An intimate portrait of Andy Partridge, songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC.
An intimate portrait of the songwriter, singer and frontman of the new wave rock band XTC, Andy Partridge.
Brought up on a council estate in Swindon, Andy Partridge's escape from the poverty of his working class upbringing followed a classic path - art and music. At 15, he enrolled in what he calls the 'art floor' of the local college - Swindon didn't boast an actual art college. Then, he discovered the magnetic power of carrying around his Dad's old guitar. He didn't even have to play it to find himself the centre of attention.
In the years that followed - and in the wake of the punk explosion - he tasted celebrity and success with his band XTC. His curious vocal style and angular compositions were distinctive and influential. XTC built a cult status with songs such as Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime, as well as albums including the acclaimed Skylarking.
But Swindon didn't lose Andy for long, despite the lure of London and New York. He lives there still, now with his American partner. And he's still writing songs - including for the recent album by the reformed Monkees.
In this programme, he talks about the trajectory of his career and the 'art blood' that has consistently flowed through his veins.
Produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4
[Photo courtesy of Kevin Nixon, Prog Magazine].