riffs

Nick Heyward on `White Music' by XTC
Click to follow
The Independent Online
I was desperate for this album when it came out. I'd been with the punk thing from the beginning, but I don't think I was really into it musically until I saw XTC on television. Andy Partridge looked like he'd been plugged into the electricity. They didn't look dissimilar to bands around now. They had beaten-up plimsolls, old jeans and T-shirts. Andy had a Peter Tork haircut; it was an early indie thing, really.

The bass player, Colin Moulding, had this Fender bass and just stood there looking Bill Wyman-ish. It was instant, and there was something very funny about them, though it took me a while to like the music.

The sound was really sparse; there was hardly anything there. And the other thing I liked was that few of the tracks lasted longer than two minutes. It suited me at the time - I was young and had lots of energy and liked my pop music a bit twisted, a bit upside-down. Listening to White Music was a 100 per cent religious experience for me. I remember learning to play the harmonica because of the version of "All Along the Watchtower" that is on the album. And on the back sleeve Andy was wearing this great jumper; I searched everywhere for that jumper. I thought that if ever I did an album, I'd wear a jumper like that on the cover.

When I met the band and told them how much I was into them, they looked at me in utter disbelief, as though they were thinking, "Why would anyone be into us?" But they were the band that you would always desperately try to get your girlfriend into.

Comments