It’s T in the Park time again. Have an ace weekend if you’re there. If you’re not, here’s a small consolation in the form of a special playlist. Have at it.
Yes, he looks like a plumber and his name (Norman Cook) sounds like your dad’s mate, but to the big beat electro fan, he is Fatboy Slim. A cornerstone of the Cool Britannia era, Fatboy Slim is the original superstar DJ. As the father of eclectic electric, his beats are infectious, quirky and have a sprinkling of British humour throughout. Whether it’s The Rockafeller Skank or Praise You, his dance music is not only instantly recognisable but also universally popular: my Mum loves a bit of Gangster Trippin’. I dare you not to have a little dance when you hear his tunes.
I see you baby… shakin’ that ass!
Lucy Reynolds (@MissReno1981)
The Prodigy – Out of Space
It’s hard to believe that the most recent offering from The Prodigy, The Day Is My Enemy, released in March this year, is only their sixth studio album. They’ve come a long way since Liam Howlett’s bedroom electro-monkeying back in 1991, but at the same time this outfit seem to embody the old adage, ‘everything changes, everything stays the same’. This is an absolutely excellent reason to love the berserkers pants off them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it is broke, it was probably Keith. In a fire.
The one and only time I’ve been lucky enough to see The Prodigy live was V97, my very first festival and a homecoming gig for the Essex punk-ravers who had just released bona fide classic The Fat of the Land. People genuinely died. Now that’s no sales pitch for a gig, but such was the energy of the crowd that it all got WAY TOO MUCH. Stand at the back is what I’m saying. You’re going to need all that space to throw some serious shapes anyway.
Mickey Noonan (@micksternoonan)
The Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now
I recently laughed out loud at the recent NME headline: “New Libertines album. Is that a good idea?” It contained the fear and the judgement, not the announcement. The concern is correct: the band played a headline return slot in Hyde Park last year and the reception was mixed; the usual rabid pub gig at the front but anything more than 10 rows back was very much nonplussed. I remember our group noting, “The crowd went mild.” They filled in as surprise guests at Glastonbury this year and had a better reception, people partly jubilant that it wasn’t just Florence & The Machine every time there was an empty slot.
Personally I find the band hard to love these days. Their songs are not all self-penned as their pedigree suggests (their best and defining song Can’t Stand Me Now having been co-written with Mark Keds from the Senseless Things, fact fans), Pete is NOT the dear bessie mate of Carl, having burgled his flat in darker times (just imagine that for a moment), and no one likeable says “the good ship Albion”. The once endearing sight of the two men almost touching lips at a shared microphone now looks less like two troubadour soulmates than two hot bollocks stuck to a leg.
To happier times. *raises a glass of absinthe*
Liz Buckley (@liz_buckley)
If any other act looks more content and comfortable sat in a field plucking a guitar than Seasick Steve, then I’ll do a bongful of poppers. Seasick seems to have been around forever, but it’s less than 10 years since he came to the UK’s attention playing Dog House Boogie on Jools Holland’s Later…, his gnarly, dusty blues as captivating as his train-hopping hobo backstory.
Bearded, dungareed, with a bottle of Jack under his stool and a raft of homemade instruments in his arsenal, Steven Gene Wold is a man out of time with all the time in the world. No one knows how old he is. Possibly not even him.
And he’s got more jams than Hartley’s. Where others indulge in fret-wankery, Seasick knocks out exhilarating riffs to make your heart thump. He can make that trusty three-string howl like a werewolf caught in a trap, or he can pull it back for some of the most lovelorn ballads you’ll ever hear. And in-between blasts of gritty blues to break or mend your heart, he chews the fat, shoots the shit and shares shaggy dog tales. In short: joyous.
Mickey Noonan (@micksternoonan)
Everything about The Proclaimers is ugly. Their name, their harmonies, their specs, their cardies: them. But I suspect they don’t give a fuck. They’re not interested in being pretty. If they were, they wouldn’t namecheck Leith and they certainly wouldn’t start so many of their choruses with a guttural ‘hup’ that sounds like someone’s dad hoisting an awkward bundle into the loft.
What they are is intense. When they say they’re going to walk 500 miles, I’m not only inclined to believe them, I’m inclined to follow them. Passion, raw Scots and two voices combined in anthemic intensity are a compelling mix. Ugly they may be, but The Proclaimers are worth watching.
Sarah Ledger (@sezl)
Kasabian – Velociraptor!
I’m slightly torn on the subject of Kasabian. On the one hand, they’re terrible. When they opened the ceremony at the BAFTAs a few months ago, there wasn’t an award-winning actor in the room good enough to pretend they were enjoying it.
On the other hand, they genuinely seem like they’re having a really, really great time so I just can’t bring myself to begrudge that. A while ago Noel Gallagher revealed that singer Tom, diagnosed with ADD, has regular visits while on tour to the nearest Toys R Us in order to *calm down*.
Most interviews with Kasabian are mainly the words “Wow” and “Yeah!” Personally I find that kind of endearing. But then I remember that Kasabian only have one song, and that song is actually Trampled Underfoot by Led Zeppelin, which is less endearing…
Sometimes I think, don’t patronise Kasabian, they’re not as simple as they seem, but then the singer accidentally runs over his Dad. Kasabian will really, really enjoy playing T In The Park, regardless of anything that happens or anything you say or do. They’ll probably buy toys and floaty scarves on the way home. And I’m happy to let them have that, to be honest.
Liz Buckley (@liz_buckley)
A long, long time ago, I took a much younger sibling to V. He was in the hinterland of being old enough to look after himself and needing a grown-up to look after him. Long and short: I got drunk; he got sunstroke.
Somewhere in that madness, we saw Idlewild and thought they were terrible. When we returned home, a friend subjected us to a three-part lecture on the joys of Idlewild, at the end of which we concluded he was mad and I almost certainly had sunstroke too.
Lessons learned: Everyone should love Idlewild. And always pack a hat.
Hannah Dunleavy (@funnypunts)1013 Views
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