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Sunday 7 May 2023

AW60: Saturday's Angels

                                                               Picture by photographer Scott Gouldsbrough

A week ago at The Golden Lion in Todmorden a very special event took place, the stars aligning and everything coming together just so, creating two days that will live long in the memory (or at least, the bits that I can remember- my recall of some of late on Saturday night is sketchy in places). AW60 has been pulled together by Lizzie, Andrew's partner, and Ian, his brother, over four venues that had big connections to Andrew. The fourth and final leg of the month was also due in no small part to the ever generous hosts of The Golden Lion, Richard and Gig, who run what can only be described as The Best Pub In The World. There are lots of other pubs, you may know them, that are brilliant, great places to go to drink, to eat, to socialise, to sit on your own or with friends, to chill out and have fun and that feel like homes from home. But The Golden Lion is something else,- a pub in a town in the West Yorkshire hills, that combines a proper pub vibe with a gig venue, nightclub, and Thai restaurant (plus a record label)- and also much more. AW60 pulled together a crowd of fans, friends and family of Andrew and threw a birthday party for him. I was lucky enough to be part of the DJ line up for the Saturday, the five man Flightpath Estate DJ team playing from 1pm through until Justin Robertson taking over at 10pm. We took an hour each in the afternoon and then took it turns to play three tracks each, rotating back to back after 7pm, a nine hour DJ set that flew by in the blink of an eye. 

Upstairs a raffle, merch stall and exhibition were in full swing. Later on upstairs Timothy J. Fairplay played, an hour of synths and thundering drum machines that finished with Tim performing some of the songs he wrote with Andrew as The Asphodells, songs never played live before- Late Flowering Dub, We Are The Axis and One Minute's Silence. Over the road there were DJ sets by Dave Beer and Bernie Connor, both long standing friends of Lord Sabre. 

Sunday saw Andrew's old friends Sherman and Curley take the reins at the DJ booth, playing some tremendous, earth shaking dub. In the evening Chris Rotter, the guitarist on Andrew's solo album A Pox On The Pioneers, played a set of songs from that album with Ride/ Glok's Andy Bell accompanying him on guitar. These songs have never been played live before either, Chris reworking them, singing and playing them pared down and full of emotion. It was quite a moment. Sunday night began to raise the tempo and temperature again as Heidi and Lovefingers DJed. 

The atmosphere on the Saturday afternoon and evening were something else, with people arriving from all over- Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, London- and filling the pub. Our sets weren't recorded but we have spent part of this week recreating them. They may not be 100% accurate but they are there or thereabouts, versions of our hours, inspired by Andrew's own music, the music he played on the radio and at gigs and shows, and music in the spirit of his never ending quest to unearth more.  

Me and Baz arrived at the Lion first, welcomed by Richard and then given the run of the DJ booth. Once we'd located the On button and got set up, Baz opened, an hour of songs beginning with Selective Walking, the instrumental that Andrew used to open some of his radio shows with. From there there's Two Lone Swordsmen, OMD, The Jesus And Mary Chain, New Order's Your Silent Face, a song that came and went throughout the two days in various forms, almost the weekend's theme tune, and plenty more.

Baz's AW60 Set At The Golden Lion

Martin took over from Baz. His set is at Mixcloud. It kicks off with some ambient Weatherall/ Tenniswood and includes Coyote, Chris and Cosey, Ananda Shankar, Gene Vincent, The Pistoleers cover of The Clash's Bankrobber, The Summerisle Trio, Sabres Of Paradise and Section 25.

I took over from Martin and played a set that went something like this...

