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Rats and Delicious

from The Post Office Tower by Ian Evans

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This song is based on a biography of the band XTC by Neville Farmer. I bought it on the way to Holland, on my way to see the Cardiacs play.


Moulding it's galloping up pig hill
Six pints of breaker and yell bromide at each girl
The Uffington Horse (we used to call him Dobbin in those days)
Rats and Delicious, waiting by the side of the stage

They've been on strike for five years and now they're craving curry
A phase switch like a mantis on parole
He's brought back things - a wife from Australia

Red brick dreaming town
The warmth of cider
Stray Blues and the Maravishnu Orchestra
Dave's Beatles and Byrds and fleeting fingers
Might choose to sell the van to buy more guitars
Holly Partridge the stars won't steal you
There is no finer band in this whole world


* Moulding - Colin Moulding is the bass player of XTC
* Galloping - Before XTC went on stage, they used to play an intro tape of sampled voices. When the word "galloping" was mentioned, it was their cue to go on
* Pig Hill - A slang name for Swindon, the home town of XTC. It comes from the Roman words, "Swine Dun," meaning a hill for keeping pigs
* Six pints of breaker - A brand of beer from the 1970's
* Bromide - For some reason, a fan of XTC would often shout this during their early gigs
* The Uffington Horse - An ancient chalk drawing of a horse, close to Swindon. When I was a toddler, I saw a band on Top of the Pops and became fascinated by their mysterious horse logo. Years later, I became obsessed with XTC and suddenly realised that they were the same band that I'd seen as a child. They used the Uffington Horse as their logo
* Dobbin - XTC used to call their horse logo Dobbin
* Rats and Delicious - The nick names of two groupies, who met the band on tour
* They've been on strike for five years - During the 1990's, XTC refused to record any music as a protest against their recording contract
* Curry - After the strike ended, Dave Gregory of XTC said that he felt as if they'd been starving themselves and he now wanted a curry
* Phase switch - Andy Partridge made regular use of the phase switch on his Ibinez Artist guitar, which made a scratchy insect noise. He described this as sounding like a mantis playing guitar.
* Mantis on Parole - The name of an XTC B Side
* A wife from Australia - XTC drummer, Terry Chambers, met an Australian wife during their tour there
* Red brick dreaming - "Red Brick Dream," is the name of an XTC song, about Swindon's railway museum
* The warmth of cider - Andy Partridge was once in a band called Pink Warmth. Cider is popular in the West Country and beloved of XTC
* Stray blues - One of Andy Partridge's early bands
* The Maravishnu Orchestra - An exotic jazz band, who revived Dave Gregory's passion for music
* Dave - Dave Gregory, the lead guitarist of XTC
* Beatles and Byrds - Dave Gregory admires the 12 string guitar sounds of these bands
* Might sell the band to buy more guitars - In fact, Dave Gregory nearly did the opposite of this, but was later encouraged to continue with his musical talent
* Holly Partridge - Andy Partridge's daughter. She is now in a band called the She Beats and (it has to be said) is gorgeous
* The stars won't steal you - Andy Partridge suffers from Astrophobia and once mentioned his fear of being swallowed up by the stars


from The Post Office Tower, released January 6, 2006
Ian Evans, all instruments and singing


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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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