Andrew Weatherall: From Boy's Own To Panel Beaters From Prague

An oral history of Weatherall’s early years tracing his path from Balearic to techno via Shoom, ‘Screamadelica’ and Sabresonic…


The Cast

Alex Knight

Fat Cat records alumni and resident DJ at Sabresonic and Bloodsugar.

Andrew Curley

Sabres of Paradise/Sabrettes label manager.

Andrew Innes

Primal Scream rhythm guitarist.

Anna Haigh

Bocca Juniors singer and songwriter.

Bobby Gillespie

Primal Scream singer.

Danny Rampling

Shoom DJ, founder & promoter.

Dave Beer

Promoter of Back to Basics in Leeds.

David Holmes

DJ, producer, Sugar Sweet promoter.

Ed Simons

Chemical Brother.

Graham Sherman

Sherman at the Controls, NME writer.

Cymon Eckel

Boy’s Own editorial & promoter.

Jagz Kooner

Producer and member of Sabres of Paradise.

James Baillie

Promoter of Venus in Nottingham.

Jeff Barrett

Primal Scream, Creation and Factory Records PR and Heavenly Recordings owner.

Jenni Rampling

Shoom co-founder & promoter.

Justin Robertson

DJ, producer and promoter of Spice/Most Excellent.

Keith Tenniswood

50% of Two Lone Swordsmen, Radioactive Man.

Richard Norris

Jack The Tab, The Grid, producer, writer and DJ.

Terry Farley

Boy’s Own editorial, DJ, producer.

It’s the mid-80s and Andrew goes out clubbing to a soundtrack that he’ll later collate on the ‘Nine O’Clock Drop’ compilation. He adopts the apt moniker The Outsider for the Boy’s Own fanzine.

Cymon Eckel: “Andrew was always the weird kid. He went to the grammar school and I went to the local comp. He did as much as he could to disrupt his school uniform like wearing a thin red tie. We met in the Adam & Eve pub in Windsor in 1983 – brought together by a chap called Phil Goss who was his right-hand man at Windsor Boys’ School. I already knew of Andrew, he was the clever, cocksure kid dressed to the nines, always walking up Windsor High Street with an album I’d never heard of tucked under his arm. It’s what we all did; the Victorians went promenading, we bought vinyl and walked up the High Street. We started hanging out, taking acid, going to clubs, gigs and anti-racism marches. The music on the ‘Nine O’Clock Drop’ album was about us three (a reference to the time they took acid on a Friday night). I had a Vauxhall Cavalier and Andrew got in one night with a newspaper cutting which he stuck to the dashboard, it was a newspaper headline about glue sniffing: I Don’t Care If I Live Or Die. It stayed there for 18 months. It was our boys to men journey; highly creative, highly exciting, highly intoxicating times. We talked about art, music, culture, clothes, records, soaking it all up.”

Terry Farley: “There was a really good clothes shop in Windsor called Cassidy’s which sold designer clothes for the upwardly mobile soul boy. Our little crew came from Slough, so we used to go over to Windsor a lot. We were in our early 20s and there was a crew of kids in a pub in Windsor who I’d termed Futurists. They were into electro pop with mad haircuts. Cymon Eckel was one of them and Andrew was one of the others. We all became mates and started going to clubs uptown and took coach parties to nights out in Bournemouth.

“Andrew used to wear workwear and Bundeswehr vests  from Laurence Corner, an Army Surplus store a lot of pop stars shopped at. He was always well dressed. He was a couple of years younger than us, so when you’re 21 it’s unusual to hang around with kids who are 17 and 18. So he obviously cut the mustard to be on our firm. Cymon too, they were good lads, a little bit posher than us. We were into soul music, dressing up and dancing. The Windsor lot had music that we’d had no interest in but was really good. He’d read the NME and we’d read Blues & Soul. Going back to his and Cymon’s flat Andrew would play loads of records and he turned me on to a lot of stuff. He’d come over to Slough to the soul nights too and wear ‘way out’ clothes – God, I sound like someone’s nan – and no one would bat an eyelid. But at a normal club in Windsor he may have got some flak.”

Cymon: “Andrew initially moved in with my father in Windsor, then my dad moved on and I moved in around 1985. We were listening to Shriekback, Augustus Pablo, B.A.D and Sonic Youth. I was very lucky to live with him and witness the start of his incredible record collection. We hooked up with Terry Farley and Paul McKee who we’d met in the Adam & Eve. Terry had seen The End (an influential fanzine produced in Liverpool by Peter Hooton and The Farm) and said he wanted to do something like it that covered trainers, politics, books, fashion and music.” 

Terry: “I’d bought a copy of The End and showed it to Andrew and everyone, and said: ‘We could do this, ordinary lads have made this’. Andrew was the educated person in the room that could make it good. If people had said, ‘That’s quite good’, that would’ve been enough. We didn’t plan for people to be talking about it 30 years later. Andrew wanted to do some interviews. He did Martin Stephenson and the Daintees so that went in the first issue. There was no design at all, it was me cutting out pictures from other magazines, sticking them on a bit of paper, and adding the cut out text. My mum would take the handwritten articles into work and get someone to type them up. Then we’d take it to my mate Johnny O’Neil to print it in his spare time. We paid him a few hundred quid in cash. Eventually we got a few people to advertise, like Johnny Rocker who worked down the King’s Road in Robot, and he helped get American Classics to advertise too for £50 a page. Andrew said he’d write the editorial as The Outsider which sounded great. He could be a pain in the arse though; Johnny O’Neil would give me a time slot and I’d be knocking on Andrew’s door to get his Outsider piece. He’d write it with a pen while I was there waiting with the rest of the stuff in the car. He was talented but exasperating.”

Cymon: “Andrew’s contribution to Boy’s Own was massive. He would get the Letraset, create the headings and art direct the whole thing. He’d find mad characters from old magazines and picture books. He wrote the manifesto in the first magazine as The Outsider. We’d all sit around and chat through everything usually over a cup of tea, a spliff and biscuits. Those were the major continuing factors in his life: puff, Bourbons, tea and music. The first Boy’s Own came out in 1986 and the first party was at the Cafe Des Artistes. Andrew did the artwork for that and we wrote on it:  ‘An evening of punk, funk, dub and country’.”

Terry: “We did a Boy’s Own party in 1987 and Andrew was playing things like Lou Reed, Echo & The Bunnymen and electronic records and I’d play hip hop and go-go. About 200 people came to it. We did another gig at what became Queens in Slough and he started his set with the main theme from the film ‘663 Squadron’, stuck the smoke machine on full and completely fogged the gaff up. He got thrown off.”

