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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Andrew Weatherall, A Pox on on the Pioneers March 13, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Let’s start with a sad story. Or sadish. Way back when in the 1990s I heard an interview with Terry Hall, who had at the time just released his first solo album, discussing how, when he was in the Fun Boy Three he used to be on Top of the Pops and he’d see Echo and the Bunnymen and other post-punk bands and he’d wish he was in them rather than his own outfit because he felt they were doing something more exciting, more of the moment. And that’s always stayed with me, the picture of the rather lugubrious Terry (and surely the word lugubrious was coined for our Tel), producing rather excellent albeit lugubrious and left field pop with his friends, having been in a vastly less lugubrious albeit equally excellent band before that (ah yes, The Specials have a special place in my heart) and aching to be in arguably even more lugubrious bands. Sad postscript too. The album he was promoting, his first solo, eschewed the experimentalism he had found so attractive in the 1980s in favour of a more ‘mature’ style. I guess he grew up. Or something.

Anyhow, listening to A Pox on the Pioneers, Andrew Weatherall, super producer extraordinaire’s (Primal Scream, etc, etc) first solo album and I think in a way he has produced the perfect post-punk, dance inflected version of Fun Boy Three. Granted it’s not as percussion heavy, and perhaps for that we should be grateful. And it’s certainly not coming from the same place. But in the vocals there is that slightly keening sound that Hall made his own and now that Weatherall has appropriated to remarkable effect. And there’s a dub feel to some of the tracks which somehow isn’t a million miles away from the original – particularly ‘Fail we may, dub we must’, the clue being in the title (and by the by, that reminds me, time to get the old Dub Syndicate albums out some weekend).

Now that’s not to say that he’s not made this sound his own. And he bloody should given all the practice he’s had. Some have also heard Daniel Ash of Love and Rockets. Maybe. A bit. Not a lot. But a bit. Some hear New Order, but I’m hearing late period Wire.

In a way it’s a surprise, it’s so traditional. And then you listen a bit more and there’s a heap of stuff happening beneath the instrumentation. And then you listen more again and here tracks like “All the Little Things” – unfortunately not available on YouTube – which channel his work with Two Lone Swordsmen, in particular the material on Tiny Reminders (and TLS took a dubbier direction across the last half decade or so), albeit in a more melodic fashion and you think… good.

And all this is to say that I’ve enjoyed it and I’d recommend anyone interested in a spin down this byway to give it a listen.

Fail We May, Sail We Must

A Pox on the Pioneers

Privately Electrified

Let’s Do the 7 Again

Comments»

1. Daniel Sullivan - March 17, 2010

Thanks for those, I always for some reason think of XTC when I see Andrew Weatherall’s name no idea why.

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WorldbyStorm - March 17, 2010

Andy Partridge? Although now you mention it… 🙂

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2. Daniel Sullivan - March 17, 2010

Or Barry Andrews who left early enough on. Now there’s an odd political link!

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WorldbyStorm - March 17, 2010

True indeed 🙂 (albeit he went to a better band IMHO)…

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3. Daniel Sullivan - March 17, 2010

Fripp or the Illuminati?

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WorldbyStorm - March 17, 2010

Depends on which Andrews. The thought of BA (RoI) with Fripp chills the blood considerably more than the thought of BA (UK) hanging out with the Illuminati!

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