HE MIGHT describe himself as the “classic underachiever”, but Andrew Weatherall doesn’t seem to have done so badly.
A music and fashion nut from Windsor with an unhealthy obsession for the minutiae of the rituals and mores of a string of different youth cults, Weatherall is part of that charmed generation who were just about old enough to experience the first wave of punk rock first hand but not too old to appreciate acid house 10 years later.
Inspired by Peter Hooton’s The End fanzine, Weatherall and his friends Terry Farley, Cymon Eccles and Steve Mayes – already seasoned clubbers to a man – created the football, music and fashion Boy’s Own fanzine in 1987.
They threw some very groovy guerrilla parties styled on the scene they’d experienced at places like Amnesia in Ibiza, before Weatherall, Farley and Steve May launched the hugely-influential Boy’s Own record label (look out for 20th anniversary events coming up this year), which has gone on to bring people such as the Chemical Brothers, Underworld, X-Press 2 and Black Science Orchestra to the world’s attention.
Weatherall is probably as much to blame for the horror that was ‘indie-dance’ as the Great Satan Oakenfold. His remix of Primal Scream’s I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have – which he transformed into the downtempo Balearic masterpiece Loaded – spawned a thousand tedious de-facto cover versions by everyone from Blur to the Soup Dragons.
Since then, the former Shoom resident has become synonymous with the heavier, more intense end of electronica, with club nights like Blood Sugar and Sabresonic and production outfits like Sabres of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen. But Weatherall has a million other aliases and guises. He’s a difficult man to pin down.
The last time our paths crossed, a couple of years ago, I busted my knee dancing around an open-air club at 6am after a long, long night at the Benicassim festival in Spain.
I’d somehow got separated from Dr Drew and, decidedly dazed and confused, made friends with some lovely boys from Zaragoza who, amongst other kindnesses, blagged me into the party.
Weatherall wasn’t playing punk, but I felt the need to pogo. It was that kind of night/morning. In fact, he’d actually gone a bit disco, well, in a deep house kinda way. It was an entirely unexpected turn of events, but it was a laugh a minute.
The first time I met Andrew Weatherall was in Leeds towards the end of 1993 after a gig at Soundclash.