Swan Song: Rob Da Bank

The DJ and Bestival founder's ideal final day on Earth
Swan Song: Rob Da Bank

How would you spend your last day alive? Rob Da Bank would introduce Alan Titchmarsh to Benga.

Where would you like to wake up?

In the yurt at the bottom of my garden on the Isle of Wight. It’s a bit of a rodent attraction but it’s got a little fire inside which keeps it warm and you can have a wee outside, which I always find quite liberating. Where we live is kind of wild anyway, but this is going back to nature; I quite fancy turning into a Mongolian herdsman before I go through to the other side.

What would you like to achieve on your last day?

Book all the headliners that I’ve never managed to book for Bestival, for future Bestivals that my children will run after I die. Kate Bush, Prince, Dolly Parton, David Bowie - maybe throw Iron Maiden in there for a bit of a laugh. I’d get on the mobile and stroll around outside and do some deals. Maybe get some of these hard-arse agents to give me a bit of a discount as I’m dying.

You host a Last Supper. Who’s coming?

There’s got to be some Isle of Wight royalty, so Alan Titchmarsh has got to be there. I’d sit him next to Skream and Benga because they’re the only men who can maybe stay awake for a week and keep me up until I die. Robert Smith from The Cure, he’s really good fun; likes drinking a lot of beer and talking nonsense. Nile Rodgers from Chic, who’s always on really good form, a positive guy. I suppose my mum and dad might want to be there if it was my last twenty-four hours, so I’d make space for them as well.

What would be your biggest regret?

Although I’m very musical and I can play some instruments, every time I hear someone play the piano, like Stevie Wonder, I wish I’d concentrated in my piano lessons with Mrs. Warmington when I was sat in her front room thirty years ago.

What is the last song you would like to hear?

If it was a cremation then The Prodigy’s ‘Fire’. It sums up the insanity of dance music and rave culture and would shock my elderly relatives. If it was a funeral then I’d have ‘Golden Slumbers’ by The Beatles. I’ve always thought cremations are a bit creepier, but then being lowered into the ground in a coffin is fairly fucking creepy.

What would your deathbed confession be?

That I can’t grow a beard?! Maybe that’s patently obvious! Erm… that I love Spandau Ballet.

What would your final words be?

“Tidy your room!”

How are you going to die?

At Bestival we have this giant bonfire and I actually DJ’d on the top of it before it went up in flames. On top of a giant funeral pyre, in front of fifty thousand people. I’d be playing The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ and Keith Flint would have to light it.

Who would you like to meet at the Pearly Gates of Heaven?

John Peel, he was definitely a huge influence on me. He probably changed the course of my life - he made me even more open-minded, and it’d be good to catch up with him.

Describe your vision of Heaven.

Kind of like a twenty-four-hour Tesco at 2am. Lots of gleaming white aisles of lovely food and shiny things with God at the till.

If you could be resurrected the next day, what would you come back as?

Some sort of seabird, like an albatross or seagull. I love the sea, I love being outside and it’d be nice seeing the world from a different angle I suppose.  
    
Interview: Matthew Bennett

Rob da Bank is on BBC Radio 1 on Saturday mornings 5-7am.

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