August 8, 2008
Creamfields Suits Us Fine
By RHODRI BARKER
Trainspotting fans can rest easy Underworld will be playing the tune most associate with the electronic dance duo, when they headline at this month's Creamfields festival.
Born Slippy, released as a single, found a second success when it was included on the soundtrack to the Irvine Welsh novel in 1995, guaranteeing crossover success.
Underworld headline at the Bank Holiday Sunday Radio 1 stage at Creamfields - celebrating 10 years as the UK's premier dance and electronic festival, and now held at Daresbury, near Warrington, rather than its original Liverpool home.
The festival's highlights will go out on Radio 1 and through a pioneering web TV station. And that will include the band's latest version of Born Slippy.
"Yeah, until we say Underworld has stopped, the old favourites are still a big part of what we are," assures Karl Hyde, half of the veteran dance duo (along with Rick Smith) and spokesman for the band.
Hyde admits crowds singing along to the notorious "lager lager lager" lyric of their biggest hit was initially "unsettling".
"Because we were inspired by club culture, we expected people should have been dancing. I wanted to tell them to stop all that singing. Now it's a cross-section of people that come to the shows and I'd imagine most people are getting the words more right than I am."
But Hyde insists he is now at peace with the refrain. "That's the only lyric that we ever felt the need to explain. Now I'm fine however people want to interpret it. If it's simply a celebration of alcohol to them, then that's okay.
If they want to consider it as one man's reflection on years of destruction and getting wasted, then I'm fine with that too."
Despite this popular success, Underworld remain first and foremost a dance act, says Hyde.
"The groove has always come before the singer for us. I mean, if it wasn't for Darren Emerson (who left Underworld in 2002) saying 'I like this', we would never have been a band that had me at the front. The music comes first."
Hyde promises Underworld will bring something new even to the old favourites. "We do have the luxury of being able to go out there and remix it for each performance. Being able to do that - sometimes radically - is what keeps it interesting for us.
Things are evolving all the time.
But even being a band that improvises as much as we do, it's still very easy to fall into a pattern. So there is still often the need to turn to someone on stage and say: 'You know that thing that you've been doing for the past three nights that is totally brilliant? Don't do it again'.
"It's especially important we continue that now. In the age of the internet, people do discuss your shows. And even if they weren't, I wouldn't ever want us to get complacent."
This year's festival also sees its own TV webcast show, with a digital stream of online film, news, moving image, videocasts and sound.
Creamfields, August 23- 24th, Daresbury, near Warrington, www.creamfields.com. Weekend camping tickets from pounds 115 (non- camping pounds 105), day tickets pounds 57.50, from www.ticketline.co.uk or 0844 888 4401
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