Posts Tagged ‘XTC’

TC&I - Naked Flames.jpg

For anyone who ever was an XTC fan, I have some great news for you. Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers will be presenting a live album under their TC&I moniker, following up their ‘Great Aspirations’ debut EP released a year and a half ago. ‘Naked Flames: Live at Swindon Arts Centre’ will be released via Burning Shed on August 9th.

The track ‘Wonderland’ is available now,

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Naked Flames collects the best from TC&I’s six momentous and stupendous shows at the Swindon Arts Centre in October and November 2018. These were the first live shows together for Moulding and Chambers in 36 years.This follows up their debut ‘Great Aspirations’ EP, released in late 2017.

They played a selection of the songs from the XTC catalogue written by Colin, many of which had never been played live as the band stopped touring in 1982, not long before Chambers‘ departure. They also played material from TC&I’s debut EP, where Moulding and Chambers offer some truly original music. ‘Scatter Me’ and the other three resulting recordings showcase Colin’s English pop vision – the first new material from Moulding in many years, featuring XTC’s trademark qualities of melody, rhythm, variety, and idiosyncratic subject matter, mixed in with nostalgia fuelled by an understated political anger.

“I’d never heard a lot of these tunes in any concert hall and I felt I deserved a chance to put that right….yes a bit of TC&I too, but my songs have been stuck in the closet too long, and I wanted to dry clean them and give them an evening out, or six,” says Colin Moulding.

“I was 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.

For this mini-residency in Swindon, XTC’s long-standing rhythm section was joined by music veterans Steve Tilling on guitar and Gary Bamford on keyboards and guitar.

Who knows whether there’s more to come… these artists do not even know… Here TC&I intend to release a momento of last autumn’s live shows in Swindon. For the fans who went… and for those who wished they had went, this is a time capsule for all concerned…..enjoy this total eclipse.

2018 marked the 40-year anniversary of XTC’s first studio album ‘White Music’. Founded in 1972, XTC only had their first UK charting single in 1979. Moulding wrote the first three charting singles (‘Life Begins at the Hop’‘Making Plans for Nigel’, and ‘Generals and Majors’). Chambers left XTC in the 1980s, while Moulding continued with frontman Andy Partridge through the group’s dissolution in 2006.

There is new fervour over XTC, in part due to the eye-opening documentary ‘This Is Pop’ about the band’s legacy, exploring their journey from mercurial pop outsiders to full blown national treasures and one of Britain’s most influential yet unsung bands.

‘Naked Flames: Live at Swindon Arts Centre’ will be released on Friday, August 9th A bundle order is also available, including two CDs from TC&I – the ‘Naked Flames’ album and their debut ‘Great Aspirations’ EP. Both options Include signed postcards (while stocks last).

The Band:
Colin Moulding – Bass guitar and lead vocals
Terry Chambers – Drums
Gary Bamford – Keyboards, guitar and vocals
Steve Tilling – Lead Guitar and vocals
Lee Moulding – Percussion and vocals
Susannah Bevington – Soprano voice on Scatter Me

All songs written by Colin Moulding except ‘Statue of Liberty’ (written by Andy Partridge)

 

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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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XTC detractors would often accuse the band of being “too quirky.” While they definitely had that side, their debut, ‘White Music,’ showed that they were not going to be some cookie-cutter new wave or punk rock band. The opening frantic surge of “Radios in Motion” gets things rolling and it’s all forward drive from there. “Statue of Liberty” and “This Is Pop?” are among the many treasures here as they sounded like none of the punk era brethren, but rather like some holy merging of ‘Trout Mask Replica’ and ‘With the Beatles’ on an amphetamine bender. While they would rapidly move forward with each release, ‘White Music’ was a hell of a place to start.

This one is a bit uneven, I think mainly due to the band attempting to find its voice. Overall, the album has all that quirkiness that defined the band in their early years, which works most of the time. It seems Colin Moulding is trying a little too hard to be quirky on two of the three songs he wrote, but I’ll Set Myself On Fire is a good early effort. Radios In Motion is a fantastic opening track and Andy Partridge also scores well with Into The Atom Age, New Town Animal, and This Is Pop? (I do agree with that other list-maker that the later single version of this song is much better). However, their cover of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower really does fall flat.

