Neil Farrington, Drummer with Warlord, Damn Dirty Apes, Lokey, Sensa Yuma and many others including Last Under The Sun from 2003 to 2006 passed away on 20/12/09. His music lives on. He left an 8yr old son behind and many people who loved him. He was 38 years old.
There is a facebook group at: R.I.P Neil Farrington 1971-2009
I first met Neil when he was in a band called “Beaver” many years ago. It must have been 1997 or 1998. He would ring me up and ask for a gig for his band. At that time I was organising shows at the Fallow and Firkin in Harborne under the guise of Badger Promotions. £3 in, music started at 8pm, three bands played and there was cheap bottles of beer before 9pm. Neil couldn’t get his drum kit to the gigs as he had no transport so as the promoter, i used to go and pick him up and we’d put the kit in my car to get it to the venue. Quite often, if Neil’s band didn’t play the other bands would have had no show as very few of them had their own gear, let alone a decent drum kit.
The years passed and Neil played in many different bands, and I ended up doing regular gigs for new bands at The Old Railway, Curzon Street Digbeth. He used to come down to play almost every other week either with his new band Damn Dirty Apes or the other band he was in at the time called Lokey. Time passed and in 2003 or thereabouts, Neil joined the band I was in called Last Under The Sun. Rehearsals moved to two or sometimes three times a week and I remember this one time we had a gig and while sat there waiting to play someone tried to engage him in conversation. When asked about how often the band rehearsed, Neil in his typical diplomatic manner turned and said “We practice 15 hours a week, every week, minimum. MINIMUM! All these other bands are shit!” That was Neil.
I was reminded today of another thing he said towards the end of his time with Last Under The Sun. “I’ve spent more than half my life behind a drumkit, and what have I got to show for it? Nothing.” He had the capacity to be hard on himself at times but he could also be inspirational. He pointed out many important things to me. I was talking to him one day about the ever changing task of taking the band from nothing to something and the amount of problems that we were constantly up against. He just said “adapt and overcome.” That has pretty much stayed with me ever since. I feel sad after hearing the news of his passing. Neil put a lot of work into Last Under The Sun and whilst some of the rehearsals, gigs, reviews or memories may be forgotten, his music I hope will stand the test of time. He played drums on Last Under The Sun’s records “All Empire’s Crumble” and the recent release “Gone.” He also played Drums on tour with Sensa Yuma and on recordings by Lokey, Damn Dirty Apes and Warlord. He even tried out for bands like Conflict when they found themselves without a drummer.
Some people may ask themselves why he did it. Why did he spend half his life behind a kit for nothing? Why the endless rehearsals? What motivated him? Why would he sit sipping a glass of water before playing in the back room of some run down pub on the edge of town when he could have had a straight job, a suit and tie, a pint and some money in his pocket and maybe a car that didn’t break down. I think I know why, he didn’t need a reason, he did it because he had something in him he wanted to express, something he wanted to let out. He had his demons but he also had a passion for playing the drums, he hit the drums harder than anyone i’ve ever worked with and he enjoyed playing. Like most musicians, he liked meeting other bands and going to different places, seeing how his drumming stood up against the best of the rest and sharing his love of music with other like minded people.
Neil was a fan of Subhumans, he was often seen behind the kit wearing a Subhumans t-shirt. In 2004 Last Under the Sun played with Sensa Yuma and Subhumans at the Wagon in St Brieuc, Briezh. The gig was a moment of greatness for Neil, he had a good gig and as he walked off stage, Trotsky (who drums for Subhumans) handed him a a roll-up and said “This is for you, you’ve earned it.” A simple thing like that made Neil’s day, somebody somewhere had noticed his drumming. And the drummer from one of his favourite bands too. He didn’t stop smiling for days after that.
Neil may not be be here to tell me what shit I talk all the time anymore, but his music lives on. He was a good drummer. He will be missed – Mark (Last Under the Sun, Iron Man Records)