XTC on BBC London Live 94.9
20 June 2000

Full transcript of interview by Gary Crowley of Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. This interview, previously taped, was broadcast on 20th June 2000 on Gary Crowley's show on BBC London Live 94.9 at 10.00pm till midnight. Lasted about an hour in itself.

As Belinda Blanchard your humble scribe has since been fired from her job, I have a little time now to listen to and type this lot.

No apologies for length. Not my fault! No apologies for speeling mistrakes either. You can't hear the sarcastic tones or the funny voices. But you got the WORDS so use yer imagination!

There are heaps of English references I can't begin to explain. Like references to the great TV show Tiswas. Cheggers! How do you begin? [All my stuff is in square brackets like this]

Here we go!

[FIRST the interview was introduced as it were with the playing of "SCIENCE FRICTION".]

Gary Crowley: Well, as promised I'm very pleased to say that I have been joined by my very special guests . . .

Andy Partridge: - they're disappearing up their own existence! . . .

GC: Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding from XTC.

AP & Colin Moulding: Hail hail . . . nice to be here.

GC: Thanks for joining me. From 1977 I do believe . . .

AP: - and the great rock and roll Swindon . . . "swindle . . . swindle"

GC: I vividly remember seeing you guys performing that track . . . it was my first introduction to the band - in Magpie -

[Magpie was a weird kids TV show . . . it was a little bit racey for its day . . . sort of amateur professionals who wanted to be professional amateurs including the very cool uncool Susan Stranks.]

AP: Oh they threw you in the deep end. Oh on Magpie!

GC: On Magpie - Susan Stranks.

AP: I don't think we got the shirt . . . we got the shirt from Tiswas . . . [don't ask]

GC: Does that bring back any memories?

AP: Does that bring back any mammaries? "Susan Stranks"? Just hearing it now, I haven't heard it for a few years. The last time we had to listen to all this stuff . . . there was a book by a chap called Neville Farmer, and he wanted to talk about all the tracks and we had to listen to everything from Day One onwards. It was enough to put you in a lunatic asylum. You know, it's like here was all your previous furniture flashing before your eyes.

GC: That's a good way of looking at it!

AP: I'd forgotten totally . . . there's Terry Chambers banging the door on the metal microphone cabinet . . . at Abbey Road . . . he's slamming the door on the metal microphone cabinet on verse three there that naughty little tinker.

CM: I think John Leckie . . . bless his heart - he told us at the time that Pink Floyd had put this same filing cabinet on one of their records.

GC: And you believed him!

AP: Yeah, well, we better have that then! If that's good enough for Syd Barrett that's good enough for us you know.

CM: We had to give it a good whacking as well you know.

AP: Makes me nervous hearing this!

GC: Does it? You're saying it's very fast.

AP: It's very fast and very amped up and it's exactly what it was when I was that age. I mean I'm bad enough now, you know, but then I was unstoppable and I was ready to explode at any given moment of the day and you had to follow me round with tissues!

GC: And you said that . . . what a lovely picture . . . you said that it used to clear dance floors as well. I think you would have had to have been a brave man to have attempted to dance to it. I think I probably tried to.

AP: We'd had this song around since 1975 and we'd play all these dance halls and stuff "up north you know [North accent] where it's great" and we'd play stuff like this and they'd just flock out. It was better than any fire bell.

GC: "All out!"

AP: You know we'd just clear dance floors in nanoseconds.

GC: Was that the first time Colin you went into a studio when you recorded at Abbey Road?

CM: Yes. We went into a studio in summer of 77 and who should be in the studio next door but Edward Heath [right wing conservative leader at the time also into big band music and the conducting of same]!

AP: Seriously! He's not pulling it!

GC: Big punk rocker!

CM: Yeah so he came in and old John Leckie you know had a microphone in the flowerpot and he taped his comments

AP: We were gonna put him on one of the tracks, talking. We thought we'd nab him . . . complaining . . . you know, because he came in complaining, he was recording a choir album . . . and you know, Terry Chambers was hammering seven sorts of shaving foam out of his kit. And he came in to complain [tries to impersonate him].

GC: More like Prince Charles!

