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You would have thought that after a weekend at the UK’s premier heavy metal extravaganza, Download, there would not be too much scope for further encounters with the truest freaks and social outcasts of our sorry world. You’d be wrong. So fucking wrong.
It seems that they’ve all come out from the woodwork for GlobalGathering. The crowd is a sea of variety. You look over the multi-coloured braids, giant fluffy boots and fisherman’s hats, and you realise they’re all here for a weekend of raving.
There is no pretence and little effort to fit into any alternative style. Here, it seems, the ravers, the pillheads, the chavs, the musclebound ‘roiders and the cyberpunks combine, destined to live in unnatural harmony. This airfield might well be our last vestige of individuality.
London’s *Erol Alkan *is the first act to make an impression on Friday. TRASH’s resident DJ mixes and mashes tunes to give the crowd a healthy concoction of bootlegged madness. While *Groove Armada *close the splendidly constructed Beach Stage to an assembled crowd of thousands with their synth-filled chilled out music, *Fabio & Grooverider *splice their heavy drum-and-bass beats with rapid-fire MCing to a more select, but just as appreciative, group of individuals.
Many watching the duo stumbled upon the small stage en route to seeing *Daft Punk *play their first live show in the UK for almost a decade. The French duo eventually appear from the midst of their specially constructed, three-tonne, 20-foot-high pyramid in the Godskitchen Arena. They're almost an hour late, but this only serves to heighten the anticipation.
Dressed in their trademark robot outfits, the pair lead the crowd a merry trail through an electro-hop back catalogue that soundtracked many a dance revolutionary’s decade. Dancing away to classics like ‘Around The World’ _and _‘Robot Rock’ _in that humid tent whilst dodging half-naked men proclaiming their stock of _“Charlie and pills”, the 1990s don’t seem that long ago.
*Carl Cox *has his own tent on Saturday for all his friends to play in, but it is the other big names that really steal the show. *Erick Morillo *somehow manages to melt every single type of house music into one pot and still make it sound amazing in the blazing sunshine. Those of you who still think that house music can only be appreciated in a club need to have a rethink.
Roni Size *is his old splendid self in the Accelerated Culture tent, but the main act tonight is *Fatboy Slim. They’ve been handing out 3D glasses all day for this, so many were expecting the magnificent display from Glastonbury 2005. There’s a massive crowd stood upon the tonnes of imported sand in front of the Beach Stage and they’re all waiting for Mr Cook.
He can’t really fail, but the 3D light show proves slightly disappointing: organisers opt for simple acid faces rather than anything more overblown. Raised up high on a platform, stood in front of a massive screen, you know he's king of this castle. Relishing the evening, the Brighton DJ mainly focuses on indie and chart hits mashed up almost beyond recognition. The sad highlight is when he maimed Arctic Monkeys’ ‘When The Sun Goes Down’.
It's fitting that his last track, ‘Praise You’, was the teleprompter for God to unleash the heavens upon his disciples. Norman is so good that nobody even cared. They were there ‘til the end and they’ll be back again. Here’s to GG07.
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