Is it really a decade since Brighton almost melted under the strain of big beach mania back in 2002? The answer, of course, is yes – but this time round the whole shebang has been shifted along the sea front to Brighton’s new Amex Stadium. This means two things: 1. The ability to control how many people actually attend (around 15,000 on Friday and well over 21,000 on Saturday) and 2. The chance to put in the kind of production that David Guetta and Tiesto take for granted these days.
In terms of Norman and his merry men, the ethos is similar: there’s more than enough room for a local boy (Carl Cox) plus Southern Fried residents The 2 Bears opening up, red-hot Mixmag cover star Maya Jane Coles and the none-more-Balearic-Ibiza Luciano, who brings his entire family along for the ride. We suspect his son and daughter won’t forget dancing in front of the booth to ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ in a hurry.
At around 8:45PM, the Fatboy himself arrives onstage, with maximum fanfare. There is electro, there is acid, there are lights and lasers, even a brilliant tribute to Donna Summer, not only with an appearance of ‘I Feel Love’ but also with a glorious technicolour Donna on the massive screens behind Cook. At around 10PM, the acid comes out to stun and that’s followed by a festival-trouncing ‘Strings Of Life’. And then – as is the nature of a stadium show – it all comes to a close at 10:30PM, with every beer and sweat-soaked punter leaving sated and elated.
But what’s amazing is that 24 hours later, the Fatboy is back once again doing it for the kids on a Saturday night. This time the supporting cast includes Nero and Annie Mac, all of whom get to play in front of some of the biggest audiences in their career.
But for Norman – who, let’s not forget has played to audience five times the size of this on beaches in Brazil – this is the work equivalent of a trip to the DIY store for a new set of paintbrushes – albeit a bit bigger, MUCH noisier and WAY more fun.
See you down the front for Episode 6.
Check out all the pics over on Fatboy's Facebook.