Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-84

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 84

               Wednesday, 19 February 1997

Today's Topics:

                 influences on the dukes
                 The Ultimate Compilation
             Japanese "Nigel" single for sale
              Hitchcock/Skylarking outtakes
          Truncheon/Cosh (Serious XTC Comment!)
                 Old Adventures In Hi-Fi
                    Puzzlin' Evidence
       Bennet (not Tony) and another XTC comparison
                 Dukes O' Stratosphear CD
               Ah Jason, Jason, Jason.....
              Old ROlling Stone letters....
     Martin Newell bit in MOJO Feb 97--no XTC content
                   Travels in Millerton
                        THUD Tabs?
                  Kittens and partridges
                   Dutch xtc cover band
                        XTC phases
        I Agree With Cheryl / Personal Compilation
             AMANDA and British abbreviations
            Stupor Bungeeeeeee, Harper, Naive
                      Window Boxing
             Gregsy and Peg and Al Bundy.....


Find out who influenced The Dukes of Stratosphear!


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Sometimes I heave a sigh...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 13:59:48 +0000
Subject: influences on the dukes

25 o'clock

I always thought the keyboard sound to be influenced by the early Soft
Machine, say the first 3 albums, where ratlidge plays with hendrix like



Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 21:03:39 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: "Jason \"Freak\" Garcia" <>
Subject: The Ultimate Compilation


Could I have any more work to do?  Yet, I'll take time out to answer this--

>What is your idea of the ultimate compilation by the guys?

Oh, it's soooooo hard for me to make XTC compilation tapes-- especially for
other people.  I spent all V-day with a woman who wasn't my girlfriend
(that's another story, not for the list) listening to music, and when it
came time for me to play the XTC I was stumped.  Where to begin?  'Cause
with XTC, it's not like you can play 3 songs and say, "OK, this is what they
sound like."  So I started with Skylarking...she really got into Summer's
Cauldron.  I tried to make an XTC tape once for a friend and I think I
failed miserably.  I went for the "catchy /accessible" approach, which
probably just made the whole tape sound silly.  So yes, it's a difficult
question you have posed there...I would say that the "Ultimate Compliation"
would weave many different styles together and take the majority of its
material from the less obvious songs. 'Cause as Andy himself says in the
recent Making Music article, "Singles collections are a bit like the
desserts from all the meals - there isn't any of the spuds and the meat.  I
think all our best stuff tends to lurk around in the corners of the albums."
(I love his similies).

In the brain today: alternately, "Devil in Her Heart" as performed by The
Beatles, and "Vanishing Girl" (which I think is one of Colin's best songs).

Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow.


Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 23:00:17 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Japanese "Nigel" single for sale

I was in "Yesterday & Today" today, which is a used record store in
Rockville, MD (USA) that also does mail order business.  They have the
Japanese "Nigel" single (the one with the two live b-sides) with picture
sleeve for $40.00.  If anyone is interested, you can call them at



Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 23:07:02 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>
From: (Kevin Scott)
Subject: Hitchcock/Skylarking outtakes

Someone had said:

>Which reminds me, does anyone else think that
>some collaboration with Robyn Hitchcock and XTC would just absolutely
>kick?  To hear Robyn and Andy collaborate, well, it'd be Lennon and
>McCartney and Syd Barrett all in one, now, wouldn't it?  Just a thought.

Intrigued as I am with the possibilities, that strikes me as the musical
equivalent of dropping an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a glass of club soda.
Just maybe a bit too top-heavy, especially with two personalities as
strong-willed as Andy Partridge and Robyn Hitchcock.  Not sure it would
work, but hey, if they're willing to try...

On to a different subject, I recall reading in a Melody Maker from years ago
that there were several tracks that didn't make it on to the Skylarking
album and they were supposed to make it on to B-sides.  My memory isn't too
hot anymore about the article but I don't think the songs were the ones that
ended up on the "Dear God" ep.  Nor did they end up on Rag and Bone Buffet.
It's bugged me for years, the possibility that there are all these songs
which are in all probability gems, and they've yet to see the light of day.
Or maybe they have.  Can anyone shed some light on this?  All that I can
remember about it now is that in typical XTC fashion it wasn't just one or
two songs, but more like six or seven (!).



