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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #18-9

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 18, Number 9

                 Wednesday, 25 April 2012


       Is this a rip-off of Making Plans For Nigel?
                  Partridge and Moulding
         "He's one of my top three influences..."
                      Andy vs. Colin
    Colin Moulding on stage with L'Affaire Louis' Trio
                Wing Beat Fantastic update
           Reply to Michelle Brown Reyes Smith.


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And your criticism doesn't worry me.


Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 05:14:18 -0700
From: "Per Aronsson" <>
Subject: Is this a rip-off of Making Plans For Nigel?
Message-ID: <>

Is this a rip-off of Making Plans For Nigel? I think so...

Santigold - Disparate Youth [Official Music Video]


Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 22:00:34 -0700
From: "Erik V. McCrea" <>
Subject: Partridge and Moulding
Message-ID: <BAY171-W9020F2542970FDB9448572803F0@phx.gbl>

Dear Chalkhills,

In response to Michelle Brown Reyes Smith, and her heartfelt comments
about Colin Moulding -- I can empathize with those sentiments. Thanks,
Michelle! I also adore Colin's music. And I agree that Colin -- and
Dave Gregory as well -- brought something very substantial, very
essential, to Andy's music. They brought out the absolute best in
Andy.  I think they made him shine in a way that he otherwise would
not have been able to shine. Don't get me wrong -- Andy's music would
have shined regardless, but not in the same marvelous way that we all
hold dear in our hearts.  I am still eager to hear a solo project from
Andy, for I firmly believe that a talent like Andy's simply does not
diminish over the years.  It only gets better (I mean, maybe at the
age of 90 or so, we'd maybe begin to see a hint of a creative
slowing-down...but I bet, apart from the occasional bout of momentary
fatigue, he could still compose incredible music for as long as he
wants to). He isn't like other songwriters. He can't be compared with
most of the other musicians from his or any other generation. I firmly
believe this. Andy is pretty singular. Apple Venus was a thing of
beauty. Only a musician who keeps lovingly toiling away at his craft,
continuously over the years, can produce an album of that kind of
out-of-this-world superbness. I can only imagine how hard it was to
create those songs. The struggle to pull those beautiful compositions
and arrangements out of thin air, and to get them to sound nothing
short of perfect. A composer/songwriter with this kind of talent has
no expiration date whatsoever. He is impervious to permanent rust. He
has total mastery over the medium and can bend the laws of pop music
to suit whatever melody enters his mind and his heart. There is no end
to what this artist can do.  I think Colin provided a lot of the
impetus to keep Andy's creative process going. Colin provided some of
the spark and some of the drive, and some of the fun and excitement. I
wonder if Andy has been collaborating with so many other musicians in
order to fill that void, since he and Colin have not worked together
in such a long spell. Ah, I wish they could get back into the studio,
and get that magical process flowing again!

Sincerely yours,

Erik Victor McCrea


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 04:32:30 -0700
From: "Rob Hill" <>
Subject: "He's one of my top three influences..."
Message-ID: <>

"He's one of my top three influences...," Partridge said. "[He] played
such inventive runs, not your standard blues stash of things, or the
standard blues licks that absolutely everybody was doing. He made the
guitar sound more like [jazz saxophonist] Albert Ayler or John
Coltrane, more like a sort of fluid piano player. Once I heard his
guitar playing, I was like, 'Oh, I need to be able to play like that!'

The Strange Case of Ollie Halsall: Rockas Forgotten Legend

Alvin Lee, Allan Holdsworth and Cheap Trickas Rick Nielsen have all
cited his impact. He was the first rock guitarist to employ
four-finger ahammer-ona runs. He was on the short list of players
The Rolling Stones considered when they were searching for a
replacement for Brian Jones.


