Monday, 16 January 2017

No More Heroes Any More - Requiem pt 2

Part two of all the deaths in 2016, the worse year for musicians in a long while - not to mention all the actors and comedians as well.



September 

Fabric Nightclub - 07/09/2016 - 17

After a couple of teenagers died from class A drug overdoses in the summer, Fabric took the decision to close indefinitely, pending the outcome of their license review. I remember waiting up for hours as the press covered the outcome of the review, but despite passionate pleas, it seemed that the police and local counselors were adamant about closing the venue. Arguments ranged from the logical to the bizarre, with Islington council considering that drug taking was somehow linked to the BPM of music.

Luckily, the venue was able to reopen, albeit with an event more restrictive licensing agreement for security and drugs than it had ever been before. Whether Fabric manages to reopen and retain the same vibe as before remains to be seen.

Prince Buster - 08/09/2016 - 78

Hot on the heels of Fabric, news broke that rocksteady pioneer Prince Buster had finally given up the ghost. I was sad to hear that he had suffered a series of strokes in recent years, as his music was always lively and energetic, a real jukebox favourite of mine when my dad used to play reggae records.

Donald Buchla - 14/09/2016 - 79

A pioneer of synthesisers and counterpoint to Moog, Don Buchla was responsible for the development of alternative methods of electronic music. Hailing from San Francisco, the source of inspiration for the name "East Coast Synthesis" to denote the difference from Moog, we have Buchla to thank for all manner of weird wavefolding and additive synthesiser madness (not to mention the different control layouts). Truly a loss whichever camp you prefer, the consolation is that at least Moog and Buchla are back together again, making wild noises in the sky.

October

Pete Burns - 23/10/2016 - 57

While I knew of Pete as Dead or Alive's lead singer and his brief appearance on Big Brother some time ago, the only real reason for me mentioning this is that he is the person responsible for the hit "Spin Me Round". That said, 57 is far too young for cardiac arrest.

November

Jean-Jacques Perrey - 04/11/2016 - 87

Another pioneer of electronic music from as early as the 60s with early synthesisers including the Ondiolin, Jean-Jacques' musical output can too easily be dismissed as cheesy pop. It takes a real master to make whimsical tracks that are both simple to hear and yet full of interesting complex tones - just check out Little Ships as a great example. I had been looking into his older releases over the last 12 months, as I had first been introduced to him via a Luke Vibert collaboration album, and to hear of his death while I was doing this was a bit of a shock.

Leonard Cohen - 07/11/2016 - 82

Here's where I level with you; I never took that much interest in Leonard Cohen aside from the times where his records were covered by contemporary bands while I was growing up. But a heavyweight writer and performer to be sure and a great loss.

Craig Gill - 22/11/2016 - 44

Performing as drummer with the Inspiral Carpets, a great 80s Manchester-based indie rock group, I had tapes of these guys when I was growing up. Such a shame that he only made it to 44, but the band will hopefully soldier on.

December

Greg Lake - 8/12/2016 - 69


Following in the footsteps of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake lost his battle with cancer and joined his bandmate in the great gig in the sky. I didn't realise that he was a part of Kid Creole until after his death either, leading to a foray down the rabbit hole of back catalogue releases. God knows how Carl Palmer got through 2016.

George Michael - 25/12/2016 - 58

Not much to say over what everyone else has; a massive pop star the likes of which Britain has not seen in decades whose hits straddle the 80s all the way to the 00s. Say what you will of his controversy in the tabloids, his musical prowess was second to none. What's ironic is that families across the world listened to Last Christmas as normal, not realising that it literally was the case for George.