Message-Id: <>
From: David Goody/M&G <>
Date: 17 Feb 97  8:25:59
Subject: Truncheon/Cosh (Serious XTC Comment!)

What a title for a posting, eh!!! And its serious!!

Yesterday (Sunday 16th) I visited our local record emporium, and took a trip
to their Vinyl Shack, where they keep all their old 7", 12" and LPs. Imagine
my surprise when I started looking at all the promotional gifts they had
scattered along the top of all the shelves, and I spotted an item emblazoned
with the letters XTC. It was a black plastic truncheon, about 10 inches
long, with "XTC - The Loving" along the side. Has anyone seen one of these
before? Is anyone interested in it if I can buy it (I am not sure if their
promotional stuff is for sale, but I am sure they would sell at the right
price.) Please E-Mail me privately if you aree interested.

I also saw the new CD single by The Verve Pipe yesterday, and it has a
version of Blue Beret on it.


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 11:38:04 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Old Adventures In Hi-Fi

I'm afraid, after my recent post about rediscovering the "roomfulness" of
XTC on a well placed, decent-spec hi-fi (abbreviation for "high-finance", if
the payments are anything to go by), there has been some concern expressed
to me in off-list mail that I, as a vocal proclaimer of the greatness of
XTC, should have been content with such an appalling setup. There are
reasons for this - and XTC are involved - but if, Mr Relph, you see fit to
exercise your blue pencil and scissors then by all means feel free.

Stereophonic sound is a concept that must have been driving a particularly
fast car the day it crossed paths with my wife, Amy. The wake of it's
passing was enough to ruffle her hair, but there was no lasting impression
made. This all has its roots in her background. Her parents have always had
top-notch stereo equipment, the sort I'd gleefully kill for, and have used
it largely for listening to the cricket. In the name of tidiness, they put
the speakers tight up against the sides of the cabinet. Appreciation of the
wonders of stereo is only possible if you rest your forehead on the cassette
deck (weeping is optional). And then you notice that the speakers are the
wrong way round.

As one of three close-aged daughters, Amy was not provided with her own
hi-fi system and instead all three girls had to make do with little boom-box
things - handy devices, no doubt, but not much cop in the "panoramic
soundscape" stakes. To maximise their pocket money the girls didn't buy
pre-recorded tapes, they instead chose to buy five-packs of audio blanks
from the market (the sort with that kind of dusty, light brown coating that
fell off in little lumps if you shook it) and record favourite tunes off the
radio. When we were courting (and trying not to get caught) Amy would play
music on her little deck. It was sheer torture - there'd be a pause, the
song would start mid way through its intro and the end would be obscured by
inane DJ witterings. There would be a loud click, and then the next song
would start mid-intro. And so on. To make matters worse, these were all
recorded off good-old mono MW channels. The sound was awful - her deck heads
were coated in a layer of magnetic gunk so I brought some alcohol swabs home
from the hospital for her to wipe them down with from time to time. This led
to an "hilarious" misunderstanding with her father who wanted to know who
was injecting who and with what.

When we first shacked up together - around 8 years ago - I brought a stereo
into the mixture. Amy took a day off work to sort the flat out, and when I
came home I found the speakers were stacked _on_top_of_each_other_. I was
bewildered. I moved them to seperate corners of the room. She moved them
back - "...tider." We had such different tastes in music and all her stuff
was mono anyway, but I needed a test piece to show her what we were missing
by arranging the speakers in that fashion. What to use? I thought and
thought. It needed to be something that had really discernible separation.

I chose "Bushman President". It has that channel-jumping "tikitish" sound,
and I directed Amy to sit on the floor - dead centre of the stereo field -
and raise the her right hand when she heard the sound in the right speaker,
and her left hand when she heard it in the left speaker. Bless her eternal
good heart, she did just that. For the whole record - watching her arms
flapping like a funky penguin - I was curled up on the bed behind her,
having wracking yet silent hysterics into my pillow. It's now one of those
things that has passed into the "folklore" of our relationship and she knows
that she can reduce me to helpless giggles by reprising the gesture on rare
occasions. In the cinema, at a concert, at some formal function; if she
hears a sound from one particular direction, she'll solemnly raise the
appropriate hand, and I'm on the floor in a silent, shaking pile of mirth.

We are the wild children,

No Thugs In Our House, only XTC.


