Search

Andy C interview: ‘When everybody is vibing with you – there’s no better business’

10:41 09 May 2014

Andy C. Pic: Andrew Attah.

Andy C. Pic: Andrew Attah.

Andrew Attah

When I finally speak with Andy C he’s busy running through the soundcheck for a six-hour set in one of London’s biggest nightclubs.

Andy C will be performing at South West Four and We R FSTVL in London this summer. Pic: Andrew Attah.Andy C will be performing at South West Four and We R FSTVL in London this summer. Pic: Andrew Attah.

You’ll be hard pressed to go to a festival where Andy C isn’t performing this year. The drum and bass pioneer is set to appear at up to 40 of them, both at home and abroad.

In London you’ll be able to catch him at Clapham’s South West Four Weekender and at We Are FSTVL, Upminster, just a stone’s throw from where the acclaimed DJ went to one of his first illegal raves from his home in Hornchurch.

It takes me a few attempts to get through but that’s understandable given the bassy licks undoubtedly being blasted out at the other end.

The master DJ will be appearing at up to 40 festivals at home and abroad this year. Pic: Andrew Attah.The master DJ will be appearing at up to 40 festivals at home and abroad this year. Pic: Andrew Attah.

It’s the second time the internationally acclaimed DJ has performed the marathon gig, which stands as testament to his passion and dedication to the drum and bass music he helped pioneer.

When we eventually talk there isn’t a hint of nerves in his voice – which carries an Essex twang that gives away his proud Hornchurch roots – despite the prospect of performing to a sell out crowd of close to 2,000 people ahead of him.

But then for Andy C, who has been on stage in front of vast numbers both stateside and in Ibiza, this is small fry. The primary concern is to pace the night’s drinks – vodka namely, “any way you like it”.

A regular on the bass music seen since the early 1990s, the 38-year-old has become an even more familiar face at festivals across the UK and abroad.

Andy C, real name Andrew Clarke, was born in Hornchurch. Pic: Andrew Attah.Andy C, real name Andrew Clarke, was born in Hornchurch. Pic: Andrew Attah.

He’s set to appear at close to 40 this year – “it’s going to be a good year” – including the South West Four Weekender in Clapham and We Are FSTVL in Upminster.

For the executioner, as he is known to fans, festivals are an occasion to party “like everybody else”.

It’s also a rare chance for the master DJ to check out other artists from different genres and, as a self-confessed “massive” fan of English rock group Radiohead, there’s no guessing where Andy would be if they were on the stage.

“There’s just something about festival season,” he says. “It’s just such fun when you have got everybody out.

Andy is a massive Radiohead fan. Pic: Andrew Attah.Andy is a massive Radiohead fan. Pic: Andrew Attah.

“Especially if it’s a nice day. Everybody has made an effort and they have been looking forward to it for ages. It becomes a special thing – not only for the people that are there but for the artists too.

“It’s a different proposition from maybe a nightclub where we are all in one room from midnight to the early hours. But at festivals people are going from tent to tent.”

It would have been hard for a young Andrew Clarke to have imagined the giddy heights his DJ alter-ego would attain as he mixed on his decks from school-out to sundown and listened to pirate radio.

It was his sister, Sarah, who first introduced him to the rave culture then sweeping the UK and took him to some of his first – often illegal – raves in his early teens.

But it was always Andy C’s dream to be good enough to play professionally and he was willing to work hard for it.

“It’s want I wanted to do. I knew that I loved it, I never thought it would turn into the career that it has but I always wanted to practice hard enough to play in clubs”, he says.

“If you are going to dedicate yourself and try hard enough and put the right effort in and be right with people then I don’t see that it’s unattainable. I dreamed it and it worked out.”

After founding a record label – Ram Records – being invited to speak at Oxford University and appearing on some of the world’s biggest stages, including performing on the Great Wall of China, Andy C is still as invigorated as ever by what he does.

“There’s nothing that comes close when you are stood up on the stage performing and you get interaction with the crowd and you get a connection and go on a ride together,” he says.

“It’s all about having fun and when everybody is vibing with you – there’s no better business.”

Fans will be pleased to know that he often spots familiar faces in the crowd who are regulars on the London club circuit.

With a packed summer ahead of him, I find myself asking Andy how he copes?

“It’s kind of cool when we are in that mode because there is no time to chill – you don’t really get tired until you take a break. After that it hits home.”

Until then, it’s on with the next festival.

Related links:

South West Four Weekender
We Are FSTVL

Latest Barking and Dagenham Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 12:01
Blue perform at Now That's A Festival in Central Park, Dagenham.

The Nineties were back with a vengeance as a host of boybands took fans by storm on a sunny day of nostalgic tributes.

Sunday, August 28, 2016
Peter Andre will be appearing at Now That's a Festival tonight Picture: PA Images/ Ian West

Today’s the day! Peter Andre, Blue, 5ive, East 17 and more are set to perform in Dagenham’s Central Park.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Glory, Emma and Fiona with home-made jam from the farm

Try homemade produce grown and produced at an organic farm during a special community day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Rush Green School sports day 1965

Been inspired by the Olympics? A bank holiday fete will provide a chance to relive the glory of school sports days while celebrating Barking and Dagenham’s athletic past.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
FROSTIZE BAND n DJ

A music festival brought a taste of Africa to the borough at the weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Chas and Dave

They might both be in their 70s but Chas and Dave are still as excited as they’ve ever been about creating a good old knees-up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Incredible performances at last years festival.   Picture: Anita Adeshina

Street theatre, a colourful brass band and a circus will be just a few of the spectacles set to wow on Friday.

Monday, August 22, 2016
TOMMY HEAVEY  8
BERTIE HEAVEY 4

More than 80 people attended the launch of the White House, a disused farmhouse that has been given a new lease of life as an arts hub.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read entertainment

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now