Ed Simons: “The culture around Boy’s Own seemed really cool. It seemed like a novel idea to read about what flavour Marks & Spencer’s crisps DJs liked.”

James Baillie: “I used to read Boy’s Own and actually hired my first resident for Venus - Paul Wain, a student DJ at Rock City - who had sent them a top ten and they’d printed it. So I hired him as a result of that.”

Danny Rampling: “Boy’s Own was integral to the scene. Shoom and Boy’s Own were very connected. It was the journal for the core acid house scene and also in Manchester where Justin Robertson had a club. It reflected Andrew’s character.”

“Andrew was the clever, cocksure kid dressed to the nines, always walking up Windsor High Street with an album I’d never heard of tucked under his arm.” Cymon Eckel

Despite the threat of people holding hands and singing along to The Beatles, Andrew has a clubbing epiphany at Shoom and soon becomes their regular DJ.

Cymon: “Gary Haisman from our crew went to Shoom the second week, Terry went the third week,  I went the fourth week and Andrew came with me on the fifth week. Shoom was absolute mayhem and eye opening. It debunked every former principle of music, art, relationships, how men and women interact, it broke every rule. Going clubbing with Andrew was funny as fuck, we danced all the time. There’s such a mystique about him, but to people close to him – before he became the  person behind the decks – it was always fun, quickfire wit, ‘did you read that article, have you seen this…?’ He was like that from day one, but it was importantly about fun. Even when we were tripping and talking bollocks it was always so funny.”

Terry: “I got taken to Shoom by Gary Haisman and I explained it to Andrew and he said: ‘That sounds really shit’. I said they played The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ as the last record and everyone was holding hands. I was holding hands with Gary Crowley and he was: ‘What?!’ Anyway, he came down the next week with Cymon. Me, Steve Mayes, Andrew and Cymon all hung out with different people. Andrew bought the NME lot and people with long hair and leather trousers. Mayes would bring the Happy Mondays, Cymon knew all the King’s Road people like Martin Fry and Bananarama.”

Danny: “He came down to Shoom with Terry Farley and I was briefly introduced. He really stood out. I remember him on the dancefloor, he looked very punky with a Seditionaries shirt on from Vivienne Westwood’s store on the King’s Road, and bondage trousers. He looked acid house with the long hair but was a cross between a biker and a punk. He was unique, an individualist. He inspired others to dress a certain way who adopted his look.”

Jenni Rampling: “I first met Andrew when he came to Shoom with mutual friends Cymon Eckel and Terry Farley. Obviously, as I was doing the door, I would have allowed him entrance because he was friends of friends via Boy’s Own. Once inside, I could barely see through all the smoke and dry ice but I do recall that he was dancing and smiling a lot! I don’t recall him being very stylish at all – in fact, I think he was anti-fashion. I recall baggy T-shirts and scruffy jeans. However, when I look at photos of him in later years, I can see that his ‘look’ was extremely well co-ordinated. Never predictable, always unique and a bit quirky.”

Richard Norris: “It was very difficult to get into Shoom, but we went down quite early and we brought free T-shirts for people and Jenni let us in. Me and Genesis P-Orridge walked down the stairs and Andrew was the first person we met. He instantly showed off his Psychic TV tattoo which he probably covered up years later. He was a kindred spirit as he knew his alternative music, he didn’t come from the soul scene.”

Anna Haigh: “I used to go to Shoom with a school friend, Nina Walsh, and I have a weird recollection of Andrew walking around with a long, fake nose on. He had a cheeky smile and a glint in his eye and we thought he was really funny. I was doing my A-levels so must have been 17.”

Danny: “We went to a party in Islington that Andrew was playing and we sat there for hours talking and really clicked. The party was in a cafe in Chapel Market that started on the Sunday night and went on into the day on Monday, with Andrew playing in the morning. All the core scene were there. There were probably 50 or 60 people there. He was very inspiring playing leftfield music that was off the beaten path, he turned me on to a lot of new music.  He played Chris & Cosey’s ‘October Love Song’ as the sun was coming up. I have eternal memories of that morning.”

“When he played for us at Shoom he never wanted to talk about money. It wasn’t his priority, he just loved playing.” Jenni Rampling

Jenni: “There were many of us there and we basically partied for hours until the market traders set up their stalls. Danny got chatting to Andy who was playing an eclectic set, he never conformed to one genre of music and was totally immersed in his music. He never gave a second thought as to whether people liked his choice or not. Many DJs play to the crowd – Andy played for himself and he soon had a dedicated following of fans who totally respected his choices. He had a bit of an indie vibe, but then he would throw some obscure reggae track in and he would smile at people’s reactions. I can’t remember too much as we were all having such a laugh, but knowing Andy he was probably playing for hours. He simply loved music so much.”

Danny: “I found him so engaging and knowledgeable. And his sense of humour was infectious. We had a lot of laughs. You’d be in his company and be keeping up with his jovial nature, his cackling laughter, making up stories and role playing. It was all akin to Monty Python and I used to say: ‘You’re Eric Idle’s brother aren’t you?’ Everything was so free-spirited, new and revolutionary. We were young kids getting on and doing our own thing, which made it magical and special.”

Jenni: “Danny and Andy both connected over their mutual love for music and were often in their own world at various after parties. I think Andy made Danny laugh a lot and I could hear them acting out comedy scenes. From my point of view, I found him to be quite shy – even when discussing fees. When he played for us at Shoom he never wanted to talk about money. It wasn’t his priority, he just loved playing. In some respects, he reminded me a lot of Colin Faver. He had the same passion for music and was equally a genius and extremely humble.”

Terry: “He first played at Shoom On The Farm. It was a bizarre event, on a dairy farm in the middle of Surrey. We had to get coaches there and it had been raining all day and night. It was cold inside the barn, stunk of milk and they tried to recreate Ibiza by putting on a foam party. This foam and milk and cold… it was quite horrendous. I remember Andrew played Chris & Cosey’s ‘October Love Song’ and it sounded like the best record you’d ever heard at that right time. A lot of people would’ve asked: ‘Who is this playing?’ as he was coming from a different place – 90% of people came from the soul scene and so the records he played were revelations.”

Danny: “I’d met him around May in ‘88 so it would make sense that Shoom On The Farm was his first gig with us as it was a summer event. His style was chunky, full-on and well mixed. He was a natural with mixing, very precise. He played a very eclectic, broad mix of music including Simple Minds’ ‘Theme From Great Cities’, Throbbing Gristle… He was like the John Peel of the acid house scene.”

Jenni: “Shoom On The Farm was completely bonkers. Obviously, I was running around like a lunatic organising the foam. Danny gave him and Terry Farley a residency when we moved Shoom to the West End – kind of an alternative set. He was always left to do his own thing, not that he was going to listen or be told what to play.”

