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Six By Six: Andrew Weatherall

A good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll selection

2009 Jan 01      Issue: 108
2 Bit Thugs

Lgendary DJ/producer Andrew Weatherall invites us into the Rotters Golf Club's darkest vaults and lets us in on some of his most closely-guarded rockabilly secrets. Consider this an education.


Terry Jacks - Seasons In The Sun (Bell)

"The first piece of music that sent shivers down my spine and made me feel funny. I was about 10 at the time and I remember it being a big hit. The first that moved me and it was a death ballad with twangy guitars... you can fill in the rest to this present day!"

Various - That'll Be The Day OST (Ronco)

"A similar situation really. A real loin-tingler! They advertised this on the TV with teddy boys in their drape coats on the back of dodgem cars with Del Shannon's Runaway - another ghostly song with those prototype synth noises. A real otherworldly escapist thing. It wasn't just the music it was the connection: dressing up and music. Glam rock was beginning to ignite at the time and it didn't take me long to work out it was rock 'n' roll just with different trousers and a shade more eyeliner!"

David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (RCA)

"The track on this for me was Rock 'N' Roll Suicide. We'd walk from my house to my grandparents' house a mile away and just play this, rewind and play it again. And again. Maybe I should be lying on a couch telling you this - all my earliest influences are death songs!"

Mott The Hoople - Greatest Hits (CBS)

"There's a track called Foxy Foxy which is a ghostly, Phil Spector kinda song which stood out to me the most. They just looked good and sounded good. It wasn't until years later that I found out that The Clash producer Guy Stevens was a massive Mott The Hoople fan and that's why I love both bands so much."

Viv Stanshall - Sir Henry At Rawlinson's End (Virgin)

"This took me to another world. They're stories that were serialised on John Peel. I used to listen to these in another world anyway because I'd be hiding under my covers with the radio, and on comes Viv with his lovely fruity tones. He made me fall in love with the English language and how it can be played with."

Hi-Tension - The British Hustle (Island)

"I've always been a confused soul boy and punk rocker. I've always loved dressing up and the soul weekenders and Brit-funk dos were amazing for it: you could dress like a total balloon and no-one would hassle you. I used to sneak off to the weekenders in Slough when I was as young as 14. People forget that a lot of punks were bored soul boys.""


Gene Vincent - Crazy Beat (Capital)

"These are the ones that never leave my rock 'n' roll box as opposed to my disco business! I always start my sets with this because it opens with the lyrics 'Come on everybody click your fingers stamp your feet we're going to dance to the crazy beat'. I just love those call-to-arms dance records. It's like, come on, here we go, it's off!'."

Carl Perkins - Dixie Fried (Sun)

"Again this is a real call-to-arms tune. The chorus says 'Rave on children, let's get Dixie fried!'. It's an afterhours moment: the cops could raid us any time but let's do it anyway!"

Johnny Burnette - Rockabilly Boogie (MCA)

"This is another agenda record. It's got an amazing beat and sense of energy. If anyone asks me what rockabilly is I'll play them this. Simple as that!"

The Pistoleers - Bank Robber (Raucous)

"This is a cover of The Clash. It's rockabilly Clash! It's my most asked-about record in my rockabilly sets. You can't get it on vinyl any more but it's fairly easy to find on compilations. It actually sounds like The Clash doing an authentic rockabilly record. People come up with a very puzzled look on their face asking if it came before The Clash. I'm like 'Nah don't worry mate, it's a cover, The Clash wrote it!'"

Dave Philips & The Hot Rod Gang - Tainted Love (Rockhouse)

"This is probably the second most asked-about record in my rockabilly set. Any cover version of Tainted Love always works a treat. If the ladies are leaving the dancefloor then this comes out straight away. It's in a glass case with a hammer... in case of lady emergency break glass!"

Simon Scott & The Leroys - What Kind Of Woman (Imperial)

"This is a kind of R&B-infused, sleazy rock 'n' roll number. Again it's one for the ladies, it's a bit slower and it has real funk to it. Yeah, it's funky rock 'n' roll basically. And it always gets the girls on the floor!"


Loco Dice - Pimp Jackson Is Talking Now (Desolat)

"This is the 12-inch version. It's a great set opener, it just starts off deep and rumbling with that deep voice saying 'I can do all sorts of grooves, I can do slow grooves, fast shit' and so on, and then the bassline kicks in and it kicks off. It's a dirty old skool-sounding Chicago pumper!"

Ratman - Minimono (Tuning Spork)

"More filth, basically! It's trashy butt-music with a vocal break and an ascending noise. All the basic ingredients that you need for some good old-fashioned butt-wiggling!"

Fairplay - The Brood (Rotters Golf Club)

"Now this is an unreleased track that I'm hoping to put out next year. It's just a ridiculous old skool-sounding belter riddled with 303s and 808s. All the dance music I love is really simple, dry-sounding stuff. It's the same with a lot of the surf instrumentals, it's got that honest dirt and filth that's not really thought about. The more you think about things the more up its own arse it gets. It's like IDM or intelligent bloody techno... it's not on really is it?"

Nikitin & Semikashve - Swirl (Robotronic)

"This was handed to me in the Rex club in Paris a couple of months ago by a wide-eyed chap with a big grin on his face. I don't know anything about it except it works a treat on the dancefloor. A lot of the music I play is like this... all I know is that it's given to me by eager-looking youths. This is one of my heavier records - it's for those moments when we're reaching the crescendo!"

Abu Duque - Don't Be So Mean (Town)

"This is a ridiculous take on Sandee's Notice Me which was a really big acid house record that has a bassline that everyone will recognise. It has these really big overblown pianos that have probably been nicked from Debussy or someone with this woman talking. way through it has this insane acid crescendo before calming with various piano flurries."

