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XTC – Playground (6)

December 30, 2009

They made it the Noughties; just. After a seven-year self-exile, XTC parted with Virgin and released a pair of albums, “Apple Venus” and “Wasp Star”. Guitarist Dave Gregory left halfway through, so the 2000 version of XTC was the duo of Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge.

“Wasp Star” was the first album I ever reviewed, and my first real experience of XTC, Dear God notwithstanding. Playground, Partridge’s own Baggy Trousers, is a fine introduction to his wordplay, and helped lead me their wonderful back-catalogue.

There is an old maxim which states XTC doesn’t release bad albums: some are just better than others. “Wasp Star” isn’t on the same level as “English Settlement” or “Skylarking”, but is an album many other Noughties bands would wish to see in their discography.

Sadly, Colin Moulding seems no longer interested in music, while Andy Partridge has been releasing albums of his demos, plus collaborations with the likes of Peter Blegvad and former XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews. The likelihood of further XTC seems negligible.

Playground (link to Tumblr)

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