Swindon’s own rock giants, XTC, had hit singles including Sgt Rock, Making Plans for Nigel, Ball and Chain and hit albums Black Sea, Skylarking and Nonsuch.

The iconic pop, punk rock that stylised XTC’s music remains popular to this day, and the Swindon musicians still 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 former rhythm section of XTC, Colin Moulding on bass and Terry Chambers on drums, have got back together, performing under the name TC&I.

They will be singing songs from their latest EP, Great Aspirations, to a sell out crowd in Swindon 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.

“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.

While 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 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.

The foundations of the famous rock band came in 1972 when Colin met XTC lead singer Andy Partridge in a record store in Swindon. Co-incidently the same store that Dave Gregory was working in but 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.

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.

Three XTC albums are being reissued on vinyl this weekend for the first time in decades and are available from Holmes Music in Faringdon Road.

White Music was their first studio album and this year marks its 40th anniversary, an appropriate time to get back on stage in Swindon. For more details 01793 524481 or visit www.swindontheatres.co.uk - Flicky Harrison