AP: [Really impersonates Prince Charles] "I say . . . what a bally awful row". And old Ted Heath was complaining and of course we were taping him because we had a mike in the flowerpot and we said, "Great we got him moaning!"

CM: He came in to complain about the noise because he was doing a very sensitive slow quiet passage piece from one of his orchestral -

AP: - that was it. And we couldn't hear the broom banging on the ceiling from the big studio downstairs so he thought he ought to come up in person and complain.

GC: I don't know if you saw it or not but a couple of weeks back . . . it was the BBC non stop Music Live celebration . . . 24 hours.

AP: No we were in the land of the rising sun.

GC: We'll talk about that in a moment but the whole of days proceedings from London Live's perspective was taken from Abbey Road studios and Jim my producer - who you met earlier, before you frightened him off . . . he put the whole thing together and John Leckie spoke about you guys . . . in fact I can remember a question of someone who asked - I think it was Lisa I'Anson [another DJ on London Live] - "What was your favourite album ever?" and he said that it was one of the Dukes of Stratosphear's. Has there been two or one?

AP: Well there's two, it's more like one and a half. We could only afford to do a long EP for the first one. Because Virgin said be grudgingly . . . because we said to them, "Look, we wanna be a pretend psychedelic band that nobody had discovered from the late 60s and they thought it was "just too damn wacky". So they said, "Look, here's four thousand quid, if you can do it for that you can do it." So we did it for three thousand and gave them a grand change and we turned in this psychedelic EP and it had such a great response. We thought that there's so many bands that we didn't get to say thank you to, we should do a full album and ended up with one and half albums. And that's John's favourite is it?

GC: Yes.

AP: Oh bless his little Indian robes!

GC: I'm pretty damn certain that that's what he said.

CM: Actually, every time you see John that that album got HIM an enormous amount of work! After that he worked with the Stone Roses.

AP: The Stone Roses had been ringing him up saying, "Can we sound like the Duke of Stratosphear please! Kula Shaker!

GC: I've got to throw my hands up in the air . . . because I consider myself an XTC fan . . . but I've never heard The Dukes of Stratosphear - you haven't got any lying under the bed have you?

AP: I could get you one . . . I could make a DAT or something. And you can Frisbee it out the window if you don't like it.

GC: I'm sure I won't do.

AP: I think you'll be delighted.

GC: Good! So you've been in Japan doing promotion over there? What was that like?

AP: We've been everywhere actually. My time zones I dunno what should be going in what hole at the moment I'm a bit upside down. What should be going in.

GC: Stay over there!

AP: Keep that cattle prod there!

GC: Too much information!

AP: Just got to used to New York time then we went to L.A., just got used to L.A. time then we went to Tokyo. As soon as we got used to that it was back to London and then Belgium and then, God knows, Germany, France, Italy. We've been round the world once and a half talking.

GC: Enjoying it as well? Happy to be back in the thick of the fray as they say?

CM: I like to be in the countries but I hate flying as well so that kind of tarnished it for me.

AP: It's not nice out on that wing is it! You can't get that wine to stay in the glass when you're out on the wing . . . whoosh straight out!

CM: Used to being out on a limb . . . don't know about out on the wing. Don't like flying.

GC: Yeah, I'm not as massive fan as I get older as well.

CM: Terrifying!

GC: Okay, Let's play another track! I got loads of questions.

AP: Go on then. Pick a dart! Throw one at the dartboard! What track's coming

GC: We're gonna play "King for a Day" which is from Oranges & Lemons album. Colin perhaps you night like to introduce it . . . any story associated with this? Any particular memories?

CM: Oh, Virgin insisted us if we could do a twelve inch dance mix of it.

GC: This would have been in the '80s wouldn't it, when every -

AP: Every sound made that everyone made in the '80s had to have a twelve inch dance remix of it.

CM: You know they said "Oh, we gotta have a twelve inch dance remix of this"! Why!!

AP: It was de rigeur in the '80s. You had to have it.

GC: This isn't the twelve inch version you'll be happy to hear!

CM: That's thankful.

GC: This is the album version.

["KING FOR A DAY" PLAYS - Belinda dances to the album version anyway.]

