“We’re heartbroken at the loss of Andy Ross, one half of the mighty Food Records,” Jesus Jones wrote on Twitter. “Without him, we’d have never been able to do what we did. We’ll always be grateful, and we’ll always miss him. Goodbye boss xxx.”
Blur drummer Dave Rowntree added: “Really sad to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Andy Ross. He was one of the good ones – generous, warm, and kind.”
Following the news, Jesus Jones reached out to Blur on Twitter, suggesting a reunion gig in tribute to Ross.
They wrote: “Hey [Blur], what do you say we get Food back together, and do something for Andy? Just a thought x.”
In a later tweet, they also extended the invite to all Food Records bands, including Idlewild.
— Jesus Jones (@jesusjonesband) January 25, 2022
Originating from south London, Andy Ross’ life in music began when he formed the band Disco Zombies while attending the University of Leicester from 1975-78. He also worked in a number of record shops before getting a job at the Inland Revenue.
Through a friend, Ross then became a part-time music journalist. He left the Inland Revenue around 1986 to head Food Records while still a part-time journalist. Based in Camden, Food Records was formed in the mid-1980s by David Balfe.
While Ross was known for signing and working with many acts. One of his biggest moments came when he signed Blur in March 1990 after seeing them perform at the Islington Powerhaus the previous November.
After huge success, Blur’s final album associated with Food Records was their sixth, ’13’, which was released in March 1999. EMI bought out Food Records in early 1994.
Last year, Blur’s Damon Albarn claimed to NME that Blur had been in talks and “had an idea” of how to make their return.
“I’ve just been a bit busy at the moment obviously,” he said. “When it happens, I’ll be made up.”
In a separate interview with NME, Graham Coxon confirmed he “was privy to that discussion” that Albarn spoke of, but that “It started as a discussion, but didn’t really end as one.”