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 11:38:12 GMT
Message-Id: <>
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Puzzlin' Evidence

I know there has been much urging to discover Prefab Sprout in recent posts,
but as one who considers their music - from "Swoon" to "Jordan" - bland and
weak I must urge all interested parties to take care and borrow or copy
someone elses CD before splashing out cash. They seem to be one of those
"acquired taste" things. (I always thought it was odd that "Protest Songs"
was *by* Prefab Sprout, and not *about* them...)

I was rootling through a box of old tapes the other night and I found a
cassette labelled "Transistor Blast". It was an old 15min computer tape, the
sort I used to use with my Commodore 64, and which I later reclaimed for
recording my own execrable demos on. I couldn't remember what "Transistor
Blast" might be, so I stuck it in the tape deck and pressed play. There was
a second or two of strumulation and then Scree-ee-eee-eek. It was a computer
tape right enough. I thought for a while and it all came back to me.
"Transistor Blast" was a computer adventure game I wrote (well,
half-completed) that revolved around the songs of XTC. It was done around
1989 and features the characters of Sunny Jim and The Scissor Man. In a plot
part Piers Anthony, part Yellow Submarine, you played Sunny Jim, hurled by
the evil Liarbirds into a hanging tapestry (Nihilon) from which you had to
escape, bringing the power of great music back to the world. You were
hampered in your efforts by the persistent "Scissorman" who chased you
through the tapestry, cutting the threads out from under you at opportune
moments. Your only weapon was your music machine, which you had to assemble
from parts stored around the tapestry world, and then load with music tapes
each of which would defeat a certain enemy or obstacle - Great Fire defeated
the Scarecrow People, Mermaid Smiled caused the Shark In The Pool go docile,
etc. Parts and tapes were acquired by the means of solving puzzles. Can you
tell that I was miles away from my girlfriend for most of that year?

I also had (none too subtle) songs chosen to get past the situations listed
below, I challenge you all to guess what the songs were (All songs were
prior to 1990, and were drawn from the available albums and singles, as well
as a list of known recordings in a discography from Limelight which included
demos and Helium Kidz tracks). I'll award one point for a correct (the same
as mine) answer, and half a point if your suggestion is a workable
alternative. Best score (if anyone can be bothered) will be awarded with a
special "Braniac's Daughter/Son" mention on Bungalow.

1) You reach a section of the tapestry which is girdled with roads. The
great lumbering juggernaut that is Mother Motor runs you down whenever you
try to cross. What song do you need in your player?

2) The Somnabulist is walking up and down a narrow corridor blocking your
exit into the Outside World. You reach into your pocket and pull out which

3) Your way is blocked by a huge machine which knocks you like a peg into a
hole when you try to pass underneath it. Which tune? (Tricky this, I admit)

4) You are lost in a desert. A plane goes over but it can't see you. How do
you attract its attention?

5) There is a table with three tapes on, you know you'll need them but they
are guarded by the Mole From The Ministry who peers menacingly at you
through his shades. What will get him running?

6) The Human Alchemist wouldn't let you pass until you'd helped him with his
experiments? Which tune?

7) You are in the Sargasso Bar. The sign has been attacked by vandals and
now reads Brass Or A Gas. The bar keeper will let you pick a couple of tapes
out of the jukebox if you can help him put the sign right. How?

Groove is in the heart,

No Thugs In Our House, only XTC.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 12:05:24 -0800
From: Michael Chisholm <>
Organization: Hewlett Packard FCO
Subject: Bennet (not Tony) and another XTC comparison

Greetings Matey Peeps,

In chalkhills #3-82 it was mentioned:

>I read this interview with a British pop band called
>Bennet. When asked about their influences, the singer answered: if there
>is one band we look up to, it's XTC. I guess we wanted to sound like
>early XTC on our first album. )

>In the Record Collector interview, Andy Partridge complained about XTC
>not being acknowledged by other British bands, except for Blur. Well,
>here's obviously another exception! Does anyone know anything about this
>band Bennet?

I have Bennets current 7" single "My mum has gone to Iceland" which is a
catchy piece of nonsense. Its not about parents leaving their offspring
to go and visit the land of Bjork and geysers as the title suggests but
instead about getting them food at the Iceland supermarket chain.  The
single is short and to the point (like early XTC??)