GC: You're listening to London Live on 94.9 BBC station for London and from 1989!

AP: Yes! 1889 by the sound of it!

GC: That was XTC and from Oranges & Lemons that was "King For A Day" and I'm very pleased to say that Colin and Andy from the band are here with me. Let's just remind people . . . and also for me as well . . . I mean you guys go way back and some. Can you just remind us of where you two sort of like first met? How the whole thing first started to roll?

AP: The thing was . . . we lived on a council estate two streets away from each other all our lives basically and never knew each other . . . he obviously used to play with a different gang of kids to what I did.

CM: Well, you were the next school year up from me. And you don't mix in those circles.

AP: Because you never know the kids from the next year down - but you always know the next year up because you think they're gonna beat you up. But we went to the same school and we lived on the same estate for like 20 years together and then we used to hang out at the same drinking holes, and I'd see him sat on a park bench with a big plastic bottle of cider and I'd think, "Cor, he looks like he ought to be in a band"!

CM: Doesn't everybody?!

AP: Doesn't everybody! Covered in spew . . . big plastic bottle of cider. I thought yeah he looks like he ought to be in a band you know, so then it would be "yeah, I know a drummer" and now all this!

GC: And it all sort of fell in to place! Colin . . . you . . .

CM: The first time I bumped into Andy was actually was at school. We attended the same school but he used to draw caricatures of most of the teachers . . . you know . . . funny little pictures . . . he had everybody used to gather round him and he was very good at drawing pictures.

GC: He looks like the sort.

CM: And of course it was "what's all the fuss about . . . who the Billy Baggins is this bloke?" And there he was drawing all these pictures.

AP: I tell you, I bet I can remember which teacher it was. I used to love drawing Mr Coombs [spelling?!]. Here's a little trivia for you. Everyone called him Chin. Chinny Coombs because he had this bloody massive . . .

CM: Bruce Forsyth of a chin [MASSIVE chin for those who don't know BF].

AP: - it was really like a continent you know. You could settle people on his chin. It was like a separate county in itself. Chinshire! I would draw this picture of him on the playground with a big bit of stone you know I think it was s soft stone or a very old dog turd . . . but it was white and scratchy and I drew this picture and he pulled me up. He was stood over me bloody watching me draw that and I didn't know. My ear still hurts!

GC: Even to this day!

CM: Kind of after that I'd see him just in music shops and that you know. You'd be playing your bass in some music shop and just trying the latest model out and you'd come up and say "Ah you don't wanna do it like this! Do it like this!" He's still the same!

AP: We've been thrown out of all the best music shops!

GC: What were your hopes and aspirations for the band you know, like going back to . . .

CM: We thought we'd last six months.

GC: Did you really?

AP: You never know do you. You just want all that free beer. "Cor bands get free beer don't they?" so you want all that. Your guitar is just a wooden fishing rod to oik girls out of the audience.

GC: And it worked?

AP: Not really because . . .

CM: We got the fellas who wanted to know all the chords to the songs and came backstage and it was all the fellas who wanted to know the chords to "Roads Girdle the Globe".

AP: I think we were too nerdy to get girls. We didn't have the Wet Wet Wet type front man.

GC: Alas!

AP: Alas. We started playing in bands . . . the first big band was The Helium Kidz . . . which was like the kind of tail end of Glam. All the other bands around were something like the Eagles, and all this in denim We wanted all the studs and the leather and were into the New York Dolls, the Stooges, Alice Cooper, all that three minute songs that were really loud. And that mutated into this punky more faster and louder more protracted from by 1975 and we couldn't get arrested! We couldn't get a gig anywhere! People thought "Who are these short haired skinny kids playing this weird future pop music!"

CM: Records companies in 1977 were desperate . . . they must have been actually to have signed us . . . but they were desperate . . . they didn't want to miss out on what going, was in. So we kind of got in on the punk ticket.

GC: Let's talk about that. We've just had a Radio 2 documentary aired . . . by Glenn from the Sex Pistols a week or so back and it's nearly 25 years ago we're talking about.

AP: Shocking.

GC: Did you guys feel an affiliation with the other punk bands?

