“Show Us Yer Monkey”

Global Gathering 2006

by Hot Cross Burns & Puppy

The first people we ran into having pitched our tent at Global Gathering, were a group of boozy lads and one lady from Newcastle proudly proclaiming that they had one lesbian, but needed another… The mind boggles as to why they needed another lesbian, but they asked me whether I had a spare one, or whether I was one. The last time I looked, I was a man… but I can understand people getting confused.

The second thing they asked me and another girl wandering by was “Oi, show us your monkey”, probably the funniest question I’ve been asked at a festival, and it set the tone for the weekend. Everyone on the site was well up for having-it-large, and the atmosphere electric. If anyone does have an idea of what I should be exhibiting by showing my monkey, do let me know.

The line-up was top-notch dance, and the weather all blue skies and sunshine. Things that I meant to do in my short amount of time at Global Gathering, but didn’t manage to, included getting a lap-dance; the silent disco; the roller disco; the funfair, and the huge waterslide… Guess it’ll have to wait till next year!

We spent the most part of the early evening at the Radio 1 Beach Stage, listening to Pete Tong’s Essential Selection broadcast live from the stage with live PA’s from Michael Gray, the Shapeshifters, Route 33, and live mixes from Sacha and David Guetta. The broadcast and artists were great, but even better was that we were dancing half naked on sand to such good music, and laughing with everyone around us.

The VIP section was right next to the stage also, which was rather useful as it turned out, because of the heat, it was the only place to get ice cold beer/cider (everywhere else sold warm cans)! While we are on the subject of the VIP area, they had rather plush toilets, but also a beauty salon doing everything from hairdressing to pedicures… Who in their right mind would get a pedicure at a festival?? But hey, the seats were nice, the loo was clean, the bar had carpet, and the drinks were cold… bring on VIP!!!!

A question: Why do people feel the need to wear such odd outfits when it comes to dance music? I’m a big dance fan, but I can never understand why girls wear fluffy yeti boots that go half way up their legs, rubber/PVC skirts, and have bizarre tassels/ribbons/bits of rubber exploding from their hair? I guess it gives them a better high when they are on drugs, but most of it seems really uncomfortable, and unsuitable for hot weather? I should point out at this point that I’m 27, and not 67, but have always been confused by strange fashion-fads.

Another thing I found quite odd was the amount of ecstasy-pumped, mad for it, middle-aged men at the festival. At first I believed that maybe these men were having some sort of a midlife crisis, and dance’n’drugs filled the void, but I realised later that most of these guys were there when the dance revolution started and have followed it though. Part of me thinks they should give it up, but the other half thinks, fuck, go for it lads, but make sure that you use lots of quality moisturiser, sun-cream, eat plenty of fresh veg, and take vitamins!! Rave on!!!

Back to the music now, and although we didn’t get to see all that much (I have to apologise to everyone for missing Groove Armada, I completely forgot the time), but what we did see was superb. My favourite stage for the line up had to be the air stage, featuring the best in Breakbeat. Krafty Kuts, Stanton Warriors, Adam Freeland, Plump DJ’s and Hybrid all rocked the stage, and the crowd loved it! Because its quite difficult give a written description of DJ’s without banging on about spinning vinyl, waving arms etc, I’ll tell you about the best moment of the festival, and the reason I went…. Daft Punk!

The last time I saw this French duo live, was in 1997 at Glastonbury at the brand new dance tent. It was the last night of the festival, and indeed, the last time Daft Punk played live in the UK… Until now. Having not seen them for 9 years, expectations were high, and excitement got the better of me in terms of the amount of cans of Strongbow cider I consumed, which meant that although I remember the gig well, I swayed the entire way through, and at one point, a little bit of wee came out when I laughed… Oops.

Daft Punk are amazing!! They came on as space men in an illuminated space ship giving off an incredible light display, and launched straight into the hits including Around the World, Burnin and Scratchin, One More Time, Technologic, and finished up with their first massive single, Da Funk. If there is one thing that got me about Daft Punk on both occasions, it’s the bass in their music, especially the trobbing bass at the beginning of Da Funk, really powerful and recognisable. Proper party music!!

It’s no wonder that twenty-five thousand people were at the Daft Punk gig. It was billed as the dance music comeback of the year, and they certainly entertained the crowd. I just hope we get to see them again in the UK without having to wait another year.

Even through we missed day two, we hear that Fat Boy Slim gave a blistering set at the Beach Stage, and that elsewear, the Radio 1 team of DJ’s kept going live across the site all night. And that the lovely Sara Cox gave a wicked BBQ backstage, all live on Radio 1 too! I’m very jealous!

This was my first time at Global Gathering, and I found it a really top-notch festival. It’s big without being too big, the line-up is incredible, so if you love dance music, you’re in heaven!! My only gripe is that I couldn’t stay for the second day, but hey, there is always next year! Maybe see you there – bigger, better, faster, more!

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