XTC in the Press: 1984

Stereo Review

V Best Hits. Virgin Video TE-M 546 (Beta, VHS).
this is an excellent collection of videos that, despite being available only as a Japanese import, is well worth taking the time to search out. XTC debuted in 1878 with a fun, quirky brand of new wave; since then, Andy Partridge's lyrics have become pungent and purposeful, and the band's music has matured into artful (not arty), aggressive British rock. Best Hits has nothing from 1984's neglected masterwork The Big Express of its quiet predecessor, Mummer, but it does offer 11 videos of tracks from XTC's five other LPs and, as such, is the visual counterpart to the band's compilation of U.K. singles, Waxworks. Partridge's humor is front and center in the early clips: He gleefully eats a record in “This Is Pop” and plucks a violin during the opening guitar of “Respectable Street.” Things get serious in “Senses Working Overtime,” a standard performance clip, and “All of a Sudden (It's Too Late),” a precursor to the video of “Every Breath You Take.” “Making Plans for Nigel” and “Generals and Majors” are here, too. Essential for XTC devotees, recommended for all others.
Ken Richardson

[Thanks to Bill Wikstrom]

BBC Radio
The Basement

i recently was mailed a number of radio sessions done by robyn hitchcock froma friend of mine in britain from a radio show called "the basement" (at least that's what i gather the title of it to be). in one section of this session, robyn is being interviewed by the host, and who should be in the studio, but mr partridge himself.

so, out of the kindness of my heart, i transcribe for you now the interesting parts of this light-hearted "interview"

robyn: but i think this business about time, you asked andy about time passing you by. you got to remember that otherwise it would freeze. you wouldn't have...it's like without the filtering process we call time, everything happens at once. and that would be catastrophic. i mean, i assume you understand this.

host: not at all - not for a second. i just hoping some of the listeners do.

andy: time gives you a chance to change your personality, which is interesting. cos i mean, ten years ago, i was so different than i was now, and i'm sure ten years time will show the same.

robyn: where you a punk?

andy: why, i - absolutely!

robyn: really?

andy: yeah...

robyn: oh, well i'm glad i didn't meet you.

host: you two seem to have a lot in common, musically. you know: robyn hitchcock and andy partridge of xtc. both have a fairly-

andy: i think you're trying to get us married! you keep getting us on the same shows!

host: have you two met before?

robyn: vaguely-

andy: no we haven't, have we darling?

robyn: i met andy in the basement two years ago, the one where we go now.

andy: yes.

robyn: down below, but i mean, i'm not that familiar or anything...

host: last time i had a conversation with andy, he said he wanted to produce the next robyn hitchcock lp

robyn: this is news.

andy: you're on! can we do some soliciting over the air?

host: yeah - i signed up his...

robyn: yeah, well, it's just you know-

andy: robyn, you need a knob-twiddler, and you can take that anyway you like.

robyn: what? you like doing tha kind of thing?

andy: yes - love it...

robyn: you like twisting things from side to side in a confined space?

andy: i do - i like being really cramped and putting your hand on it and wrenching backwards and forth-

host: well, i think that's as much as we knew to know about that. robyn, you get downstairs, you gotta do another number. andy partridge, thank you very much-

andy: i'll get upstairs and clean the attic

robyn: yes...

host: yeah, go upstairs and slip into one of johnny's long frocks...

and then it ends...

it's much more humorous with the tones of their voices - robyn's kinda aticulate drawl, andy's quick slur and the host's thick scottish accent. in fact, it's damn right funny!


[Transcribed by and thanks to Woj]

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3 July 2013