Cymon: “No matter where he played in that period everyone in the room would wait to hear what he was going to play. We didn’t print up the running orders back then but the constant chat was, ‘When’s Andrew on?’ The mystique and reverence didn’t just happen, it built up over his career. I did a party called Arcadia (in 1988) before the really massive Boy’s Own parties. We had about 1000 people in this film studio with the inflatable plane from Jonathan Ross’ Saturday Night Live and a bouncy castle in the other room. Andrew was playing 2-4am after Danny. We could sense it was going to be a moment. Everyone that acid house had touched in those initial months was there. Andrew let Danny’s last record play out and then after two beats he put on The Style Council’s ‘Shout To The Top’ and the place went fucking berserk. He had the room in the palm of his hand after that.”

Jeff Barrett: “Richard Norris was the first person to mention his name to me. I used to work at Creation from 1985, and Richard used to blag records from there. He said there’s this amazing thing going on called acid house and you should come with me to the parties. You’d really like the Boy’s Own parties, and especially a DJ called Andrew Weatherall. He said me and Andrew would get on really well. I used to go to Future mainly. When Andrew and I met and got chatting we were both sporting over shoulder length curly hair and we hit it off straight away. It led to something pretty deep and special for both of us. We became pretty inseparable for quite a long time. I thought he was really funny, he made me laugh immediately. He was cool as fuck and he had some brilliant tunes. He was firmly a face on the scene and I knew I wanted to hang out with him.”

Richard: “He played at Shoom when it moved to Busby’s and Future. We used to go out five or six nights a week. Most people lost their jobs but then found new jobs starting fanzines, making T-shirts or putting on nights. The likelihood of seeing Andrew DJ regularly in that period was pretty high.”

Jeff: “You’d listen to him play and you’d be wowed by his skills but you’d be really knocked out by his selection. It was always something fresher than the next man. There was a massive sense of risk and balls as to how he played records with a lot of mischief. I rarely saw him flop though.”

1987, Rockley Sands. Andrew Weatherall and Paul McKee. Photo: Dave Swindells

Andrew has a fateful meeting with Primal Scream which results in a purple patch of productions for them, The Grid, Saint Etienne, My Bloody Valentine and James. 

Jeff: “I was working with the Happy Mondays when Andrew did his first remix with Paul Oakenfold. That’s what also got me into the scene and the clubs as I’d turn up to Future with the Mondays’ white labels. I had a lot of people coming to me and saying:  ‘Are you managing Andrew?’ I wasn’t at the time but eventually I did. He was a major face on the scene and then I started Heavenly and he was a co-conspirator. So when Simon Lovechild gave me that track (‘The World’ According To…’) it was good, but I knew how it could be better. Andrew and I would get high and play it and I’d say: ‘You could make this a bit better?’ and he’d be: ‘Course I can.’ The first record was Sly & Lovechild remixed by Andrew Weatherall and then of course his brilliant Saint Etienne remix followed. I remember Pete Astor from Weather Prophets playing melodica on that. 

“At Creation Alan McGee had embraced ecstasy if not house music fully - he loved the drugs more than the scene. Primal Scream’s second album was a rocky record and they’d grown their hair out, wearing lots more leather. They’d be looking at me taking my house mixtapes in to the office and Throb would be telling me to put the New York Dolls on. But the ‘House Sound of Chicago’ would replace Johnny Thunders. I was doing press on their album and Andrew came round to the office. I gave him a stack of records to take away including the album. I was struggling to get press and was on the cusp of being sacked by McGee, who would say: ‘Barrett you’re doing a shite job on this, you’ve got a week left’. Andrew called and said the ballads on the record were amazing. He loved ‘I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have.’ He put it in Boy’s Own in the uppers: ‘Primal Scream’s ballads’. I said to McGee: ‘There’s your press!’ He said: ‘It’s a shitey little fanzine’. But that was the most significant press you could get in the UK at the time.”

Bobby Gillespie: “I first heard of Andrew Weatherall back in the summer of 1989, when he wrote about his favourite tracks of the time in the Boy’s Own fanzine. To our surprise, he said that he loved all the ballads on our second album. No one cared about that record apart from diehard fans, but he really dug it.”

Jeff: “I was given another week to get something in a proper paper so I went to Helen Mead (NME’s live editor) and she wanted to save my job. She had the inspired idea to ask Andrew to review Primal Scream live in Exeter. He used the pseudonym Audrey Witherspoon. After the gig I remember him and the band all laughing. They all clicked.”

Andrew Innes: “We first met when he came to write the NME piece. Barrett couldn’t get us any press and no one liked the second album except this guy who wrote for Boy’s Own. We met him before we went on and he looked like he should be up on stage with us with his leather trousers and long hair. We did ‘Don’t Believe a Word’ by Thin Lizzy as an encore. He said he loved Thin Lizzy and had a signed copy of ‘Jailbreak’. So we thought if he likes the Lizzy then that’s good enough for us.”

Jeff: “The following week Innes came with me to see him play. Innes wanted to know if Andrew would remix them and so off they went and did it. So getting them into Boy’s Own did turn out to be a significant piece of press!”

Innes: “I thought it was Jeff Barrett’s idea to get the remix of ‘I’m Losing More…’ done but he said it was mine. Barrett took us to Land Of Oz on a Monday night and we heard him DJing. We took to the acid house clubs like ducks to water. We used to live in West London and go to clubs around there; the girls were incredible looking, the atmosphere was brilliant, there was no violence and the music was great. Better than some indie club playing the Wedding Present.

“We’d done ‘I’m Losing More…’ to a click track as the drummer was having trouble keeping it steady, so it was the only one on the album recorded like that. And there was the big outro to it which was the same thing on-and-on. I could see that the music being played in the clubs was repetitious and people just took one bit of a song. Andrew went in three times to do it I think. The first time he just seemed to turn up the bass drum and kept the song. The second time it was a bit different but it was still the full song. So I think out of frustration I told him to fucking destroy it. I think he’d been trying to make the song better in a conventional sense. So to be told he could do what he wanted and have more of a blank canvas, I think he was relieved. I was there each time he attempted it as I had to take down my video player with my VHS of the film ‘The Wild Ones’. I had the times written down for the counter on the machine for when the quotes came in the film (‘Just what is it you want to do…’) so I could find them. I was there at 6am when it was finished and thought it was brilliant, I couldn’t believe it.”

Richard: “We used the Peter Fonda quote on the ‘Jack The Tab’ album in 1987, but I think it was a case of great minds think alike. I never confirmed with him whether he nicked it from us. If you were into cult stuff and you’d seen that bit of the film – these Hells Angels go ape at a funeral – it’s a very evocative scene for young people looking for samples.”

