This summer Big Beat Boutique 5 comes to Brighton. Queen Josephine caught up with the lovely Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim to talk tunes, playing under the stars and his never ending love for all things smiley.
You’re bringing Big Beat Boutique 5 to Brighton for two nights on 1st and 2nd June this year. Given your long association with Brighton & Hove Albion how much does it mean to you that you’ll be playing at The Amex Stadium? 110%. The gigs on the beach were all about my relationship with Brighton as it’s my home town, but then add my favourite football team into the equation AND a brand new stadium that’s never been used for raves or pop gigs before and well….it’s off the scale! It’s a wonderful stadium that’s right up there with Wembley if not in size but definitely in terms of equipment and sheer beauty, and there’s going to be a sort of ‘inside-outside’ vibe. The Amex has been built to keep the sound in so that when the football crowd are singing you can hear everything really well. Acoustically BBB5 is going to have the concentrated quadraphonic intensity of a nightclub but you’ll look up and be able to see the stars!
You’ll be playing both nights, who else will be joining you? Friday night is house night featuring Carl Cox, Luciano, Maya Jane Coles and The 2 Bears. Saturday is all about bass and dubstep, an eclectic mix including Jaguar Skills, Nero, DJ Fresh, Doorly, Union and Annie Mac. You’re very loyal to Brighton, what’s so special about the city? When I moved here as a student it became my home and I’ve always loved Brighton’s progressive attitude. It’s always been very open-minded and tolerant of alternative lifestyles. And let’s face it – it’s a haven for hedonists! Anyway, over the years I’ve had a dogged refusal to move to London. When Skint started up I didn’t have to use a London record company, I became more fiercely proud of Brighton and in turn Brighton became more fiercely proud of me. Then Zoe chose to move down here to which really tipped the scales.
Is there any one tune that encompasses all that is Big Beat Boutique? I think I’ve played ‘Right Here, Right Now’ at all four so far. But for me the quintessential moment was playing ‘It Just Won’t Do’ by Tim Deluxe at the second one when the lyrics go “My whole life’s buggin out” and I looked up at the crowd and thought ‘actually this is crazy. This is brilliantly insane’.
Can we expect any new releases in the near future? I’m incredibly busy doing gigs in Europe and Australia over the coming months which seem to take up all my time. There’s ‘Mama Do The Hump’ that I produced with Rizzle Kicks and hope to do some more stuff with them – keeping it local! But I haven’t got a bee in my bonnet about a record I’d like to make at the moment and I’m enjoying DJing immensely. Also after 25 years in the business you don’t feel you have to release a record every 3 years or so, you can just choose to do the bits that are turning you on!
Finally, what with you being an ‘International Smiley Collector’, is there one bit of Smiley memorabilia that you’d love to own? Ahhh, well I was just interviewed by Radio 4 for their documentary Smiley’s People and the interviewer brought round an original pin button badge from the early 70s and said she’d try and get me one. That would be the jewel in my smiley crown!