Legendary DJ and producer, Andrew Weatherall, has gone to get loaded in the great studio in the sky.
We don’t have any personal anecdotes about meeting or hanging out with Andy Weatherall, but the fact that so many of our friends on social media do have stories, shows what a down to earth geezer he was (apparently).
The first time we sat up and paid attention to Andy was when we were sat watching the telly, Snub TV on BBC Two if I recall correctly. A tune came on by Primal Scream. Up to that point they were a reasonably hip bunch of shoegazing indie rockers. Mildly interesting, but to us, unremarkable. But this was different. Once Weatherall had got his hands on them they became a different beast all together. They were suddenly groovy, danceable and about to become the coolest band on the planet.
The song, of course, was ‘Loaded’, and changed the face of music forever. It was the first rave/rock crossover release and soon everyone was at it.
It was in fact Weatherall’s first venture into a studio on his own. Up till then he had been writing for the zine ‘Boy’s Own’ and DJing at all the best acid house parties. He had also started dabbling with remixes, along with DJ partner Paul Oakenfold – famousfa remixing the Happy Mondays’ ‘Hallelujah’.
Loaded was effectively a remix of an old Primal Scream number ‘I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have’. But at the hands of Weatherall it took on a whole new like. As did the band. The subsequent album, ‘Screamadelica’, would be a landmark release that today, thirty years on, remains as relevant as ever and not only was it one of the best albums of the nineties, it is one of the best albums ever.
At a time when twelve inch vinyl and remixes ruled, we soon found ourselves grabbing singles by bands we wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole, simply because there was a Weatherall remix on there. The luke warm was made cool. The cool was made absolutely ice box.
Inevitably, when he started his own bands, firstly Sabres of Paradise and then Two Lone Swordsmen, we grabbed them without hanging about to actually listen to them first.
His back catalogue is not perfect by any means, but he hit the bullseye far more often than the tyre.
Perhaps, just as important, is his legacy and influence. Countless bands and producers followed his lead. He was a trailblazer- mainly because he was doing it off the cuff and didn’t know where the all ready well trodden trail was. He shaped the soundtrack to the 1990s, including yours, even if you didn’t realise it at the time.
You wont have to go far on my social media friends list to find storys of ordinary people who hung out with him. I never got to do that, but he still touched my life immeasurably.
See you on the other side brother.