“We met him before we went on and he looked like he should be up on stage with us with his leather trousers and long hair.” Andrew Innes

Bobby: “The thing about Andrew was that he was a non-musician. ‘Loaded’ was only his second time in a recording studio. Because he wasn’t aware of the rules, he broke them. He wasn’t trying to make hit records. That never entered his mind. He just wanted to make interesting tracks that worked on the dancefloor.”

Jeff: “I remember Innes’ face when he played ‘Loaded’ back to me. He was so buzzed. I’ve still got the original test pressing with Bob’s writing on it.”

Innes: “We had an acetate cut and he played it at Subterania and right away people started doing the ‘woo woos’ from ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ along with it. I knew then it could be a hit. It was a great feeling. He played it as his last record as well as it was slightly slower. People just went mental.”

Bobby: “Afterwards, Innes called me in the early hours and said: ‘Bobby, it was insane. Weatherall played ‘Loaded’ and the whole place went ballistic.’ He told me that Mick Jones and Kevin Rowland had come up to him afterwards and shook his hand. ‘Loaded’ just exploded on dancefloors across the country. Looking back, it definitely caught something of the time. That was down to Andrew. All I can say is that the experience of standing in a club and seeing people go wild to it was something else. Kids would come up and hug you afterwards.”

Richard: “I was there when it got played at Subterania. It totally worked. You could tell it would because people were playing things like Thrashing Doves who did a version of the Stones’ track with the ‘woo woos’ in it. That vibe, that feel was in the air.”

Cymon: “We did a Shoom party at a studio in Battersea, all our mates had heard ‘Loaded’ but no one had heard it played out. Bobby and Andrew (Innes) were there and Andrew gee-d everyone up that he was going to play the mix and it was one of those transcendent moments. It re-defined Balearic, rock’n’roll, it was the ultimate hybrid.”

Terry: “He brought an acetate of ‘Loaded’ to Future. I remember feeling quite blown away that someone I knew actually made a record like that. It was outstanding. The reaction was incredible. He started his set with it. There was a record seller from Zoom records in there who had a stall set up, he’d sell loads of Balearic and Future-type records. All the people over by him were asking him what it was and if they could buy it.”

Dave Beer: “I remember hearing ‘Loaded’ for the first time very well. Andrew dropped a test pressing at a club in King’s Cross. Paolo from Sign Of The Times was there and some guy appeared on stage dancing to it. It sounded so different that I automatically thought that the guy on stage was performing and it was a live PA. Only halfway through the security came on and escorted him off. This turned out to be Matthias, Paolo’s brother who managed to save him from being thrown out.” 

Danny: “I think I heard Terry playing it off white label at a Boy’s Own night. It stood out; we were all given white labels. Andrew hadn’t been in the studio before so what they did with ‘Loaded’ was groundbreaking. It epitomises that time and the free-spirited nature we were experiencing.”

Andrew Curley: “I went to Queens on a Sunday afternoon, Phil and Fiona Perry’s Sunday session. I was with Marc Barclay at the bar. Andrew bowled in and stood with us, he told us about this record he was very excited about and then bought us all a drink. I asked him: ‘How will I know which record it is when you play it later’? He just said: ‘You’ll know’. Right at the end he played it as the last record. He played it twice because the place went mental.”

Bobby: “Then it really took off and suddenly we were on ‘Top of the Pops’. It was wild for us, because I think we’d been written off a bit, but not by Andrew Weatherall. He heard something in the songs. He was a rocker at heart and he initially connected with those songs on that level. Basically, he took a bluesy Primal Scream ballad and turned it into something ecstatic. The ecstatic blues.” 

Justin Robertson: “It divided opinion in Manchester as it was very different to what was played at the Haçienda. Andrew showed me a reaction sheet from a Manchester DJ: ‘Typical Southern shandy drinking shite!’”

Ed: “I think I read about ‘Loaded’ in the NME. A lot of my friends at uni went to the Thursday at the Haçienda but that wasn’t for us. It got its main plays there.”

Graham Sherman: “’Loaded’ did shift things radically – it affected so many people. When the Scream blew up, NME would cover the band and not mention the dance producer twiddling knobs. You knew he was the man to watch because he was doing such different things. But the rest of the NME were too busy writing about Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.”

Bobby: “His remix of ‘Come Together’ was another track that was gigantic in the clubs. It became one of those songs that DJs ended their sets with as the sun was coming up. Liam Gallagher still goes on to me about hearing it at a massive rave in Scotland; thousands of kids going mental to it.”

Innes: “‘Screamadelica’ was never an album in our brains. We just wanted to make records that would be played in clubs. We did ‘Come Together’ and then ‘Slip Inside This House’ for an LP for Roky Erickson to pay for his medical bills. Then we did ‘Don’t Fight It, Feel It’.  We just wanted to make cool 12-inch records. And then McGee said: ‘Oh you should finish your album’. And we were like: ‘Oh, album?’”

Bobby: “By autumn 1990, we had a little studio in Hackney near the Creation offices. For ‘Screamadelica’, we gave him tracks and tracks of melodies and songs, loads of stuff that he put together somehow. His skill at arranging was off the scale. No one else would have thought of constructing tracks like he did, arranging our melodies and music into abstract pop songs. I have to mention Hugo Nicholson here, too, because I think maybe his best work was done with Hugo. They were a team. Andrew had the vision and Hugo Nicholson had the studio skills needed to realise his ideas. They just killed it every time.”

Ed: “I do remember ‘Higher Than the Sun’. We had the 12-inch and three of us spent a whole afternoon doing what students do and listening to it on repeat for four hours. We were higher than the sun.”

James: “I remember where I was for ‘Don’t Fight It, Feel It (Scat mix)’. Weatherall was playing Dingwalls and when he played it I went to take a look at the record and it just said ‘SCAT’ on it. I went around telling everyone that this brilliant record was by an artist called SCAT.”

Sherman: “Dance music just wasn’t taken seriously at the NME. People there would mock me for liking bleepy music. I had journalists like Terry Staunton dancing around me in the office going: “Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep”. They didn’t want to cover it so I was on a bit of a crusade and wanted it to get recognised. Around the time of his remix of James’ ‘Come Home’, James Brown said we should put Andy Weatherall on the cover but it never happened.”

Richard: “I remember telling the NME they were missing this generation’s punk and Steven Wells would just say: ‘Err, it sounds like Gary Numan’. ‘Screamadelica’ was everything you wanted it to be from my world of psychedelia,  sampling and house music and everything coming together at once. It delivered on all fronts. The result of such enthusiasm and ideas.”

