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.
Jacks - Seasons In The Sun (Bell)
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!"
- That'll Be The Day OST (Ronco)
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!"
Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
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!"
The Hoople - Greatest Hits (CBS)
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."
Stanshall - Sir Henry At Rawlinson's End (Virgin)
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."
- The British Hustle (Island)
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
SIX RECORDS THAT NEVER LEAVE MY BOX
Vincent - Crazy Beat (Capital)
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
Perkins - Dixie Fried (Sun)
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!"
Burnette - Rockabilly Boogie (MCA)
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!"
Pistoleers - Bank Robber (Raucous)
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!'"
Philips & The Hot Rod Gang - Tainted Love (Rockhouse)
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!"
Scott & The Leroys - What Kind Of Woman (Imperial)
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!"
SIX PEAK-TIME FLOORFILLERS
Dice - Pimp Jackson Is Talking Now (Desolat)
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
- Minimono (Tuning Spork)
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!"
- The Brood (Rotters Golf Club)
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?"
& 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!"
Duque - Don't Be So Mean (Town)
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
Houle - Sixty-Four (M_nus)
just dry dirty beepy funk with a real alien quality to it. Nuff
SIX NON-DANCE RECORDS
Mann - Just For Me (Fontana)
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
Pogues - A Rainy Night In Soho (Stiff )
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."
Warlocks - Song For Nico (Bomp)
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."
Jesus & Mary Chain - Darklands (WEA)
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."
Fritts - We Had It All (Atlantic)
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."
Van Zandt - You Are Not Needed Now (Charly)
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
SIX DRIVING TUNES
- Rise To Glory (Southern Lord)
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."
& Daughters - The Nest (Domino)
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."
- Made Of Night (Marquis Cha Cha)
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."
Walker - All I Can Do Is Cry (ABC Paramount)
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."
Williams - Route To Palm (Domino)
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."
Townes Earle - Who Am I To Say? (NPR Music)
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
SIX AFTERHOURS TUNES
Luther Dickinson - Oh How She Dances (Atlantic)
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."
Lou - Lucky Lou (Chess)
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."
Dent & His Invaders - Wolf Call (Shelley)
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
Cutters - I've Had It (Decca)
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."
Cramps - I Ain't Nothing But A Gorehound (New Rose)
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)
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