Virgin had beat out Island and EMI to sign XTC, and the band wanted to be recorded live via their mobile truck. Eric's would be the first live taping of this unknown band. Formed back in 1971 or 1972 they could not shake off the hippy branding with the Liverpool punks. We never really understood XTC, they kind of sledded in on the Punk rock wave, and then sailed off into a jingly jangly poppy future.
Early XTC Video it is a pity that the energy did not make it onto the vinyl ...
Recently, I was walking around a discount store in Toledo. They were playing The Boomtown Rats and XTC on a loop through the store. It was like some cheap TV commercial music. XTC were pretty good live, but very ordinary and forgettable and did not fight for their spot in music.
The live recording from this night at Eric's is still available on the "A Coat of Many Cupboards" box set. The keyboard broke down during the performance and started to emit a gargling sound. The roadies gave it a hammering but no good, so they switched to a piano for the duration of the performance. Later XTC commented "Every time we played Eric's two individuals would turn
up, one would shout 'John The Postman' in the gaps between the songs and the other, even more mystifyingly, would bellow 'bromide, get into bromide'. You can hear this on the recording. It was most likely the best part of the album.