Eeek, these days you can't even read Q without tripping over a bundle of
references to XTC. Now it seems the NME is up to the same tricks. In the
15 Feb issue they review a gig by a new band called Toaster (recently
signed to Creation) containing the line "their songs (which concern
'60ft Rockets' and 'Six million dollar goats') inhabit a private funny
farm housed halfway between Tigers droning Moogs and XTC's wilful
quirkiness".  Had to give Toaster a mention as two of the band used to
be at my old school up in Inverness (plug plug).

Trying desperately of new subjects to post about with any relevance to
XTC whatsoever,


PS I won't quote the Spice Girls this time, Cheryl!


Message-Id: <>
From: "huduguru" <>
Subject: Dukes O' Stratosphear CD
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 09:17:47 -0500

A lot of people have been trying to get Chips from the Chocolate Fireball
to no avail it seems.  I saw a copy at my local Newberry Comics* store
yesterday.  I finally broke down and bought White Music.  I've had the
vinyl for years, but not the disc.  Now pool old Go2 is the only one that I
don't have on CD, and I think it'll stay that way...
Anyway, to repeat our top story..."Chips" is still out there to be found,
but I can't say for sure if it's actually in print.
Happy Hunting!

*(Manchester, NH if you're looking for it.  Heck, they may have a web site
of something...)


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 08:37:23 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Ah Jason, Jason, Jason.....
Message-id: <>

How can you not know that...........

Andy is saying "As years roll by I heave a sigh" at the end of Cynical Days...

HAH! You all thought I was going to respond to someone else, eh? Nope. I'll
take care of that later.

I WILL however respond to Mark....

by personal email. ;)

BTW means "By the way", BTW. ;)



Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 09:49:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Old ROlling Stone letters....
Message-id: <>

Whilst dipping through the three large boxes worth of old RS's I just got
from a friend, I came across quite a few letters about XTC in the
mailbag. Here's a sample....

"How can the critics who gave XTC's Oranges and Lemons 4 stars virtually
ignore them in the Critics Picks this year?"

"XTC has musical genius"

And this is my personal favorite.....
"I'd heard of XTC but never actually listened to anything by them until I
read the review of Oranges and Lemons. "I thought 'Cool, I think I'll try
this out'.  Thanks dude-now I'm out eight bucks."

Should we hang him or burn him at the stake??????

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberry."-....(Man,
was it the Life of Brian of the Holy Grail?????)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 10:54:17 -0800
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Subject: Martin Newell bit in MOJO Feb 97--no XTC content

Hi again.

I promised myself I wasn't ever going to post again but some things just
can't be helped...  Here's a reason to hunt down a copy of MOJO magazine's
February 1997 issue--- apart from the truly smashing Nick Drake cover story
(swoon!) there's a feature on Progressive Rock with a sidebar by Martin
Newell entitled "The Kings Of Bad Timing."  Got a minute?  Read on.

"Flying in fashion's face can be careeer suicide:  Martin Newell
remembers GYPP"

"This year, while many bands were reforming in order to celebrate 20 years
of punk rock, I was busy elsewhere.  I was re-learning lyrics about meeting
Titania in a forest.  I was busy trying to acquire some hipster canary
yellow flares.  I was cycling 20 miles a day and racing through the woods
with my dog in order to get match-fit for the Gypp reunion.

	You've never heard of Gypp?  We were East Anglia's finest.
Progressive rock band, that is.  Noodling keyboard pieces, big echoey guitar
solos and a histrionic frontman who made Freddy Mercury look restrained.
I'd previously sung in a glam rock band.  I should have collected my 200
quid for passing Go and gone straight on to punk rock.  A prat?  I fear so.

	I was there during the summer of punk in 1977.  At the marquee club
in Wardour Street.  That's me on the stage with the chest-length hair, the
yellow loon-pants, the blue clogs and the Robert Plant pose.  The bearded
guy with the velvet jacket, Rick Wakeman hair and doubleneck guitar?  That's
my mate Ian Peppercorn.  Over there on the kit, with the long hair and
beard, Johnny Butters.  Filling out the sound on keyboard solos and longer
beard, Brian Rudd.

