INTERNATIONAL megastar Fatboy Slim returned to Brighton Beach for two electrifying shows to celebrate 20 years since his famous performance at Big Beach Boutique in 2002.
The DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, was responsible for one of the biggest outdoor parties to date after a quarter of a million people flocked to the city’s shores two decades ago.
Chaos quickly followed and Norman’s future playing on the pebbles again seemed unlikely.
But miracles happen and The Argus caught up with him yesterday afternoon, fresh from his Thursday show as he geared up for round two on Friday night.
“It was emotional,” he said as we sat in the office of his beautiful seafront home in Hove, surrounded by memorabilia.
“Just the thrill of being able to do it again after all these years. I didn’t think we’d ever do that on the pebbles again.
“The main excitement about these beach concerts, and the reason we’re trying to keep doing this, is that it’s a celebration of my relationship with the city. I’m proud of the city I live in and I love it.
“It’s a two-way love affair. I love the city and the city seems to love me. To be so accepted and respected in your own home is really nice and it really works for me.
“Whenever I play at Brighton I feel like I’m just playing at a house party in front of my friends because I feel comfortable doing it.
“Thursday night to just herd all these people onto the beach, lead them into a community of nonsense and escape. It’s kind of religious, a shaky religion.”
But despite decades of experience and performing around the world, the DJ still gets nervous, especially when he’s playing in Brighton.
And while he might have coped with jitters with a drop of alcohol in 2002, Norman, now 58, spent Thursday taking care of himself – having been sober for 13 years.
“I would go to the gym, grab a few sundries from Co-op, do a little bit of promo, and then go down really early to enjoy every minute of it,” he said.
“I’ve waited 20 years for this, I’m going to squeeze everything out of him.”
Norman has recently been working on a documentary to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his 2002 show and said he’s only now realizing the magnitude of what he’s achieved with the gig.
“I never really thought about it. At the time my life was so crazy so we never really stopped and thought about it, we just moved on to the next one,” he said.
“With only the benefit of 20 years of hindsight, I needed to take stock and reflect on what a momentous thing it was to do this.
“Not that it was a cultural turning point, it didn’t really change anything, it was just a celebration of that moment when dance music came out of the nightclubs to these big events.
“It was a gathering of all the tribes in one place – which then became a kind of humanitarian catastrophe. But there was no agenda, just a party.”
But now Norman is a father first, a global superstar second. His priorities have changed, his focus is on family. His friends hang out in the living room while we chat and he seems calm but is dying to get back on stage.
The group awaiting the conclusion of our interview are the same people who joined him on the 2002 show, although I can’t help but think their celebrations will be a little more tame this time.
“I don’t have any real ambitions for my career right now,” Norman said.
“I just want to extend it, enjoy the ride and deal with the beautiful things that are coming my way.
“But right now I’m enjoying it more than ever.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20300303.fatboy-slim-celebrates-20-years-since-brighton-beach-show/?ref=rss Fatboy Slim celebrates 20 years since the Brighton beach show