AP: I loved the energy. I really liked the energy and the best thing of all was the fact that it enouranged any 'erbert to get up and do it which is brilliant. Two templates that should be eternally applied to music: energy, and anybody can do it. And on top of that I thought was complete fakery. The politics was stupid. Kids of 18 weren't interested in politics! They weren't interested! They were just into girls and drink! Making a noise! And that's what we were interested in! I love the energy and this DIY thing about it. Anybody could do it. I think that's two maxims that should never be forgotten.

CM: It was kind of needed at the time.

AP: Oh Jesus, yeah, was it.

CM: It wall all about lines of cocaine . . .

AP: Eight hour drum solos.

CM: - bands making phenomenal amounts of money. People just got lazy. Didn't really care about the audiences or whatever.

GC: Was there one - having come from Swindon did you feel as outsiders?

AP: We still are treated as outsiders. We still haven't shaken off this Swindon thing. Swindon's England's joke town right? It's in all these comedy programmes. They drop the word "Swindon" in for a cheap laugh right?

CM: We're in Room 101! We are!

AP: It's the first thing you see on the titles of Room 101 the word Swindon there. It's England's joke town. So anything that's associated with Swindon . . . it's obviously therefore stupid, funny . . . yokel . . . backward, whatever, you know. Every country's got it's joke town. In America it's Cleveland apparently. The one in France . . . somebody did tell me the other week, but anyway . . . we come from a joke town and because we came from a joke town there was no way on earth we were every gonna be cool because "you come from the joke town!" The town that made Diana Dors or Gilbert O'Sullivan . . . it's all kind of . . . about as naff as you can get in England. So therefore "they can't have any credibility at all can they?" So it's still a millstone around our neck as far as England is concerned. But of course the Americans don't know about Swindon. Or the Japs or whatever.

GC: Well let's have another track. We're gonna play a track from your penultimate album.

AP: I like the word: penultimate! It's almost the last biro!

GC: Apple Venus Volume 1. We'll talk about the album in a moment. I'm gonna play "Easter Theatre" from the album. Andy would you like to tell us a little bit about this? The history of it?

AP: I'm really proud of "Easter Theatre". I think it's maybe one of the best three or four things I've ever written and it wasn't one of those songs that came out quickly. It took a long time to come out. I remember playing the chords to Colin in '86 saying "What do you think of this? There's an idea here" It just . . . the time wasn't right. I couldn't find the subject matter . . . I couldn't find it's home. And then in about '94 or '95 whenever I wrote the thing, it just clicked and it was "Jesus this has been whirling round my brain for like ten years and finally come out!" and I was so proud!


GC: You're listening to London Live 94.9fm BBC Station from London. Coming up a little bit later . . . have those pens and pieces of paper at the ready . . . because there are three copies of the new album Wasp Star to be won, and also to go with those copies of the new single as well out this month entitled "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love". Now from the previous album that was "Easter Theatre" that you just heard . . . and you were saying Andy that you spent a day at Abbey Road studios.

AP: That's all we could afford!

GC: Just out of interest, how many players did you have in the orchestra?

AP: It was about a 40 piece orchestra.

GC: What is that out of interest?

AP: That's a lot of lunch!

GC: That IS a lot of lunch!

AP: Forty bags of crisps!

GC: They also get paid as well?

AP: Yeah, unfortunately you have to pay 'em! We could only afford one day! The thing is I really wanted to make this orchestral record and we looked at the budget and well, "Okay, we've got one day at Abbey Road with a 40 piece orchestra and we've got to record every thing in that one day, and then we can spend weeks and weeks editing it", because you know orchestral players make a lot of cock-ups. People buy classical albums and they think it's just one take. They mess up every few bars! It's all edit!

GC: There's an insight there, folks!

AP: Seriously yeah, but we could afford one day so we went in the big noisy Studio 1 . . . big cavernous one. And Mike Batt . . . he of the Wombles . . . came down and conducted a couple of numbers because he was a friend of the producer, and then he had to get on a plane and go somewhere so we was left with this bloody orchestra and "can anyone conduct?" you know! Like Oasis holding up big bits of board and "Let's JAM!" with a key on it "A"! So we recorded it all in one mad day which ended about one in the morning and spent weeks and weeks editing the fluffs out till we got the performances but it was good fun and really sent the hairs on the back of me tongue standing up - to be in Abbey Road with this orchestra scraping and plucking and . . . oh wonderful!

