One of the more electrifying performances of the film for me is XTC‘s “Respectable Street.” The clip opens with a frenzied Andy Partridge pointing to the crowd and yelling: “YOU! Gimme some rhythm, I need some rhythm!” while stamping out the beat on the stage. The crowd starts to clap in time and he introduces the song.
If there is any song in this film that made me want to be a performer, it’s this one. Andy’s deft guitar, fiery vocals, goofy faces, and command of the audience are utterly intoxicating. Brilliant playing by the rest of the band as well – Colin’s bass parts are more prominent than on the studio track and the harmonies are spot on. Terry’s drums are as powerful as you’d expect. The unfortunate irony here is that XTC stopped performing live just two years after this performance. They remained a studio band for the rest of their time together, releasing 9 more fantastic albums (two of those as the psychedelic project The Dukes Of Stratosphear), eventually breaking up in/around 2006. (Incidentally, XTC wrote & performed one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Thanks For Christmas,” in 1983 as The Three Wise Men.)
The spotlight tends to highlight Partridge’s cyclonic stage presence in the clip, leading to the illusion that not much is seen of Colin Moulding, Dave Gregory, or Terry Chambers. We all know that XTC was a collaborative effort, however, and the music tells that story well.
Where URGH! They Now?
Andy is active on Twitter (@xtcfans) and is busy with XTC remasters along with other writing & recording projects. Check out his APE website for more info! (There was a forum on the site years ago and I tried contacting him for a brief interview but it was locked down due to spam, I think, and Twitter isn’t a great medium for Q&A, but he did try to make it happen. Thanks, Andy!)
Colin retired from music for some years after 2006 but has recently been turning up in a few projects, most notably singing on the track “The Man Who Died Two Times” by L.A. duo Days Between Stations, and appearing in the video for that song last year:
Terry has also retired from music, and lives in Australia. The Chalkhills site has a lengthy interview with Terry from 2002.
Last ThURGHsday! – Jools Holland – “Foolish I Know”
Next ThURGHsday! – Klaus Nomi – “Total Eclipse”