I haven’t posted about music or even seen a live show in awhile, but this was especially noteworthy since it reunites a couple members of XTC and is a recording of them playing live! Fans of XTC have probably gotten used to buying a lot of recorded music, but a live show with any of their members is a rare treat. And I’m happy just knowing they played 6 shows (probably sold out) in their hometown.
“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” – Billboard
“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” – Dancing About Architecture
“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” – Blurt Magazine
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 andy 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 9 and can be ordered on CD exclusively via Burning Shed. 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).
CREDITS 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) Recorded by Stuart Rowe and Paul Ballimore. Assisted by Evan Costello. Mixed by Stuart Rowe. Assisted by Terry Chambers. Mastered by Jason Mitchell at LOUD Mastering Design by Andrew Swainson from a concept by TC&I Cover photography by Geoff Winn Inner sleeve photography by Lou Dommett Young
TRACK LIST 1. Say It 2. Ten Feet Tall 3. Scatter Me 4. Wonderland 5. Grass 6. The Meeting Place 7. Bungalow 8. Big Day 9. Standing In For Joe 10. Generals and Majors 11. Making Plans For Nigel 12. Statue Of Liberty 13. Life Begins At The Hop
SoCal based webmaster interested in music, social media, and digital video. I also like art, crafts, travel, shopping, and games. Currently writing about Fashion & Style for Examiner.com and my own blog and other sites.