Wednesday, June 12, 2024

I Love Playing Festivals

When I got home last night, the first tweet I read was about the following article from the Guardian Newspaper. I found it very interesting. People who've not read my memoir Le Freak, wouldn't know the story of how playing a festival, with the aid of a Heineken beer in a styrofoam cup, brought me out of my shell.

This is the first time I've ever put a reprint in my blog, but this year we're playing more festivals than we have since 'Nard and I started the CHIC Organization. I LOVE PLAYING FESTIVALS!

Q&A: Nile Rodgers of CHIC
The disco legend on his hippy childhood, CHIC's first festival and vibing with Johnny Marr in Manchester

Louis Pattison
The Guardian, Friday 25 May 2012

What are you planning for this summer's Chic shows?

We've changed our set a bit. We added a medley of Duran Duran's Wild Boys and INXS's Original Sin, both of which I produced back in the 80s.

So it's going to be a hit-packed set?

Always has been! By our second round of touring in 1979, we'd had five top 10 singles, plus the Sister Sledge stuff. We do some fun jazzy stuff, but it's hard to fit in because after all the stuff we love playing and the stuff people love hearing, we're 80 minutes deep.

Can you recall Chic's first festival? It must have been different to the New York nightclubs you were used to.

I remember it well. It was only our second show. The first Chic show was at a club called Casanova in Atlantic City, and the very next show was at Oakland Stadium, in front of 70,000 people. I had stage fright. That was the first time I ever drank a beer before a show.

Did it work out?

It was fantastic. I went on to drink quite a few beers!

So you enjoy festivals?

What we love is the interactivity. There is nothing like playing to a massive crowd when everyone is vibing on the same wavelength. I think Americans have lost the festival mentality a bit. As soon as a performer is over, or even before, we'll be running off to beat the traffic. Outside America, people still want to picnic, hang around outdoors. And that's me. I grew up a hippy. I lived outdoors. I was homeless for a while. I've always loved being with crowds, vibing.

Last year, you played Manchester's Warehouse Project...

Man, that was amazing. Magical. People were crowdsurfing, which we don't normally see at Chic shows. I couldn't believe how many hot girls there were in Manchester. We did a couple of songs we thought would be semi-obscure, because the venue had this dark, underground vibe. So we played a song called Soup for One, and the audience were all singing it back. Incredible! Then Johnny Marr came out to play with us on Le Freak, and it brought the house down. You know he named his son after me? Nile Marr, he's also a guitarist. He told me that right before we went on stage, and I was on the floor.

Are there any UK festivals you're particularly looking forward to?

One that sticks out is Rock Ness. Loch Ness is a wonderfully fabled story here in America.

And you're returning to Manchester for The Parklife Weekender – any chance you might play with Johnny?

I would love that. Matter of fact, I spoke to Johnny the other day, because I want one of his guitars. Maybe he can bring it down to Parklife to jam with us. You know what? I'm going to give him a ring as soon as I've finished with you.

Chic play Lovebox, Rock Ness, Vintage Festival, The Parklife Weekender, Camp Bestival and The Magic Loungeabout

Read the original article here:


The crowd from the DJ's point of view

A clip from one of our most recent performances in Curacao

The music we play makes people dance!

Me and Seal

I Love Playing Festivals