GC: And eating lunch paid by you! Andy the last time we met was I think back in 1996 when the greatest hits album -

AP: - Way back . . . in the days of the Troglodyte! . . . remember that record?

GC: I do yes, that was by . . .

AP: Jimmy Casterbunch [??] Troglodyte [weird voice]

GC: That was for Fossil Fuel . . . I think prior to that I remember you vcoming in and spoke about the band being in that state of limbo . . . or strike whatever you wanna call it . . .

AP: The Scargill years.

GC: Can you talk us through what happened.

AP: I'll do it really quick . . . it's dead boring . . . we were never ever gonna make a living on Virgin records . . . we were actually on Virgin records twenty years before we went into profit. People don't believe it. "You tell 'em that and they don't believe ya!" 20 years before . . . they were making enough money; we just had a crappy deal. That's what it was. We signed a . . . green kids we didn't know what we was doing. Had us in perpetuity you know the songs for ever more. Actually I do get my songs back seventy years after my death. Seriously that's what the contract says!

GC: I bet you had a smile on your face when they said that.

AP: Exactly. It came to '92 and we said we'll never make any money with this label, we've got to get out. And we said "Will you let us go please because we need to make a living?" and they said "No" and then a staring contest ensued for the next five years. They blinked and lost basically. I think they were sick of us bad-mouthing them in the press to be honest and ringing them up poolside in the south of France saying "Look please let us GO!!!!!" and they did let us go eventually with a few provisos, but strangely enough we actually went into profit a few weeks after they let us go! Weird one that.

GC: Good.

CM: We pretty much had the same deal that we signed back in 1977 back in 1997 nearly. It's quite remarkable we had the same deal for nearly 20 years.

AP: People don't sign deals like that now. They don't give their songs away for perpetuity and Virgin have got like three hundred songs of ours that we'll never see again which is "Stitched up? Moi?"

GC: Let's talk about what got you through that period. What effect it must have had on you two. You didn't make any records for . . .

AP: Well, we couldn't. Five years. We couldn't make records because the second that we went near a recording studio they'd own it for perpetuity. So it was a case of just storing up all these songs, denying we were writing them of course, "You lads got enough for an album? When you going to a studio?" "Oh no no no haven't got any songs."

GC: Writers block!

AP: It was a real tough time because I was convinced that the stuff that we was writing that became Apple Venus and Wasp Star was the best stuff we'd ever written and the frustration of not being allowed to record it or let the public hear it was incredible. And my personal life went to hell and in a basket

GC: All the pressure.

AP: I got divorced, I was ill, drinking too much. I turned into a real "Cheggers" of a . . . need I say more?!

GC: I got a picture straight away.

AP: But this one's got trousers on! But my personal life was a real mess but it's good fodder for writing songs. I can tell you. Things are real grand now. We got out of Virgin, got ourselves sorted out record label wise, and I think we've made the two best albums we've ever made.

GC: Let's play one of the tracks from Apple Venus Volume 1. Colin, this is one of yours, "Frivolous Tonight". Can you tell us about this?

CM: It's about a Friday night in. You know the great indoors.

AP: Where the buffalo roam . . .

CM: - We all like to have a few drinks and the hostess makes a soufflé and we eat her out of house and home and the women get talking about the fellas who are living it up in the other room. That sort of thing.


GC: "Frivolous Tonight" there. XTC on 94.9 and that's taken from Apple Venus Volume 1. Very pleased to say that Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding from the band are my very special guests.

AP: They are and I hope my naked banana is not offending you Gary . . . I should have had it clothed. I didn't know we were back on air.

GC: Very interesting what you said earlier on about Prince Charles.

AP: Yeah, I read that apparently . . . this is very difficult to do on radio - you need colour radio to see this really, but I've been told that Prince Charles has to, when he eats a banana in public, he has to peel it, hold it lengthways and eat it out with a spoon, he is not to be seeing going down on a banana!

