Monday, September 29, 2008

Fat Boy Upstaged Shock

By Friday, the "Fat Boy Invasion" had the local paper scared shitless.

By Saturday “Your photos” and “Your stories” were wanted for an 8 page celebration issue. The Brighton Argus was giving it large.

Fat Boy Slim was in town again (despite the fact he actually lives only a mile away in Shoreham), for his 4th Ibiza-style rave, made notorious a few years ago by a tragic death and 250,000 people crammed onto Brighton beach.

But that was then.

By 9am Council officials were out in force to meter threatening decibels.

Only 22,000 tickets had been allocated,19,000 of them by local postcode to prevent train chaos back to London.

Miles and miles and miles of fencing lined the beach, the street, the overhang.

Burger and chicken franchises had been sold.

So to the chagrin of revolutionaries and anarchists, Ibiza ravers and gatecrashers, not to mention the more genteel residents of Royal Circus and Sussex Square, the ticket holders ambled peacefully into a ribbon of seafront and enjoyed themselves without any trouble, eating kebabs and burgers and drinking water. Apparently no-one took any drugs.

It all ended at 9.45 and they ambled back out again.

The Nationwide mansion overlooks the stage, so a small NW youth posse defied vertigo and enjoyed the entire show for free, from the roof, a veritable Grand Circle of the Royal Albert Hall, despite the obstacle course of redundant Sky and BSB dishes, attendant wires and co-axial cables, ledges, roof tiles and a glass canopy.

Even the following morning the hangover-free were surprised to see the whole seafront cleaned up, leaving only heavy machinery to remove the hundreds of portable toilets. An FBS raver had even neatly put a crushed can of special brew on our doorstep for recycling.

Seems worthwhile too.


22,000 tickets at £35 each = £770,000 (about three quarters of a million smackers).


Whistle, 60p

CDs from HMV £50 (3 for 2 offer)

Deoderant (you have to lift your arm up while playing records) £1.29p from Boots

A CD player . £59.99p from Currys.

Total : £111.88p

Plus production Fee to FBS Incorporated of Switzerland or someplace £769,000

Council fee for the entire closure of the seafront, the city, airspace and a one mile coastal exclusion zone, TBA.

But it didn't go all his way....When FBS woke up the following morning, let’s hope he didn’t read the UK Observer.

Restaurant critics use language like seasoning. Words like amuse, toothsome, and delicate, pepper the page. Not big shouty words like “disaster”. But that's the very word Jay Rayner used to describe FBS's Japanese caff in downtown Brighton.

Rayner may be a self-confessed poncy food critic (poncy being AA Gill's word of the moment ) but he understands Japanese food. His latest book leads him to Yukimura in Tokyo and his taste buds lead him all around town. The man knows what he's talking about.

It wasn’t the d├ęcor or the tea in FBS place that got to him. It was the food. Oh dear. Sorry FBS.

Then there was worse. The nearest pub to the FBS stage is by coincidence the best pub in the world

where the latest muso spinning the wheels, or rather wheel, is the new FBS, DJ Graham, whose wind-up wooden phonograph plays 78s. Old Boy Slim they call him. He just whacks them out.

On Saturday, 22,000 people may have thought they were enjoying themselves with whistles and luminous armbands in hte most up-to-the-minute manner. Passe my dears. The place to be is just yards away, where the audience eagerly await the changing of not only the discs (Doris Day, Fats Waller, Muddy Waters) from one ancient thick paper sleeve "REX Records" to the turntable, but also the needles, proving that FBS is just so, so five minutes ago. Even his sushi restaurant isn't cutting it.

No, the place to be is the Hand in Hand. The time? 1957.

Because if you don't have a seat by 8 o'clock you'll have to stand.

Friday, September 19, 2008

May I be the first to offer you the Compliments of the Season sir. Happy Holidays madam.

Walking through Asda (owned by Walmart) in shorts and tee shirt with some chilled rose wine for the barbecue is one thing, but passing by the Christmas trees, spangly baubles and silver wrapping, is quite something else.
But stuff it. Santa, here's my list...I want

one of those MP3/itunes thingies because the bloke on the train tonight watched a whole episode of Family Guy and was shaking with laughter.

a mobile phone bill that's less than £100 per month on my £35 all-in monthly tariff.

eternal happiness for my family although right now, despite everything, they seem to have it.

a big house. and world peace. with no plastic carrier bags.

Boris Johnson to confess that it was all a big joke.

Somebody to explain to me that while we obviously need investment and backing to create thriving businesses, why we also need investment banks whose staff siphon off bonuses upwards of £10 million because they've bet -and won - on other banks crashing.

An end to junk email. I do not wish to inherit £100 million of somebody else's money from Nigeria, I am quite happy in the downstairs department thankyou, and I do not wish to re-establish my security code on some fucking bank that I've never had an account with.

Some people to stop waking other people up at 6am with snippers and clippers to snip and clip miniscule bits of hair that have apparently sprung out of some people's ears in the middle of the night. And to also leave their eyebrows, head, back and arms alone too.

The return of Larry Sanders as if he had never been away.

Universal adoration for Seasick Steve.

Slightly more regulated weather which would keep Americans happy. They seem to think that it's Brits who're obsessed. It's not.

Good food for all. We should all be able to have French or Italian diets. Preferably with a Michelin star or two. And everyone everywhere should appreciate all forms of Japanese cuisine.
Plus two more dinners (this year) at the Fat Duck. With no limit on the budget.

All women to be satisfied with their own bodies/looks/makeup/clothes and shoes.

All men to just slightly improve their wardrobe. And possibly their personal hygeine. A little.

And the great Barak Obama for President.

I fankyou. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. etc etc