The second birthday thing of the weekend is here, which oughta put everyone in XTC.
Today's guy, born this day in 1953, is the founder and driving force of that band, and his music provides its own category of ecstasy in its own right.
I've also had a massive crush on him since about age 16, but don't tell him that, OK?
Some folks consider him the father of this mythical genre called Britpop, but I vote Beatles on that, if there is such a thing. Maybe they are Grampa and he is dad.
His songs share a similar quality in that they all sound spun from a fantasy netherworld realm of jangly, impassioned melodies, yet they all are completely him and 100% real life at the same time.
I'll say it, and not just because it's his birthday: Andy Partridge is one of the greatest living songwriters.
There's also that wounded, earnest voice: one syllable and you know who it is. I've always thought he was one of the most sincere singers ever, and also that the whiny guy with the mascara from The Cure ripped off his whole sound and took it deep into woe-is-me territory.
Anyway what is there to say, if you know who he is and all about XTC, you should just scroll down and get the concert. Even if you don't, you should do that anyway.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
02 Jason and the Argonauts
03 Melt the Guns
05 Ball and Chain
06 No Thugs In Our House
07 Senses Working Overtime
08 All Along the Watchtower
09 No Language In Our Lungs
10 Towers of London
11 Making Plans for Nigel
12 Living through Another Cuba
13 Generals and Majors
14 Real By Reel
15 Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)
16 encore break
17 Life Begins At the Hop
Total time: 1:22:33
disc break goes after Track 08
Andy Partridge – vocals, guitar & harmonica
Colin Moulding – vocals, bass
Terry Chambers – drums
Dave Gregory – guitar, keyboards, tapes & vocals
Hans Devente - vocals on Track 17
1st gen cassette of the pre-broadcast reels from VARA Radio, from the collection of Hans Devente
513 MB FLAC/November 2018 archive link
An amusing aside about this beautifully-captured pre-broadcast tape is that it comes from the collection of a taper so impossibly boss that he actually sings backing vocals on the last song of the performance.
It comes from a show at the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam and was taped about a month before AP's infamous 1982 breakdown and the cancellation of the rest of the English Settlement tour... as of a month after this concert, this band never really did a full blown tour again and hasn't since.
Anyway the road has killed many a talented person, this much is so. But if Andy Partridge was going through bad stuff during this tour, it certainly does not show during this hour-and-a-half of postpunk bliss. Too bad the first two tunes went untaped by VARA, but it is what it is.
I shall return during the week with more euphonium for your euphoria, but Sunday it's all about reaching a state of XTC with the 65th birthday boy and his senses working overtime!--J.