GC: I am very pleased to say that the boys have brought in three copes of Wasp Star which they're gonna sign for us and copies of the new single ready. Need a question guys.

AP: Early on we talked about a horrible crashing noise in the making of "Science Friction". What was it that was making the horrible crashing noise.

GC: Shall we give them a clue and mention Abbey Road?

AP: Abbey Road. That's enough!

GC: Write to: [address . . . come on don't expect me to type every fart]

AP: And write your answers on a soiled fifty pound note.

GC: For people who perhaps haven't heard Apple Venus how would you say the two albums compare?

AP: They're both round.

CM: I think there would have been a bit of a car crash if you'd have put them together. I think they needed to be separated and to add continuity to each collection.

GC: Am I right . . . the original intention was to . . .

AP: - the original intention was to be a double disc called Apple Venus and it would have been two discs. One with the orchestral acoustic side and the other would have been the electric side of the band. And I thought if we're gonna come back to the public consciousness we have to come back with quality and quantity but unfortunately we ran out of cash so instead of making people wait another year or more till we got some more money from another record company we thought, "Let's do it in two discs." But you can buy Wasp Star and pretend that it was a double and sellotape them together. Have you ever bought a double disc box and didn't find the other disc under that flap for ages?

GC: Not too sure if I've done that.

AP: I've done that. The producer's nodding! You've bought, "Well that's what I call a Party", and thought, "That was great!". And then like a month later, "Wow!! There's another disc in here!"

GC: Am I right in saying that this album recorded in Colin's studio?

CM: No. In the Idea Studio. We formed this label called Idea Records.

AP: Only a label. Don't send any bloody demos in for chrissake. We had a punk zydeco arrive, this fellow did punk zydeco.

GC: That's interesting! Could be a clue to the new direction.

AP: Yeah, "I think so".

CM: We were finishing off Apple Venus Volume 1 in my living room and we thought we were looking out the widow and at my garage and it was very dilapidated state and you know what garages are like . . . everybody leaves their rubbish in the garage and the car is parked outside and we hadn't long moved house and it was just the remnants of the rubbish of the previous hose and we thought well the car's outside anyway so we got the rubbish away and converted it into a studio and that's what we did.

GC: Can you paint a routine for me? What sort of time did you sort of . . .

AP: Well we're very normal . . . we're not rock and roll characters . . . it's not so much Robert Plant as Robert Morley . . . we turn up at ten-ten-thirty, have a cup of tea, have a chat about what was on the telly previous night, have another cup of tea, have a sandwich, have another cup of tea, and then it would be "Do you fancy recording something?" "Yeah we could do couldn't we".

CM: Everything stopped for tea and of course the eclipse. The eclipse was going on -

AP: Oh! So embarrassed about that.

CM: He hurt his eyes and had to phone up the eye hospital.

AP: Bought the special eclipse glasses and one morning it was the eclipse and we're all dead excited and stood outside the garage door watching then eclipse and it was cloudy and I thought "I can't see it through these glasses, I can see it through the cloud all right." So I stood and stared at it you know and then my eyesight went really funny for the next week and everything was swimming, and I kept looking at stuff and then I'd move my head and I could still see after images of it. So I phoned up the Moorfields Eye Hospital and said "Look I think I damaged my eyes looking at the eclipse" and they said "Well you and about ten thousand others"!

CM: Get in the queue!

AP: Exactly! "Get to the back of the queue Sir" So they faxed me - And I remember doing this album as everywhere I looked I saw a little negative image of the eclipse everywhere! Not unlike the front cover actually!

GC: That's true! Volume 1! Let's play another track. "Stupidly Happy" is up next from Wasp Star. Andy would you like to . . .

AP: This is about as far as I can stretch one chord. I was with a drum machine and I thought well I fancy playing a Stones numbers just for a giggle so I thought well let's see if I can do Charlie Watts drumming Jumping Jack Flash. So that seemed to work "yeah I can do that" so I was punching the drum machine and then I got a fuzzy guitar tone, about a 1966 cheap sounding fuzz, and I started messing around with these old Stones riffs and suddenly this song fell out!!!!

["STUPIDLY HAPPY" plays. Belinda stupidly dances.]

