There was a stirring in The Downs this week as TC&I – the new collaboration between XTC’s Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers – announced Autumn live shows.
The duo, who released their debut EP Great Aspirations at the end of last year, will perform at home town venue The Swindon Arts Centre for four consecutive nights from October 29 to November 1.
Besides playing their own material, the pair will play a selection of Moulding’s songs from the XTC back catalogue – some of which have never been played live before as the band famously quit touring in 1982.
Fan favourites which could make the setlist include Making Plans For Nigel, Life Begins At The Hop and Generals and Majors (see below video).
It’s likely they will also dip into the canon of XTC’s psychedelic alter egos The Dukes of Stratosphear.
Bassist Moulding first mooted the prospect of live dates in an EP interview in February, casually mentioning that if he and drummer Chambers “could find two ‘erberts to come along with us” they might play a few shows.
Those two ‘erberts will be veteran musicians Steve Tilling of Circu5 on guitar and Gary Bamford, who will contribute both keyboards and guitar.
The new shows coincide with a revival of interest in XTC following a series of album re-issues, a book The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and a feature-length documentary This Is Pop.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the band’s debut long player White Music.
Explaining the decision to go for more a mini-residency rather than a conventional tour, Moulding said it fitted in with the duo’s DIY approach.
“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,” he said.
Chambers who quit XTC, partly because they stopped touring, could not disguise his thrill at playing live again.
“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-old Helium Kid,” he said.
Not surprisingly, the momentous news that half of XTC will be playing live together for the first time in 38 years has received a rapturous response.
Even Moulding’s old sparring partner Andy Partridge was prompted to respond on Twitter, posting:
“Well I never, CM and TC playing live. They should have done it years ago.”
- TC&I ‘Great Aspirations’ CDs (both signed and unsigned copies) are available exclusively through Pledge Music and Burning Shed.
- Tickets for TC&I‘s first four dates are on sale now from Swindon Arts Centre box office (Tel. 01793 524481) between Mon-Sat 10am-6pm or online here. Further dates may be added later.