FATBOY SLIM – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 30.10.23
Yes, this honestly happened this evening! THE actual real Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) DID perform a two hour live set in the downstairs bar of The Prince Albert pub located at the top of Trafalgar Street in Brighton. The set ran from 8pm to 10pm and was in order to highlight the popular grassroots music venue’s current situation!
In addition to the Brighton and Hove News Music Team being in attendance, our local democracy reporter, Sarah Booker-Lewis, also came along with us this evening.
Norman granted myself (Nick Linazasoro) and Sarah individual interviews prior to the commencement of his extremely popular dance music set. We were essentially here on the back of the Prince Albert’s plea from three days ago, which read:
“WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW! As you may already know the Albert has been under threat from developers for some time, it’s now got very real very quick! We need to gain as many signatures as possible to stop this development from going ahead. Please follow the link for more information and please please please sign your name. We can’t let these developers win again and lose another amazing grassroots music venue! VIVA LOS ALBERT!”
My interview with Norman at the Prince Albert was addressing music as our heritage, and this is what he said:
“Yeah basically I’m in the music business and the lifeblood of the music business is small venues. Grassroots venues are literally the lifeblood of the whole industry. If I had been living here in Brighton at the time I would have started my first band here, and I’ve been here so many times.
Nationally, on one hand, the English music business is second to none and we are punching above our weight and we have to support where it comes from. If you cut off the roots it dies, and people like Adele would have started here, and for every Adele there has to be venues like this!
These bands and singers need somewhere to grow, and if you cut off the roots then the art wouldn’t grow. That’s why we need small grassroots venues. But on a local theme in Brighton, this (The Prince Albert) is such an institution. It’s a landmark with Banksy’s ‘Kissing Policemen’ mural on the outside.
For many many people it’s the first thing they see when they come to Brighton. They get off the train to go to the North Laine and see it and think “What a great place Brighton is”. Vibrant! Kinky! Eccentric! And it (The Prince Albert) screams how vibrant Brighton is, and it’s going to end up as corporate blocks and if they build that there then this will be gone within a few years, and it’s got to be preserved, like our grade II Regency architecture.
We should preserve our music venues in the same way, as they are culturally important as Regency architecture, and they are part of what Brighton is. I moved to Brighton because I like the music scene. l was up in Hull at the time and based at a place called The Adelphi, which is basically Hull’s version of this, and I played a gig there to help them out, and I would do anything to support grassroot venues!”
Sarah’s report of this situation can be read HERE.
As you would expect, The Prince Albert drafted in extra security for this worthy cause event, which was a secret event, until it started kicking off at 8pm. Guests had been invited by the venue in order to highlight their plight. The age range of the punters varied from around 20 to 65, but everyone was there for the exact same reason, namely to support the venue and to see Norman do his thing!
The downstairs bar was rammed and all the folks were jumping and dancing to the continuous dance mix. As always, Norman had the punters eating out of his hand from the very off as he constantly tweaked the knobs of his Pioneer decks and anything he said, we did. We clapped, we jumped, we crouched down etc.
The atmosphere was electric inside and also stopped many unbelieving folks who happened to be walking by outside. These stunned people weren’t ignored by Norman, in fact all the way through his set, he acknowledged them and posed for photos through the glass and even on one occasion pressed his lips up against the glass as another chap did on the other side. There was the feeling of almost disbelief by the revellers that this was actually going down!
Ordinarily we would give you the setlist of tunes played, but you know what, tonight wasn’t about that…we were here to “Save The Prince Albert!”. So, visit their website HERE and check out what gigs they have to offer! But most importantly sign the petition HERE and help save The Prince Albert! Thank you x
More photos of this special event can be viewed HERE.