of queens, beautiful queens with bouffants and very slow motion purple hair. These queens are leaning against the bar, very drolly talking. But unfortunately, the buffet car is very thick and you can't hear what's going on; the queens are using sign language, which was very different in 1953. Possibly even non-existent at that point, I think I might be right in saying. Anyway, there's this stuff coming down out of the sky which the little queen can't see, she's just moved forwards. Behind, there's a big hedge. I know now that most of you have had your hedges stolen. Apparently, a lot of this is going on. Hedges are being stolen. Maybe half of you have had your hedges ripped off and the other half have bought them, but you don't know that. It's theft bonding, it's going to be a ghastly new form of communication. Anyway, this guy's walking down the road with his arms outstretched. Behind the hedge, there's this evil one called Tharg. He's got a bath-plug hanging on the end of a crane, with a very very big, round, completely circular (this bit's important) completely circular piece of magnet with no small flaws in it. Whether it is brittle or not we cannot surmise without tapping it or going into its molecular structure which we don't have time to do. But suffice to say the little bloke in the wedding dress is full of iron filings, and this magnet is going to swing dangerously over his head. He could just be caught - poop! - like that. But fortunately, as so often happens, Tharg the evil one is so captivated by his own sense of evil that he's unable to actually operate the crane. So the little queen wanders along the road and he never gets snaffled by the evil one, which is why it's a happy song.

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