Two sudden, shocking deaths in the last week.
Firstly, Caroline Flack. I’ve never watched Love Island, which she hosted (so I’m told), but I was aware of her. I knew she was a TV presenter, I always thought she seemed like a good laugh when I saw her on the box, I was vaguely aware that the red tops thought it controversial that she was dating a man several year her junior a few years ago. Had the roles been reversed, doubtless the man would have been treated like a legend. The manner of her death was a shock, the scramble to point fingers in different directions to appoint the blame no surprise though.
And then the news of Andrew Weatherall’s sudden passing, brought into sharp focus to me because he died due to a pulmonary embolsim – the very thing I was admitted to hospital for, back in 2018. I survived, he didn’t and, without wishing to sound overly dramatic or morose, I can’t help but think that the world would be a lot less poorer off had it been the other way round.
I met him once. I say “met”, what I actually mean is ‘was in the proximity of’. I was at London’s Liverpool Street station, and suddenly there he was, walking towards me through the crowds.
I say “towards me”, what I actually mean is ‘coincidentally in the direction of where I was standing’. I stood there, mouth open, partly at being this close to a genuine music legend, but also in shock that absolutely nobody else seemed to have recognised him.
He noticed me though, stood there staring at him with my mouth wide open, and as he passed he gave me a nod, safe in the knowledge that I was too dumbstruck to be able to respond/bother him.
Anyway, where do you start when you want to summarise the body of work that Weatherall created? Well, in my case, you don’t even try – you simply doff your cap at the genius of the man, and then point you in the direction of someone who can articulate the loss better than anyone I know.
For as long as I’ve followed music blogs, and certainly for a lot longer than I’ve actually written one, my go-to place for all things Weatherall was Swiss Adam’s place Bagging Area. There’s no finer place to discover the mind-boggling breadth of Weatherall’s musical creativity. Go see.
And in the meantime, this slice of bass-heavy beauty, a mix which still, after all these years stops me in my tracks, awestruck, everytime I hear it:
Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (A Mix Of Two Halves By Andrew Weatherall)