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March 30, 2016: Allyson Seconds has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for her Little World album. The songs on it are written by Anton Barbeau, and they've got that Colin Moulding singing harmonies on the title track. Whereas Anton had to get his courage together to approach Colin to play on his Magic Act album, Colin quite enthusiastically volunteered to sing on Allyson's track. Allyson, like Anton, is a huge XTC fan and is still in the pinching-herself stage. They're currently finishing up a video for the song, trying to work out details with Colin's dog, Pip. For the moment, please take a look at this and help out if you're so inclined! Thanks very much!
February 12, 2016: According to The Monkees Live Almanac, “Andy Partridge of XTC, a lifelong fan of The Monkees, took to Twitter to show his excitement for Good Times! ‘The Monkees gave me SO MUCH joy as a kid, it's all I can do to repay it. They are liking 3 of my tunes so far, and I hope they dig the latest?’ Partridge's “You Bring the Summer’ is another lock for the album.” Yes, it's true, the new album from The Monkees is called Good Times! It will be released on June 10, 2016, by Rhino Records, and it will feature songs written by Andy Partridge, Rivers Cuomo, and Noel Gallagher, among others, and will be produced by Adam Schlesinger. It's “. . . about recapturing that 1960s jangly guitar sound. . .”
December 8, 2015: 31 March 2015 will see the publication of Complicated Game - Inside The Songs Of XTC by Andy Partridge and Todd Bernhardt. Developed from a series of interviews conducted over many months, the book details Andy Partridge songs from throughout XTC's career and provides a unique insight into the work of one of Britain's most original and influential songwriters. Filled with anecdotes about Partridge, his XTC bandmates, and the band's adventures around the world (all told with Partridge's legendary humor), Complicated Game casts new light on the writing of lyrics, the construction of melodies and arrangements, the process of recording, and the workings of the music industry. The book includes pages from Partridge's songwriting notebooks, reproductions of his original artwork designs, a guide to Andy Partridge's Swindon and a foreword by Steven Wilson. All pre-orders sold through Burning Shed/APE come signed by Andy Partridge.
August 16, 2015: 16th October [update: delayed until 30th October -- Ed.] will see the release of Oranges & Lemons, the third in a series of remixed & expanded XTC classics. The album has been mixed from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson with input from Andy Partridge, and is fully approved by XTC. The CD features a completely new stereo album mix, while the Blu-Ray features a wealth of content, continuing the “virtual box set on a single disc” concept of the first two releases in the series:
  • 5.1 Surround album mix in 24bit/96khz available in LPCM and DTS HD MA
  • a new stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio
  • instrumental versions of all new stereo mixes in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio
  • a flat transfer of the original stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio
  • 2 separate sets of demo & work tape sessions showing the evolution of the album and associated recordings
  • 1 set of pre-recording rehearsals, promos & ID links for radio stations & record companies
  • a collection of single mixes & XTC's version of Captain Beefheart's “Ella Guru”
  • promo films for “The Mayor of Simpleton” (3 versions), “King for a Day” and “The Road to Oranges & Lemons’, a rarely seen home-made film by the band explaining the album (and themselves!) to Geffen Records USA.

Presented in special packaging with expanded booklet and sleeve-notes by Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding & Dave Gregory.

Ape House News

June 10, 2016: BACK TO VOLUPTUOUS VINYL
February 22, 2016: FUZZY WARBLES ARE HERE AGAIN
August 10, 2015: XTC. ORANGES AND LEMONS IN 5.1
June 10, 2015: XTC's APPLE VENUS and WASPSTAR CDs
April 28, 2015: NEW XTC T SHIRTS

Other News

July 31
Darren Keeping provided a review of Oranges and Lemons from Hi Fi News and Record Review, March 1989, and a review of Oranges and Lemons from Melody Maker, 1989. ¶ Ray Hill provided a review of the English Settlement reissue from The Sunday Times.
July 17
gedatsu-kitteh shared her designs for costumes for the characters in her “Scarecrow People” comic. ¶ Wankwinkel covers The Dukes Of Stratosphear's “Your Gold Dress”. ¶ Huw Thomas shared his review of The Big Express that he wrote for an assignment. ¶ Jeff Truzzi posted updated tablature for “Roads Girdle The Globe”. ¶ The State Library of Queensland posted “A Night at Cloudland with XTC, Flowers (Icehouse) and The Numbers (1979)”. ¶ Rockcellar Magazine published this Q&A: Andy Partridge Talks About the Monkees. ¶ Andy Partridge talks about Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC in Episode #461 of the Just Off The Radar podcast. ¶ Paste magazine posted a list of what it thinks are “The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums”.
June 12
Joe Wiseman posted his cover of “River of Orchids”.
May 30
William Barillas points us to this recent interview with Andy: “‘Music is so abused these days’: XTC's Andy Partridge opens up about songwriting, painting and developing the ‘cruel parent gene’ toward your own art” on Salon. ¶ And in other news: Todd Rundgren Reignites Feud With XTC Over ‘Skylarking’ and Andy tweets his reply. ¶ Melissa Spears shared a portrait of Andy Partridge she drew some time around December 2015.
May 29
Fuzzy Warbles 1-3 reviewed: Record Collector · Uncut.

Recent Site Updates

August 28, 2016: Songs - XTC: "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her"; Discography - [Shindig! single]
August 22, 2016: Press - "Partridge Tweets: XTC (xtcfans)", Twitter (2014-)
July 31, 2016: Press - Reviews of Oranges & Lemons (1989), Reviews of English Settlement (1982), Reviews of Fuzzy Warbles (various volumes) (2002-2006), “Imaginary Lover”, New Musical Express, May 19, 1990; Discography - XTC: Skylarking
July 30, 2016: Discography - XTC: English Settlement
July 17, 2016: Discography - [Bonzos Project], Leader Of The Starry SkiesA Tribute To Tim Smith Songbook 1
July 15, 2016: Discography - XTC: Skylarking

Twitter: xtcfans

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Chalkhills is a web resource dedicated to XTC (the now defunct band). Peruse Chalkhills to find a wealth of information about XTC, their music and recordings, and much more.

Chalkhills was created by me, John Relph, and is infrequently updated (I am often busy with other things) so check back often. Chalkhills was the longest extant XTC mailing list, created in April 1989 as an offshoot of the venerable Love-Hounds list and killed off (in a bizarre kitchen accident, of course) in August 2014. Chalkhills is the longest extant XTC web site, first hacked together in May 1994, although FTP archives were first made available in April 1991.
“Shut your wretched pie trap, you ridiculous prick.”
© John Relph
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