There is always excitement in town when any members of XTC bring out new music, but even more so when two of the former Swindon rock idols get together.

Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers performing under TC&I will be singing songs from their latest EP, Great Aspirations, to a sell out crowd in their home town from Monday, October 29 to Thursday, November 1.

The concerts will be particularly meaningful to their fans as some of the older songs have never been heard in a concert hall before as XTC retired from live performances in 1982.

Not surprisingly tickets sold out almost as soon as they went on sale for the special gigs, and two extra dates were added on November 18 and 20, which are now both sold out.

“These dates are probably commensurate with our output so far. We’re not going to do the usual promoters’ circuit. Besides it’s kind of special this way. Like a stationery West End show or something,’’ said Colin.

Terry said: “Exciting times, 18 months ago I couldn’t see this happening - I am as excited about these gigs as I was in 1973 playing our first gig at the Swindon’s Arts Centre as a 17-year-old in Helium Kidz, and it’s the first time to be playing with Colin on stage since XTC’s last gig in San Diego.’’

Joining the XTC stalwarts on stage will be Gary Bamford on keyboards and guitar and Steve Tilling on guitar. Steve’s debut album, The Amazing Monstrous Grade, had a guest appearance from another member of XTC, guitarist Dave Gregory.

Colin played bass guitar and sang vocals in XTC and Terry was the drummer. The musicians haven’t been on the same stage for the last 36 years since they played on the English Settlement tour.

The foundations of the famous rock band came in 1972 when Colin met XTC lead singer Andy Partridge in a record store in Swindon, coincidently the same store that Dave Gregory was working in. It wasn’t until 1975 that the band took the name XTC. The same year Barry Andrews put in an advertisement: ‘Keyboard player seeks band.’ Andy spotted it and the two went out drinking by way of an audition - Barry was hired on the spot.

The iconic pop punk rock that stylised XTC hit a chord, and to this day the Swindon musicians have a huge cult following, including many big names in the business who put their own success down to XTC’s influence. Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, when he came to Swindon this summer, said: “XTC are one of my favourite bands. I enjoyed their recent documentary.”

The band soon notched up hit singles including Sgt Rock, Making Plans for Nigel, Senses Working Overtime and hit albums Black Sea, Skylarking and Nonsuch.

While Andy was the main songwriter in the band, Colin wrote the first three of their chart singles: Life Begins At the Hop, Making Plans For Nigel and Generals and Majors.

White Music was their first studio album and this year marks its 40th anniversary, an appropriate time to get back on stage in the Swindon’s Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Old Town. For more details about the concerts call 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison