Some words and pics from Alan Dearling
A weekend of live music, DJs and mixers. Co-ordinated by Todmorden’s Golden Lion crew. A celebration of what would have been music producer, musician and DJ, Andrew Weatherall’s 60th birthday.
Eager crowds of dancers, plenty of May Bank Holiday high spirits immersed themselves amongst lots of memorabilia of Andrew’s life and musical careers, plus the presence of many members of the Weatherall family. Andrew W was last at the Golden Lion with his many world-wide and local fans and friends for the 5th ALFOS weekender (A Love From Outer Space) with Sean Johnston and others in June 2019. Sadly, it took place only a relatively short time before his untimely demise at the age of 56 in February 2020. I was there for most of that weekend, and had opportunities to chat with him, finding him to be gentle, warm, companionable and deeply knowledgeable concerning many styles of music. The range of music he played over three days was genuinely genre-defying. It encompassed rockabilly, blues, psychedelia, techno, electronica, rave, hip-hop, rock and dance. But I guess, Andrew will be most remembered for being centre-stage of Acid House and as the producer of Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’ and ‘Screamadelica’ and My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Soon’. His own electronica trio, The Sabres of Paradise released three cult albums.
And so the 2023 ‘AW60’ event was a thoroughly mixed musical bag. It physically and sonically overlapped with the Todmorden Folk Festival weekend – Morris Men, clog dancers, fiddles and bagpipes were melded into the fabric of the local area, down by the Rochdale Canal and inside and outside venues, pubs and bars, cafes and eateries throughout Tod’s market streets and gunnels.
Sunday night at AW60, a variety of DJ sets and live, Andy Bell and Chris Rotter. Two guitarists…a relaxed, improvising-style set. More of a jam than a show, but delightfully intimate. Andy Bell is something akin to rock-royalty having been the co-founder of the band, Ride, often named as the creators of the ‘shoe-gazing’ style of music. But, Andy was also in Oasis for nearly ten years and in Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye. He’s an innovator in electronic music, but is primarily a guitarist and bass-player, but most definitely with ‘added loops, pedals and effects’. He’s also been working on his solo work (most recently the double album ‘Flicker’ 2022), new compositions with Chris Rotter and in Glok, plus occasional reunions with Ride. The sound of this duo gigging was strangely ethereal, jangling guitars and interweaving of soundscapes. Strange, but overall entrancing and enveloping. And a fitting tribute to Andrew Weatherall, who Andy Bell had worked alongside in many musical conflagrations. All in all, a magnificent party for the Guv’nor! Live Video: https://vimeo.com/822933811