Creamfields is changing. Once the quintessential all-night hands-in-the-air dance-fest, the Liverpool-based event is kicking with the zeitgeist this year and going indie. Well, quasi-indie. Proper bands are all over the bill and right at the top are Kasabian, who fit the new crossover vibe perfectly, reckons frontman Tom Meighan.
“I’m glad we’re, er, cross-dressing,” he says, slightly befuddled, before hitting his bombastic stride. “Cream’s a different audience but I think the majority will be Kasabian fans. We’re kind of a crossover band anyway. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, we’re not an indie band.”
“The thing with our shows, they’re atmospheric, they’re almost fucking dreamscape, like a Pink Floyd show, they’re quite spectacular, and it’s like you’re in a bubble for an hour and a half. I think that’s why we suit Creamfields perfectly. We can go on any stage in the world at any time to be honest.”
The al-fresco offshoot of one of the UK’s greatest superclubs, Creamfields celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and with Liverpool being the European Capital of Culture too it’s a fine time to take the event in an ambitious new direction. An arms-aloft all-nighter can be a bit off-putting for the casual punter, of course, so the organisers are introducing a dramatic new initiative for 2008: sleep.
Rather than the exhausted bleary-eyed-trudge-home of old, Creamfields is now a two-day onsite camping affair, with a more relaxed, accessible feel overall. Think Big Chill/Bestival with noisier people on stage. The racket is of a more eclectic nature this time around, however, with the likes of Ian Brown, the Gossip and Soulwax augmenting the more familiar Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers.
“They’ve got Ian Brown and the Chemical Brothers and I think that’s a good move,” says Meighan. “Everyone’s fucking going on about the V Festival and Glastonbury, Reading and fucking Leeds again, everyone’s wanking off about those festivals. The reason we’re doing Creamfields, we’ve done Glastonbury for the last two years, and it’d be wrong for us to turn up again.”
This headline slot is the only UK date the Leicester dance-rockers are planning to play this year, as they’re in the midst of recording their third album. It’s a concept record, apparently, and while Meighan “is keeping it hush hush” for the moment, he promises a few early samples for the Creamfielders.
“With the festivals last year we had some new material but weren’t ready to play it yet. So this time we’ll play the classics – well, ‘classics’, it’s weird saying that – and some new stuff too.”
So can he sum up the new stuff in, say, three words?
“It’s mystical, it’s wonderful it’s magical.”
Creamfields runs from 23rd-24th August by Liverpool. Other acts appearing include Fatboy Slim, Pendulum, Gossip, Simian Mobile Disco, The Presets, Soulwax, Chic, Kissy Sell Out, Yacht, Ian Brown, Underworld and many more Djs.