	We were the kings of bad timing.  We didn't give a Flying V for
those trendy London punks and their horrible gobbing.  Why should we, when
we could pack out Sutton village hall with 300 bikers and their molls?  We
had our own circuit, fan base and concept cassette.  We had reason for
optimism.  Sure, punk rockers were grabbing the headlines but Led Zep and
Genesis were selling the albums, weren't they?  Punk rock would all blow

	We released our own, a three-song EP in July 1978.  Nothing
happened.  In October of that year I returned home after a week in Germany,
where I'd had to busk in a pub to pay off my manager's bar bill.  I was
almost broke, my girlfriend had left me, my flat was a tip and my cat was
ill.  Having spent my last two quid on cat food and an NME, I stood in the
supermarket queue and read my First Ever National Review.

	Outside the shop I cried. Who was Danny Baker and why did he hate me
so much?  We'd bust a gut to get that record out.  We'd got ourselves into
debt and tied ourselves up with a duff management deal.  And all this work
had come to two paragraphs of slagging-off in NME.

	Do the critics build their career ladders from the smashed-up
remains of artists' work?  Or did we deserve it?  Yes.  The record was
appalling.  A decade later, two of the band members built a recording studio
in a Suffolk village.  They used many of our unsold records as large washers
to hold the interior sound-proofing boards to the main walls.  Another box
of 25 discs is hidden inside my piano.  It's as if the things have a
half-life, like nuclear waste.  Years on we still don't know what to do with
them.  Upon discovering a box of the discs on sale at a gig in Germany
recently, I stole it and hid them.

	In England, outside our native rural East, we were embarassing
dinosaurs.  Punks would come up to me after London gigs and say "Duntchoo
fink yore a bit aht of date?"  I'd say, No not really.  I mean, we exist
now, don't we?  We were stubborn East Anglians.  We just couldn't see that
there was a problem.

	In a similarly rural area of Germany, however, we were becoming
rather popular.  We routinely blew the little Westphalian towns apart with
our sound and performance.  Frequent trips there kept up morale.  But as I
often used to remark, 'Germany is like another country.'

	The thing about Gypp was that they were the nicest bunch of blokes
I'd ever played with.  No rows or ego battles here.  It was like being in a
good-humoured family.  If the electric power faded in some rural studio or
rehearsal room, Ian would say in his Suffolk accent, "Nip up the road, John,
and tell the vicar to pedal a bit harder."  Upoon seeing bondage punkettes
at the Marquee for the first time, John Butters mumbled "That makes yew
wonder what they'd look loike without all that get-up on."  by 1979,
however, I was demoralised.  I left Gypp and became a musical recluse, a
studio rat.  I didn't play a live gig again for many years.

	Ian Peppercorn phoned me in late 1995 to announce a band reunion in
autumn 96 in Germany-- sponsorship money had been raised by a local brewery.
With so many friends and ex-members accompanying us, 41 people in all, we
wouldn't make much money but we wouldn't lose any.  So, late this summer, I
found myself in a church by Ipswich docks with chaps I'd hardly seen in 18
years re-learning prog rock songs written 20 years earlier.  At first it was
hard going.  Lengthy songs lumbered arthritically to their feet but
stoically refused to dance.  We were rustier than a North Sea dredger.

	Rehearsals paid off, however.  The members of Gypp plus two Suffolk
blues bands went out to Germany for the two all-day concerts.  I found
myself sharing a tour bus with men in their forties and fifties.  Two of the
bands' members were grandfathers.  We almost qualified for a Variety Club Of
Great Britain Sunshine Coach.

	In the event, both concerts were very good.  The band was better
than I remembered.  Even our former roadies said so.  The reunion wasn't
even the big piss-up I'd expected.  It was extremely moving to see and work
with all these people again.  I hadn't expected that at all.  It was
lump-in-the-throat stuff.  My cycling and running had paid dividends.  I was
able to roar round the stage and swing from the girders as before.  It just
hurt a little more afterwards.

