Ahead of the upcoming run of TC&I shows at Swindon Arts Centre I managed to grab a quick chat with Colin Moulding about recent events, a return to treading the boards and what the future holds. This time last year I had spoken to him and Terry Chambers about the release of their e.p. Great Aspirations, so I was interested to know how we got from that record to full band live shows.
“A few reasons really, all those songs I wrote for XTC, when I had finished recording them I just had to wave goodbye to them and I thought it might be nice to hear them in a concert setting as a lot had never been heard that way. This coincided with Terry thinking shall we play some live shows on the back of these new recordings but of course we only had four new songs. I knew he wanted to get back out and play live, that’s how Terry best expresses himself. I thought, I can’t go the whole hog, I can’t go back to a touring lifestyle, I have commitments but I can go half way and play some shows via a more considered approach.”
XTC famously had a fairly short live life compared to its recording career, “short but intense” in Colin’s words, I ask if he was looking forward to the challenge of playing those songs live, does it feel like a daunting task to finally realise them in a gig setting?
“It’s a very daunting task, there were very accredited players on them, following in their footsteps isn’t easy but then I don’t want to just copy the originals per se, I want this to be TC&I” Because of course this is a new band, not an XTC tribute, “Although a lot of people might want it to be but we can only play the songs in the way that this combo can do them.” And of course given the production, texture, layering of some of those songs it would be a hard task for four people to replicate every part live.
There are a couple of local recruits joining you on stage. “We have Gary Bamford on keyboards, he’s more of a jazz player, it’s almost like hearing Dudley Moore, so Dudley Moore is playing King For A Day! And Steve Tilling is on guitar, he’s so great at what he does, it’s all sounding really good.”
Talking about the up coming shows. “Yes, Swindon Arts Centre, it’s a very intimate room, I haven’t played there since March 1973 one of the first XTC gigs, or Star Park as we were called then.” And any plans beyond that? “Well, just see if people enjoy it and see if we like it enough to do more but there will come a stage where I will need to take some time off, it’s so all-encompassing and in the old days I could write on the road now I probably need six months off to do it.”
So you envisage there being more recordings at least from TC&I ? “If the songs come up and they feel like they are the best things I can write, then yes, hopefully something else will come.” And something else will come is where leave things.
TC&I play The Arts Centre 29th Oct – 1st Nov with two extra dates now added on 18th and 20th November.