EXTC – The Victoria, Swindon – 10 March 2020

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Can be a potentially dodgy thing when a long gone and cherished band makes some kind of come back, especially with few original members (in this case 1), but this isn’t at all the same and it turned out magnificently!

Original XTC drumer Terry Chambers reunited with bassist Colin Moulding for their wonderful TC&I recording and shows in 2017. I was there! Since Colin stepped back from playing, this EXTC project is Terry carrying on with Steve Tilling and Gary Bamford from those shows, reviving songs from XTCs extensive catalogue rather than mainly Colin’s songs. Since XTC stopped performing in 1982 (carried on recording ’til 2000) but have become legendary over the years, the excitement about this first open warm-up show was incredible and people travelled very long distances, including me!

Well you might imagine a barely credible tribute band … but no! What a great job of replicating such interesting and challenging songs pretty faithfully. All great players but much credit must go to Steve Tilling, a leader and driving force, for assembling such a convincing and compelling experience delivered with great skill, panache and humour! Terry Chambers is a great drummer and can still bash those skins with the same power and unique technique (see video I took below of ‘Ball & Chain) and credit also to Gary, Matt Backer and Ken Wynne for great jobs on keys, guitars and bass.

A packed, enthusiastic crowd of super fans with 2 marvellously played sets of their favourite songs was a magic combination. We sang along ’til hoarse and cheered them to the rafters! Great to see old friends and make some new ones too. Catch them asap when all this Coronavirus is over!

 

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