808 State bassist and keyboard player Andrew Barker has died, according to a social media statement from the band.
Posted on Twitter today (November 7), the band said: “Its with a heavy heart to inform you of the passing of Andrew Barker.” The statement from his family reads: His family and friends asks that people respect their privacy at this time but remember him for the joy he brought through his personality and music. You’ll be sadly missed.”
Its with a heavy heart to inform you of the passing of Andrew Barker . “His family and friends asks that people respect their privacy at this time but remember him for the joy he brought through his personality and music. You’ll be sadly missed” pic.twitter.com/cPR8W3byJl
— 808 State (@state808) November 7, 2021
Barker was one half of the acid house pioneers, initially formed by Graham Massey, Martin Price and Gerald Simpson in 1988. Andrew Barker and Darren Partington, known as the Spinmasters, joined the group in 1989 following Simpson’s departure to start his solo project, A Guy Called Gerald. Partington left the band after being jailed for 18 months in January 2015 for drug dealing.
808 State released their debut album ‘Newbuild’ in 1988 and went on to release a further five studio LPs, which also included collaborations with artists like Guy Garvey, Bernard Sumner, James Dean Bradfield and Björk. The group are renowned for hits including ‘Pacific State’, ‘In Yer Face’ and ‘The Only Rhyme That Bites’ and their last album, ‘Transmission Suite’, was released in 2019.
Tributes have begun to be paid online following the news of Barker’s death.
Happy Mondays singer Rowetta tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking news. Love you & will miss you Andy Barker”
Absolutely heartbreaking news.
Love you & will miss you Andy Barker @state808 💔 pic.twitter.com/6qDU7g8vBD
— Rowetta🎙 (@Rowetta) November 7, 2021
“So sad to hear this about Andy Barker of 808 State,” author and DJ Dave Haslam said. “I first met him 35 years ago. He was a bringer of joy, a totally delightful fella.”
So sad to hear this about Andy Barker of 808 State. I first met him 35 years ago. He was a bringer of joy, a totally delightful fella – “After a happy life Andrew Barker experienced a short period of illness and passed away in his hometown of Manchester yesterday, 6th November”. pic.twitter.com/rDEKSmgTKY
— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) November 7, 2021
See more tributes below.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Andrew Barker from 808 State. https://t.co/uTlI0nDhwO
— The Warehouse Project (@WHP_Mcr) November 7, 2021
Rip Andy Barker, an enormous influence for so many, and for me especially at a formative time in my listening life. Safe travels, pilgrim.
808 ST8 4Evr
— TBM (@Blessed_Madonna) November 7, 2021
After a night celebrating the unifying power of music at Homobloc, I’ve just heard about the passing of Andy Barker. Devastating news. He brought so much joy to the world. 808 forever. RIP my friend x
— Justin Robertson (@robertsonjustin) November 7, 2021
808 State were such a massive formative influence on me. ex:el was one of the first records I bought when I truly started getting into music.
RIP Andy Barker https://t.co/JmA7JpQDmj
— Matthew David Scott (@ScottySlungLow) November 7, 2021
Terrible news about Andy Barker of 808 State… a true pioneer, who continued to make fascinating, boundary-pushing music https://t.co/1Aeq7J7tsB
— John Harris (@johnharris1969) November 7, 2021
This is a developing story