Tag Archive: terry chambers


759489From Mark Fisher, the editor of ‘The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls’comes a new musical exploration of one of the most essential pop groups of the 20th century. ‘What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book‘ is a compelling 228-page book involving some of the world’s leading musicians and keenest XTC fans to discuss what makes this Swindon band so very special and the extent of their impact of their music worldwi

Every member of XTC also makes an appearance. Andy Partridge speaks about mixing, Dave Gregory on arranging and Barry Andrews on the piano. The book also includes interviews with XTC drummers Pete Phipps, Pat Mastelotto, Ian Gregory, Prairie Prince, Dave Mattacks and Chuck Sabo. This publication features cover artwork by renowned illustrator Mark Thomas.

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thumbnail-1With the E.P. Great Aspirations seeing Colin Mounding and Terry Chambers musically reunited, we sat down for a chat about all things TC&I, past, present and future, in that order. So the first question is to ask if it really was 1983 that the two last worked together musically?

“Yes,1983 and then Terry left the country.” Which begs the obvious question of why get back together now? “Because it’s soul destroying working on your own,” Colin admits, “Terry came back into the country and we went out for a few drinks and I said, ‘Look I’m working on some stuff, do you fancy having a go?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that would be great,’ one thing led to another and before long we had an outfit and so we could record something. It’s just a need to be with other musicians and have fun, working alone is hard, you need that feedback from fellow musicians. Although I had a few tunes, the project didn’t really take on any solid purpose until Terry was involved.”

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largeIt is always difficult for musicians associated with a past name act to bring fresh music to the table without people trying to join dots and name check, extrapolate and reference, particularly if that previous act was one which rose over the years from mercurial pop outsiders to full blown national treasures. And so Colin Moulding and Terry Chamber’s first post-XTC collaboration arrives amid a flurry of speculation but I’m sure they want nothing better that to see this e.p. as a new start, a thing apart, a line drawn underneath the past rather than part of some fan envisaged ex-TC canon.

After all in many ways the sound of XTC was often defined by the guitar playoffs between Andy’s angular pop approach and Dave’s more florid musical statements so with that no longer part of the equation we get to fully appreciate Colin’s own English pop vision. And with so much to look back on from a certain point in the arc of life it is not surprising that it is a very reflective vision, Scatter Me dealing with the inevitability of returning to the mere building blocks of the universe but in doing so remaining part of the landscape you spent your life in and Greatness discussing the high aspirations of the e.p.s title.

Comrades of Pop is the track that will be most discussed by the fans and followers, probably more for lyrical content as for anything else. It is the sound of lines being very much drawn under the past, the squawk of cats amongst pigeons, the distant smell of smoke from bridges burning and a reflective overview which probably applies to any number of bands.

What Colin and Terry have created here is something tasteful, deftly wrought, restrained and wonderfully English, West Country…. Swindonian even, if you are close enough to get the references. It is in turns lyrically funny, emotive and poignant and falls into a sort of alternative pop territory that seems to be done so well in this country evoking the likes of Martin Newell and Billy Childish, perhaps not sonically but coming from a similar musical mindset. In short, triumph and hopefully merely the first chapter of a new musical novel.

desktopThere have been many songs about what Mr Shakespeare so eloquently refered to as “shuffling off this mortal coil” and it is part of the human experience to muse on what happens after we are done with this life, but few, if any, have broached the subject so beautifully, so gently and so expertly wrapped up in a song which is also so pulsing and vibrant. It takes a special type of songwriter to weave such deft and delicate musical threads into such a wonderful design. It takes someone like Colin Moulding.

Scatter Me is the first public outing that sees him reunited with his fellow XTC rythmn section partner Terry Chambers and comes hot on the heels of a wonderful 4 track EP called Great Aspirations which by now you already own or which is in the post…I can really think of a third option. It is an e.p. which shows that whilst age may have led to a more reflective view of the world, the duo’s ability to put together wonderfully poignant songs, ones which root them to and very much reference the part of the world where they first learnt to be musicians together all those years ago, is undiminished.

Scatter Me considers the human contition and in a very humanist and slightly humourous way pictures an immortality that on reflection and in the bigger scheme of things, doesn’t seem so bad after all. Great to see you back chaps, you have been missed.