One of the defining moments of the recent Parklife festival in Manchester was Fatboy Slim blasting out Oasis' 'Don't Look Back in Anger' to thousands of people at the Hangar stage.
The track has become a battle-cry for Mancunians following the bombing at Manchester Arena, which claimed the lives of 22 innocent people. But it was particularly incredible seeing the legendary DJ play the song with his spin on it, and it appears the significance of the moment wasn't lost on him:
I'll remember last night's knees up and singalong in Manchester @Parklifefest for a long time. Such bravery, love and solidarity humbled me pic.twitter.com/A0oW7GM4Ew
- Fatboy Slim (@FatboySlim) June 11, 2017
The DJ, whose real name is Norman Quentin Cook, told his 154,000 Twitter followers: "I'll remember last night's knees up and singalong in Manchester @Parklifefest for a long time. Such bravery, love and solidarity humbled me."
That's a big statement coming from a man who has been in the business for nearly 40 years. The artist behind iconic tracks like 'Praise You', 'The Rockafeller Skank' and 'I See You Baby' admits that getting to Parklife was a bit of a blur.
At the festival, he told LADbible: "I don't really know where we are. I started about three days ago in Ibiza, didn't go to bed. Woke up back in Brighton, did a gig in Brighton, which is my home city, went to bed. Woke up in Manchester. It's been an interesting three days."
The 53-year-old headlined the opening day of Parklife at the Hangar, and the reality of the stage was exactly how it sounds: a massive metal hangar which looked like it could house a plane. He was joined by Above and Beyond, Pete Tong, Armand van Helden and Eriz Prydz across the weekend.
@FatboySlim was unreal at @Parklifefest pic.twitter.com/6Wg5UiOX7J
- Dylan Wyton (@Dylan_Wyton_) June 13, 2017
Fatboy Slim is definitely a rare type of musician, considering how long he's managed to keep attracting crowds to his shows. At the risk of sounding like a reminiscing parent, Norman says it wasn't like that back in his day: "When I started DJing, we were the nerds, we were the trainspotters. We were the ones who were bothered to find out what these records were.
"Now DJing is kind of considered a glamorous and lucrative thing. So there's now people wanting to get into it because they want the premium vodka, and the girls and private jets. There wasn't that [when I started], it was blood, sweat and tears, you had to really be a die-hard to be a DJ."
He says he first knew he wanted to get into the music business when he was eight years old and heard 'Crazy Horses' by The Osmonds for the first time. Norman admits that these days, his personal music interests include pre-war blues, gospel and Hawaiian slide guitar from the 1920s and 30s.
So how does he stay relevant, nearly four decades after starting out as a DJ in Brighton?
"I think it's equal parts dogged persistence and refusal to give in," he says. "I have had bad years where it's not all been up and I've had people say, 'have you ever thought about getting a proper job now?' I also think I've got an ear for it and I do think I've got some kind of talent.
"I just love my job. I love music, I love sharing music that I like with other people. I love watching young people having fun and getting high and laid and doing stupid things.
"Just recently, my own personal life has been a bit rough and I really enjoy the release of when I get out on stage. I forget all my worries and cares and responsibilities and I become a 17-year-old again."
If you've seen him perform live, you won't be surprised to learn that he wants to stay in the game - Parklife Festival had eight impressive stages set up at Heaton Park, placing him alongside some of the biggest names in music.
Fatboy's epic remix of the Oasis song wasn't the only tribute to Manchester and the tragic terror attack last month. The 1975, who headlined Saturday's main stage decided to have a 'moment of noise' to honour the victims. Lead singer Matt Healy also brought on stage the emergency services who helped in the wake of the bombing.
"We wanted to do a moment of noise." - The 1975, Parklife pic.twitter.com/XU6fev7eQM
- The 1975 Brasil (@The1975Brasil) June 10, 2017
Tens of thousands of people burst into applause and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told the crowd: "The terrorists want to change us, they want to divide us - don't let them win. Don't let them change Manchester. The fact that you're here tonight shows that we're not going to be beaten."
The main stage also saw impressive performances from Frank Ocean, Jess Glynne, Run the Jewels, Rag'n'Bone Man and Two Door Cinema Club. But if that wasn't your style and you just wanted to dance, then the Warehouse Project area was the place to be. The likes of Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and Kolsch pumped out the beats for several hours, complete with air cannons and epic lights.
If you wanted other senses to be stimulated then the Elrow stage certainly delivered. Not only did it provide bangers all day, but it had inflatable animals roaming around the tent and plenty of confetti explosions.
If you were getting bored of the music, there were a few carnival rides to keep people entertained and give them an incredible view of the whole festival.
The Temple stage was all kinds of excellent as well. It was a Mad Max styled set-up, with rusted metal and fire erupting from the top, featuring the likes of David Rodigan, Damian Marley, Giggs, Wiley and Boy Better Know. It certainly drew in the crowds
This was what it looked like in Manchester yesterday:sun_with_face:Thanks to all the loving people who came to the Ram Jam stage @Parklifefest :heart:#onelove pic.twitter.com/p6TN6TOuA9
- David Rodigan (@DavidRodigan) June 12, 2017
But what I was absolutely amazed at was the 'just crack on' mentality of everyone heading to the music festival.
Ok, there was mud. There was rain, and shitloads of it. But none of that stopped people from slapping on their favourite wellies to see some of their favourite artists. About 80,000 people rocked up to the sold-out festival for two days and it was not a letdown by any stretch of the imagination.
Featured Image Credit: Parklife
Topics: music festivals
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