I received the sad news this week that Andy Weatherall had passed away. A true legend of my time. When I say my time, I mean the 90s. The time of being relatively young in the middle of probably the biggest music revolution since the time of the Stones and Beatles.
What do you call the early 90s? I’ve no idea. It was “rave” “techno” “chillout” all that stuff but it doesn’t really matter what it was called. If you were there you remember it as a feeling really. The clubs, the friends, the parties and of course the thing that bound it all together – the music.
I think Screamadelica came out about 1991(?). I was a student in Manchester at the time and my first introduction to Andy was at the International 2.
He was the warm up DJ for Primal Scream. I remember his love for bass. It shook my throat so was quite painful. Little did we know at that time just how much his influence was to shape the next 1/2/3/4/5/6/ years and beyond. Found a shot of this ticket online, this may well be the gig.
If you were a student or in your teens/20s in the 90’s then one of two things happened. Your mates came round and someone put on Screamadelica or Portishead, or you went round to your mates and someone put on Screamadelica or Portishead. There was a third thing we all did but because I’m old with kids, I can’t talk about that anymore with my boys reading.
I cannot really explain the brilliance of both of these two pieces of work, that’s research that you would have to conduct on your own steam. But what is undeniably evident, is how Andrew Weatherall took a rock band and created a journey of sound. A trip that sucks you in, twists you around and then gently lets you down the shoot the other side. There has not been many contenders since.
Andy’s work was far reaching and I could not begin to dissect all of what he has accomplished in his career. Two pieces close to me are Sabres of Paradise “Deep Cuts” and Weatherall’s remix of Flowered Up’s Weekender. Both played a major part in my electronic journey. Both still sit on my shelf. Both still frequent my record player. Along with a few others,
Years later my mate Jay put on techno nights in Aberystwyth. I wasn’t there, but he told me a great story of when he got Andy to play at one of his nights. After the gig he took Andy to a local hotel where he had booked a room for him. Whilst he was booking Andy in (and trying really hard to be cool) during the early hours of the morning, a rather large women came along, picked up my mate Jay (he’s only little), and carried him away under her arm whilst bashing him on the head with a wooden spoon. Sheer class.
Andy, from all the children of my time and place, thank you for the music, thank you for the nights out, we salute you. May you rest in peace – legend.