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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Magic Numbers and XTC raise funds for Salisbury musician

Tim Smith, Cardiacs
For the last few years Tim Smith has been unable to leave hospital

Swindon's XTC front man Andy Partridge has joined The Magic Numbers among others to raise funds for a Salisbury-based musician.

Tim Smith, lead singer of the cult band Cardiacs, suffered a devastating stroke in June 2008 that left him unable to work or return home.

For the past two and a half years the singer-songwriter has been hospitalised and the band put on indefinite hold.

But this month an album is being released featuring cover versions of the musician's songs to raise funds for his care and awareness of his music.

Named after a Cardiacs' song - the Leader of the Starry Skies album features contributions from among others The Magic Numbers, Oceansize, Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree, Andy Partridge from Swindon's XTC, Julianne Regan (All About Eve) and Ultrasound.

'Britain's greatest songwriter'

Described as "not just a tribute album" but "an endeavour borne of love", the LP is - according to Cardiacs guitarist Kavus Torabi - an opportunity "for his friends to give the love back to him by reinterpreting his music".

He said: "Tim Smith is Britain's greatest songwriter. Full stop.

"And I suspect all who have contributed to this album and a devoted following would back me up on this".

Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree, who describes himself as 'evangelical' when it comes to Tim Smith, agrees.

Leader of the Starry Skies album
XTC and The Magic Numbers are among the artists that have contributed

He said: "People will still be discovering and listening to his music in 50 and 100 years time.

"I think 'genius' is an overused word but I think Tim is up there.

"His legacy will live on much longer than many of the bands which have been more successful in his heyday".

Smith collapsed

Formed in Kingston Upon Thames in the late 1970s, the Cardiacs produced 19 albums including compilations.

They were just completing their most recent LP when Tim Smith collapsed while attending a concert.

Their music, described as an amalgam of punk and progressive rock or 'pronk', defies easy classification.

Although Tim Smith, in the past described his music as simply 'pop'.

"The Leader of the Starry Skies album is due to be released by Believers Roast on 13 December with all proceeds going directly towards the musician's care."

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