XTC, hailed as one of the most influential bands of the 70s, 80s and 90s, Swindon's finest, were fronted by Andy Partridge. From those early post punk beginnings, Andy has become one of Britain's most accomplished and respected songwriters.
Peter Blegvad is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and cartoonist. He was a founding member of the avant-pop band Slapp Happy, which later merged briefly with Henry Cow, and has released many solo and collaborative albums.
Gonwards mixes spoken word with more song-based recordings, voiced by Blegvad and with music played, programmed and assembled by Andy Partridge and Stu Rowe in whose Swindon-based digital studio the recordings were made.
Gonwards is an entertaining, thought provoking and genre-straddling re-imagining of the myth of the blues.
The opening track, 'The Devil’s Lexicon' was conceived with the notion of building the body of the Blues like Frankenstein built his monster. As Andy Partridge explains, it’s all: “Words, words, words, all nouns, all the objects found in, and making the body of the blues. We just collected them up for recycling.”
“On our previous collaboration, Orpheus, the Lowdown, Andy and I re-imagined the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Gonwards began with us trying to re-imagine another myth: the myth of the blues.
The blues must be the most pervasive musical form in history. On Gonwards we wanted to consider the blues from a new angle — not just the music but the lore it so powerfully conveys. We took inventory of the characters, places and objects we associated with the blues and drew on these for the opening track, 'The Devil’s Lexicon'.
We weren’t consciously thinking of the blues as the theme of every song, at least I wasn’t, but we come back to it in one form or another again and again all the way through. I mean, the record ends with 'Worse on the Way' which might be called a Russian blues, no? (I always heard Mary Hopkins singing it — an answer to 'Those Were The Days')...”
- Peter Blegvad
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