Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-15

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 15

                Thursday, 12 November 1998

Today's Topics:

                you say it's your birthday
                      The song is...
                 Re: The English Squeeze
                      XTC Survey...
       Return Of The Son Of Squeeze My English Beet
                     Re: Random Hold
                transatlantic etymologies
                     Demos & Costello
                      I drew a Lemon
                   Strange but true...
               Be Bop Deluxe... brilliant!
                Apple Venus Track listing
                  SONG STORIES thoughts
         Happy bday Andy and Nancy; bunfight pix
                     Andy's Birthday
               They're popping up all over!
                     Transistor Blast
                  Change of e-mail addy
                     myLaunch article
                     Kevin Westenberg
                     Oz radio special
                       C'Est La Vie
                       Random Hold


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Kid, stay and snip your cord off.


From: nedrise@MNSi.Net
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 11:24:53 -0400
Subject: you say it's your birthday

Dear Chalk -o- lites:

What, no Church of Women or Wonder Annual on the new album?  Well, they
better be on vol. 2 or there's gonna be trouble!

Silly Andy - you just write too many good songs.  Oh, and happy bithday to
ya sir!

Michael  Stone
Windsor, Ontario


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 98 17:04:30 -0500
Subject: The song is...

     Amanda wrote

     >>I need some help figuring out a song I can't get out of my head.
     >>I think it's called "C'est La Vie".  It's sung in half English,
     >>half French.

     I think you're looking for the song "C'est La Vie" by Stephen Duffy
     on, I believe, his Astronaut's cd.  A VERY fine cd it is too:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 19:32:23 -0400
From: Brian <>
Subject: Re: The English Squeeze


Hi ya'll is!

Well, this is good... with the recent posts about U.K. Squeeze & Squeeze
& The Beat & The English Beat, I have my head on straight now. I always
thought that I was either confused, or purposely being confused, or
something else entirely about all these names that were a lot like each
other, I didn't know WHAT the hell was goin' on... :-)

Also, someone mentioned the XTC question on the Musical Jeopardy show...
saw the rerun (I guess) - yep, total DUH! from the contestants!

* Digital & traditional illustration/animation
* Caricaturist-for-hire
* RENDERMAN ~ One-Man Band Ordinaire


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 19:45:12 EST
Subject: XTC Survey...

OK GUYS & GALS.... I couldn't have made it any easier for you
all... I've set up a web page with a form where you can submit your
entries for the XTC Music Survey.  Those of you who have already sent
your submissions via e-mail to me to do not have to re-enter your
choices.  I have automatically included them in.... So far I have
seven (7) responses... SO .... I hope this will make it simple for you
all..... HERE IS THE LINK.  I'll be posting the results on my page in
the future....

Any questions or concerns?  e-mail me at


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 11:01:59 +1000
Subject: Return Of The Son Of Squeeze My English Beet

In response to Benjamin Lukoff's response regarding (U.K) Squeeze - they
were always referred to as U.K. Squeeze whenever I heard mention of them
(e.g. on the poxy commercial radio stations I get inflicted with at work).
Having said that, pretty much the *only* Squeeze song I ever hear on the
radio is "Cool For Cats". This is always back-announced as "Cool For Cats"
by U.K.Squeeze. I assume the DJs are simply reading off the back of the CD
cover ("Explosive Hits 1979" or something - Buddha forbid that they have
the original albums). Chances are the band reverted to "Squeeze" quite
early ; it's unfortunate that commercial radio in this country seems to be
permanently stuck somewhere in the early 1980s.


"When people in your inner circle start killing themselves, it's time to
stop" - Bob Mould.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 17:07:19
From: Rick Davies <>
Subject: Re: Random Hold

Random Hold opened for Peter Gabriel in the US on the third album
(with the Les Crims-style meltingface cover) tour (1980).
Very good band. Bill McCormack (ex-Matching Mole) played bass.

Their US release at that time was "Etceteraville" on Passport Records.
Ask your local college station to look for it.

There was some discussion of their original vinyl releases
on the PH7 (Peter Hammill) mailing list.
No idea if anything came out on CD.



Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 21:14:06 -0600 (CST)
From: Andrea Lynn Rossillon <>
Subject: transatlantic etymologies
Message-ID: <>

The shag is, indeed, the State Dance of South Carolina (in fact, there is
a movie, appropriately entitled "Shag", starring Bridget Fonda and Daryl
Hannah's sister which centers around the dance.)  It grew up around the
beaches of SC, and is really fun to dance. Lots of spins and fancy

I have heard of a similar incident, of a teacher originally from England,
who almost drove off the road when she saw a billboard advertising
"Shagging lessons" while driving through SC.

I don't think the Austin Powers references to shagging will change
anything, because it _is_ a slang term here for having sex, but most
people see it (correctly) as a Britishism; thus it only has minor status
as a sex term--on the par of "gettin' busy"--used mostly by those of us
with Anglophilic tendencies.  (My favorite shag reference:  Black Adder
Goes Forth, Rowan Atkinson to Hugh Laurie about Stephen Fry's character:
"Don't get drunk and let him shag you on the balcony.")

Now, as for "wanker" and "wanking", you have to be REALLY familiar with
Brit slang to even know what that is.  The word just does not exist in
the American lexicon.  I've never heard it in conversation (of any color),
so the occurrence of "wanker" in Miami Vice no doubt sailed over the
collective head of the American TV audience.  Again, it tends to be a
Britishism that only Anglophilic snobby elitists use (something of which I
am guilty).

Now for the requisite XTC content:  I bought Song Stories from,
and it got to me within two days.  I haven't read it all yet, but the
exposition on "My Weapon" was interesting....  I played it as hateful song
to my boyfriend just last spring, and he was offended, as I intended him
to be.  It was interesting to learn that it was intended to be sarcastic;
I myself thought it _was_ rather strong for the XTC canon.

Now, I have a question:  I had a Spice Girls party a few weeks ago, and I
bought one of those fan magazines.  Now, the girlz kept talking about
"getting the mickey out" or "up" or something, and I just had no idea what
the hell they were talking about.  What _were_ they talking about?

-Andrea Rossillon


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 22:29:42 -0500
From: Jim Slade <>
Subject: Demos & Costello

> ...An example might be to compare the progression of "Strawberry Fields"
> on the Beatles' Anthology series to the demo and final version of "Peter
> Pumpkinhead".  Perhaps a CD of XTC studio outtakes would be more
> revealing...

I haven't heard many if any of the demos that weren't merely outtakes, but I
wonder if tracing the progression from the earlier demos (ie, Terry Chambers
era?) to finished songs shows more growth than the stuff from their
drummerless, studio life?  I mean, XTC has not been a "band" in the
traditional sense for a long time.  I don't imagine that a lot of
spontaneity has gone into their studio recordings for some time.
(Obviously, I'm of the belief that, despite some great songs, they've gotten
too sterile since Skylarking - shoot me!)  It seems to me that Andy and
Colin bring their respective "cakes" to the table complete with icing, and
the other two members - now one:(( - add some fancy trimmings.  By all
accounts, John Lennon, even at the end of his time in the Beatles, was still
a fairly raw and conceptual musician and definitely not possessing the
technology to replace the trial and error of trying to explain a drum beat
to Ringo or Paul.  I think that tension went a long way toward making
interesting demos.

> Is the true enjoyment of a demo the ability to trace the musical evolution
> and creative birthing of a song rather than listen to the musical equivalent
> of a pencil sketch verses its full color rendering?

That's surely a joy of listening to demos.  However, sometimes the "pencil
sketch" highlights the pure physical talent of the musician.  Lately an
acoustic demo of Springsteen's "Growing Up" is getting a lot of airplay to
prepare us for the onslaught of his latest boxed set.  The rhythm and
structure are no different than the finished version to my ears, but lacking
the mid-70s big band excesses, I can better respect the raw talent that
Bruce possessed.BTW, my two cents on the Costello/Bacharach CD: IMNSHO,
Elvis needs structure and an overriding concept to carry an album more than
ever (each of his great albums through King of America were pieces unto
themselves).  The new CD is extremely enjoyable on that level, especially if
you've been a fan of the Bacharach/David classics.


Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 03:09:38 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <v01510103b26dcee9e618@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: I drew a Lemon

There's a book out called something like "The Virgin Guide to the 1000 Best
Albums" - a guide for the perfect record collection. I flicked through it
in the shop yesterday, and noticed XTC storming in at number 340 with
Oranges and Lemons.

It recently dawned on me that O&L is XTC's worst album. Does anyone agree
with me, or have I gone mad?

- Mark


Date: 10 Nov 98 11:59:40 AED
Subject: Feedback
Message-ID: <>

Hi Chalksters,

Thanks to all of you who've emailed me with kind words about the Terry
interview that Mark has presented beautifully on his Little Lighthouse
site.  Since it's been online, there have (at time of writing) been 570
hits to view it which is a terrific result for Mark, and gratifies me that
it was worth doing in the first place.  So good onya Chalkies.

A great long term friend of mine, Darren, (who I believe I've finally
converted to the XtC cause), wrote me this email.  Note: the "Molly" he
refers to is the nickname of a guy well known in Australia for scoring
interviews with reclusive popstars like Madonna and Michael Jackson.  He's
also well know for his stammering, incoherent interview technique, so
there's a bit of friendly badinage on the part of my friend.

BTW can anybody shed any light on the Pitchshifter -b-side to which Darren

Please read on if interested - thanx

G'day Paul "Molly" Culnane,

     just a quick note to say I checked out your interview on the website
     and thought you did a pretty good job mate.  It seemed to me that Mr
     Chambers might be a tad bitter about XTC and his time with Dragon.
     Overall though, I kinda feel for him, ie. not coming away from it all
     with more success than he has.

     On a related note, you may be interested to know that Pitchshifter
     recently released an XTC cover (Making Plans for Nigel) as a b-side.
     Unfortunately, I don't have it but I'd love to hear it.


Message-ID: <C4D3F9980FD4D111892B00805FBBF5D1EC0CF6@MAILSVR1>
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: Strange but true...
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 09:39:56 -0500

Andy Partridge's birthday is 11/11.
Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday is 11/11.
I've never seen them together.
Could it be?
Go back to work now.


Message-ID: <>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: Be Bop Deluxe... brilliant!
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 10:33:25 -0600

Thanks to whoever suggested buying the new
Be Bop Deluxe "Tramcar to Tomorrow" CD.
It's full of energy, with well-considered structure
and lyrics.  Of course, XTC was influenced by
Be Bop Deluxe... of course!  Bill Nelson sits at
the right hand of Ozzy.  XTC bring offerings of
frankincense and myrrh.  May the devoted convert
the innocent.



Message-ID: <>
From: "* Hobbes *" <>
Subject: Apple Venus Track listing
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 13:43:53 PST


Simon and Neville were lucky enough to hear the proposed track listing
for the new album, leaving us all to stew in our own (apple) juices....
I suggest listening to "Crocodile" whilst we get out or own little
voodoo dolls.  Which was, for those of you who haven't committed it to

1. River Of Orchids
2. I'd Like That
3. Easter Theatre
4. Knights in Shining Kharma
5. Frivolous Tonight
6. Green Man
7. Your Dictionary
8. Fruit Nut
9. I Can't Own Her
10. Harvest Festival
11. The Last Balloon

With such a strong set as this, surely XTC will get some attention this
time around!  A couple of things though:

I love the idea of the album drifting away with "The Last Balloon"... a
good companion piece to "Chalkhills and Children" in a way.  As long as
the band drift back for the next album though!!!!

The positioning of "Easter Theatre" is great - close enough to the start
to get the attention it deserves on the first listening.  It should
knock the reviewers dead.

I'm not sure about the positioning of "River of Orchids" though.  As
great as the song is, it's probably the most "difficult" of all the
songs in this set - this album's "President Kill".  I'm worried it might
turn some of the "lazier" listeners off.  Plus, shouldn't XTC come
crashing back in after a six year absence with a big fat bang?
A song that demands your attention from the get go?  I'd nominate the
stunning "Green Man" as the lead-in track and place "River of orchids"
in it's old place.

Anyone else have any ideas as to where they'd like certain songs and

Oh, and Iain Murray wrote about P@ul's doppelganger:

>the Scots might have mastered the cloning of sheep, but in Sydney,
>they've started cloning Chalkhillians.Be afraid - be very

I'm afraid all right mate!  I don't think the world is ready for two of



Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 17:57:43 -0500
From: AUTOreverse <>
Subject: SONG STORIES thoughts

Hi y'all, it's been awhile...