	It made me think what a cruel thing musical fashion is.  Here was a
perfectly good rock band written off at the time because the wind changed
and we got stuck like that.  It made me wonder about people I meet now who
say "Yes.  I was there.  I saw the Sex Pistols.  I was a punk rocker."  They
couldn't ALL have been there. Because I wasn't.  I was here in the country
being a lead singer in a prog rock band.  In my perverse way, I'm sort of
proud of it.  Because now I know who the real rebels were.  And althought I
don't bear him any grudge, my former critic at the NME is currently a TV
soap powder salesman.  Cutting-edge stuff or what?"

the accompanying photos are truly remarkable.  And if anyone has Gypp's
record, I'd love a dub.  I'll bet anything it sounds like the Helium Kidz,
which isn't so bad...  for a laugh...  Newell really does look like Robert
Plant.  A bit.



Message-Id: <v03007805af2e2d66bbae@[]>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 11:04:31 -0500
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Travels in Millerton

Howdy Amandahillians,

I had the immense pleasure of meeting one of our homey little group this
weekend. Unfortunately the snow kept me there overnight, but that just
meant Ben and I had a couple more hours to digest some more music. The only
negative was the Chinese food. Hate to say it, but in NYC the food is
exponentially better. And the people in the restaurant scared me.

We didn't listen to too much XTC, but then again between us we have
virtually everything. If I can find Martin Newell on CDNow, it's mine. But
I'm not holding my breath. After listening to most of E.C.'s Imperial
Bedroom, I think it might be my favorite single EC album. Now I just gotta
buy it.

It's just too bad I couldn't schlep my 200 or so CDs with me to
Connecticut, but, well, then we'll just have to drag Ben to Hoboken so I
can impose my musical tastes on him. I realize that if I were to buy every
CD that I want, my credit card company would love me. Probably so much so
that they'd send me a limo so I could be driven around to shop some more.
:) Hmmm...maybe that's not such a bad idea. "Oh, Jeeves, the car please.
It's time for my daily excursion to St. Mark's Place." "Right away, sir."

Anyway, we (well, can't speak for Ben) had a my-t-fine time, and it
reinforced my belief that none of us on the Amanda list are psycho killers.
Well, that is, until I get that deafening ringing in my ears again.

Ben, I'll send your book back when I'm done. Along with a few micro-point



From: Aaron Pastula <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: THUD Tabs?
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 97 13:01:36 PST

Hello All:

I know that some of you are fans of Kevin Gilbet's THUD.  Does anyone
have/know where to get guitar tabs for any of the tunes?  I'm a bass player
by design so my guitar skills are marginal at best, but I really want to
play some of these songs.  Please Email me privately if you have any
suggestions or info.




Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 16:45:42 -0500 (EST)
From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>
Subject: Kittens and partridges
Message-ID: <>

Hey hey -

A couple of things... the Michigan XTC party (OK, I said I wouldn't
mention it again, I'm sorry) is now a going proposition and will occur on
the afternoon of Sunday, February 23.  Write to me for more details if
you're interested.  Of course, all of you are invited in spirit.

Heather asks us if we've ever named our pets anything XTC-ish... my kitten
nearly got named August ("Copper chord of August's organ") but the name
didn't stick, and Andy, Colin, or Dave would have been too confusing,
since I have friends named Andy, Colin, and Dave.  So my kitten was
eventually dubbed Aleister... but that's another story.

Shameless plug time: I now have my very own, very-much-under-construction
XTC web site.  It's called Perdix: The Andy Partridge Appreciation Page.
(I wanted to do a site called Suck More Piss: the Terry Chambers
Appreciation Page, but I didn't have enough material...)  The URL is:

Right now I'm in sore need of pictures - anything that's not from the
albums - magazine clippings, newspaper scraps, Silly Putty impressions,
whatever, as long as it's got Andy in it (the whole band is fine, too).
If you have any lying around, let me know.  Thanks.

I'd just like to add that I got "English Settlement" on CD last week -
after years of listening to it on an ancient cassette - and it sounds
fucking fantastic.  I am a happy puppy.