Adam's AW 60 Set at The Golden Lion

  • Andy Bell: The Sky Without You (David Holmes Radical Mycology Remix)
  • Sabres Of Paradise: Jacob Street 7AM
  • The Liminanas: Garden Of Love (Lundi Mouille Andrew Weatherall Remix)
  • Alex Kassian: Spirit Of Eden
  • The Vendetta Suite: Purple Haze, Yellow Sunrise (David Holmes Remix)
  • Durutti Column: For Belgian Friends
  • Andrew Weatherall: The Confidence Man
  • A Certain Ratio: House In Motion (Demo Version 1)
  • The Clash: The Street Parade
  • Madness: Death Of A Rude Boy (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
  • Meatraffle: Meatraffle On The Moon
This may not be completely correct because I'm sure I also played this in my afternoon set (unless I overran a bit which is entirely possible or maybe I played it later, memory fails me slightly here). Habbanera is a gorgeous slice of Italian prog remixed by Balearic stalwarts Leo Mas and Fabrice. 

I know I played it because I took a photo of it as it span for some reason. 

The excitement at playing, the nerves dissipating, the songs coming out of the sound system- I don't want to get too carried away and too breathless but it was incredible, the sort of thing that made you pinch yourself occasionally to check it all was actually happening. 

Dan went next. His hour is also at Mixcloud. Dan's set flows beautifully, taking in a lovely Bob Marley/ Bill Laswell remix, Dominik von Seger and Montezumas Rache, Peter Gordon and Daniel Avery's tribute to Andrew Lone Swordsman, Dan's mixing absolutely spot on. 

Mark picked up the headphones next and played for ninety minutes (being stuck on the decks while the rest of us got fed). The first half of his set is recreated at Soundcloud and features a forthcoming remix by his own Rude Audio (a little self promotion never goes amiss), Boy George and Spatial Awareness, David Harrow, Neil Young, Sabo, Acid Arab and James Rod (again remixed by Rude Audio). By this point we were heading into the evening, the pub was filling, excitement and anticipation growing, Mark's dubby dance keeping it building. 

As the energy levels rose and the atmosphere with it, we went back to back, three songs each, and it all turned into a blur- at some point I played Mark Lanegan's Ode To Sad Disco, Roisin's All My Dreams, Bjork's Violently Happy (remixed by Fluke), the Soulwax remix of A Hero's Death by Fontaines D.C., the Tribal mix of Pete Wylie's Sinful and Sub- culture by New Order (the Lowlife version). What everyone else was playing in their three song sets is lost to me right now- Martin played Wilmot at one point in an attempt to pull the tempos back a bit. Photographer Scott took this shot of me as I scanned the display, about to cue something up...


And these pictures show four of the five of us at work/ play... (smiling obviously something that was beyond most of us when the shutter was clicked). Baz was elsewhere. 

Edit: here's Baz at the decks.

At around 9.45 we had fifteen minutes until Justin Robertson took over from us. I had two of Justin's remixes in my bag which I decided we should play in advance of him playing. I'm not sure this was the coolest idea anyone's ever had but once I'd committed myself to it there was no going back. First up was his 1991 remix of Caravan by Inspiral Carpets, a chunky, dancefloor filler with a vocal sample intoning, 'you play consciousness expanding material', and some cracking pianos....

Caravan (No Windscreen Mix)

I followed it with Justin's Most Excellent remix of Saturday's Angels by If?, uptempo, progressive indie- dance/ house from 1992. By this point Justin was in the booth next to me, pulling the pitch control down slightly to cue this up with his first track (which turned out to be Andrew's remix of Soon by My Bloody Valentine which caused something close to mayhem).

Justin then played three hours of perfectly pitched dance music to a room of friendly, smiling faces, pausing briefly while sixty candles were distributed and happy birthday sung to an absent friend. The music kicked back in with Don't Fight It, Feel It. After that, well, after that my memories are mainly of dancing and being lost in it all. The tracklist Justin posted up midweek shows a mixture of music, old and new, by Andrew and others climaxing with Smokebelch, St. Anthony and Come Together. 