Just wanted to say that SONG STORIES is an excellent book that was a
hell of a lot of fun to read. Who knew "Wonder Annual" was about

Although I must confess to kicking a couch when I failed to garner a
mention in its hallowed pages after siring three (need I remind you!)
consecutive XTC tribute tapes back in the old days of 1990-96! Man, I
felt like I was really close there for a minute. Oh well indeed, no big
deal ultimately and the book is certainly no less interesting without



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 07:20:18 -0500
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Happy bday Andy and Nancy; bunfight pix

Hi, all:

First of all, a happy birthday to the list's raison d'etre (or one of
them, anyway), Mr. Andy Partridge. And, as I'm about to depart for the
hospital with my wife, Jennifer, I'd like to wish a prospective happy
birthday to Nancy, my daughter-to-be, as well. (I know, you're thinking that
I'm taking this fan thing a little too far, but this is serendipity, pure
and simple.)

Secondly, for those of you who want to see a photo of the recent DC-area
Chalkhills gathering, point your browsers at:

Find the hidden message! Win valuable prizes!!

And a good time was had by all,


From: "Lemoncurry" <>
Organization: University Of Oldenburg Comp.Center
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 12:20:27 MET-1METDST
Subject: Andy's Birthday
Message-ID: <>

First of all:


I wish you all the best. Now you're 46 , and that's 23x2, so it's a
special age, as 23 is a MAGIC number.
(For all Chalkhillians who now wonder: WHY ?, check out Robert Anton
Wilson's "Cosmic Trigger" book or any William S. Burroughs books,
it's all in there.)
Also, 11.11.1953 is special. 11x2=22, and
1+1+1+1+1+9+5+3=22, too. So, 22 is your number in a way. Plus, 2+2=4,
and the current release is a 4-CD-Box, which will, by the way, be out
in the US on MY birthday. See, there's magic everywhere. (Problem is,
I don't live in the US).
Anyway, being born on a date like 11.11. or 3.3. or something like
that, in Germany it's meant to be a date of luck, well, at least in
my family I've been told so. And, am I right assuming 1976 the year
XTC more or less was born ? Andy was 23 then, and at that age it all
got started. So now he's 23x2, and that may be an omen for something
twice as good to start. (Maybe  Apple Venus will be a number one
album in the whole world ? Do I really hope that ? XTC in the same
game as Puff Daddy and Maria Carey ? I don't know...)
Well, that's all for cabalistic numerology now.
Check my website for more obscure science links.
Bye everyone, have a beer tonight for Andy's sake.

residing in The Lemon Lounge

XTC Songs of the Day:
Big Day and Season Cycle


Message-ID: <>
From: "Amanda Owens" <>
Subject: They're popping up all over!
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 05:35:17 PST

Of slight XTC note, there's a computer game called You Don't Know Jack
that I play frequently, and one of the categories they used was called
"There Is No Language In Our Lungs". Mind you, the clue had nothing to
do with XTC, I just thought it was cool.

And of more slight XTC note, Jewel's latest video was directed by Nick
Brandt, who also directed "Dear God".

Tis all for now,
XTC song of the day-Officer Blue
non XTC song-Losing a Whole Year-Third Eye Blind


Message-ID: <000201be0d93$6e061ac0$3e2e883e@o.e.e>
From: "John Bartlett" <>
Subject: Transistor Blast
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 14:34:17 -0000

Hello all,
    my local MVC ( Colchester, UK ) will be carrying 4 sets of TB , priced
at #18.99. Since there will only be 3 left (I have reserved one!), my advice
is to snap them up quickly.
This is  the cheapest I've found in my area, and is certainly cheaper than
CDNow, which is $44 I believe. Has anybody else found cheaper? If this is
the cheapest anybody has found, I would be willing to  buy copies of TB for
other people,and post them on.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 15:02:34 EST
Subject: Change of e-mail addy


Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I've changed my e-mail addy to  MrsHugh is because I'm a huge fan of British actor Hugh



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 17:48:56 -0500
From: Adam Tyner <ctyner@CLEMSON.EDU>
Subject: myLaunch article

Here's a very nice article.  I'd post the URL, but it's one of those
atrociously long ones...


