A couple of weeks ago I was engaged in a chat on the Twitter with Drew and others and cassette bootlegs came up in conversation. Afterwards I went looking for my copy of  Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1. Drew had some tapes of Weatherall playing in Scotland at around the same time (c1993-4). We discussed those live bootleg tapes that used be sold in markets and student unions, terrible quality audience recordings of  The Stone Roses and The Fall and such like (Funny. I typed that sentence before MES died). The DJ tapes were at least recorded from the soundboard onto DAT. I found my tape in a box with some other tapes and posted it to Drew who has the facility to rip tapes. He then sent me the files. Thank you Drew. The tape is almost a quarter of a century old and survived both the Royal Mail and being turned into an mp3. The quality drops a bit here and there but is largely good.

What we have here is Weatherall playing the back room at Cream in 1994 (Cream pictured above), spinning techno and dub-techno, some acid, some sounding a tad dated in parts and some sounding still quite exciting elsewhere (but maybe that’s just me. I’ll be perfectly frank here- some of this tape made the hairs on the back of neck stand up and gave me butterflies. The potency of cheap music eh?). Lots of kick drums, snares, acid squiggles, the occasional spin back on the turntable (wubba wubba wubba wubba). And the vocal samples, which was I think the starting point of the conversation. The ones that stuck in my memory from way back were-

The one that goes ‘Pressure, pressure, pressure… yeah, yeah, yeah’ and then dissolves into ‘give me chocolate’. I remember dancing to this and a girl telling me that when this track made her feel like she was having melted chocolate poured over her, as the dry ice whirled around us and the strobe flashed.

The one that goes ‘New York- New York New York- New York New York- New York London Amsterdam’ over ascending rave synth stabs and a ‘ow huh uh’ sample, before breaking down completely into a reggae rhythm and then speeding up again. Hands in the air folks.

The one that I think we decided is a sample from a Shamen record that goes ‘Bang. To the beat of the drum. Bang bang. To the beat of the drum.’ Fingers rat-tat-tatting in the air, pinging imaginary hi-hats. I was sure this one was on it but it isn’t. In my head it is, he certainly was playing it around this time. Or maybe I had another tape. Anyway, regardless, back in time we go, to Cream in 1994 and Weatherall in the back room.

Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1 Part 1

Andrew Weatherall Live at Cream Vol. 1 Part 2

Be My Friend

Cream nightclub, Liverpool.

This song- a long forgotten end-of-the-night, scouse house classic- would be more suited to being posted on Saturday night but I’ve saved it for a Monday morning in December. Maybe that journey to work will be improved slightly. People Get Ready were a Liverpool group (collective, few people, one man and a drum machine operator plus some dancers- lines got a bit blurred in the early 90s). I knew someone who was mates with someone and was given a copy of the 12″ not long before I left Liverpool University in 1991. I’d forgotten about it until recently when I randomly heard the main vocal line on my head. It’s got a crunchy drum sample, one of those great early 90s piano parts and a big, positivity-vibe female vocal- ‘Be my friend, treat me well, take my hand, be my friend’. It used to get played at Cream, in the early days. It puts a smile on my face. maybe it’ll put one on yours.

This one below was the pick of the remixes for me although many swore by the Sure Is Pure Golden Dub. All the versions are at this Soundcloud page, some to download for free . The breakdown and drum rolls in this one provoke massive hands-in-the-air moments.