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 19:18:20 -0700
From: Wayne Klein <>
Subject: Andy vs. Colin
Message-ID: <SNT136-W50156709CB43E2E443F348F93D0@phx.gbl>

> Colin deserves so much more than he gets in the mainspring and imagination
> of XTC. Andy may be a genius, but his heart was never as affected as it was
> by Colin. They demonstrated a true duo of intensity. Without Colin, Andy
> is a soul alone. And his music comes across that way, however much a genius
> he is.
> That is what I have to say. If Andy reads my words, he will be struck in
> his heart. He will know that his own genius is not enough to really emote
> his heart with any dimension and substance.
> With love
> Michelle Brown Reyes Smith


I don't think that Andy has ever slighted Colin's contribution to XTC and
recognizes that the band wouldn't have truly existed without
him (to the point that he didn't continue on as XTC WITHOUT Colin).

Whatever their personal issues are, Andy can be a pretty driven person and
always wants to be in charge to some degree (I've
always thought that Andy had a typical passive-aggressive personality from
all the stuff I've read, when I interviewed him, etc.).

I'm perplexed as to the point of your post truly was.



Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:13:45 -0500
From: "Jamie Lowe" <>
Subject: Happening-Magazine
Message-ID: <SNT124-DS11AEA33D0824D4E72D065EBE220@phx.gbl>

Happening-MagazineHi All,

Hope all's well with you...  Below is a nice piece by Chris Twomey I think
you'll enjoy.

Best Regards,

Jamie Lowe

XTC Stickers here:


      Live Review a" Tin Spirits, London, Camden

      Posted: 19 Apr 2012 08:58 AM PDT

      London, Camden Underword, April 14

      Okay, so I'll have to declare an interest. I can't submit a review of
Tin Spirits, the headliners of this Saturday night prog showcase event,
without admitting a past link to one of their members - former XTC
guitarist Dave Gregory.

      XTC, you see, were one of a handful of bands who shaped my adolescent
music education, and Iam proud of the fact that I not only picked my
influences wisely, I eventually persuaded them to let me write up their
history, resulting in Chalkhills & Children, a humble biog about a group
whose value never seems to diminish.

      It's somewhat ironic that back when me and my Devon mates were
discovering "arty" new wave bands like XTC, we were simultaneously looking
down our noses at the provincial rock fans' firm favourites: Genesis, Floyd,
Supertramp et al (whilst secretly hanging on to a few albums, of course).

      If Tin Spirits ever went through such a painful and confusing
transition, they've clearly made a full recovery. Call them prog if you
like, but the definition seems a little amorphous - their music could also
be described as jazz-influenced heavy-rock, going where it wants, when it
wants, sod the rules. Isn't that sort of what XTC were about?

      Before going further, I should mention I completely missed the first
two bands of the evening, The Reasoning and Sanguine Hum. And catching the
last 10 minutes-or-so of Panic Room, I rather regretted my negative
preconceptions of modern-day prog. Entering cautiously, expecting to be
confronted by a Rick Wakeman-inspired witches coven, it was a pleasant
surprise to encounter instead the uplifting, melodic sound of Panic Room,
who are fronted by charismatic (and dare I say sexy?) singer Anne-Marie

      Dave Gregory's appearance on a live stage took a moment or two to sink
in for me. In 1982 I had tickets to see XTC at Hammersmith Odeon, but was
duly refunded when Andy Partridge ordered his troops to withdraw from live
action... permanently. That meant the only line-up of XTC I ever saw live
was the powerpop version featuring Barry Andrews on keyboards in February
1978 (at Barnstaple Chequers!).

      Four years later, by the time of English Settlement, XTC had morphed
into a very different beast, of course. That ambitious Top 10 double-album
(which included their only Top 10 hit 'Senses Working Overtime') displayed a
maturity and splendour which elevated them high above their new wave peers.
Its 12-stringiness and pastoral imagery was more closely aligned to the
anglo-eccentricities of folk-rock than their Roxy Music-via-Devo origins.
This suited Gregsy who relished a growing reliance on his musical dexterity
because, unlike Partridge and Colin Moulding, he didn't write songs. He
lived to perform, which is why he was hit hard when the plug got pulled.

      These days, Tin Spirits are just one of Dave's "regular" bands with a
new album to promote (their debut Wired To Earth was actually released a
year ago, but has since been re-mixed and re-released at their request).
Another, Big Big Train, you'll be hearing from soon.

