Andy Barker, 808 State's longtime bassist and keyboard player has died, aged 53. His passing was confirmed in a message posted yesterday (7th November) to 808 State's social media accounts.
"It’s with a heavy heart I have to deliver the tragic news of the passing of Andy Barker — here is a statement from his immediate family," the statement read. “'After a happy life Andrew Barker experienced a short period of illness and passed away in his hometown of Manchester yesterday, Saturday 6th November. 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.'”
Influential electronic group 808 State formed in Manchester in 1987 in the heyday of the Haçienda and the city's buzzing acid house scene, with the group taking their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine. The group's founding members — Graham Massey, Martin Price and Gerald Simpson — released their debut album as 808 State in 1988, before Simpson's departure saw Andy Barker join the group as bassist and keyboard player.
808 State have achieved chart success with iconic singles such as 'Pacific State' and 'In Yer Face', and in 2019, the group — then a duo between Andy Barker and Graham Massey — released their first studio album in 17 years, 'Transmission Suite'.
Find some of the tributes that have been shared about Barker below.
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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
tears in my eyes. Andy Barker has passed. Gutted. Lovely lovely person. Will miss him so much. Had some great times with him. Some funny funny times.— Jon Dasilva (@jondasilva) November 7, 2021
RIP Andy Barker. Can't believe I played Pacific State yesterday for the 1st time in ages.— Photonz / Alphabet St (@PhotonzZz) 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.— TBM (@Blessed_Madonna) November 7, 2021
808 ST8 4Evr
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
Andy barker RIP— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) November 8, 2021
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