They’re one of the best groups that Britain ever produced. I don’t know why everyone goes on about someone like Morrissey making the best British pop when in fact XTC did it better that anyone else. I remember when they did ‘This Is Pop’, and I just thought, ‘Yeah this is pop. This is pop.’ It seemed like such a brilliant thing for them to say. Pop is what they were doing and they were writing all these great songs, going on about the whole punk thing and not being embarrassed about writing great pop songs.”

An album that was more influential than successful, White Music was the first album by the much-loved English new wave popsters around whom an obsessive cult following has grown over the years. The album includes one of Andy Partridge’s most enduring song “This Is Pop”, and was produced by John Leckie, who subsequently has gone on to work with the Stone Roses, Radiohead and others.

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Hardcore fans of XTC may already know this, but for those who don’t, I’m pleased to announce the release of the latest musical output from ex-XTC members Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers under the tongue-in-cheek moniker TC&I. This is “one of the more unexpected and pleasant surprises in the music world… the four-song release nestles in comfortably with the many songs that Moulding contributed to XTC over the years”.
The rhythmic powerhouse behind the Swindon-based legends have reunited to release this debut ‘Great Aspirations’ EP, featuring four new original recordings that allow us to fully appreciate Colin’s English pop vision. The first new material from Moulding in many years, he and Chambers put their XTC history behind them to create some truly original music – a new start and something apart from their musical past.

On this debut offering as TC&I, Moulding and Chambers put their XTC history behind them to create some truly original music. Not only is this a new start, but also a thing apart from their musical past. This is also the first new material from Moulding in many years.

“I thought I’ve got to do something, you can’t just sit around and eat chocolate cake and then you get the inkling that you should start writing again and you start meddling and the next thing you know Terry’s on the door step,” says Colin Moulding.

Terry Chambers adds, “You’re only here once in your life and this felt a bit like unfinished business. When I left XTC it wasn’t the greatest set of circumstances and you can’t go through your life thinking ‘what if?’ so when Colin offered the opportunity I thought, yes lets do this again.”

The EP delivers XTC’s trademark qualities of melody, rhythm, variety, and idiosyncratic subject matter, mixed in with nostalgia fuelled by an understated political anger. In following with his songwriting history to date, 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)

XTC This is POP

One of the most prolific and influential bands to emerge from the U.K punk explosion of the late ’70s was XTC. A new documentary on the band titled This Is Pop is due soon and, much like the band itself, is not your traditional rockumentary.

This Is Pop presents the story of the band without going the traditional, linear story route. Instead, the XTC tale is told through the use of animation, archive and specially-shot sequences along with brand-new interviews with members Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding, Terry Chambers and Dave Gregory. Although band leader Partridge is on board for the film, he has more than a few reservations about the whole process.

“What don’t I like about about music documentaries?”, he asks himself in the trailer embedded above. “I don’t like all of it. I don’t like the bald old bloke talking about the ‘good old days.’ I hate all that stuff. … The whole rockumentary thing bores the very buttocks off me.”

Though XTC officially broke up in 2006, their reputation has continued to grow in their absence, thanks to songs such as “Senses Working Overtime,” “Making Plans for Nigel,” and “Dear God.” Along with the band members, the trailer features interviews with Stewart Copeland of the Police and actor Harry Shearer.

“I think the word is out,” said Colin Moulding. “It’s taken a bloody long time, but I think people are catching up and appreciating what we did.” Partridge, ever the elusive genius, shows a bit or bravado in his assessment of the band, linking XTC to the Beatles. “Occasionally, once in a very rare while, you get a band that starts pretty good, gets better and better and better. And that’s rare. And I think, and I have to say, I have to be immodest… We are the other band that did that.”

We Will Rock You: The Twenty Best XTC Songs

XTC have one of the most fascinating career progressions in music. From their highly-energetic, eclectic, punkish new wave of their first album, to the pastoral, acoustic-driven songs found on “English Settlement,” XTC seem to have something for everybody. Let us not forget XTC’s psychedelic pop masterpiece “Skylarking,” the incredibly authentic-sounding ‘60’s psychedelic rock as The Dukes of Stratosphear, and the orchestral arrangements on “Apple Venus, Pt. 1.” Andy Partridge’s lyrics also warrant a shout out, truly intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics.

Primary songwriter and lead singer Andy Partridge expertly balanced his experimental side — angular guitar parts mixed with jittery rhythms — with strong sensibilities for pop melodies and hooks, and his partner-in-crime, Colin Moulding, was capable of contributing a few gems of his own on every record.

