Stranger On The Shore

Michael Smith, writer and poet, worked with Andrew Weatherall in 2016. Weatherall had been offered the post of artist- in- residence at Faber & Faber. One of his projects was to provide an ambient soundtrack over which Smith read extracts from his novel Unreal City, his Hartlepool accent very striking over the soundscapes made by Andrew, Nina Walsh and guitarist Franck Alba. There was a limited edition book with Andrew’s handwritten notes in the margins, a CD of the soundtrack (six long ambient pieces with Michael Smith speaking over the top) and a 10″ record remixing one of the tracks, all released in one lovely package.



Michael Smith moved to St. Leonards, a down- at- heel seaside town near Hastings and with Maxy Bianco made three films about three seaside towns, liminal places where the land meets the sea, where the rules are slightly different, and the people that live there. Andrew and Nina again produced a soundtrack. This is the Hastings and St. Leonards one….

The other two films explored Whitby, North Yorkshire and Grays in Essex. You can watch them at the BFI’s website.

Isolation Mix Three

It’s over halfway through April already. The weeks seem to be flying by even though some of the days seem very long. This is Isolation Mix Three. I thought I’d do something different from the ambient, blissed out, opiated sounds of the first two mixes and this mix is something that I first wrote about doing in a post here about three years ago. This is an hour and three minutes of spoken word and poetry and music. Andrew Weatherall features in various guises and with various poets, the Beat Generation and The Clash are represented, there’s some reggae and the unmistakable voice of John Cooper Clarke.

Jack Kerouac/Joe Strummer: MacDougal Street Blues

John Cooper Clarke: Twat

Misty In Roots: Introduction to Live At The Counter Eurovision

Linton Kwesi Johnson: Inglan Is A Bitch

The Clash (and Allen Ginsberg): Ghetto Defendant (Extended Version)

Allen Ginsberg/ Tom Waits: Closing Time/America

Andrew Weatherall and Michael Smith: The Deep Hum (At The Heart Of It All)

Joe Gideon and The Shark: Civilisation

Woodleigh Research Facility and Joe Duggan: Downhill

Fireflies and Joe Duggan: Leonard Cohen Knows

BP Fallon and David Holmes: Henry McCullough (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Mike Garry and Joe Duddell: St Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Allen Ginsberg: I Am A Victim Of Telephone

Estuary Embers

In 2013 a beautiful package came out from Faber, a novel by Michael Smith, loose leafed and unbound with annotations and scribblings in the margins by Andrew Weatherall, with a cd and a 10″ single. The book, available as a paperback for a few quid now in the usual places, is the semi-autobiographical tale of a man returning to London after living in a beach hut in Kent, and finding London changing, being gentrified before his eyes. Smith’s writing is shot through with loss for Soho and Shoreditch as they were and the partying of the 90s but also recognising that cities change, they move on. He sees bars selling Belgian beer and artisan food shops and both likes them and loathes them. It’s loose and conversational in tone, much of it like being up at dawn with a hangover and flashes of  memories from the night before.
Andrew Weatherall provided a soundtrack with Michael Smith reading sections of the book in his softened northern accent. Weatherall’s music is mainly tone pieces, washes of sound and noise with some folky picked guitars. Try this one.
Weatherall’s done a mix for Resident Advisor that you can download for free here, with tracks by Vermont, Prins Thomas, Flash Atkins, Simon Says, Duncan Gray, Club Bizarre, PPF, Vox Low and Boot and Tax. In the Q and A on the website, he is asked what the idea behind the mix was. Weatherall’s response is ‘to sequence some records together without the joins being too apparent’. Arf.

The Deep Hum At The Heart Of It All

There was a lovely Andrew Weatherall package that came out some time back- a special edition of author Michael Smith’s Unreal City, with a 6 track cd soundtrack, a 10″ record and the book itself loose-leaf, with Weatherall’s hand written annotations around the text. A really nicely put together thing, from Faber. It was priced at £35, which I thought was a bit steep, but I got one for £20 from a popular internet auction site. The soundtrack is all low key, ambient noises and circular acoustic guitar patterns and Michael Smith reading parts of the book- not the sort of thing to listen to everyday but something to immerse yourself into and enjoy. You should definitely find yourself a copy, if they haven’t already sold out.The one-sided 10″ record was a remix of one of the tracks. Consider this as a taster.

The Deep Hum At the Heart Of It All (Weatherall Remix)

And many thanks to reader Jim from New Zealand who got in touch from the other side of the world regarding this matter.