From headlining this year’s Wildlife Festival to the Electric Daisy Carnival in Japan, Brighton & Hove’s favourite adopted son Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim is having e a busy 2017.
Sawyer & Co. caught up with him to talk exclusively about all things Brighton & Hove….
Q. The old music industry cliché used to be about becoming successful and buying an old medieval mansion in the countryside. There’s plenty dotted around Sussex, why did you choose the beach front instead?
A. Tee hee. I’m not a country boy and have always felt the lure of the sea. The beach has always drawn and inspired me. More importantly though, in my partying days and with a recording studio in my house it was important to have no near neighbours!
Q. You must have travelled pretty much everywhere in the world by now. What’s so special about Brighton and Hove that keeps you calling it home?
A. Well mainly because it is just that...home... I love the relaxed and tolerant atmosphere here, the slightly eccentric. I have lived here for 35 years now and all my hopes and dreams seem to come true here.
Q. Was the legendary ‘House of Love’ the first property you owned, what made you choose it, whereabouts was it and do you still own it?
A. My brother in law lives there now. It wasn’t a special house, a Victorian end of terrace backing on to the railway tracks, but it had very tolerant neighbours, a basement lounge that seemed to be perfectly soundproof and that was where our most infamous parties went on. When the party ended I would fall into the studio, watch the trains go by and record tunes for the next week’s party!
Q. When you first moved to Brighton was Western Esplanade as famous as it is now and did you ever think that one day you’d live there?
A. I didn’t know it even existed before an estate agent told me about it (after living here for a good ten years...). As I began the process of moving in I quickly learnt of its rich eccentric celebrity history, with tales of Frank Sinatra, Joe Orton etc. all staying here. It still remains kinda ‘Stella Street’.
Q. The i360 still seems to be a Marmite moment for local residents, people either love it or hate it. What does it mean for you and how important do you think it is for the city?
A. I love it. I think it reflects our forward thinking, slightly eccentric attitude and will become as iconic as the Pavilion or the piers whether you like it or not. It will attract many more visitors to the city (again some people think this is a negative but our economy relies on visitors, love them or hate them). I bet when the Pavilion first opened not everyone said, ‘my, what a tasteful piece of architecture that blends in with its surroundings’...
Q. You’re famous for using different pseudonyms, one of which is of course the Brighton Port Authority (BPA). Are there any others using local names/areas that we might not know about?
A. I’ve always wanted to use the name Jesus Martinez. Nothing to do with Brighton, he was a character in Hill St Blues. By the way the Brighton Port Authority was supposed to be called Shoreham Port Authority but we didn’t want to upset the real one!
Q. Are we going to see a Big Beach 6?
A. Never say never.... Perhaps a party to celebrate the Albion finally reaching the Premiership???
Q. Speaking of which…What do you think of the Seagulls’ chance of promotion this season? Do you get to many matches these days and if you could sign any player in the world for them who would it be?
A. I go to every home match that I am in Brighton for, which is normally about half of them. I think every year we inch closer to the Prem, last season we were about as close as you can be so the only way is up! I would sign Neymar, we could do with more Brazilian flair...
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