Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians (for a lark) unweaved a mindbending music to implode by with the shimmering surreal psychedelia of this provocative pop poltergeist.  After The Soft Boys disbanded, Hitchcock released a trio of very different solo albums ( 'Black Snake Dîamond Röle' 'Groovy Decay' (aka 'Groovy Decoy' aka 'Gravy Deco', and 'I Often Dream of Trains' ) before forming a new band with former members of The Soft Boys.

'Fegmania!' was recorded by Pat Collier at Alaska Studios in London and features Robyn Hitchcock on vocals, guitars, and bass guitar;    Morris Windsor on drums and backing vocals; and Andy Metcalfe on bass guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals;   with Roger Jackson adding keyboards on "Strawberry Mind", "Glass", "The Fly" and "Heaven";  and John Kingham playing drums on "The Man with the Lightbulb Head".

Hitchcock would wax:    "My favorite Egyptians album is 'Fegmania!'  because it was a really good vibe playing together after a long break, and it's the most consistant set of songs ... 'Fegmania!'  is, sort of, coming back to life. Groovy Decay was a very unhappy record, made in unhappy circumstances. There are a lot of miserable songs on it. I was in a fairly poisonous state at that stage. Whoever it was I was addressing at that stage doesn't bother me so much now. It's all probably about coming out of adolescence and being thirty.   I thought it was time to stop after that. I was being manipulated by apathy and confusion. People who all meant well, but thinking, 'You'd be great if you were somebody else!' I just shut up for a couple of years. Got everybody out of my system, then made that record [I Often Dream of Trains] all by myself to see what I was like undiluted.   Trains is about being dead, basically. That's why I put Anubis on it -- the (ancient Egyptian) god of the underworld, the black dog. I think 'Fegmania!'  sort of accepts itself. 'Fegmania!'  has Thoth -- who's the god of libraries -- on the label...As long as everybody doesn't crowd each other out and everyone's allowed to take time off and things, the band can go on indefinitely. I think Roger Jackson (keyboards) is a very valuable addition to the very original old lineup, which we still have. I think everyone's a bit more stable. We're all quite old now. We're not liable to go zooming around with lots of other people...I've never wanted mass appeal. People keep saying I should. Or why don't I? Or what will I do if I get it? But I'm not really interested in that force-feeding that takes place when you get prime MTV time and your poster is on every wall. There are plenty of people who don't sell millions of records -- people like Richard Thompson, Lou Reed, Captain Beefheart -- who've done brilliant stuff...I just walk downstairs, open my mouth, pick up a guitar and off we go. It's very easy -- my mind never stops. People seem to, kind of, walk around me waiting for it to stop so they can come and examine my head, drill holes in it and find out what's in there. I wish they wouldn't.   It's life filtered in one ear and out through the mouth -- like taking a whole load of ingredients and grinding them up not-very-finely, so when they come out again you can still recognize them. Like, 'Oh look. Here's half a car, and here's a piece of green pepper, and here are two people making love in a fridge.' Something like that...Humor is as important as blood, practically. People without any humor are people without any blood, and it's terrifying. I can't see any other reason to exist (he said sadly)."



"The Man with the Lightbulb Head"

"I'm Only You"


"My Wife & My Dead Wife"




full album:

All songs written by Robyn Hitchcock except as indicated.

Side one
"Egyptian Cream" – 3:33
"Another Bubble" – 2:46
"I'm Only You" – 4:28
"My Wife & My Dead Wife" – 4:19
"Goodnight I Say" – 3:14
Side two
"The Man with the Lightbulb Head" – 3:05
"Insect Mother" – 1:54
"Strawberry Mind" – 2:50
"Glass" – 3:12
"The Fly" – 3:50
"Heaven" – 4:41

bonus tracks
"Bells of Rhymney" (Idris Davies, Pete Seeger) – 3:30 (single)
"Dwarfbeat" – 3:00 (b-side from "Heaven" single)
"Some Body" – 3:24 (b-side from "Heaven" single)
"The Pit of Souls [I-IV]" – 9:59
"The Drowning Church" – 3:12
"Lady Obvious" – 3:21

The liner notes make plain (or perhaps less plain) the meaning behind the madness:

"What is Fegmania?  It has come for your sister.  Also for your husband, that kindly man with something poking out of his head.  It has come for you arms, and it will change your concept of hygiene.  It may be the sound of a plane crash-landing in a ploughed field, or salad cream being tipped out of an attic window.  There are stars, minds and judges - people in scarlet rags that pull frogs out of each other's mouths.  FEGMANIA RISES!  Light pulsing from a bruised sun that eats into tired rugs.  Light coursing from a swarming moon that careens in frozen ecstasy across the sky - naked people oozing on warm mud with the radio tuned to Venus.  Here is music to implode by.  Here is FEGMANIA!  A turnip in a sliver box.  A dromedary lurching through the House of Commons.  A bank manager shooting himself in the navel with a water-pistol.  A Royal baby with permanent amnesia.  A vampire at the Cenotaph.  Respectable people with uncontrollable urges, freed only by the disconnection of their hands.  A nun writing her name in marmalade on a soldier's leg.  One word. "

'Gotta Let This Hen Out!'

1 Listening To The Higsons
2 Kingdom Of Love
3 America
4 The Fly
5 The Man With The Lightbulb Head
6 The Cars She Used To Drive
7 Leppo & The Jooves
8 Sounds Great When You're Dead
9 Only The Stones Remain
10 My Wife & My Dead Wife
11 I Often Dream Of Trains
12 Brenda's Iron Sledge
13 Heaven
14 Surgery

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