XTC Continues As A Duo With Pair Of 'Apple' Albums
* ------------------------------------------------------------------------
(11/10/98, 12 p.m.) - The title of the first album in seven years by
British popsmiths XTC, scheduled for release on TVT Records in January
1999, will be Apple Venus Volume One. The album--recorded over more than a
year at several English studios, including London's Abbey Road, and at
bassist/ singer Colin Moulding's home in Swindon--was produced by Haydn
Bendall and Nick Davis and features drummer Prairie Prince and the
120-piece London Sessions Symphony (myLAUNCH, 6/24).

In an exclusive interview with myLAUNCH conducted during the CMJ conference
in New York, the band's two remaining members, Moulding and singer/
guitarist Andy Partridge, revealed the new album's name and contents,
discussed the arduous process of its recording, and detailed the plans for
its follow-up, which is to be titled, logically enough, Apple Venus Volume
Two, and is tentatively scheduled for release in the late Fall of 1999.

Perhaps the most significant development within XTC during the recording of
Apple Venus Volume One was the departure of longtime guitarist Dave
Gregory. Partridge and Moulding explained that Gregory had been feeling
more and more "left out" as the sessions progressed, since the new music
was predominantly orchestral and had little need for guitars. At the same
time, they confessed that Gregory's dissatisfaction about the band had, in
Partridge's words, "been building up for years. He felt that I'd kept him
off the road [due to Partridge's stage fright, the band hasn't toured since
1982] and he was frustrated that he wasn't contributing any of his own
songs." Gregory officially left XTC in April, but many of the new album's
songs will feature his playing, primarily on keyboards.

Based on a tape heard recently by myLAUNCH containing rough mixes of six of
the album's 11 tracks, Apple Venus Volume One should offer a mix of the
familiar and the radically experimental. Songs like "Frivolous Tonight,"
"I'd Like That" and "Harvest Festival" demonstrate Moulding and Partridge's
continued affection for the Beatles, Kinks and Beach Boys, while the
pensive ballad "Last Balloon" recalls the mood of "Chalkhills And
Children," off XTC's 1989 album Oranges And Lemons. But the intricate
orchestra-and-voice arrangement of "River Of Orchids" is more akin to the
work of composers like Steve Reich than any form of pop music. "[Composer]
Harold Budd actually used 'River Of Orchids' in a lecture he gave somewhere
in Arizona as an example of modern cyclical composition," Partridge
reports. "You can imagine how my head inflated when I heard about that."

As for Apple Venus Volume Two, it's designated as XTC's return to "electric
rock." When asked what that term means specifically, Partridge refers to
the band's classic 1980 album Black Sea as "closest in tone" to what they
hope to achieve on the next album. Some basic tracks for the second volume
of Apple Venus have already been recorded, but whether they'll make the
final cut is still uncertain. Currently, the band is in the last stages of
converting Moulding's garage into a full-fledged recording studio, where
the sessions are set to continue before the end of this year. "We're going
back to being a garage band," Colin says with a chuckle. "Now I just have
to find somewhere else to park my car."

Between the November release of Transistor Blast, a four-CD collection of
the band's '70s and '80s BBC recordings (also on TVT), and the two albums
of new material due next year, XTC fans have a lot to look forward to.
You'll be able to get more information on all of the above and more in the
in-depth XTC feature that's coming soon to myLAUNCH.

--Mac Randall, New York
/=---------------- ----------------=\
 He-Man, Tuscadero, "Weird Al", Yoo-hoo, Killer Tomatoes, & more!


Message-Id: <>
From: "J & J Greaves" <>
Subject: Kevin Westenberg
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 16:52:41 -0800

If anybody is interested, there's a interview website with Kevin, who's
taken XTC pictures as far back as Nonsuch. You can get sample books of his
work, and XTC is in one of them. One of my favourite pictures of XTC is the
Upsy Daisy one that he did.



Date: 12 Nov 98 11:48:21 AED
Subject: Oz radio special
Message-ID: <>


I just heard from Andrew Lambkin, the presenter of the XtC radio special on
Sydney's 2RDJ-FM that was broadcast last night (11/11), and he told me that
it went off pretty well. (I live in another city that doesn't receive
Andrew's show, so I'll have to wait until he sends me the tapes to hear for
myself).  As often seems to happen with these things, poor Andrew
experienced some technical glitches but in general I gather it went fine. I
am very pleased at his generosity in mounting this special on our heroes.

