Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #276

                  Chalkhills, Number 276

                    Friday, 7 May 1993
Today's Topics:
               thanks to Tom and Stephen!!!
              The Spys and Other Obs(curio)
                      rock equations
                  fingertips -xtc style
                And I owe it all to Colin
                   other chalk figures
                    Re: Writing Style
         Re: XTC Guitar Parts, Tabs, Chords, etc.

From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: thanks to Tom and Stephen!!!
Date: Mon, 3 May 93 19:56:13 EDT

Thanks very much Tom Arvetis and Stephen Cranfill for your views
on the XTC book.  I will buy it if it is out in paperback when I
hit England later this month, but not otherwise.

Also, I will attempt to find some XTC bootlegs while over there
and will be happy to share with Brandon and others.

As far as recommending bands that sound like XTC, I bought
"Bellybutton", the first LP by Jellyfish, and it, like all
the other bands compared to XTC ranks a poor second in comparison.
But then again, what kind of chances do other bands stand against
a band like XTC?

One thought:  now that the weather is getting warmer, I will find
myself listening to "Mummer" and "Skylarking" over the other XTC
LP's.  They have such a hot weather feel to them--"Summer's
Cauldron", "Grass", "Meeting Place", "Deliver Us From the Elements".
Does anyone else find that these LP's receive heavier play during
the summer?

Thanks again to Tom and Stephen.



Date: Tue, 4 May 93 09:20:58 EDT
From: 04-May-1993 0901 <>
Subject: The Spys and Other Obs(curio)

Just yesterday, by way of a tape trade, I received a cassette
with a couple of tracks by The Spys.

The Spys were a mysterious, late 1970s group produced by John Leckie
and rumored to be XTC in disguise. There is some evidence for this
claim in that both XTC and The Spys were produced by Leckie, and
certain parts of the music *do* sound a bit like XTC (there is a
keyboard solo in one of the songs that is very much in the Barry
Andrews' style).

Another piece of evidence is that the cover of the 45 single is
not a photo but rather a drawing of "the band". The two songs
on the single are "The Young Ones" and "Heavy Scene." While
"The Young Ones" is an old Cliff Richards' song, no clear
credit is given for "Heavy Scene."

This single dates from 1979 and is very much representative
of the "New Wave" pop put out by XTC at the time.

Although I have read in print that "The Spys were not XTC", the
question remains - who were they...?

The cassette also contains two Barry Andrews' post-XTC singles
>from 1980; one is "Rossmore Road" and the B-side of that one
is "Win a Night Out with a Famous Paranoiac." Hard to pinpoint
such an elusive style as Barry's; let's just say it sounds like
"lounge ska" in the hands of a madman. :-)

The rest of the tape has Dave Gregory's work with "Alice," which
I haven't yet had a chance to hear but look forward to hearing.

So, anyone have any thoughts on The Spys?



Date: 5 May 93 15:59:26 PDT
From: (Jemiah Levon Jefferson)
Subject: rock equations

taking a sheet from the pages of Spy, I was inspired to write these little
darlin's up for you:
(Colin Moulding + Robyn Hitchcock)/Peter Murphy = Edward Ka-Spel
Eno - Bowie  = Peter Murphy
TMBG / Eno = Young Fresh Fellows
Shonen Knife + Spinal Tap = the's (if you haven't heard them, check
'em out)
XTC - Captain Beefheart / Kinks = World Party
Syd Barrett - Donovan / John Lydon = Robyn Hithcock

any others, anyone?

"I remember everything as if it happened years ago"


Date: 5 May 93 16:01:49 PDT
From: (Jemiah Levon Jefferson)
Subject: fingertips -xtc style

This guy who wrote to me from the back pages of the Little Express sent me a
tape that he made, doing a weird medley a la "Fingertips" by TMBG, but using
XTC songs.  It's hilarious.