Marc Houle - Sixty-Four (M_nus)

"Again, just dry dirty beepy funk with a real alien quality to it. Nuff said!"


Manfred Mann - Just For Me (Fontana)

"For this category I thought, what's the absolute polar opposite? And it's that time in the morning when you can't even stand up, let alone dance. I don't know if you've ever seen those pictures of Keith Richards and Gram Parsons, where it's about six or seven in the morning and they're sat on this beautiful veranda. All these records conjure up that image for me. I'm going, but I'm going with a fight! This track in particular is one of my favourite London songs. It's very English."

The Pogues - A Rainy Night In Soho (Stiff )

"I've been known to cry at this. Whenever I see it live I have to do a lot of manly coughing and shuffling my feet! I'm obsessed with Soho and this sums it all up. It's for those moments when you're stumbling around and you don't know if you'll make it to the gutter or a taxi."

The Warlocks - Song For Nico (Bomp)

"Take a bit of The Cure, a bit of the Velvet Underground and a bit of New Order and you get this. It's a wondery smacked-out track that will forever remind me of my wife-to-be. It's beautiful."

The Jesus & Mary Chain - Darklands (WEA)

"Listen to the lyrics. It's that self-realisation that you're not walking the line. If there's any record company people reading, Bobby Gillespie tells me him and Shane MacGowan want to do a version of this. Can you imagine? It's too beautiful to consider."

Donnie Fritts - We Had It All (Atlantic)

"I got introduced to this in 1993 in a very seedy flat in Camden at about eight in the morning. The gentleman who owned the flat put this on and it's a beautiful country-soul track that will always be infused with a slight whiff of infidelity. We'll leave it at that."

Townes Van Zandt - You Are Not Needed Now (Charly)

"Listen to those lyrics! It's the end of the night, it's all over on every level. This is a beautiful country-soul track written by a genius writer."


Earth - Rise To Glory (Southern Lord)

"Driving tunes are bit weird for me because I don't drive. But my mate Sean drives me and he runs this disco edit thing called Beard Science so I was just going to put a Sean Johnson mix CD, but the last time we drove anywhere I put on a compilation and these six tracks are the ones that made him go 'What the hell's this?'. Earth is fronted by the man who bought Kurt Cobain the gun he shot himself with. It's real stoner rock - bleak desert music."

Sons & Daughters - The Nest (Domino)

"I bought one of their albums a while back and it was nice country/blues-y styles. Then I heard this and I was just like 'Wow!'. It's like rockabilly mixed with The Ronettes, it's a real rock-out track that I didn't expect. I had them as something different completely then this came along. The change sounds natural too."

Whitey - Made Of Night (Marquis Cha Cha)

"A bit of electronic psychedelia now. It's very strange and very English. I met Nathan Whitey and told him that, and he was really happy. He just listed off all these old English films and British psychedelia that had inspired him. Some British psychedelia can get a bit twee but he's really retained the darker side of it. This is more Edwardian than Victorian."

Wayne Walker - All I Can Do Is Cry (ABC Paramount)

"An amazing rockabilly record. The guy who played the guitar is Grady Martin who played on Johnny Burnette records as well. He's one of the masters of using a guitar as a percussive instrument. This really is a lethal rockabilly record."

White Williams - Route To Palm (Domino)

"One of the very few new artistes I like and can actually listen to these days. I heard a track of his earlier this year called New Violence: it's a bit Kraut, there's some Eno in there, glam rock... it's great. I picked up the album as soon as I could and it's great."

Justin Townes Earle - Who Am I To Say? (NPR Music)

"The son of Steve Earle. It's a very beautiful wistful song that talks to an ex-partner who's going off the rails. You can do your pills and your potions, it's not doing you any good but who am I to say? It's beautifuly sung and beautifully produced. I saw him play in this pub basement recently in Clerkenwell, just him and his guitar. It was superb."


James Luther Dickinson - Oh How She Dances (Atlantic)

"Adult drinking music is sleazy rock 'n' roll. It's faded glamour... scratch the surface of glamour and you'll find something very ordinary and seedy. When I hear this type of music I'll reach for the cognac. This track is about a guy who goes to a circus and they're like 'See this amazing exotic dancing girl, she's turned the heads of sultans', but it turns out she was at his school and wasn't exotic at all."

Lucky Lou - Lucky Lou (Chess)

"This is a Latin-infused sleazy bar room record. Every time I play it I hear glasses chinking and things are warming up. A great record."

Lord Dent & His Invaders - Wolf Call (Shelley)

"This is a slow R&B number with a man howling like a wolf and screaming saxophones. It's insane! Any time I play a burlesque gig this ends up being one of the best tracks of the night. It's so dirty it's amazing."

The Cutters - I've Had It (Decca)

"I originally heard this on Alex Chilton's Like Flies Round Sherbert album. His version of this is ridiculous, it's out of tune and sloppy but it sounds amazing. It sounds like how it was recorded five or six in the morning in Memphis. Then I found this on a compilation called British Rock 'N' Roll '53-'56 on Decca and there's this version by The Cutters. It sounds like Chilton has heard this obscure version and covered it. I think it was written by a guy called Peanuts Wilson, and I know Alex Chilton was obsessed with British music, so he probably heard this."

The Cramps - I Ain't Nothing But A Gorehound (New Rose)

"Things are beginning to pick up now, and there's some ladies shimmying on the dancefloor. This is just a great sleazy party record. The opening line is 'I don't know about art, but I know what I like/slipping in the swamp on a Saturday night'. Need I say more?"

The Animals - Outcast (Decca)

"This is the B-side to their single Inside Looking Out and it's a weird garage northern soul record. It's got that driving beat and some great pianos but then in comes this fuzz guitar! It's just a great sleazy record."