I hope many of you Sydney-siders took advantage of the rare opportunity to
hear Andy and Terry in full flight, and that you enjoyed the show.

The giveaway prize of a copy of "Song Stories" was won by a new Chalkhills
subscriber who lives in Newtown, Sydney.  Would that be you, Duncan?

The full tracklisting of last night's show is now available to view for one
week at the CONTACT! website.  Surf to:
...follow the links provided, and stop by to visit Andrew's very
interesting home page while you're there.

Meanwhile, over at The Little Lighthouse
-Mark Strijbos has done a magnificent job of presenting the full transcript
of our exclusive Andy interview. You simply *must* go and have a look!  And
again, while you're there, check out the myriad of other delights contained
on Mark's site.

Thanks everybody for your interest in all this.  Phew!  I'm bushed. I'm
looking forward to crashing in my bed tonight, that's for sure.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 06:54:41 EST
Subject: C'Est La Vie

>Alright, I know everyone's sick to death of me doing this, but yes, I
>need some help figuring out a song I can't get out of my head. I think
>it's called "C'est La Vie". (No, not the ELP or Robbie Nevil versions.)
>It's sung in half English, half French. I looked up the song on some
>search engines, and the name of a German artist, Hubert Kah, came up.
>When I read the lyrics, they did look a bit familiar. It's a gorgeous
>song, and I would love to find it somewhere. Got any ideas?
>Tis all for now,

  Amanda, you betray both your age and mine. That sounds a lot like an old
Emerson Lake and Palmer song from the mid-70's; it can be found on Works
Volume 1. If the lyrics run "C'est la vie/Have your leaves all turned to
brown/Do the ashes of desire for you remain/....Oh, C'est la vie/Who knows,
who cares for me..."then that's the one. I thought it was written by ELP and
former King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield though. Personally I dislike the
song myself, but then again I dislike practically everything ELP ever put
out, so that's just me. Ironically, I love The Nice, King Crimson and The
Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, ELP's former bands collectively, so it isn't a
rejection of their talent; just the way they combined it. The one album of
theirs I enjoy is Brain Salad Surgery which demphasises Lake's vocals, so
maybe I just dislike Lake as a singer. He was what I liked least about King
Crimson, and I thought they improved after he left.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 06:54:56 EST
Subject: Random Hold

>Who played in Random Hold? How many albums did they record and is there
>anything available on CD right now? What kind of music was it? If anyone out
>there has ANY information (bio or otherwise) on Random Hold, I sure would
>appreciate if you email me or post it on the list. With players from XTC and
>Peter Gabriel's band, the music must have been interesting to say the least.

  I had no idea Terry Chambers was in Random Hold, or that they stayed
together after 1981. I have one album, and it's an awesome piece of work;
I can understand why Peter Gabriel booked them to open for him on the tour
supporting his third album. Gabriel had a reputation for handpicking his
opening acts personally and only if he was absolutely bowled over by
them. I believe they put out one other album, but I'd be surprised if
their material is on CD; it was released on vinyl in the States on the
independent label Passport which was notorious for sending its roster
straight to the bargain bins(as it did with Utopia's last two LPs). Unless
Random Hold is more fondly remembered by more than twelve people in
Britain, I'd say you're out of luck and your best bet is to comb the used
record stores. The album I have, Etceteraville, is well worth finding;
their sound is hard to categorise but I hear shards of Genesis, Roxy Music
and even XTC in there. Very intelligently written and performed. The album
is produced by none other than Peter Hammill, which may interest fans of
his(of which I am one), and the lineup is David Rhodes-guitar, David
Ferguson-keyboards, Bill McCormick-bass, and Peter Phipps-drums. Aha!
There's the XTC connection!  Phipps was the drummer on Mummer and The Big
Express, which may have something to do with the rumor of Chambers being
in the band. Wrong XTC drummer! Of the rest, only Ferguson is unfamiliar
to me elsewhere; Bill McCormick is ubiquitous on mid-70's albums by Brian
Eno and Phil Manzanera's 801, and Rhodes we know from Peter Gabriel's
band. Everybody sings, providing some nice intricate harmonies on



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