1988, Rockley Sands. Andrew Weatherall and Plug. Photo: Dave Swindells

Andrew goes on a groundbreaking  - and hedonistic - tour with the Scream with the band bookended by himself and The Orb’s Alex Paterson. 

Bobby: “I remember Andrew came on the road with us soon afterwards, when we did a short British tour. The Orb would go on first, then we’d play a short set, and afterwards we’d do a few Es, and get on the dancefloor with the kids for Weatherall’s set. Great days. He loved the madness, the chaos of rock’n’roll, but he also saw the absurdity of it all, which is rare.”

Innes: “We just thought we’d try and take some of what we were enjoying out on tour with us rather than just seeing the band and it all stops at 11pm. There would normally be an after show where Andrew and Alex would DJ ‘til 5am. It was pretty good fun; we didn’t have to sleep much back then.” 

Jeff:  “The ‘Screamadelica’ tour was just a trip, meeting brilliant people around the country. We laughed a lot. Just seeing people dance: this is really happening.”

Justin: “We were on the Scream tour and had played in Belfast and then had a show in Dublin. We ended up getting a taxi, me and my girlfriend Karina with Andrew and Nina. At the border we got pulled over at an army checkpoint. There were two soldiers, one just a kid who looked terrified, and they asked us for I.D. The kid was shaking and had his gun stuck through the window looking at us with Andrew with his long hair and motorbike boots. He asked us for our names but when he got to Karina she just went blank because she was so scared. Andrew without missing a beat said: ‘Look in your jacket, it’s Dorothy Perkins.’ And it completely diffused the situation.” 

Innes: “I think we both couldn’t go there and do something like ‘Screamadelica 2’. Career-wise we would have had lesser and lesser sales though it may have been bigger initially. But we’re not like that and he certainly wasn’t. I’ve done that, what can I do now? He did an amazing track with us on the ‘Evil Heat’ album called ‘Autobahn 66’, it encapsulates how he took our music and made it better.”

In demand after ‘Loaded’ Andrew forms a Balearic supergroup with various Boy’s Own members, which Terry Farley names Bocca Juniors.

Cymon: “London Records’ Paul McKee was A&R who rode shotgun with us on many of our nights out. They were trying to get music into places like Shoom. They wanted us to make and release records so we thought let’s form a band. Terry came up with the name and Andrew wrote the lyrics. The rest of us played percussion. ‘Raise’ was a zeitgeist moment bringing together Balearic and Italian piano house.”

Terry: “We had the label Boy’s Own with London Records and Pete Tong suggested we make a record. They put us in a posh studio with full catering, which attracted all the ne’er do wells from the outreaches of the Boy’s Own crew to see what they were serving up. Andrew had a couple of lines from an Aleister Crowley record and we got a guy in to re-play the piano riff from the Thrashing Doves’ ‘Jesus on the Payroll’. Anna Haigh was a friend of Nina Walsh, she was fantastic.”

Anna: “I used to be in a punk band at school called Internal Autonomy and Andrew and Terry were talking about putting a band together. They wanted to hear the record me and my school chums had made. I think Andrew wanted to get away from the usual trained voices you’d hear on a lot of dance records and have something more edgy. The lyrics were different too with the Aleister Crowley quotes, he was really well read. I was really nervous and had a shot of whisky beforehand. It was in a plush studio in Maida Vale. Andrew had laid down a guide vocal and I thought it sounded really good. I wondered what they needed me for.”

Danny: “It was like a coach party in the studio. There were a lot of people involved!”

Terry: “It was a great record but a bit too early. The vast majority of people playing dance music then were playing rave. A couple of years later we might have been as big as the Happy Mondays. I’d have been Bez.”

Justin: “It’s quite an odd record isn’t it? Channelling that post-punk sound and quoting Aleister Crowley.”

Dave: “‘Raise’ was a perfect record for me, as was the whole Boy’s Own attitude. The punk rock, piss-take attitude and self-assuredness was just where my head was at then. I found myself being drawn further south down to London and it was down to tracks like this.”

Richard: “There were a few bands like that that came out of clubs like Sean McLusky’s If. He used to put on dance nights and always put a band on. Bocca Juniors didn’t really have time to develop. The Happy Mondays had been going for years by the time they broke in 1989 with the ‘Madchester Rave On’ EP.”

Anna: “I wrote the lyrics to (follow up) ‘Substance’ with Andrew who wanted me to get more involved so we wrote that together. He wanted to move away from the house stuff that the Boy’s Own lot were into and wanted to be more experimental and edgy with it. So he went his own way. Thank God he did as he made such wonderful music. Terry went off and did amazing stuff too so it was a good thing everyone went their separate ways.”

Cymon: “After we did ‘Substance’ Andrew wanted to leave. Andrew was an artist and he had a certain amount of colours in his palette. Working with Terry and Pete and being fixed to a certain point and time didn’t suit him. He wanted to create different pictures with his own tones and colours and forge his own path. So doing Bocca Juniors was a bit of a compromise as it wasn’t everything he wanted to put into the record. He was very honest about it. He had an opportunity to paint his own pictures.”

Terry: “It wasn’t a band. We just made a record and a follow up but there wasn’t really any idea that we’d go beyond that. They didn’t sell either. There was one club in Manchester and one in Nottingham and that was it really. Shoom was 200 people, Future was 150 people. Boy’s Own got dropped by ffrr so we used the money to start Junior Boy’s Own.”

Justin: “I guess he moved on when he thought something wasn’t working for him, even though he was a brilliant collaborator and drew the best out of people.”

Richard: “You could see how quickly things moved back then when you heard things like his remix of Saint Etienne. I’d been talking to Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs about ‘Jack the Tab’ and they said they wanted to have a go at making a record so I suggested a studio and that they use a Roland 303 and they went in and had a go. The first bleepy thing they did didn’t really work. But then only six months later they had ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ out with this brilliant remix.”

Andrew moves on from Bocca Juniors and Scream producer Hugo Nicolson to work with Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns. He begins to DJ across the country at like-minded clubs: Venus in Nottingham, Slam in Glasgow, Most Excellent in Manchester and Flying in London which is termed The Balearic Network.