AP: One chord wonders!

GC: Good title for a song that! What's the story with Dave Gregory?

AP: How long have you got? Have you got about nine hours?

GC: Oh dear! I have to ask for the edited version again Andy unfortunately!

AP: Very edited version - Dave not happy . . .

GC: He left.

AP: Dave not happy . . . I'll do the red Indian version . . . Dave him heap unhappy - him no write songs - maybe jealous of two great white songwriters, him want play live show off guitar collection in front of girlies, him leave band, want to play live maybe. Him no like hanging around for orchestral record. Him vanish into great wilderness taking emergency Mars Bar in case diabetes strike.

CM: But it took him nineteen years to make up his mind.

AP: So off he's gone.

GC: What about Terry and Barry.

AP: Don't "Terry and Barry" me! We've recently had the pair of 'em! I had a very drunken Barry Andrews on my doorstep at ten o'clock last night, rapping on my door with like a key or something on the glass . . . everyone else rings the bell - and I knew I had to go to bed because like I knew I had to get up early to come up here today and I thought well like I better get to bed because I am really knackered and suddenly there's this knock on the glass and I go "who's that?" and it's Barry. Falls in, "Oh sorry, Andy, I'm really smashed", and I hadn't seen him for years and he fell into my hall. And poor old Terry Chambers came back . . . because he lives in Australia now . . . poor fellow what did he do to deserve that . . . he lives in Australia and he came back because his poor old Dad died and we went out for the night with Terry and of course Terry can't half hide them away . . . the old fun water . . . and he got a bit tired and emotional what with the funeral and lack of royalties! I said, "Look, Terry, we ain't been paid in 20 years. You're gonna have to wait!"

CM: A spoonful of royalties . . .

AP: - helps the pints go down yeah . . .

GC: You've obviously got a terrific relationship . . .

CM: It's the original gay married with him . . . Do you wanna conduct the ceremony?


CM: - this soup. There's several instruments going on here and it's making a magical soup. We've just been chasing that soup ever since!

AP: Just addicted to being in the studio. Making records and kind of trying to exorcise the ghosts of all the people who put the stuff into us as kids . . . the ghosts of the Beatles and Kinks and Beach Boys that made out childhoods so bloody interesting.

GC: I thought that was a very valid poignant point that you made when I was doing reading up . . . like to do my homework . . . has been known now again! . . . that the problems with Virgin and that whole strike period - what did depress you was having them "stop you casting your spells on the people with your music." I love that.

AP: "We could not do de voodoo!" It is a voodoo! You get addicted to doing the voodoo, doing the magic and that really what we wanna do. We're not born public entertainers so gigging is really out for us. We did too many years of that in any case. We don't wanna drive dance halls away now!

GC: Let's play another track from Wasp Star. Colin can you introduce "In Another Life" for us?

AP: Or "In Another's Wife" as it was known when we recorded it.

CM: We always had an alternative title.

GC: I like that one! Tell us about that one!

CM: This is "In Another Life" and you know how everyone's got foibles, married couples have foibles and one picks her nose and the other's got flat feet and this is about our foibles within marriage.

["IN ANOTHER LIFE" plays.]

GC: XTC on this Tuesday night from the album Wasp Star and that's entitled "In Another Life" as opposed to "In Another's Wife". [Reminds us of the competition and the question and the address.] Many thanks for coming in! How's the next couple of months looking for you guys. What are you up to.

AP: Oh we'll be counting our gold ingots we'll be doing some nazi breeding experiments we'll be painting paint stripper on small furry dogs - we'll be thinking about the next album I should imagine.

GC: Right. Any idea when that will be out? Next year perhaps?

AP: If I buy a new biro could even be sooner.

GC: Many many thanks for joining us. We're gonna end with We're All Light. Who would like to introduce that?

AP: Yes. We're all light it's a good positive way to go. I'm not gonna tell you too much except it's metaphysical and aren't we all and jolly good and thank you.


The references/words I didn't get I hope someone can furnish us with details of!

That's it folks. Love from Belinda at 65wpm and RSI!

Go back to Chalkhills Articles.

[Thanks to Belinda Blanchard]