Phoenix FM: songwriter XTC releases first solo single in 49-year career
Colin Molding PHOTO: Andrew Swainson
By Paul Golder
Every now and then, I forget that I run a community radio station and I have fun chatting with one of my musical heroes.
XTC was the first band I really liked – I was only ten years old when their groundbreaking hit Making Plans For Nigel was released as a single, but it had a major influence on the direction I took as that fan of music.
The song was written and sung by Colin Molding, one of the group’s two main songwriters along with Andy Partridge.
I spent a good part of my teenage years familiarizing myself with their albums, including Drums and Wires, Black Sea and English Settlement.
While they never had massive chart hits – only a UK top ten single and album – they’ve had a huge influence on bands here and in the US. Nirvana’s Radiohead, Blur, and Kurt Cobain were all huge fans of their work.
The band broke up in 2006 and, musically, Colin has remained very calm ever since, with rumors he had left the music business – but he resurfaced with a new single, The Hardest Battle.
In a 49-year musical career, this is the first time he has released a solo single under his own name. It’s a great song, sweet but powerful and reminiscent of the Beach Boys and the Beatles.
Colin explained how the band was originally known as the punks, but also crossed genres to new wave, psychedelia, and progressive rock – and why he decided to make music now.
There were also some great stories about the band’s beginnings and what the music scene was like when punk and new wave exploded in the late 1970s.
It was a real blow to Phoenix FM because Colin doesn’t give a lot of interviews – which was hard to believe as we spent an hour discussing all kinds of stuff.
I am now looking at our 45 other regular presenters to “improve their game” and start talking to their musical heroes as well …
The interview can be re-streamed on the Phoenix FM website at www.phoenixfm.com.
Phoenix FM broadcasts from the Brentwood Center in Brentwood, Essex. To consult the station’s schedule, click here.
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