Dave: “I remember meeting Andrew for the first time well. It was at a party Love Ranch had thrown in King’s Cross. From the off it was right up my street. This was just before we started Back To Basics. I remember when I arrived there was a bedsheet doubling up as a banner with the words ‘This is where it’s fucking at’ scrawled on with spray paint. I knew I was in the right place. I’d gone down there to meet up with Charlie Chester and by this time I was getting tired of the baggy raver look. I’d dragged out my old Burberry tartan Seditionary Westwood bondage trousers. I thought I was going to walk through the door feeling pretty individual but within 10 minutes I spotted another long-haired, ponytailed individual, dressed almost identically to me. Our eyes met and immediately looked the other way. I recall thinking: ‘Fuck me, what are the chances of that?!’ After making a point of not looking at each other I proceeded to get into the spirit of things as we always did back then. I remember people such as Terry Farley, Rocky & Diesel and lots of the old faces from Full Circle being there. To be truthful I didn’t actually have a clue who was DJing, but the music was on point. Then I glanced over to the DJ booth unusually tucked away at the side of the stage as if it were a monitor desk. Who should be playing but this similarly clad person. Our eyes met again and I smiled, getting an appreciative nod back. I finally found out it was Weatherall from Boy’s Own. I had heard Saint Etienne’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ having loved the Weatherall dub mix.

“As fate would have it on our second meeting we were at Most Excellent in Manchester. Weatherall was playing with Justin Robertson. The pair of us couldn’t believe it as we looked at each other’s feet and we were both wearing brothel creepers. I didn’t know anybody else at that point that admired such footwear. At the after party we locked heads and talked punk, Elvis and acid house. That clinched the deal and we were mates after that. Andrew always managed to stay two steps further than any other fucker. One of the things I remember him saying was: ‘Fashion is something you buy until you find your own style’ and Andrew always epitomised style. One fond memory was him wearing full ‘Biggles’ attire: Flying jacket, long white scarf, jodhpurs and knee length boots complete with full wax moustache.”

Justin: “I first saw him with Jeff Barrett when they were in Manchester. They walked into Eastern Bloc, the record shop where I worked,  and they looked like two of the Three Musketeers, really long tousled hair, waistcoats and silk shirts. I thought: ‘You took a risk walking down Oldham Street’. He came in and picked out records and I didn’t know any of them. Me and various other Balearic aficionados would re-order things he’d bought. He played at my Sunday night Spice. It was the night after he’d played the Haçienda on Saturday. I think I paid him £100 but he gave me some of the money back because he didn’t think he’d played very well. One of the skills he had was that he’d banged it out at the Haçienda and then played a spot-on Balearic chugging set for us on the Sunday. I didn’t know any of the records he played then either.”

David Holmes: “Back then he was Andy Weatherall. I’d heard he was an amazing DJ and I went to a club Charlie Hall from the Drum Club was running called Egg in North London in 1991. It was an amazing night and he played in that Balearic vein but evolving into acid house and Detroit stuff with his remixes mixed in. When I heard him the penny dropped, it was an epiphany. I sauntered up to him as I wanted him to play Sugar Sweet in Belfast. A lot of DJs were terrified of playing Belfast back then but he was really interested. He gave me his number and I called him a few days later - an 071 number - and he said: ‘‘Coronation Street’ has just started can you ring me back in half an hour.’”

Ed: “When Tom (Rowlands) was in Ariel we were a bit more connected with the scene and we went to a Boy’s Own party in a country house. There was a marquee in the garden and Andrew played around 5am. There were about 50 people stumbling around the dancefloor. He blew mine and Tom’s minds. He just had a real charisma and presence that other DJs didn’t have. The atmosphere of a club would change when he was getting ready to go on.”

James: “The first time I met him was at Venus (Nottingham) on a Friday. It was only the second time I’d asked a guest DJ to play. I travelled to London a lot; the venues were pretty shite so I’d invite club nights up to play Venus. It became known as the Balearic Network. We brought the North and South divide together. The Balearic sound really worked in Nottingham due to the student population and Weatherall nailed it. I found him very polite but full of tongue-in-cheek comments. He was proper switched on and I was kind of in awe of him. I’d always worry I may say the wrong thing in front of him. He stayed at mine after Venus once, my cat was sitting on his chest and Andrew was smoking a massive spliff. The cat puked up on his chest and he just laughed and said: ‘This kitten’s getting greedy.’”

“I remember him saying: ‘Fashion is something you buy until you find your own style.’ One fond memory was him wearing full ‘Biggles’ attire.” Dave Beer

Dave: “I went to every Flying and Venus event. I even used to travel down to a night called Skank, Andrew’s own party with reggae/dub overtones. Nobody ever had or ever will sound like Weatherall. Many DJs and producers come and go but there are certain people who have their own sound. Andrew definitely crafted his own. Often doing so with blind faith in himself and by his own admission a lot of times not knowing what the fuck he was doing.”

Cymon: “Some of us in London got a bit sniffy about the Balearic Network. Why give anything a name? We used to travel around the country when we followed New Order so were used to going to Manchester and other cities. But he was spreading the Weatherall vibes around the country.”

David: “He came to Belfast and I met him at the airport. He had his corkscrew spirally hair, the biker boots and leather trousers with the Breton cap. He looked amazing like no other DJ. I felt I could totally relate to him. Belfast - being the way it was - all the freaks would congregate in one place. You’d hear Gene Vincent, Public Image, The Smiths, The Clash. There was such an eclectic thing going on and the dancefloor would be occupied by all these different tribes. I connected with him on so many levels, growing up on the alternative scene. If you love music you can’t deny a Gene Vincent record even if you’re a mod. He was blown away by Sugar Sweet and I’m not surprised. He knew more about Irish history than a lot of people from Belfast. We spoke a lot about The Troubles and the books he’d read, so he wasn’t surprised that people were really warm and welcoming. He loved people who were genuinely enthusiastic, positive and had a brilliant attitude. He was so open and humble but ridiculously talented. He was also sharp as a knife - you didn’t want to get into a debate with him.”

Ed: “One of the times he’d played Most Excellent (Manchester) he came back to our house and his record box was out. He had a test pressing of his remix of Future Sound Of London‘s ‘Papua New Guinea’ – which was like the Holy Grail at the time as everyone loved them - and I took it out of the box to look at it and had moved it away from where the box was. He was playing records for people and there was a sudden panic when he couldn’t find the test pressing. I didn’t know what to do and became numbed into silence as there was an increasing anxiety in the room that someone had taken it. So I shoved it somewhere a bit more visible in the room and he eventually found it. It’s stressing me out just thinking about that now.” 

Dave: “The friendships formed through the so-called Balearic Network are still strong to this day. I started Basics in November of 1991 and Weatherall played the second month and then continued to play for us ever since. When it came to Andrew I would always take a gamble, the most memorable being when we built a stage for him to perform as Sabres of Paradise, which was one of the first live acts we ever did at the club. It was total anarchy and chaotic. Also, we did his first Two Lone Swordsmen show. These performances always stood out from anything else that was going on.”

