The idea of an XTC thread came up here, in the body parts thread of all places. We thought it might be worth starting an XTC thread. I'm still not too sure and wonder if it'll just be two of us but I thought I'd give it a go. I have noticed before that some Genesis fans are XTC fans too so there must be something that appeals in both for some of us.
They began in the 1970s as a sort of power-pop band but as many bands did, they got considered as part of the punk/new-wave movements. I certainly never considered them punk - while I liked punk and they did have some of that punk-style energy I could see straight off there was more to XTC in terms of their songwriting, which was mainly by singer/guitarist Andy Partridge, about 80% with the rest written by bassist Colin Moulding who sang on his own compositions. Partridge's songs in particular were distinguished by clever word-play within usually very cohesive often 'thematic' lyrics. He also had a great knack for melody and producing compact songs crammed with jumpy stop-start rhythms and McCartneyesque vertical tunes, something that became more prevalent with time. In the same Beatles terms Moulding was more the Lennon with his horizontal tunes, though it's not a great comparison in all honesty. His wordplay was less colourful but he still had a good ear for a song and possibly their best-known hit Making Plans For Nigel was one of his.
Their original lineup was completed by the shrill cartoony keyboards of Barry Andrews and the thundering drums of Terry Chambers. Andrews left and, with a pre-fame Thomas Dolby knocking on the door to replace him, Partridge took the seemingly perverse decision to add a second guitarist instead, Dave Gregory. (Another link, Partridge was producer on Dolby's first single, Urges).
They were from Swindon in the English westcountry and this formerly industrial railway town informed some of their work. Their live shows could be famously incendiary and Partridge was a lively front-man fizzing with energy, so it was a shock that he had a breakdown on tour in 1982 and was never able to face stage work again; XTC ceased to be a touring band from that point on. They continued putting out albums until 2000 by which time they'd evolved into a very different kind of band, with often rich pastoral orchestral tones bearing no resemblance to the twitchy power-pop of their early days.
So after banging on about them here's where I discover it's just me and foxfeeder who are remotely interested! (Though I hope not).