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Andrew Eldritch

From Academic Kids

Andrew Eldritch (born Andrew William Harvey Taylor, May 15 19591, Ely, UK) is the leader, singer, songwriter and the only original member left of The Sisters of Mercy, a band that emerged from the British post punk scene and, in later years, also flirted with pop and heavy metal. He also programs The Sisters of Mercy's drum-machine tracks, plays guitars and keyboards in its studio recordings, and even played drums on the band's first single before they had a drum-machine. He was a freelance drummer in the local Leeds punk scene (in his own opinion, badly) and also established the record label Merciful Release.

In addition to The Sisters of Mercy, in 1986 Andrew Eldritch established a side-project Sisterhood, which was shortly abandoned in favour of continuing working under The Sisters of Mercy banner.

His collaborations include vocal contributions to Garry Moore and Sarah Brightman studio recordings in the 1990s. In attempt for cross-cultural understanding he initiated a 1993 USA tour of The Sisters of Mercy in a double-bill with hip-hop act Public Enemy. In 1995 he interviewed David Bowie for the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

Now in semi-retirement from his musical career — The Sisters of Mercy tour every so often (last concert took place in April 2003. There are now - as of March 7th - five scheduled concerts across Europe, from the familiar Meraluna to x-tra and Hildesheim, Germany with rumours of a gig in Tilburg [1] (http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/gigog/gigog.htm)), but no new recorded material has been released for sale since 1993 [2] (http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/discog.htm). Despite this, the band continue to debut new material on stage on a semi-annual basis.

Eldritch studied French and German literature at the University of Oxford and from around 1978 Mandarin Chinese at Leeds University; he quit both programs before getting a degree (he speaks fluent English, French and German, and has some knowledge of Dutch, Italian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Latin; he claims he forgot the Mandarin Chinese he learned [3] (http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/vnettext/vnettext.htm)).

1Interestingly, fellow post punk icons Robert Smith of The Cure and Morrissey (originally of The Smiths) were born the same year.

Gothic Associations.

Though Andrew Eldritch is often called the "Godfather of Goth" [4] (http://www.spookhouse.net/tsom/mastersvoice.html), The Sisters of Mercy (the main artistic vehicle of Andrew Eldritch), despite being formed in 1980, were originally not very popular in the post punk sub-genre that the British press, in the early 1980s, had labelled, both the artists and their audience, Goth. The Sisters of Mercy were, however, accused by the press of plagiarizing Joy Division, whom were marketed by their management as "gothic" as early as 1979. [5] (http://www.scathe.demon.co.uk/histgoth/gotbands.htm).

The Sisters of Mercy would have a big impact on the second wave of Goth that came in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the reasons Gitane Demone of the first wave commented that the scene had turned "stale" [6] (http://www.gothicsociety.net/home135.htm). The use of drum machines and the atonal, deep vocal style used by many second generation Goth bands were inspired by the Sisters of Mercy and were not that common among the first generation.

Since the 1980s, Eldritch has publicly rejected associations with the Goth subculture. He describes The Sisters of Mercy as humanist, modernist, and implies he wants nothing to do with Goth, stating "it's disappointing that so many people have in all seriousness adopted just one of our many one-week-of-stupid-clothes benders". He also notices that "I'm constantly confronted by representatives of popular culture who are far more g*** than we, yet I have only to wear black socks to be stigmatised as the demon overlord" [7] (http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/vnettext/vnettext.htm).de:Andrew Eldritch

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