1988, Rockley Sands. Nick Tann, Cymon Eckel & Andrew Weatherall. Photo: Dave Swindells

Andrew becomes more drawn to techno aided by the opening of Fat Cat records in 1991. He starts the Sabres of Paradise label with Nina Walsh and forms a band of the same name with Jagz & Burns.

Justin: “The Balearic scene was united and then started to split in different directions. There was a split in tastes, that Guerilla album ‘Dub House Disco’ channelling a ritualistic sound with techno, trance-like rhythms and the connection with dub. So techno became a natural direction for some of us to take. But he was never that easy to pigeonhole. I’d still hear him sometimes play full vocal garage records. He didn’t like people being able to predict what he was going to do. I remember a real statement of intent was the first Flying trip to Rimini. He played two hours of panel beating Belgian techno. People had never heard anything like it. It was brilliant because it was completely against the grain but so well put together with such confidence.”

Alex Knight: “I first met him the second week of Fat Cat being open on Monmouth Street in 1991. We’d been over to the U.S. to pick up some hard-to-find records from Chicago and New York and we displayed them on the racks at the back. Word soon got around that we had these records and the second week in Andrew climbed down the stairs into the basement and there he was on the other side of the counter. It was quite surreal. I was the embarrassed fan. I’d been to various parties he was the ringleader of and he was one of those guys we all looked up to. He was humble and open to new music. You assumed these guys had access to any records they wanted. He was instrumental in creating clubland and pushing boundaries, so you’d assume he had everything. He was very open about the gaps in his knowledge and he was really keen to fill those gaps. We were able to help him, he walked out with a big pile.”

Sherman: “There were a few key things at that time and one was Fat Cat opening. We had access to more techno-y things, it was a really exciting time. Andrew never cared what people thought, he just went with the music. He knew how to arrange records in a way other people couldn’t, so he could make things work and start a dancefloor off at either 90bpm or 138bpm. He was never distracted by what other people thought.”

Keith Tenniswood: “I used to go to free parties until the Criminal Justice Bill happened. Then I started going to the Drum Club (Thursdays at the Soundshaft) to see Weatherall play as I’d heard his show on Kiss FM. He was so different. He stood out as he was playing breakbeat stuff by Depth Charge and Aphex Twin. That really appealed to me. It was a magical time for techno and trance wasn’t a rude word. “

Jagz Kooner: “I was producing The Aloof and had remixed a band called This Ragged Jack. I heard that at a Boy’s Own weekender Weatherall played my remix and finished with a bootleg I’d done of a La Camoor track and everyone went mental. Me and Gary Burns went to Flying and were at the bar and Gary said: ‘You won’t believe who’s here, Weatherall and he’s walking straight up to us’. He introduced himself and he said he loved what I did. He said we should get in the studio one day. I didn’t think anything more of it and thought it was the beer talking, but he phoned a few days later and invited me and Gary to remix Jah Wobble’s ‘Visions Of You’. We were in a studio that belonged to Manfred Mann, I didn’t know what half the equipment did. Jah Wobble popped in and loved what we were doing. That was our first effort and everyone was happy with it. The remixes and production jobs then just started rolling in. My career started properly with Andrew. So there were three of us working on these Andrew Weatherall remixes and Andrew said we should start doing stuff together.

“We were asked to do something for Red Stripe, we never did things for anyone unless we were into it and Gary was a big Red Stripe fan. In one afternoon we wrote the foundations of ‘The Theme’ and ‘Wilmot’ that went on to become big Sabres tunes. We were asked to remix Psychic TV and did a few versions and Andrew said: ‘These should be Sabres of Paradise remixes.’ I didn’t know the name Sabres of Paradise came from a Haysi Fantayzee B-side I thought it was from a book about good-looking Russian Cossack dudes. We had been spending so much on studio fees we acquired a studio in Hounslow above a music shop which became Sabresonic. Keith Tenniswood was our apprentice there for a while. We became extremely prolific as we could work there for as long as we wanted without running up a huge bill.”

Keith: “After much pestering, Jagz invited me to come to the Sabresonic studio as they needed a tea boy basically, someone to go to the shops to get Rizlas. I had this image of the studio from his radio show, Andrew would say stuff like: ‘As I walk through the corridors of Sabresonic studios…’ so I imagined this huge complex. But when I got there it was above a corner shop on a council estate in Hounslow. I thought I’d come to the wrong place. I went on to help Jagz and Gary with The Aloof remixes. They said they were going to be away for a weekend and suggested I work with Andrew on engineering. I was shitting it. I didn’t know the Akai sampler very well and had a bit of a meltdown in the session, which Andrew could see, but he was fine with me. I guess as we were both from the same background he was accepting of my nerves. He was so good at arranging. He’d sit for ages trying different things.”

David: “I remember the first time he played Sabres’ ‘Smokebelch’. It was one of the greatest DJ sets I’ve ever heard. I was on the best ecstasy at a club in Brighton with so many people I loved like Ashley Beedle, Jagz and Gary, and Phil Perry. I was meeting lots of new people and they were all really cool. Andrew played ‘Smokebelch’, Secret Knowledge’s ‘Sugar Daddy’ and Capricorn’s ‘20Hz’. I felt like I was at a concert. I’d never heard anything like what was coming out of the speakers and his mixing was so creative. I learnt so much about DJing in that moment, the things you can do to set a dancefloor on fire. The icing on the cake was I’d just finished remixing ‘Smokebelch’ that night and I knew I’d done a really good remix for this guy who was blowing my mind into a thousand pieces. He went out of his way to make my ‘Smokebelch’ remix a beneficial thing for me. He put my name in big letters on the artwork and really pushed it. It was a really proud moment.”

Curley: “In January 1993, Andrew and Nina went to play in New Zealand for Full Monty. I bumped into Andrew in Soho just before then and he told me about Sabres of Paradise the label. I was looking for work and told him to give me a shout. He asked me to answer the phones in the office while they went to New Zealand. It was upstairs at Quaff records, Roy The Roach’s shop. I went for two weeks and was still there five years later.

“Secret Knowledge was out - ‘Sugar Daddy’ was the big tune. I did the DJ mail-out with Nina, put mailers together and posted them. It went from that to the production side, getting them manufactured. Andrew and Nina chose the music. Andrew was always in and out of the office, we’d pour over what he’d bought from downstairs. He was a joy to work for. The club Sabresonic was in full flow and we’d always end up at Full Circle on a Sunday night. Andrew was a bit more sympathetic than a regular boss after I’d been out all weekend. When ‘Smokebelch’ came out with David Holmes’ massive remix there was a bidding war from labels.”

