Felix Buxton tells Andrew Cowen about the value of good footwear when doing the festival thing...
"I love Liverpool and I love the people there so it's always good to visit that area and have a party. People are definitely more up for it and less uptight. I prefer people from up north in general; people in London are a bit stuck up, they all think they're cool and are less prepared to have a good time."
Despite being practically an honorary (cool) citizen of Brixton, Creamfields headliner Felix Buxton admits he remains ambiguous about his adopted South London home and more particularly its residents.
"I love London it's great but it's definitely not as friendly", the Basement Jaxx star explains, "I grew up in the Midlands and I always felt like I was from the North, but I moved down south because everything you hear about in the UK seems to come from London."
Apart from Creamfields, or indeed Glastonbury, where Basement Jaxx recently took over the headline slot for Kylie and promptly stole the show.
"Glastonbury was brilliant, we really enjoyed ourselves, we'd got a really good bunch of people together and we were all looking forward to it, there were a bit of nerves, but we had a really good time and everyone out there seemed to have a great time," he says. "It all came together and most importantly it didn't rain when we were playing."
Despite performing at London's Hyde Park the night before, the band avoided the flying in by helicopter pop star routine, instead opting for a more down to Earth mode of transport.
"We went there in a hire van," Felix chuckles. "They ran out of tour buses." Though taking the van meant they were able to pack their full festival survival kits including waterproofs, wellies and woolens.
"The first time we went to a festival everyone went in their trainers and got in a right mess and ended up feeling too cold in the evening, but I think we're all sorted now. You need something warm to put on later and some sensible footwear," he advises.
Weather conscious to an unusual degree, Felix admits his recollections of last playing Creamfields five years ago are vague apart from the inclement conditions.
"You never know what's going to happen with the weather in England and it's a bummer if you get caught out so it's important to have something to put on later when it gets cold," he repeats. "That's one thing I remember from Creamfields the last time we were there; seeing girls with just dresses on, really shivering."
Felix reckons the band's recent Greatest Hits set is ideal festival fodder.
"All the gigs we are doing at the moment are based around it, so the whole show is going to be more or less the hits. We are not trying many new tracks, though we always change bits and bobs around in the set."
But does he still love all their songs?
"They haven't managed to piss me off just yet and we're only doing live shows for the next couple of months so you can see an end in sight. The shows seem to be working well and when you get a good reaction from the audience that's what matters. The music is for them really, rather than yourself anymore."
In recent interviews the band have either talked about being part of dance culture or distanced themselves from it aggressively. Buxton feels this contradiction acutely.
"That's probably exactly where we are. We do feel part of it, but we are very keen not to get drawn up with the latest trend.
"Like anything, people are very fashion led, so perhaps they like electro-house this month, whatever, whereas for Simon and I, we feel the music we like and that's it, we're never guided by fashion.
"I still love dancing and people are always going to go to clubs, though a lot of dance music at the moment is very derivative and that's why the scene has shrunk again and gone back underground.
"The original excitement of a lot of house music and dance music generally, came from the fact that it was all about experimenting and expressing yourself, it was about taking people to another emotional state and wowing them.
"A lot of dance music today is like wallpaper, it's designed for modern clubbing which is a bit weak really."
It spounds like the Jaxx have gone through moments when they've felt their hearts are not in it.
Felix expalins: "No and that's why we've always been very particular in the way we organize what gigs we do and how we approach everything. We rarely do a remix, but if we do, it's a track that we really want to do and are interested in.
"Lots of bands tour all the time, whereas we try and get the really good gigs and leave the spaces in between and do different things, and spend time at home.
"When you're touring you find yourself living in this little bubble, which is great for a while but then it does get a bit tiring and you get a bit jaded.
"If we were doing a massive tour with the singles then I'd definitely get pissed off with all the music, but we just keep it to a level that we are really enjoying the shows we are doing and looking forward to them." So to the final question, and probably the most important: What have you asked for on your rider for Creamfields?
Says Felix: "Nothing very exciting; vodka, whisky and Red Bull; we've never had any particular demands. The thing is, you get to know the catering people and the people who run things, and you're not going to be an asshole really to just try and show off. Though maybe we should say things like 'I want a Vespa scooter there and I want to keep it."
* Basement Jaxx will be performing on the Main Stage at Creamfields 2005, Saturday 27 August Bank Holiday Weekend, Old Liverpool Airfield, Merseyside. Tickets £51.50+BF, Cream Ticketline: 0870 242 7326, Info: 0151 707 1309 / www.cream.co.uk