XTC were an English rock band formed in Swindon in 1972 and active until 2006. Led by songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, the band gained popularity during the rise of punk and new wave in the 1970s, later playing in a variety of styles that ranged from angular guitar riffs to elaborately arranged pop. Partly because the group did not fit into contemporary trends, they failed to maintain commercial success in the UK and US. They have since attracted a considerable cult following, and are recognised for their influence on Britpop and later power pop acts.
Partridge (guitar, vocals) and Moulding (bass, vocals) met at a record store in the early 1970s and subsequently formed a glitter rock outfit with drummer Terry Chambers. The band’s name and line-up changed frequently, and it was not until 1975 that they were known as XTC. In 1977, the group debuted on Virgin Records and, for the next five years, were noted for their ironic punk rock and energetic live performances. They aspired to be “completely original” and refused to conform to punk doctrine, instead synthesising influences from 1960s pop, dub music and the avant-garde. Partridge, XTC’s frontman and primary songwriter, insisted that the band was “blatantly just pop music. We were a new pop group. That’s all.”