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(Credit: 808 State Twitter)

Music

808 State member Andrew Barker dies aged 53

The bassist and keyboard player for 808 State, Andrew Barker, has passed away. The tragic news broke when the band made the announcement via a statement on their social media accounts.

Posted on Twitter yesterday (November 7), the band said: “It’s with a heavy heart to inform you of the passing of Andrew Barker.” The statement from his family reads: “His family and friends ask 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.”

808 State was originally formed by Graham Massey, Martin Price and Gerald Simpson in 1988. Then, Andrew Barker and Darren Partington, making music under the name The Spinmasters, joined the group in 1989 after Simpson departed the group in order to start his solo project, A Guy Called Gerald.

The band soon became a trio comprised of Barker, Massey and Partington when Price left in 1991. However, Partington left the band after being jailed for 18 months in January 2015 for drug dealing. Partington was arrested in 2014 and admitted to charges of possessing heroin and cocaine with the intent to supply. He told the court he owed £300 to his dealer, and after being threatened was coerced to work off the debt by dealing drugs himself.

The acid house band are one of the most influential electronic groups of all time. They released their debut album, Newbuild, in 1988 and then released five other records, including 1991’s ex:el. They’ve collaborated with a whole host of legends, including Bernard Sumner and Björk. Some of the band’s best-beloved hits include ‘In Yer Face’ and ‘Pacific State’.

A stream of Manchester’s most iconic musical artists and more have taken to social media to share their tributes to Barker. Rowetta of The Happy Mondays Tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking news. Love you & will miss you Andy Barker.”

See the tributes, below.