“Andrew was always looking to the borders of a sound where the experimentation lay – he always wanted to know what was going on at the outer edges.” Alex Knight

Jagz: “We took the music seriously but didn’t take the band seriously. I couldn’t see what the fuss was all about. Our manager Robert Linney would be telling us about big interest from all the majors. The big four they were interested in were Underworld, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Sabres of Paradise. There was a bidding war on all four. Robert was saying to us in a taxi after a meeting with BMG – we’d go to these lunch meetings for the free food as we knew we wanted to sign to Warp – BMG had a six-figure offer and Sony may have come back with twice that… I looked at Andrew and said: ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about.’ Andrew shot back: ‘Neither do I!’ We didn’t think we’d hit on something or take it seriously.

“The live band of Sabres of Paradise came about because we were offered a tour. We were all mates getting together. Phil Mossman (who went on to join LCD Soundsystem) This Ragged Jack so he played guitar, Richard Thair was in The Aloof so he was the drummer, Nick Abnett was the bass player, he used to go out with Anna Haigh. It was all mates. I can’t play guitar or bass well enough to be on stage so Gary suggested I was in charge of mixing it live and fire off the drum machines and 303. Andrew was like me, so I asked him to join me at the desk. Andrew suggested the band was dropped into the middle of a DJ set. At the end of the set band members would walk off and it’d just be me left doing the drum machine. The 909 would run out of the last tune and Andrew would mix into it on the decks and begin a DJ set. Sabres never did an encore, Andrew DJing was the encore. An hour into his set, though, me, Gary and Richard Thair would walk back on and Richard would drum over Andrew’s set and Gary would play keys and I’d add some bits. I loved that.”

Sherman: “I went on the tour. I’d been writing Sonic Sheet and we were talking about doing a magazine called Sonic Head – a bit like Beastie Boys’ Grand Royale. I’m surprised Sabres weren’t picked up on more as they fused so many different things and they were a live band presented in a different way. All the exciting elements of music put into one thing: techno, rockabilly or electro.”

Curley: “Andrew was obsessed with gangs and months before the live shows Andrew had – in his head – dressed everybody. He knew how they were going to look.”

Keith: “I was a roadie for Sabres - I used to play guitar. So I used to set up the stage. Then I did front of house for the next Primal Scream tour. I was in my early 20s, seeing that rock’n’roll lifestyle I thought, This is for me!”

Richard: “I remember seeing Sabres live in what looked like long, leather Nazi coats. To even do something live rather than just putting out 12-inches was a brave move at the time.”

Jagz: “I don’t remember him ever calling time on Sabres. Typical blokes we didn’t talk about things. There wasn’t any nastiness or bad vibes or falling out, it just eventually ran its course. We probably split too soon on reflection. I think perhaps he wanted to sabotage it as he wanted to do stuff people wouldn’t expect of him. He never made ‘Screamadelica Part 2’. Me and Gary also got pulled in various directions. We were also in The Aloof, who got signed. Andrew started working more with Keith Tenniswood. We did what we had to do and we were happy with it.”

Keith: “I was shocked when Sabres split as they were on such a roll. I was unofficially part of the gigs and remixes. Lots of good artists re-invent themselves.”

Sherman: “I wasn’t shocked when they ended as he’d run as far as he could with Sabres. Would another album sound as radically different as it should? He didn’t want to be seen as dragging his heels in the same thing.”

By 1993, Andrew had his club ‘Sabresonic’ running weekly and was playing hard techno which he sonically termed ’panel beaters from Prague’. He suggests Junior Boy’s Own sign a young duo called The Dust Brothers…

Alex: “Things moved very quickly in those days. Things caught alight. Andrew was always looking to the borders of a sound where the experimentation lay – he always wanted to know what was going on at the outer edges. He loved music and always searched for a connection between one piece of music to another, one label to another, or the link between dub reggae and Basic Channel. He got that really quickly and was genuinely spirited and excited about techno and there was a real energy there at that time in the clubs, the records, the opening up of Europe in terms of labels and scenes. There was a real broadening of horizons that Andrew lapped up. There were great drugs around at that time and the music suited that energy. Clubs were open ‘til 6am, not 2am, so there was a different clubland evolving. A lot of people looked to Andrew to push the envelope and try something new. Then there was a huge movement into heavier, darker, faster music that he was pivotal in. There was Colin Dale and Steve Bicknell already playing that of course and the Detroit guys like Derrick May and Juan Atkins became big news. Andrew gravitated towards the excitement.”

James: “When he started playing techno I dropped off booking him. I didn’t want to stand on the other techno clubs’ shoes in Nottingham. That hard sound wasn’t the right vibe for Venus, it was better suited to the Marcus Garvey or people would travel up to the Orbit in Morley to see him.”

Cymon: “He did it on purpose, playing hard techno. He wanted to reinvent himself to test his creativity. He was there when things were embryonic.”

Jeff: “He lost me several times with remixes and club sets around that time. But he was never boring. Herbal Tea Party in Manchester, he lost me in there a couple of times. Sometimes he’d be trying things out – out of boredom. Sometimes, you’d think: ‘Fucking hell, Andrew, put a tune on!’”

“Even when he was full-on ‘panel beaters from Prague’ it was always really interesting. He was always ahead of the game.” David Holmes

Anna: “Because of his background in more alternative stuff techno felt more of an answer for him to house music. I used to go to Sabresonic and it was dark with a goth punk vibe."

David: “He got progressively harder, but it was always really interesting. Even when he was full-on ‘panel beaters from Prague’ it was always really interesting. He was always ahead of the game and re-inventing himself. He set his own trends and people generally followed. He would say the worst feeling is when someone says they don’t like something you didn’t put your heart and soul into. It was like an education for me.”

Ed: “He was one of the first people to play ‘Song To The Siren’. It was a difficult track to play as it was so much slower than everything else. Tom and I would drive in Tom’s Ford Granada to every club he was playing to hear it. I was summoned to the back of the room of the Boardwalk in Manchester and he said he loved the record, and he wanted to sign it to the label. I was a bit tongue tied. Probably muttered: ‘Oh would you do a remix?’”

Terry: “Andrew did bring in The Chemical Brothers to Junior Boy’s Own, a couple of young kids who had given him a tape to play and he thought we should put it out. So we did.”

With Weatherall leaving Junior Boy’s Own with a legendary discovery we shall conclude things. Jockey Slut was being hatched around the same time ‘Song To The Siren’ came out and Weatherall would grace our third cover in the spring of 1993.

Bobby Gillespie interview by Sean O’Hagan (first published in the Guardian February 2020)

This article is taken from 'Andrew Weatherall - A Jockey Slut Tribute' published by Disco Pogo in 2020.

Read more

Don’t Call It A Comeback