TC&I – ” Great Apirations ” EP

Posted: September 25, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

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One of the more unexpected and pleasant surprises in the music world this year was the announcement of a new EP recorded by former XTC members Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers... the four-song release nestles in comfortably with the many songs that Moulding contributed to XTC over the years.

What Colin and Terry have created here is something tasteful, deftly wrought, restrained and wonderfully English, West Country…. lyrically funny, emotive and poignant and falls into a sort of alternative pop territory that seems to be done so well in this country. Triumph and hopefully merely the first chapter of a new musical novel

A Formidable rhythm section… ‘Great Aspirations’ harkens a bit back to the early glory days of XTC, but how could it not with this pedigree… the EP is a delight to listen to… includes adult themes about things like conservation and happily facing mortality

Ahead of a string of live shows scheduled this autumn for XTC co-frontman Colin Moulding and original XTC drummer Terry Chambers, Moulding has announced the vinyl release of their ‘Great Aspirations’ EP. Previously only CDs (both signed and unsigned copies) were available.

The duo has also announced that, in their live sets,  “we will go for the more idiosyncratic songs that I wrote for the band, songs that were tucked away in corners. We seem to have gone where the tribute bands never go”.

These are the first live shows in 36 years for Chambers and Moulding, who just celebrated his 63rd birthday. After the first four dates sold out quickly, Swindon Arts Centre has extended their exclusive mini-residency with two new dates – on November 18th and 20th.

Moulding and Chambers recently released their debut ‘Great Aspirations’ EP under the moniker TC&I. In addition to this new material, they plan to play a selection of the songs from the XTC catalogue written by Colin, several of which have never been played live due to the fact that the band stopped touring in 1982, not long before Chambers‘ departure.

“These dates are probably commensurate with our output thus far. We’re not going to do the usual promoters’ circuit. Besides it’s kind of special this way. Like a stationary west end show or something,” says Colin Moulding.

The ‘Great Aspirations’ EP presents four new original recordings that showcase Colin’s English pop vision. This is the first new material from Moulding in many years with lead track ‘Scatter Me’, featuring XTC’s trademark qualities of melody, rhythm, variety, and idiosyncratic subject matter, mixed in with nostalgia fuelled by an understated political anger. Here, Moulding shows an appreciation of the good things, such as friendship, landscape and longing. Here he again reminds us of what we stand to lose in the name of progress, looking at the rapidly changing world around him.

TRACK LIST

1. Scatter Me  (4:32)
2. Greatness (The Aspiration Song)  (3:53)
3. Kenny  (4:33)
4. Comrades of Pop  (2:23)
“Exciting times. 18 months ago couldn’t see this happening – I’m as excited about these gigs as I was in 1973 playing our first gig at the Arts Centre Swindon as a 17 year Helium Kid, and the first time to be playing with Colin together on stage since San Diego,” says Terry Chambers.
XTC’s long-standing rhythm section will be joined by music veterans Steve Tilling on guitar and Gary Bamford on keyboards and guitar. This is not the first XTC encounter for multi-instrumentalist and session musician Tilling, the man behind Circu5, whose debut album ‘The Amazing Monstrous Grady’ featured a guest appearance from XTC guitarist Dave Gregory.

Swindon musician Bamford has an extensive history of music writing, orchestrating, teaching and collaborating, including working with The Beautiful South to orchestrate 25 songs for the musical ‘The Slide’ and as bandleader for the show at their premiere performances. His debut album ‘Jadj‘ was co-produced with Jim Barr (Portishead).

2018 marks the 40-year anniversary of XTC’s first studio album ‘White Music’. While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK charting single. Moulding had written the first three charting singles (‘Life Begins at the Hop’‘Making Plans for Nigel’, and ‘Generals and Majors’). Chambers left the lineup in the 1980s, while Moulding continued his partnership with frontman Andy Partridge through the group’s dissolution in 2006.

Lately there has been renewed interest in XTC, in part due to the release of eye-opening XTC documentary ‘This Is Pop’ about the band’s history and legacy, which looks at XTC and their journey from mercurial pop outsiders to full blown national treasures and one of Britain’s most influential yet unsung bands.

Drums, percussions and backing vocals: Terry Chambers
Guitars, basses, keyboards and lead vocals: Colin Moulding
Saxophone and trumpet on ‘Kenny’ and ‘Scatter Me’: Alan Bateman
Farfisa organ and ornate tinkling on ‘Scatter Me’: Mikey Rowe
Soprano voice on ‘Scatter Me’: Susannah Bevington
All songs written by Colin Moulding. Arrangements by TC&I.
Produced by TC&I. Mixed by Stuart Rowe. Recorded and engineered by TC&I.
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