“We’re gonna have a good time.”
“We can work it out.”
The bass runs, charges, barges, backwards beneath a blues, a gospel vocal. Muscle Shoals organ plays as drumrolls go crashing through delay. A mind bending mantra recited to rimshots smashed like temple gongs. Deconstructed and reconstructed, broken down. Rebuilt to a point of greatest intensity. Then dropping into dubwise, bongos and congas. Sirens sounding before the dance, a techno tarantella, quickly, accelerates, accelerates. That choir reaching for the heavens atop a tribal thump. Time seeming to stop as its 15 something minutes fly by.
Tabla and timbales tumbling, A hornet-like horn buzzing around, blasting out bursts of mad morse code. The dual drum loops sort of not quite syncing. The big melodramatic piano like a sad morning-after reprise of an Italian house scream-up. The mix working its magic, continually rising and falling. Its drama, dynamic, frantic, chasing a chemical rush. E, coke, and poppers, slowing mid-way for a French Kiss. The BPMs bisected. The cowbell hammering out a crazed Quaalude`d carnival. Bob James` Mardi Gras trapped in Tubby`s echo chamber. Transporting you to a chill-out room somewhere, trying to gather your shattered senses. That church chorus now orbiting in the frequency fizz. The singers transcending, peaking, ecstatic, as the DJ bashes the bass-line in and out on the crossfader. Taking the tempo racing, the axe cutting electric, arc after arc.
In 1992 Weatherall`s Weekender felt more like a battle cry than a hedonistic celebratory hymn. The extended second summer of love was well over, done and dusted. Weekender drew a line in the asphalt and asked, “Which side are you on?” Its hook of “We always have a good time” seemed kinda barbed when your weekend was spent out, high, in oblivion, and your week spent in a spiral, dashed on reality’s rocks. A lot of folks had done a fair few years living on tick and the margins, hand to mouth and outside of the law. In its un-remixed form the song`s lyric was that nagging questioning voice of Monday through to Thursday – “Don’t you hate, hate, what you are?” – critically wondering if perhaps all this “rave” energy couldn’t be better spent on solutions more constructive than a mere “two-day flirt”. The clues in the Quadrophenia samples, and the title of the band`s LP, A Life With Brian. It was shouting, “Get off your `arris and do something”, “Kick down that dead end.” Pulverized by power chords, a combination of “Let`s have it!” and “I`ve had it.” Well, at least, those are the voices I heard. Liam and Joe, RIP.
Both the original vocal mix and Andrew Weatherall remixes of Flowered Up`s Weekender will be reissued by Heavenly Recordings on April 23rd. A few copies went up on Bandcamp for their fee-free Friday – and sold out in a blink. Keep your eyes peeled for pre-order links.
Like many folks fired by acid house`s “revolution” I got into DJing by hiring venues, renting sound systems, and throwing my own parties. My first actual paid gig – for a “stranger”, not a friend or acquaintance – came on the guarantee that at midnight I would play both Weatherall remixes of Weekender back to back.