“Hello you, you, and you too. It’s da Bank here for the next two hours, playing the best in left field, right field and any bloomin’ field we can lay our hands on.”
So starts a typical morning on Rob da Bank’s weekly BBC Radio One Leftfield Show, a colourful corner of the musical universe where you’re as likely to stumble into stripped down motorway techno as you are woozy weird folk or a booty electro cover of an obscure David Bowie tune.
It’s the same blueprint that has made his annual Bestival festival jamboree the summer’s cool ruler since it began in 2004, and it’s not a million miles from the Sunday Best parties (entrance famously 99p, Harvey as a monthly resident) he ran upstairs at the Tea Rooms Des Artistes in Clapham back in his days as a roving Muzik magazine journalist in the mid ‘90s.
This insistence on the eclectic runs through everything, from his long-running Sunday Best Recordings label, his own Lazyboy music or the myriad compilations from the Fabric 24 peak time club mix to 2006’s Folk Off to the A-Z of Bestival releases, or his DJ sets and parties everywhere from Ibiza to NYC, right up to the pages of the technicolour coffee table book Rob da Bank’s A-Z of Festivals.
When Rob da Bank describes his modus operandi as “a mad drive the wrong way round a one way system”, he’s not messing around. Well, he is messing around, because messing around is what he does best, but he means it. And it shows.