Band plan an X-sTatiC first birthday party
X-sTatiC make a welcome return to Swindon, the home town of their music heroes punk rock superstars XTC, this weekend.
Dan Barrow, founder member of the tribute band, says that he didn't set out to create a working band he simply wanted to hear the songs brought to life on stage and no one else was going to do it.
"It is an experimental project, a salute to the good work of XTC and a celebration because there should be one. It was never going to be a job," he said.
Dan also writes his own songs and plays in various covers and tribute bands including the Official Tribute To The Blues Brothers stage musical, Black Market Clash, and The Blur Switch Project along with Abba groups and jazz bands.
The other members of X-sTatiC are Adrian Ogden on drums, Mick Casey on guitar and Ed Percival who fronted Airbridge on the leading new wave progressive rock bands in the early 1980s. Ed even had one of his own songs picked as a desert island disc by author Malcolm Bradbury.
His band supported Marillion, the Waterboys and The Go-betweens and released two albums.
The X-sTatiC musicians have only played a few gigs keeping to the remit of the band and celebrating XTC rather than becoming a hard-touring band.
"When it becomes a job," said Dan, "you lose the butterflies and then you have nothing to convert to adrenaline the instant the drums kick in."
The butterflies had concrete boots back in March when the boys played in Swindon for the first time.
"Will those that come enjoy it, will they find it a fitting tribute to their heroes or an insult to the memory?" said Dan. "The question was answered in Swindon as we were called back for our second encore," he smiled.
X-sTatiC are playing a two-date tour of XTC's stamping ground with a gig at Riffs Bar in Greatfield near Hook on Friday and a date at The Victoria, Victoria Road Old Town on Saturday to mark their first birthday paying tribute to the Swindon superstars.
XTC shot up the charts with songs such as Sgt Rock, Making Plans For Nigel, Towers of London and All You Pretty Girls.
Andy Partridge, Colin Moulding and Dave Gregory from XTC still live in the area. X-statiC are promising some surprises for the Swindon gigs.
"We owe it to ourselves, the returning audience, the original remit of X-sTatiC and XTC themselves to make the next gig different. It will be," said Dan.
"If there is one band that warrants this kind of exploration it is XTC."
The gig at Riffs is free entry and The Victoria in Old Town is £5.
Flicky Harrison, Swindon Evening Advertiser, 17 September 2003.