Relations between the band's founders, Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, sundered in the 2000s, which means their last album was 2000's Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) and there are unlikely to be any more. When Partridge was interviewed by Popdose in 2009, he summed up the situation fairly definitely: 'We’re going through divorce at the moment. So he’s not my favourite individual, and I’m sure I’m not his ... we just send bad-tempered e-mails to each other at the moment'.
Wasp Star contains a deftly-made batch of tunes with plenty of traditional XTC hooks. Nine of the tracks were Partridge-written, while three came from Moulding's pen including the thrillingly Beatlesque track Standing In For Joe. One of the album's highlights is the Partridge's jaunty philosophising in We're All Light, in which a camouflage of deep and meaningful theories about life disguises, at the heart of the song, a cynical chat-up-line. It's the answer to every question! We're All Light is a proper jangle-pop gem that deserves a much broader audience - not just for Partridge's marvellous vocals and lyrics but also for Chuck Sabo's nimble drumming.
Don't you know
'Pon the pillion of time's bike
We roar onto the stage and too soon we're dead centre
Don't you know
Buffalo Billion's raised his sight
He's picking off the whole herd as soon as we enter
So you won't mind if I kiss you now
And maybe come on in for the night
Don't you know in this new Dark Age
We're all light
- Andy Partridge, 'We're All Light'