Posts Tagged ‘The Man Downstairs Demos & Rarities’

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The Man Upstairs released back in 2014, made with producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention) and was envisioned as “a kind of Judy Collins 1965-era album: half covers, half originals.” Robyn Hitchcock has now shared an album of outtakes from the record, naming it the  “The Man Downstairs Demos & Rarities” it is now available for download and limited edition CD exclusively through Bandcamp.

These songs were recorded by Charlie Francis and Jessica Corcoran in 2013 in the lead up to making “The Man Upstairs” album. These previously unreleased versions of “River Man”, “Arnold Layne” and “I Pray When I’m Drunk”, as well as demos for “All Love And No Peace” and “Cavendish Square” extending the concept of the original album.

“These songs were mostly recorded in 2013 as demos for ‘The Man Upstairs,'” says Robyn. ” in his attic, and in many cases didn’t survive being re-cut with Joe Boyd in London when it came to session time.” Listen to the whole thing below.

Robyn Hitchcock is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. After leading The Soft Boys in the late 1970s and releasing the influential Underwater Moonlight, Hitchcock launched a prolific solo career. Robyn has also been selling some of his paintings online, and giving a portion of the proceeds to help touring musicians during COVID-19. The five he initially put up on Ebay have all sold but maybe there will be more.

Robyn also recently told us about the music, movies and books he’s been digging during pandemic lockdown.


In the autumn of 2013 I moved into the upstairs apartment of a house in Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight. It was just along the road from the house in the photo (left). Charles and Emma Darwin had stayed there in 1859 and found it a tad damp and chilly, apparently. 154 years later, central heating had yet to arrive. I’d already been recording demos for the album I was scheduled to make with Joe Boyd producing, back in London, the week that I moved in. So I had a lot of quality time on trains and ferries, which was fun, in a slow, eternal way. By November the whole of “The Man Upstairs” was recorded – and a slew of other recordings too. Hence “The Man Downstairs: Demos & Rarities”, out now on Tiny Ghost Records, which is basically a companion piece to the album released on Yep Roc in 2014. Only one song overlaps, but the mood is pretty continuous, and I’m pleased to be able to share some performances that slipped away when Joe and I tried re-cutting them for the official album. RH.

You can also catch Robyn and his partner Emma Swift on their regular Stageit livestreams. Their next performances are August 12th at 5 PM Eastern and August 14th at 11 AM Eastern. Emma also has an album of Bob Dylan covers out August 14th.

All vocals: Robyn Hitchcock
All instruments: Robyn Hitchcock