Fatboy Slim: First Glastonbury Show with The Housemartins was a ‘critical moment’

Fatboy Slim recalled playing at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage for the first time, saying that he “spent the rest of his career” trying to get back on it.

That DJ, real name Norman Cooke, is now a household name, but first performed at a concert on Worthy Farms more than three decades ago as part of the indie rock group, The Housemartins.

Glastonbury Festival opened its doors again this week for the first time in three years after being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Cook, 58, one of the performers on the bill.

He told the festival’s site newspaper, the Glastonbury Free Press, of his first experience playing at the event, stating: “It was playing Pyramid Stage with the Housemartins in 1986.


Fatboy Slim has performed at Glastonbury every year since 1996 (David Jensen / PA)

“To my shame, I thought it would be full of old, rocky, bearded hippies who would come from Stonehenge after the solstice. And we thought they would all sling mud at us. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that was not the case at all. was.”

Other big names in Glastonbury in 1986 included The Pogues, The Waterboys, The Cure, Level 42, Simple Red and Madness.

Cook rose to prominence in 1996 with the release of the album Better Living Through Chemistry as Fatboy Slim, and his other musical hits include Right Here, Right Now and Praise You.

He said of the 1986 performance with The Housemartins: “It was a pivotal moment for us. It was our biggest crowd ever.

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“We were there at noon on a Sunday, and playing in broad daylight for the first time was more than a shock.

“We were punching well above our weight playing the pyramid stage.

“We just released our first album on the Monday after Glastonbury. I’ve spent the rest of my career trying to get back on the pyramid stage.”

He’s become a Glastonbury regular and this year, has three slots on the bill, two announced and one he calls “a little silly, below-the-radar set with a little bit of a mystery” and his son Woody this year as well. Will be DJ.

He added of performing at Glastonbury every since 1996: “Even when I wasn’t booked, I’ve come and Michael and Emily Eavis asked me to play on a small stage. An undeclared slot has been found”.

The musician said he looked forward to seeing Sir Paul McCartney, Saturday’s Pyramid stage headliner, as well as Australian electronic group, The Avalanche.

When asked about his first cool Glastonbury, he told the Glastonbury Free Press: “My first cool Glastonbury was weird. There are so many crazy things going on in Glastonbury that you think they’re happening because you’re away from your madness.” Huh.

“But I remember walking around quietly and realizing, no, there’s actually a door in the middle of a field, and at night people are knocking on this door, waiting for someone’s answer.” When you are calm, you do not take these things lightly.

“There’s a little club called Miniscule of Sound, with bouncers and a small PA, with about eight people, and when I offered to DJ there, they asked me to send me a demo tape and they Might consider for the next night show.

“If I had experienced that intoxication, I would really believe it was some feverish fantasy.”