This may seem like high praise, but the only band that XTC are second to in terms of melodic sensibility is The Beatles, which will certainly be an understandable position to reach after listening through their discography. How so many songs sound like they can be hits, but were not, is unfortunate, but XTC does maintain a sizable and highly passionate fan base, as indicated by numerous active online fan clubs, groups, and cover bands. XTC’s music contains a ton of variety, so to get the best picture of the band as a whole, all of their era’s should be sampled.

Though their final album of new material was released in 2000, interest in their music and legacy has continued to grow over the years. Over the span of around 30 years total, XTC delivered 14 proper albums, dozens of classic singles, and several collections of demos, dubs and remixes along the way. Taken as a whole, their catalog shows how they evolved from one of the many arty English post-punk bands to retro-psychedelia and beyond.

Essential Albums: “Skylarking” (1986), “English Settlement” (1982), “Chips from the Chocolate Fireball” (as The Dukes of Stratosphear) (1987), “Apple Venus, Pt. 1” (1999), “White Music” (1978)

Bookended by label standoffs, “Nonsuch” found the band XTC trying new things. There was a new producer, a new drummer, and a newfound interest orchestral settings.  XTC’s relationship with Virgin Records had also declined due to lack of success in America, which then completely fell apart after Nonsuch arrived on April 27th, 1992.

They’d struggled mightily to even get the project underway. “Basically, we were (messed) around a lot by various people,” Colin Moulding said in 1992. “A guy at the record company did his darndest to stop us making a record – why, I don’t know. Every time we came up with songs, he’d say, ‘Oh, there are no singles here, fellas. Go back and write some more.’ He did that too many times, and we said, ‘Look, take him off the case.’”

There followed a lengthy search for a producer. “Hugh Padgham and Steve Lillywhite, whom we had worked at the beginning with, had in mind to produce the album – but finally, Lillywhite had no time for it,” Andy Partridge in 1992. “We contacted John Paul Jones, but he was too expensive. Then Bill Bottrell, the engineer of Bad, was ready to come in our homes with his studio. But the deal did not work.”

The arrival of former drummer of Fairport Convention Dave Mattacks, , led XTC to producer Gus Dudgeon. Mattacks had heard that Dudgeon – most famous for his collaborations with Elton John wanted to work with XTC. That opened up new creative vistas: The sessions found Partridge adding dollops of strings, even as the band tightened their focus on introspective pop.

“We hadn’t messed much with the orchestral thing [until Nonsuch], said Partridge “At least now I got to, if not exorcise a huge ghost from me, I certainly got to give the beast a name. Should I wish to kill it, it certainly would be easier for me to kill it now. But for the time being, I certainly got something out of my system that has been bugging me for a long time – which is non-rock-and-rock-flavored meal.”

The results, typically quite lush and measured, fit somewhere between the pastoral quirks of 1986’s “Skylarking”  with the sleek modernity of 1989’s Oranges and Lemons, though Nonsuch was often far more reflective than either. Andy Partridge was gaining an ever-growing appreciation for accompaniment, and song construction and it showed.

‘Oranges & Lemons’ was XTC’s biggest album and the three-year gap for the follow-up was the longest in the band’s history to that point. ‘Nonsuch’ appeared in 1992 and was well worth the wait. It still stands as one of the band’s strongest all-around albums. From the joyous opener, “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” to the closer “Books Are Burning,” ‘Nonsuch’ is packed with gems.

“There was no full conscious decision to make it wildly different from the last,” Moulding  “But it was a different studio, different musicians a different drummer, different producer. It’s going to come out a little different.”

Not that this 17-song set couldn’t rock, as evidenced by the quirky “Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead.” XTC’s softer, detailed musings on “The Disappointed,” “ My Bird Performs” and “Holly Up On Poppy” however, were far more representative of Nonsuch.

Partridge and Moulding constructed the songs separately, as per usual, then worked things out live with long-time multi-instrumentalist Dave Gregory and the newly arrived Mattacks. “We never collaborate,” said Moulding “Each person puts his little prints on them, but we don’t write together. There’s a lot of freedom to do what each of us likes with the other’s songs, however.”

Despite it all, they ended up – once again – coming away with something that was quintessentially XTC. Fans back home seemed to get that. “The Disappointed,” like Nonsuch, crept into the U.K. Top 40. Unfortunately, “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” stalled at No. 71, just before the next conflict opened up with Virgin Records.

Andy Partridge wanted to release “Wrapped In Grey” as the third single from Nonsuch, and even shot a video for the song. XTC’s label, however, vetoed the idea. Before it was over, XTC had called a strike against Virgin, hoping to extricate themselves once and for all from a relationship that dated back to 1977. As the standoff dragged on, they remained inactive for most of the ’90s. In fact, XTC didn’t emerge again until 1999’s similarly orchestral Apple Venus Vol. 1 – and, by then, Dave Gregory was being eased out the door.

Even back in 1992, Gregory seemed resigned to sitting by as pitched disagreements unfolded. “If push comes to shove, it must be done Andy’s way,” Gregory  “I’ve learned to live with it, and it usually bears fruit. Andy always knows what he wants; there are never any grey areas. But occasionally the fur does fly.”

Andy Partridge – Vocals, electric guitars & percussion
Colin Moulding – Bass guitar
Dave Gregory – Electric 6- & 12-string guitars & synthesizer
Dave Mattacks – Drums, percussion & sitar sample

1. The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead 0:00
2. My Bird Performs 5:02
3. Dear Madam Barnum 8:53
4. Humble Daisy 11:42
5. The Smartest Monkeys 15:19
6. The Disappointed 19:37
7. Holly Up on Poppy 23:00
8. Crocodile 26:05
9. Rook 30:02
10. Omnibus 33:49
11. That Wave 37:10
12. Then She Appeared 40:44
13. War Dance 44:36
14. Wrapped In Grey 47:58
15. The Ugly Underneath 51:45
16. Bungalow 55:36
17. Books Are Burning 58:25

XTC released their fifth studio record, the double album “English Settlement”, on February 12th, 1982. When compared to the band’s previous record, 1980’s Black Sea or the 1979’s post-punk milestone Drums & Wires “English Settlement” is less frantic and more deliberate-sounding. The album spawned three UK singles: “Senses Working Overtime” “Ball And Chain” and “No Thugs in Our House”. Partridge and Moulding write brilliant, thought provoking, intelligent songs bundled up in the most enthralling, original and enduring arrangements of pop music you could imagine. Partridge as a purveyor of perfect pop must be up there with the very best, his songs are funny, touching, and impossibly catchy. For me this is his and the rest of the band (particularly Moulding)’s best work, and what’s more it’s a double album.

This translates to music that’s stubbornly in between genres and resists pigeonholing. Take the first two songs on the album, “Runaways” and “Ball and Chain.” The former boasts slippery grooves and haunted, stair-step harmonies; the latter is one of XTC’s best songs, a biting condemnation of destructive forward progress (“Motorways and office blocks / They’re standing on the spot where stood a home”) burnished with majestic keyboards and a roller coaster-caliber melody.

Elsewhere, the pastoral “Yacht Dance” feels like a precursor to 1986’s “Skylarking”  “All of a Sudden (It’s Too Late)” merges burnished guitars with soulful bass slinkyness and the sharp-angled “Leisure” is a lurching, caterwauling mod-pop. “It’s Nearly Africa,” meanwhile, features rhythms that resemble a muted version of Adam and the Ants’ “Burundi Beat” style, while “Fly On The Wall” harkens to XTC’s buzzing synthpunk days and “Down in the Cockpit” is full-on ska-pop.

English Settlement was firmly new wave, in the sense that it felt like a new beginning not just for XTC, but for the genres the band shepherded and embraced. “I’m becoming much less interested in music and much more in words,” Partridge said in 1982. “And I think it’s beginning to show. On this album, there are a lot of words per track, if you see what I mean. Also, much simpler forms of music appeal to me—I think the music’s getting simpler as the years go by, and this is not a desire to say, ‘Hey, let’s make some money.’ It’s just that I’m trying to simplify the music and be more effective with less.”

One such song is the raucous “No Thugs In Our House,” an intricate song driven by “a desire to write this rather old-fashioned/modern morality tale,” Partridge said in Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC. Featuring a cast of characters including a pair of ignorant parents, a policeman and a deceptively innocent teenager named Graham, who “slept on/Dreaming of a world where he could do/Just what he wanted to”—the song is a piece of trenchant societal commentary.
“At the time it was written, there was an awful lot of awareness of the National Front in England—we’d done at least one Rock Against Racism festival by that time—and at that point in England, there was an awful lot of anti-right kind of feeling, because it seemed like they were growing in prominence,” Partridge continued. “It was probably more to do with the paranoia of the time rather than their actual prominence, if you know what I mean.”

