Forty years in the past this month, the English band XTC introduced its dwell profession to a crashing halt. They have been onstage in Paris when frontman Andy Partridge suffered a extreme panic assault, inflicting him to go away the stage for good. XTC carried on making nice data for one more twenty years, scoring US hits with “Dear God” and “Mayor of Simpleton”. But they by no means performed one other dwell gig.
And now, XTC is again– form of. An official spinoff band, referred to as EXTC, is returning their songs to the dwell stage, hitting the City Winery April 8. Ironically sufficient, the one authentic member of XTC who’s concerned is drummer Terry Chambers, who initially left the band in frustration once they stopped touring. But their West Coast exhibits have been well-received as followers received to listen to XTC songs that haven’t been performed dwell in a long time– or under no circumstances in some circumstances.
“This isn’t something I thought would ever happen,” Chambers stated final week. “It’s like being born again, really– I just wish that I was younger doing it. I’ve been quite surprised to see young people who weren’t born when the band last toured, along with the elderly people who saw us before. The love for this band is really a nice surprise.”
The challenge was born a number of years in the past when Chambers, who’d moved to Australia, returned to the band’s hometown of Swindon, England on household issues. Original XTC bassist/singer Colin Moulding then contacted him to do some recording; they put collectively a band to play some native gigs. Then Moulding dropped out, not being into going again on the highway; however the remainder of the brand new band determined to maintain it going.
All three of the lacking XTC members– Partridge, Moulding and guitarist Dave Gregory– have given this band their blessing. “Andy’s been very supportive; he actually named this band and backed it all the way. I’ve been round his house and he showed me the chords to the songs,” says guitarist Steve Tilling who handles the lead vocals in EXTC. “I’m a Swindon boy, so I fit in pretty well. I originally got a call from them when Terry and Colin were playing together and they had me audition. I believe they said ‘He’s cheap, he’ll do’.”
Chambers says he didn’t sustain with XTC’s albums after he left, however he’s high-quality with enjoying songs from these albums now. “I was in the rock and roll wilderness, so to speak. But from what I heard of those albums, I think they became a little too layered. My roots are in rock music, and I like to hear a good song– I thought they spent too much time in the studio trying to take total advantage of it.” Adds Tilling, “Once they stopped touring they started throwing the kitchen sink into it. But they’re strong songs and we’re doing them justice, doing them our own way. It would be cheesy if I tried to emulate Andy’s seal-bark vocals, and I’m destroying my voice enough already.”
Though the Winery present might be all previous XTC, the last word aim is to write down and report new songs. Says Chambers, “Our guitarist Steve Hampton has country roots, and his favorite band is actually Crowded House. So it will be interesting to see what we come up with.” Adds Tilling, “We’re staying true to the XTC thing of being very rich harmonically, with Terry’s quasi-tribal drum style as the template.”
This in fact begs the query of whether or not the unique XTC will ever reunite. “Funny enough, they’re all talking to each other more than they ever were since Steve and I put this project together. So we’ve achieved that,” says Chambers. But Tilling provides, “People are always saying that XTC should reform. And I’ll remind them that it’s been 40 years, so be careful what you wish for.”