Moustaches make you meet famous people, it's a fact..
Ambling our way through Glastonbury on Thursday night, we stumble upon the cool as cheese Trash City complete with its strew airplane wreckage, monsters on stilts and half battered buildings that look as if King Kong dropped in for tea. The best bit though is Downlow, a seedy hive of much gayness that requires a moustache to enter lest you be all smoothy cheeked. Paying two bucks for a stick-on tache, we head into the glitterball maze and bop to some lukewarm disco. Problem is we're laughing a lot – mainly at each other – so the hairy slugs covering our lips keep falling off. Steve puts his on upside down to stop it from slipping off his chin but Zoe Ball stalking nearby doesn't like it, zooms over and tells him off like a teacher to a small child and promptly puts it the right way round so he once again looks like Russel Hardy. This then, is our introduction to her hubby Norman Cook, who happily yabbers to us about all things Glasto, before pulling out his delapidated Mario mouth-mane from his pocket and poses with us for photos as we gurn in delight…
Virtual Festivals: How's this Africa Express thing going to work up at The Park – and what is it?
Norman Cook: (laughs) "I honestly don’t know, we’re really winging it! I went to Mali with Damon Albarn, Martha Wainwright and Zane Lowe last October to investigate what’s going on there musically and, to cut a long story short, I’ll now be playing an African set in between some of the bands playing up there. It’s one of those ‘only for Glastonbury’ things and who knows how it will pan out but it’s in Damon’s hands so I’m sure it will work well. It was his idea and he instigated it all. Where Damon leads we follow."
VF: So are the records you'll be playing all bought from when you were out there?
NC: "No, they’re not actually. I’ve always been into African music but very rarely do I get a chance to play it out anywhere other than my studio. The Mali trip was, I suppose, my first experience of it first hand in the flesh. I’ve always been more of an acid house man and it’s all about expanding those horizons."
VF: Do you know what time or for how long you'll be on?
NC: "No, I don’t know when I’m doing it or how I’m doing it. I’ve just got a bag of records which I think might work, so we’ll just see where it leads."
VF: It all sounds amazing and it’s one of the things we're all looking forward most to all weekend…
NC: "Me too, it will be great to do something off the cuff that really celebrates African music and is a bit experimental. That's what Glasto's all about."
VF: Of course, you're playing your 'normal' sets elsewhere as well…
NC: "Yeah, this is my night off so we're all out for a bit of a night. Tomorrow night (Friday) I’m up against the young guns like Klaxons and Hot Chip. I suppose I’m like the dad rock old school DJ. I’m 42 years old and probably only just about still getting away with it!"
VF: Two years ago you headlined the Other Stage and had all the 3D effects. Will there be anything similar this time round?
NC: "Not really. Friday’s set is going to be a no frills affair, unlike last time when we put together quite a big production and of course gave out all the 3D glasses. I’ve played here for the past ten years but Emily has got a rule that I can’t headline consecutive festivals. I call this way of playing at Glastonbury guerrilla DJing – just a box of records and wellies."
VF: What do you think is going to make this Glastonbury any better than any others?
NC: "Each year it gets better really and I think the Park will prove to be an excellent venue. It's a festival that just combines unlike any other. The punters work out how to have fun and all Michael and Emily and the bands and DJs have to do is work out how to make it all work. And it just does!"
VF: Finally, where is your moustache?
NC: "Ah, it's here (pulls battered fake moustache out of pocket and sticks it on). It's a bit ruined."
VF: So are we. Let's all have a photo..