Thursday, June 23, 2005


Sad news hit our inbox earlier today, telling us of the death of Andy Roberts, multi-instrumentalist with queercore band Linus as well as an active and vital part of the uk underground comic scene.

Sort-of formed in 1989 and 1992, the band started with a fanzine as a first release and played support slots with virtually anyone worth knowing in the lo-fi and riot grrl scenes - from Hole to Bikini Kill, God Is My Vo Pilot to Prolapse and, of course, Huggy Bear. Their first single was the Linus EP - it was always EPs back then - and they quickly followed up with a starring role on Wiiija's Some Hearts Played To Lie compilation ep thingy. 1994's Yougli proves that the band can do more than just four-song spurts of genius, and it's not surprising that Super Gologotha Crucifixion Scene made it to the Evening Session single of the week glory; it's a title that sounds perfect when uttered by Steve Lamacq.

Ten years ago, their label Elemental was bought out by One Little Indian; OLI quickly dumped all Elemental's acts (presumably they were only interested in the coffee table and the office cat); Linus set to writing and writing, building up a massive pile of unreleased material. It was 1998 before any new material would see the light - on Mole In The Ground records and - finally - a year later sees Linus release a second album, Good Listener. A change in the musical atmosphere in the last couple of years had seen the band getting more and more active again - part of a regrouping network of bands thriving outside of the XFM-endorsed semi-alternative mainstream.

Andy's daughter, Sophie, talks about her Dad on her LiveJournal:

For those of you that don't know about what happened, my Dad was a victim of a hit and run. He was at a Homocrime afternoon gig and after he left around 6 o'clock he was hit by a motorcyclist and left. The motorcyclist didn't even stop. The positive side of this is that he was recently at a gig on his way to a rehersal and probably really happy. This couldn't've happened at a more happy time for him, which in a way is very good and in a way very bad.

My Dad is the best man ever. I don't care what everyone else thinks, he just is. My childhood, although sad when I wasn't with him, was the best I could've ever asked for and I am unbelievably greatful for that. I wish I could've known him more and I wish, in the last week and for most of my life, I had called him more and written to him and thanked him every single day. Half of my life is dead.

Andy is one of those very, very rare people in the indieworld who, genuinely, nobody has a bad word for - even when they're out of earshot; and anyone who keeps following their musical dreams for a decade and a half, still thrilled by music and still keen to seek out new bands, new sounds, new gigs despite numerous setbacks and even when fighting the flow of fashion is pretty damn heroic in our book. Our thoughts are with everyone feeling the loss.

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