Date: 06 May 93 22:01:56 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: And I owe it all to Colin

   Thanx to that chappie who asked: "Which XTC song was the one
that made you start liking them? Betcha it was one of Colin's!"
or something to that effect.
   I can only relay my "first time" (yikes, I'm sounding like
Andy!). The first song by XTC that I really liked and caused
me to become a fan (the "I want more! syndrome) was Colin's
CROWDED ROOM from Go2. It's still a sentimental favorite after
all these years. Colin's got his own style, and mainly, he's
not Andy.
   "The Bull" is fun and superb listening!!! Get it, now!
---> Steve
" the nets unravel, all exotic fish I find..."


Date: 06 May 93 22:19:13 EDT
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: other chalk figures

   Fellow Chalkhiller Andrew Mutchler reminded us of the
Uffington White Horse, one of several chalk horses frequenting
the Wiltshire area and the one gracing the cover of English
Settlement. This horse is striking in it's power expressed
in a few simple lines, a metaphor for XTC's music, perhaps?
   Actually, there are a number of other chalk figures in
England. I'm reminded of a certain "Giant" (can't recall the
full name)... OK, here's a wild theory: Andy's first choice
for the Eng.Sett. cover was this chalk giant, a figure of a
man standing upright. However, since this figure is sporting
a HUGE erection, Virgin nixes Andy's plan and he is forced
to choose the white horse. Just a theory, but imagine the
controversy that would have caused...
---> Steve
" make your Union Jack and make your flag unfurl..."


Date: Fri, 7 May 93 13:35:46 PDT
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: Writing Style
Organisation: Chalkhills Anonymous

Joe Turner <> pontificates:
>Actually, I can't stand Dan Smith's style either.
>This mailing list is for the exchange of information about XTC and
>related topics, not for showing off your unusual writing style.
>It is an accepted (albeit unwritten) part of net ettiquete to compose
>your messages in a clearly readable and intelligent fashion.  Private
>mail is one thing, but posts to newsgroups and public mailing lists
>should be executed in a mature manner.

Actually, it is accepted AND written.  Check out the "Hints on writing
style for Usenet" article regularly posted to "news.announce.newusers"

However, I feel that this group of subscribers should be able to
tolerate the odd odd posting.  After all, we are all open-minded
enough to find XTC amidst a glut of hair bands, pre-digested pap pop,
moronic dance, and other so-called music :-).  If you can't find it in
yourself to read Dan's postings, then SKIP OVER THEM.  If you can't
find it in yourself to accept Dan's postings (even if you don't read
them), then UNSUBSCRIBE!  Just be tolerant.

By the way Dan, some people just WON'T want to or be able to
understand your postings, as you have seen.  Sorry.

>If you feel you have to be "weird" and "creative", fine -- but on your
>own time and with people who will *all* appreciate it.

By the way, I am the "moderator" of this group.  When you (Joe or
anybody else) become the moderator of this group, then you can dictate
style.  In the meantime, this group enforces NO style guidelines.  But
I will continue to offer to send anybody who wants it a copy of "Hints
on writing style for Usenet".  Just send a message to


and I'll send you your very own copy, today.

        -- John


Date: Fri, 7 May 93 13:36:04 PDT
From: John M. Relph <>
Subject: Re: XTC Guitar Parts, Tabs, Chords, etc.
Organisation: Chalkhills Anonymous

Reader Paul Mitchell writes:

> I was wondering if there are any musicians on this list that have
> hammered out the guitar parts of XTC songs....
> It would be great to have the tab/chords located at the chalkhills
> FTP site as well as the lyrics!

Jim McGowan <> writes:

>I agree, and I would in turn be a contributor. Over the years, I've
>worked out note-for-note transcriptions of my favorite Dave Gregory
>moments, including the solos from Real by Reel, When You're Near Me...,
>Rocket From a Bottle and Ten Feet Tall.

I have established a directory in the Chalkhills Archives for chord
charts and tablature.  The directory is called "charts", and the list
of files in the "charts" directory is called "Charts.Index".  If you
have any transcriptions of XTC songs on-line that you wish to
contribute to the Chalkhills Archives, please e-mail them to


and I'll put them in the Archives.

        -- John


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