Hallelujah! U.K.’s Andy Almighty Doing Some California Dreamin’
Whenever Andy Almighty (a/k/a Andy Wetson) takes the helm, a magical dance floor journey awaits. The DJ is known for delivering those special moments when the music elevates your soul to a state of dance euphoria. Recently this master of musical layering and I had a chance to catch up on his love of music and the buzz around his upcoming trip to the U.S.
One of the amazing talents behind the long running success of the SLAGS (South London Action Girls Society) Chill Out party at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, affectionately known as the Tavern or RVT, Andy is friendly and energetic, with a twinkle in his eye and a great personality. When in the DJ booth, he is deeply immersed in the work he loves. Rarely distracted, he glances up at the crowd and enjoys the energy he is building on the dance floor.
As we talk through the history and magic of his work, there is a tremendous joy that swells out of his experiences. Music is clearly Andy’s passion in life.
Almighty calls himself the "Last Gay Disco DJ", and pushes back at being called a club DJ. Andy harkens back to a time when the disco was about a community not just a dance floor in a club. The disco was a place to gather, have fun, share time with friends, have a joyous experience, and celebrate life. Andy brings this energy and spirit with him to every gig.
Properly British, Andy shares much of the glory of his work with others he has worked with over the years. A great admiration for his partners at the Tavern,Simon Le Vans and Sean Sirrs is clear; Andy proudly holds the prime-time set in residence every Sunday and on bank holiday Mondays along with these two maestros.
The RVT Chill Out party was born at a time when the clubbing community of London would all gather at someone’s home around London to "chill out" on a Sunday afternoon after a full night of clubbing and before heading out to the next destination on Sunday evening. The house parties were infamous on the scene.
Over a decade ago, someone decided that the Tavern would become the home of the Chill Out T-Dance tradition. "We literally took the chill outs out of people’s living rooms by directing them to the RVT!" Almighty says. And it worked; for over 13 years, it was the busiest gay club in London on Sundays.
He Lives the History of Gay London Scene
Andy calls out DJ and legend Marc Andrews of Love Muscle at the historic Fridge in Brixton as being a large influence in the DJ style he produces, both musically and technically. Creating unique sets of music while holding a certain level of continuity week over week is what gives Andy his greatest buzz.
It is not beyond him to spend many hours the night before a set working out final edits and layers that he wants to use. Andy chops apart songs, cuts down the verses, and creates a musical journey where one phrase ends and the next phrase begins. He can work 30 tracks into the same time frame another DJ plays around 20.
Andy’s pushes himself to keep the music interesting, forward moving, planting seeds of tunes and teasing tracks, so that nothing is stale. In his own words "music must move forward or the club will become stale". For his weekly residency, Andy carries music in his case that is often less than six months old.
Fresh remixes of standards and classics: Andy has the music for those who love their anthems and vocals, and brings them to a state of joyful bliss. His ongoing new hits are balanced by extra-special Bank Holiday Mondays, when Andy pulls out well-loved versions of anthems he has created which have the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs.