Eddy Says

Eddy Says: Don’t take shit from moody DJs

By | Published on Monday 16 May 2011

Andrew Weatherall

You know I’m nervous around legends. I didn’t sleep much before Gary Numan came in, and James Lavelle, and even Andy C, the nicest guy in drum n bass, both made me sleepless the night before our respective co-hosts. In every case, I was pleasantly surprised by how well we got on and what lovely people they were. I should have guessed a similar pattern would transpire earlier this month when I was vexing furiously about Andy Weatherall coming in.

Primal Scream’s producer and a DJ legend from Danny Rampling’s Shoom night, Weatherall comes with a reputation. Some of you may remember, in the early days of the internet, mid to late nineties, that music web company ‘iCrunch’ and their distinctive little red stickers that made ubiquitous appearances on the tube, buses and DJ bags across the nation, which read ‘Don’t Take Shit From Moody DJs’. I was told, at the time, that Weatherall provided the inspiration for that sticker campaign.

I had met him once before, but nothing more than a nod and a handshake when he played at my Remix Night when it was at Cargo. Clubs are never a good scenario for meeting anyone. I think the only actual conversation we had came when I rushed up to the booth having heard Audio Bullys’ ‘Real Life’ for the first time. It went something like this:

“What’s that? It’s brilliant!”
“These two lads from Hounslow…”

I’ve heard other stories of ‘moodiness’ in the past, but when he breezed alone into the Xfm studio, we exchanged a warm and friendly hand shake, and started bantering straight away.

He looked amazing, with a George V beard, so perfectly regal and anachronistic it’s as if the Xfm studio had just been fitted with a Flux Capacitor. He stroked it and told me a self-depreacting story about his missus catching him with a bit of pasta caught in it, on his way out to meet me, and how this spelt the start of his dotage.

Actually, he almost constantly stroked it, in the same way Prince Charles (whom Andrew looked related to, clearly) plays with his ring or his cufflinks.

Just like with Numan, Lavelle and the pride of Hornchurch, I needn’t have worried at all. Andrew turned out to be the most delightful co-host. Charming, convivial, witty, intelligent, opinionated, and informed, all the things that make for a truly great guest. He has such a strong sense of humour, and a great turn of phrase to go with it.

“I’ve been working on this Trentmøller mix, but the original was like a tsunami of disappointment emanating from the CD player”, he quipped about what he perceived as an uncharacteristically below par track from a great producer. Of course, Andrew’s remix of it was brilliant, a true professional. He’d not let personal feelings or emotions cloud his judgement, and delivered an absolute belter for the Danish maverick.

He handed me gem after gem of remixes, sealing my opinion that he is truly one of the greatest producers the UK has ever given birth to, always keeping the bar high, never delivering anything short of brilliant.

In the middle of it all we touched on non-musical technology. I asked if he was like PJ Harvey, with no phone and no email. He said that he had a phone and that it would be ‘churlish’ (his favourite word of the evening) not to have email, because he needed to be contactable for work, but that he did not “do Twitter”.

Being a lover of both Twitter and Weatherall, I told him what I suspect he already knows and has been told a hundred times, that Twitter would be a wonderful forum for the captivating combination of his professional life and his razor sharp sense of humour. I asked him why he didn’t use it. He said: “I like to think I have better things to do with my time”, with a knowing smirk from behind the ‘Imperial’ (as he told me was the name for his majestic statement beard).

He told me that he met some random guy in an airport in Switzerland, and was chatting to him, when he got a phone call from a friend who said: “Are you in an airport in Switzerland right now?” Andrew was gobsmacked, then realised the guy he was talking to had tweeted, while talking. Andrew hilariously pointed out that this random exchange might have torn a hole in the space-time continuum, and made him even more wary of the dangers of Twitter.

The hour I spent with Andrew was the fastest hour I’ve ever experienced on radio. That is a reflection of how entertaining and engaging he is. I already know he’s coming back – but for much much more – later in the year. There was so much left unsaid and so much left unplayed, that we both knew this was just a comparative starter and that the main course was still to come.

With that in mind, the reason Andrew was there in the first place was to give a plug to the Glade Festival, where we both find ourselves on the bill. Me with Losers, playing live on the mainstage, and Mr Weatherall as one of the ‘legend’ DJs on the line-up at the freshly invigorated festival.

Glade took a break last year because the police callously attempted to rob them by re-classifying the festival along the same lines as a football match, thereby increasing their normal police fee by ten times or so. This year the best electronic dance music festival out there has been rescued by Freddie, the Head Gardener of the beloved Secret Garden Party, who has bought a stake in Glade and ensured it’s back this year and on a gorgeous new site, retaining all its individuality, its raison d’etre, that has always been so strong with that festival. It’s still the Glade and still booked by the same nice guys, and will always keep its unique character.

I’m so looking forward to being there this year, and you could be, too. I have two pairs of tickets for two of you to experience this brilliant little festival, in its first year with The Secret Garden Party as its fairy godmother. Both festivals are run by people whose motivation is not money but the desire to put on the best festivals, and provide the best possible experience for the extended family of people who come together (no Weatherall pun intended but what a happy accident) for them.

Check the Glade line-up at www.gladefestival.com and once you’ve picked your jaw up, send an email to competitions@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to be in with a chance of a pair of tickets to the festival. The closing date for entries is 22 May.

X eddy