Monday, February 14, 2011

XTC: More of the Early Years

My infatuation with the Barry Andrews era continues. XTC doesn't exactly have a prolific career as a touring band, and Andy Partridge's stage fright is well documented. In 1977, however, Partridge would pop a Valium and hit the stage. Although the band survived for decades, there are very few audio documents of their live performances. The only one I own as a complete concert, in fact, is a vinyl bootleg from the Black Sea Tour in 1981. Andrews, of course, was long gone by this time. So, the only live performance I have that includes Andrews are these two songs from the 'Coat of Many Cupboards' box set that came out in 2002.

"Spinning Top" was recorded at Eric's Club in Liverpool on Aug. 13, 1977. These were heady times for the band, and this stop at Eric's -- one of their regular gigs -- must have felt like quite a triumph. It's not every day the lads got to be recorded by a major label (via mobile truck). They had just signed to Virgin, but they hadn't yet recorded the '3D' EP or 'White Music.' Partridge recalls Andrews' organ slowly giving out during the show, and he did have to switch to piano by the time they did "Traffic Light Rock" for an encore. Enjoy the great XTC in its infancy.

XTC - Spinning Top (Live) (mp3)
XTC - Traffic Light Rock (Live) (mp3)

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