XTC in the Press: 1991

Evening Advertiser
circa 1991

Andy returns to Strut his stuff

The Evening Advertiser was the only representative of the world's press to witness the epoch-making return of Andy Partridge last Saturday night.

Since he caught stage-fright in 1982 the great man had not played live.

For nine long years XTC fans clung to the hope he would return – then on a wet and windy night in Swindon he did.

Headline act King Strut were bass-less, and Partridge was prevailed upon by promoter Martin Waddell to turn out.

Partridge agreed, and the man once feted by thousands plucked away anonymously at the back of the stage, and joined in the choruses.

The band needed a bit of bass, and Partridge did a good job despite being unpractised on the instrument.

The highlight of the set was the infectious, show-stopping song Free Man, which had the audience shouting in support.

One of the compelling attractions of the Back Room Club is the stage itself – one of these nights a band will crash through the groaning plywood planks and it will be a sight to behold.

Singer Paul Griffiths looked like he was performing on a trampoline as the floor quivered under his trainers.

Apart from that distraction King Strut were great value. Their songs are well crafted, literate, affairs. The performance is tremendously ebullient.

Andy Partridge seemed to enjoy himself as well, so maybe he might venture out a bit from now on.

There must be more to life than just being a legend.

A little bird tells me the old members of XTC have been in the studio lately recording together.

It would shake the town up if the band came together for a live show in Swindon. There would be massive interest – and they might even enjoy it themselves.

[Thanks to Mig Selv]

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31 January 2021