Natalie Jacobs
Visit the Land of Do-As-You-Please!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 01:12:29 -0100
From: Harold Zijp <>
Organization: Iprecom groep Groningen
Subject: Dutch xtc cover band

hi there

I wanted you (and through you everybody) to know that there is a band in
the city of Groningen, Holland, called The Vanishing Girls that only
plays XTC songs. It started a a one-gig-project, but we've done three
gigs so far and are planning to go ahead with it. Actually we're playing
live in Groningen on thursday the 20th of february 1997, in the USVA at
the Munnikeholm (=street)

I'll give you our complete setlist in case you're interested:
No thugs in our house/Rocket from a bottle/It's nearly Africa/When
you're near me.../Holly upon Poppy/Another satellite/Blue
beret/Scarecrow people/Holding the baby/Love at first sight/Sgt.
Rock/Travels in Nihilon//Respectable street/Life begins at the
Hop/Making plans for Nigel/Vanishing Girl/Collideascope/Pearl/Knuckle
down/All of a sudden/Love on a farmboy's wages/Find the fox/You're my
drug/Scissor man/Complicated game

This was my first ever E-mail, when I've grown more accustomed to the
Internet-thing maybe I can send a soundsample of our band. I haven't got
my own address, but my postal address is:
Jeroen de Jong
Prof. Rankestraat 29 A
9713 GD Groningen
The Netherlands

bye for now,       Jeroen


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 14:50:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: XTC phases
Message-id: <9701178562.AA856225866@FINSMTP1.FIN.GOV.BC.CA>

Subject #1:  XTC phases
Okay, I'll participate in this on-going thread.

My opinion: other than the obvious changes in the band's sound that
occured with the departure of Barry Andrews, there havn't been truly
abrupt changes in the band's sound from one album to the next.  (The
change in sound from English Settlement to Mummer had more to do with
the change in songwriting than with Terry's departure.)  In other
words, I don't think that there are any distinct phases.

Instead of clear-cut phases, the band has evolved over time,
incorporating new elements, twists, and approaches with each successive
album.  The psychedelia of 25 O'Clock was anticipated by some of the
flourishes heard on Mummer and The Big Express; the Beach Boys homage
"Pale And Precious" inspired the distinctively XTC "Chalkhills and

The band continues to grow and has never failed to surprise and
impress me.  A long-time fan, I think that Nonsuch is one of the best
things they've ever done.  And I suspect that the forthcoming (!)
album(s) will contain some more music that both impresses and defies

In other words, attempts to group the band's output are as fruitless
as attempts to categorize the band's music.

Subject #2:  Valentine's Day.
AMANDA writes (among other things):
>I wonder if Colin and Carol Moulding get all sappy and sentimental
>for VD?
>Remember, VD sucks when you're all alone.

Hmmm.  After my initial shock, I've decided your abreviation "VD"
means Valentine's Day.  But back when *I* was in college, "VD" meant
"venereal disease", shorthand for any affliction we now refer to as
an "STD" (sexually transmitted disease).

Puts a whole different interpretation on your statements.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 20:24:39 -0800
From: Stormy Monday <>
Subject: I Agree With Cheryl / Personal Compilation


>>Steven Hoskins said:
>>For long time fans, Nonsuch belongs in the Dissappointed pile.

And Cheryl commented:
>Really?!  Thats a shame!

Allow me to list my credentials:

I have been a fan since 1981, (Amanda was 4?)  I saw them live, I read
the book, I have in my posession some rare recordings (eg. "Shaving
Brush Boogie"), and I spread the faith.



Stormy Monday's XTC Compilation for the "Uninitiated"

"Ex Tea WHO? The Best POP Band You've Never Heard, Ladies and Gentlemen
X T C!"

Ball And Chain
Life Begins at the Hop
Mayor Of Simpleton
Ballet For A Rainy Day
Senses Working Overtime
Generals And Majors
Dear Madame Barnum

Scarecrow People
Holly Up On Poppy
Season Cycle
Across This Antheap
Love on a Farmboy's Wages
All You Pretty Girls

(Phantom track at end of CD after 90 seconds of silence, not listed in
liner note
and absent from the cassette version)

Shake You Donkey Up

Bonus CD:  "The Dukes:  Some Toll House Morsels"

You're My Drug
Vanishing Girl
The Mole From The Ministry
Pale And Precious



Date: 18 Feb 97 13:14:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: AMANDA and British abbreviations
Message-Id: <"<9CED093381821573>9CED093381821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

AMANDA wrote:

>I wonder if Colin and Carol Moulding get all sappy and sentimental for VD?


>Remember, VD sucks when you're all alone.

Is someone else going to tell her, or shall I?



Message-ID: <c=US%a=_%p=AETNA%l=AETNA/AETNA/>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Stupor Bungeeeeeee, Harper, Naive
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 11:33:00 -0500

>[David Pardue] If I have but one regret, it is that ZZ Top were not
>involved in the bungee jumping at the recent Super Bowl.

