Ecstatic to See Ex-XTC as EXTC in Concert

I challenge you to say that title 3 times fast. It almost didn’t happen for me. I have been recuperating from a nasty bout of acute bronchitis. Take my word for it that there’s nothing (a)cute about it. I spat something up onto the driveway from the depths of my diseased bronchi and watched in horror as it scurried under my car. I think it has latched onto the undercarriage of my vehicle and is tracking my travels, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

But I felt just good enough to make the trip into Chicago to meet my oldest son for a concert. Yes, I survived yet another trip into Chicago, aka a crime-infested hellhole per Fox News. I parked on the street for free and had a pleasant walk to City Winery where we had a delightful dinner and saw EXTC in concert.

Before I get to EXTC, I pointed out to my son that the band from his first ever concert would be playing a show soon at City Winery.

He was unimpressed and claims he can’t recall the concert from when he was two years old. Sounds like someone is running from his past rather than embracing it. Anyway, back to last night’s show …

It was weird being able to eat dinner while seeing a concert. I opted to set aside my pescaterian ways and ordered the duck tacos. I wasn’t really sure what to order, and ultimately it was easier for me to say, “Make that two,” after my son ordered the tacos con quack. They were delicious.

EXTC is the brainchild of the former drummer from XTC, Terry Chambers. Chambers is the architect of the brilliant inverted drumming found on “Making Plans for Nigel.” With the blessings of XTC frontmen Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, Chambers is touring with his band EXTC playing the XTC catalog of fascinating music. Here’s EXTC …

I pretended that the bloke on the left was a heavier, bearded Andy Partridge and the chap on the right was Colin Moulding with closely-cropped hair and beard. I imagined the drummer being Terry Chambers, and he was! Hey, I batted .333.

They played nothing but XTC tunes for us, and the full setlist with video links can be found by clicking here. Conspicuous by their absence were “Dear God” and “King for a Day,” a couple faves of mine. But there were plenty of crowd-pleasers and some deeper cuts. Here’s a short video of one of the favorites that I pilfered from a Facebook friend’s page who also happened to be at the show and blatantly ignored City Winery’s “no video” policy.

It warmed this old man’s heart when my son leaned over and said, “I really like this song.” I do, too.

Now that spring has sprung, I’ll end this post with this lovely, pastoral tune from XTC (and EXTC last night) that evokes spring. Go outside and enjoy the milder weather, but stay away from the underside of my car.


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