It was quite the day and night. I was pretty nervous in the week leading up to it and needn't have been, everyone was friendly and there to enjoy themselves. I don't think anyone really noticed (or cared) if a mix or cue was slightly off. Someone said a day or two afterwards, we had the best time with the best people in the best pub with the best hosts, and that does sum it up. This picture, taken in the early hours and for some of us, in a state of some dishevelment, captures it too. The whole thing, from start to finish and top to bottom was, to borrow a phrase from the lovely Mr. Robertson, most excellent. 

Left to right- Dave Beer, Justin Robertson, Tim Fairplay, Baz, Gig, me, Bernie Connor, Martin, Dan, Richard (Mark missing, somewhere in the Golden Lion).


Ernie Goggins said...

Looks like you all had a great time

The Beard said...

Looks and sounds amazing. Well played all round.

Where can we find Justin's setlist? Any chance of sticking it on here?

Swiss Adam said...

Yes, The Beard, will find it and post here.

Swiss Adam said...

Here, from Justin...

As far as I can remember and from what science tells me...
1. My Bloody Valentine - Soon (Andrew Weatherall remix)
2. James - Come Home (Andrew Weatherall remix)
3. Whitesquare - Motron Sting
5. Primal Scream - Don't Fight it Fell It scat mix (Andrew Weatherall remix)
6. Tempo Temple - Days of Chandra
7. Genish - Third Eye
8. Robot 84 v Tama
9. KLF - What Time is Love
10. Toddla T - Watch me Dance (Andrew Weatherall remix)
11. Jezebell - Trading Places 2am
12. Lionrock - Lionrock
13. Kali Mist - Fire in the Hole
14. Bawrut - Yas
15. React to Rhythm - Intoxication
16. Whitesquare - Acid Flash
17. Alejandro Paz - Duro
18. Smiling Faces - Wooden Head
19. Suns of Arqua - City of Nine Gates (Andrew Weatherall remix)(SYT- PLEASURE)
20. Acid Arab - Ya Mahla
21. Todh Terri - Deep in India 3
22. Eye BM - Eye BM2
23. Jamie Anderson & Jesse Rose - Jack Your Body
24. Hard Ton - WDYKAAHM
25. Slam - Positive Education
26. Meat Beat Manifesto - Radio Babylon
27. United Eye - Ska East
28. Cosman - Zombi
29. Mugwump - Die Nacht ist Kuhl
30. Terr - Only for Tonight
31. Winx - Don't Laugh
32. W.R.F - Mistress Ploppy
33. Innersphere - Let's Go to Work
34. Bwana - Generation Nostalgia
35. Omri Smadar & Roy Shpilman- Adama
36. The Backwoods - Cloud Nine
37. Manics - 24 Hour Party People
38. Sabres of Paradise - Smokebelch (David Holmes mix)
39. St Anthony - An Ode to Saint Anthony (Andrew Weatherall remix)
40. Primal Scream - Come Together (Andrew Weatherall remix)

The Beard said...

Excellent! Or rather most excellent...


C said...

Ah brilliant. More than even just music - life-affirming.

Martha said...

Oh Adam this was a legendary night great write up so many beautiful memories still processing the awesome ness ❤️

mr_h said...

Beautiful! Long live Lord Sabre! 🖤⚔️🖤

Aaron E said...

Brought back a lot for f great memories, so thanks for this. Also didn’t realise Justin played so many tunes I forgot I had!

Khayem said...

What an unforgettable night, Adam (well, the boys you can remember…aw, you know what I mean!)

Wow. Handing over to David Holmes previously and now Justin Robertson…and your set list looks just brilliant, really looking forward to listening to it.

Best wishes, K

Anonymous said...

It was a bloody brilliant set. This woman’s still smiling.

JC said...

"The excitement at playing, the nerves dissipating, the songs coming out of the sound system- I don't want to get too carried away and too breathless but it was incredible, the sort of thing that made you pinch yourself occasionally to check it all was actually happening"

All superbly captured in this post. I think it's fair to say that you're officially a legend. Well done, mate.