Other songs were more explicit about their political stance. The breezy, tropical-sounding “Melt The Guns,” for example, is an indictment of trigger-happy American foreign policy and a call for gun control (“Melt the guns and never more to fire them”). (In an abstract way, the music is also a complement to the 1975’s “UGH!”) And “Knuckle Down” is an earnest, anti-racism song: ” So put aside the hoodoo and some of the voodoo/About people being different/They’re not so different.”
“I think it’s our most English record,” Partridge has said “That’s why it has that title, you see. It’s kind of an ambiguous title. [In fact], the British cover is an embossed prehistoric hill carving of a horse—literally a kind of Iron Age advertisement for an English settlement that was on top of the hill when the first settlers came to England.
“And it’s us living here, settling here,” he adds, “and also the settling of viewpoints, when two people have a disagreement or a different view and they get something settled.”

English Settlement also contained XTC’s biggest U.K. chart hit, “Senses Working Overtime,” which reached No. 10 on the charts. It was “the obvious choice for the single, And I must admit, I was trying to write a single when I wrote it. I knew it was going to be a single when we recorded it, but I wasn’t too embarrassed about it being crass, because it wasn’t.”
Meanwhile, “Jason and the Argonauts”—a whimsical song about the overwhelming abundance of riches encountered during world travels—arrived as Partridge had decided he was done with the road life, despite the fact XTC had moved up the ranks to headlining bands that traveled in a bus. “This [song] was written from a perspective where I knew I didn’t want to tour, I knew I was not enjoying the treadmill. I was beginning to feel really like a prisoner.
“I did actually spend quite a bit of time in the studio trying this concept out on the others—getting them one at a time and saying to them, ‘What do you think about not touring this album?’” he added. “Just testing the depths, you know. But the universal message was, ‘Oh, it’ll be great! Let’s get out there.’”

However, Partridge was indeed done with live shows. In May 1982, the band’s U.S. tour was scrapped after he collapsed before a Hollywood Palladium show, due to what Creem Magazine reported at the time as “complete mental and physical exhaustion.” In reality, it was crippling stage fright, as Partridge interviewed in 1989.
“I was forced by the manager to feign physical illness so promoters wouldn’t have my legs broken,” he said. “The only good thing about touring was that for an hour you had a good sweat and a jump around. It was like a high-decibel sauna. But when I started to get stage fright, that ended it.” English Settlement was also the last XTC album recorded while Terry Chambers was still a full member, although Chambers did appear on a few tracks of Mummer . The band’s retirement from the road, caused by Partridge’s nervous breakdown, meant that he could no longer make money as the band’s drummer, only as a guest performer.
Still, English Settlement became XTC’s highest-charting LP for years .English Settlement has become one of XTC’s most enduring releases—a record with much to explore and messages that feel enduring and resonant today.

Personnel

xtc theblacksea

With their fourth album, 1980s ‘Black Sea,’ XTC truly came into their own. Taking the steps made on ‘Drums and Wires,’ they took an even bigger leap forward on Black Sea. Songs shimmer and shout as they hone their craft, delivering as if their lives depended on it. This is XTC in full command of their destiny as the new decade arrived. Highlights are too many to mention,

English band XTC released the album “The Black Sea” this day on September 12th 1980, it was their 4th album release and featured the singles “Generals and Majors”, “Towers of London”, “Sgt Rock Is Going To Help Me” and “Respectable Street” plus “Love At First Sight” certainly one of their best albums. Early releases of the album came in a plastic bag with an additional album. The cover features the bands name spelt out as a seagull,the ships mast, and the half moon. XTC were Terry Chambers,Dave Gregory, Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge who was the bands main songwriter

 

 

 

xtcPRIESTSplymouthsdsdsd

 

Out this week is the deluxe expanded album SKYLARKING reissued in a 5.1 surround sound from Steven Wilson,this track “Dear God” from the brilliant english band XTC who released the album in 1986 the track DEAR GOD was not originally on the final running list but was added after it became hugely popular after a radio station in the USA flipped the A-Side of the song “Grass” to play the anti-theist anthem leaving off the track “Mermaid Smile”. the sessions produced by Todd Rundgren who famously did not get along with Andy Partridge, XTC were melodic angular pop with jagged riffs this reissue is one of the finest album to be released at that time its lush broad and deeply expansive and parts of the psychedelia sound for the next Dukes of stratosphere appear

xtc skylarking