      When they formed in 2008, Tin Spirits - also featuring singer/bassist
Mark Kilminster, guitarist Daniel Steinhardt and drummer Doug Mussard - saw
themselves as a prog tribute band, primarily. They then introduced their own
songs into the set, which now sit impressively (and incongruously) on the
album alongside covers of 'Back In NYC' (Genesis) and 'Roundabout' (Yes).

      This live romp through Wired To Earth was an eye-opener for someone
like me - whose sole knowledge of progressive rock begins and ends with
Procol Harum - because it was difficult to tell the originals from the
covers. That's meant as a compliment. Their tunes are probably impossible to
whistle while you work, but in a live context, Tin Spirits' swooping riffs,
complex time signatures and anthemic choruses make for a head-spinning

      Ultimately, though, those of us with no musical talent, aside from a
well-tuned ear, long for something recognisable to make sense of it all. For
me, that moment arrived when Tin Spirits finished off with a sparkling
version of XTC's 'Towers of London'. I'd forgotten that it features one of
rock's near-perfect guitar solos - a few seconds of bliss which, 32 years
ago, achieved the near-impossible feat of persuading my Devon biker mates
that not everything new or new wave was bad. Then, as now, it was played by
Dave Gregory... respect.
      Chris Twomey


Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 19:36:46 -0400
From: Bob Gaulke <>
Subject: Colin Moulding on stage with L'Affaire Louis' Trio
Message-ID: <>

...."Le Meilleur du Monde" from "L'Homme Aux Mille Villes"

TV appearance (I didn't post this):


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:42:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: "" <>
Subject: Wing Beat Fantastic update
Message-ID: <>


From the latest edition of The Keneallist, the Mike Keneally newsletter:

" Checking in to say howdy and let you know that Iave been back hard at
work on the new album, Wing Beat Fantastic... [snip] So now I'm bearing
down hard on Wing Beat and I will not lift my head until it is complete.
(Brief recap: this is the album based around a group of songs I've
co-written with the extraordinary Andy Partridge.) During the last year of
working on this I've generated a bunch of material, more than makes sense
for a single CD, so there will be a special edition featuring a second
album called The Cavanaugh Chronicles (unless I decide to call it something
else - but there will definitely be a second album). More soon about all
of this!"

Hope all's well in your realm,

Scott Nuckles


Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 12:21:59 +0200
From: Per <>
Subject: Reply to Michelle Brown Reyes Smith.
Message-ID: <>

In the Chalkhils newsletter from April 15 you say you are very angry at Andy
"for the whole state of affairs" and that Colin deserves much more. I
suppose you mean that Andy have done bad things against Colin and that Mr
Moulding don't get enough credit for his work.

I have to ask. Do you have inside information about how things work in the
XTC camp? Do you know how Andy and Colin interact with each other? Do you
know the true personality of Andy? Of Colin? Their pros and cons?

I mean, you have to know things like that to be certain what goes on. You
judge Andy very harsh. But do you really know enough to do that? Maybe there
are things that you don't know anything about that would totally change what
you think is true? Things are not always as you think, my dear...

I have seen it before, this pointing out Andy as the bad guy while Colin is
the poor victim. But it is always from people that think they know but
actually know nothing or very little.

Fact is that Andy always have been the driving force in the band. Without
him neither Dave or Colin would had a career as pop stars. You can think
what you will of that statement but you can't deny it's true. And yes, they
are both vital for the band, of course. But accusing Andy in sweeping terms
is very unfair after all he have done through the years.

We all know that Andy loves to talk so that's why he usually do the
interviews. Fact is also that Colin choose not to be as prolific. But is
that because of any wrong doings by Andy? I don't know because I don't know
Colin. But I suspect it has to do with that he don't enjoy the spotlight.

Michelle, don't be angry. Hopefully you can keep on enjoying the music of
XTC without spreading baseless rumors.

Cheers from Sweden.


End of Chalkhills Digest #18-9

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