Utterly sick and yet curiously fitting thought. They didn't even bother to
record new cuts but used the dozen-year-old original tracks. Even with my
constantly "right-sized" expectations, the halftime show always knocks down
the bar. We didn't get the foot-high foam blocks a la Spinal Tap, but they
*did* manage to smog up inside the dome after covering the AC vents.  So
God-awful hilariously bad I can't tell if it's cheese or camp anymore.

The many informative answers to my "Who is Roy Harper" are welcome; thanks
all who replied. The show was in Boston, no others were listed, so no go.
But I enjoy being around a place where I can reveal my utter ignorance
without being lambasted. And no, I can't even plead callow youth.

>[Jonas Lind] "Black Sea" contains..."naive" "Sgt. Rock" and
>"Generals And Majors".

I wouldn't call them naive. "Sgt Rock"'s protagonist is naive, but not the
song. "Generals and Majors" reads naive but the sound creates a breezy (if
not chipper) attitude--Colin's not presenting the lyric as if it's "All
Quiet on the Western Front". Hmm, we'll have to disagree as gentlemen about
this point.

My week's absence left me with several Chalkhills to wade through. Hope I
wasn't missed too much; I like to think I create a much-needed void here.

Ring out the bells, Back in your cells,

Super Bowl: (SOO' per bowl), n. National Football League's endless quest to
bring good pro football to cities that wouldn't have it otherwise (i.e.
Atlanta, Tampa, New Orleans, Arizona, Los Angeles).


Message-Id: <v03010d00af30ae04e8a8@[]>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 09:10:34 -0500
From: Gene Yoon <>
Subject: Window Boxing

Greetings to all chalkhills friends far and wide.

>From: McGREGOC <>
>Steven Hoskins said:
>>For long time fans, Nonsuch belongs in the Dissappointed pile.
>Really?!  Thats a shame!  I'm one of the fans that was hooked by
>I don't think
>all the long time fans feel this way.  At least thats the impression
>I have gotten from the few I have written.
>Whats the dissappointment here?

I've said this here before, but to answer your question....
Personally, Nonsuch doesn't seem to work as a whole album as, say, The Big
Express or Skylarking.  Individual songs are strong (Holly Up On Poppy is a
favorite of mine among *anything* they've done), but the songs don't fit
together well with any sort of progression that one would expect from XTC.
The production and mixing is so polished, which normally would be a good
thing, but it's just so careful that the songs seem to lack spontaneity or
personality.  And save for Bungalow, there was no musical experimentation,
no new ground broken.  Somehow, with every previous album XTC delved into
untried (at least for them) musical territories, introduced a new concept,
or something.  These are all piddling complaints, of course, and Nonsuch is
a great album.  But it ranks about mid-pack for me in their catalog
because, well, I don't find it as interesting as some of the others.

Please add "IMHO" after each sentence above.  Subjective evaluation end.

Just now a pidgeon (a partridge?) flew into my window and fell to the
ground.  He looks okay.  Must be a sign.

In an act which is sure to annoy/anger scores of people on this list, I am
again turning to Chalkhills for info on unfamiliar bands or music I've

Geggy Tah (they sing that groovy tune, "Whoever You Are")
Throw That Beat in the Garbage Can (some German band)
the guy who sings "(I Could Never Be) Your Woman"

Any info appreciated.

Andy's disparaging remarks about Michael Stipe and REM's "E-Bow the Letter"
are getting XTC mention on our radio morning show.  Of course, the
announcer said something to the effect, "Partridge is just jealous and
maybe he wouldn't be so bitter if XTC had a hit single in the last fifteen
years."  Pow.  But then, any publicity is better than none.


don't send me email to <> anymore


Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 08:52:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Gregsy and Peg and Al Bundy.....
Message-id: <>

Never in my life have I ever pictured Dave to be the type of person who'd
watch Married...With Children, until I read the 'Net interview with him. He
just looks too.......just not the type who'd enjoy a program like that!

BTW-Someone on the Crash Test Dummies mailing list called me a skank and my
boyfriend a....flit boy? (All because I said Ellen Reid was ugly and couldn't


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-84

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