By Bernard Salmon
Published: 10 June, 2010
"WHAT a stupid question," Norman Cook said in reply to my opening enquiry about whether he was looking forward to coming back to play at RockNess this year.
The superstar DJ, aka Fatboy Slim, is heading back for the shores of Loch Ness to play at the festival and said that "of course" he was looking forward to returning.
He said: "I can't wait for it. This will be my third time playing at the festival and I feel like a proud father seeing how a child's getting on." Once his appearance at Dores is out the way, Norman will be flying out to South Africa to do a series of gigs for fans attending the football World Cup.
Norman describes himself as the "unofficial official DJ" for the England team.
He said: "I'll actually be flying out to South Africa the day after RockNess, so I'll be missing the first England group game, but apart from that I'll be the 'official' DJ..
"I'll be doing some gigs for the England fans and also for the Australians and Brazilians.
"It actually began in Japan two World Cups ago, as I was there when they were awarded the World Cup and I just thought it would be a brilliant idea to schedule gigs around the England games.
"It gives the fans something to do on their days off, particularly in the group stages, and I think that's good for everyone – good for me, good for the fans and I think good for the World Cup." But Norman had some reassurance for Scottish fans.
He said: "When it comes to England, there's always the factor that they'll go out on penalties in the quarter-finals or in the semis.
"I want them to win, but I think it will be another brave but glorious failure by England.
"I never actually book gigs much past the group stages." Another sporting thing that Norman's been involved with recently was running a marathon in his home city of Brighton.
He said: "It was very hard work, but very rewarding.
"It's one of those rites of passage that you want to do once in your life.
"It was a good time for me to do it, as I'd given up drinking and we also had our new daughter, so I had the time to do the training.
"I was in training for five months and got round in four hours 53 minutes..
"I ran the whole way round and didn't die, which was the main goal I'd set myself.
"I don't know if I'd do it again, though, as it was really brutal." In addition to running 26 miles, Norman's also recently collaborated with former Talking Heads star David Byrne on Here Lies Love an album about the life of the Philippines' ex-first lady Imelda Marcos.
Norman said: "It came about because David just phoned me up.
"I've been a fan of his ever since my youth and I like everything he's done.
"The idea of working on a musical about Imelda Marcos was a suitably leftfield one and it was just a pleasure working with him." Norman admits that he didn't know an awful lot about Marcos before embarking on the project.
"I just knew what most people know, which is that she had lots of shoes," he said.
"But working on the project meant I had to do a lot of research and it was interesting to find out the real story.
"As David said, he wrote 22 songs for this and none of them are about shoes." In addition to RockNess and the World Cup gigs, Norman said he would be having a busy summer playing several festivals, with an appearance at Glastonbury lined up, as well as gigs at Clapham Common in London and in Belfast, amongst others.
And he's also got a new single coming out, which is a collaboration with his DJ colleague Herv é ..
He also intends releasing a new Fatboy Slim record later this year, although he's not working on that yet.
But before then, Norman promised a treat for the fans at RockNess.
"Look out for a special tailor-made song," he said.
"This is my third time playing there, and every time I have a special tune for Rock Ness."
l Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim will be headlining Rock Ness tomorrow (Friday). "I set up the first one and it was just supposed to be a big party by the lake but it's grown into a fully-fledged festival and I do like to come along every other year and see how my child's getting on and growing.He stated: "I could not believe that no-one had thought of using such a beautiful location for a festival.
"Luckily the good people of Dores thought this could be really good fun.
"They might have been wary of all these people, but once a year they just open the place up for a good party." Norman said the location by Loch Ness was what had attracted him to set up the festival.