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Felix Buxton, one half of iconic dance music duo Basement Jaxx, has opened up about the time that he rugby tackled Prince Harry while he was dressed as a gorilla on stage.
Buxton spoke about the topic with Caz Tran while appearing as a guest on ABC radio show The J Files, describing the encounter as a “royal highlight”.
Back in the 2000s, the electronic duo would have guests don head-to-toe monkey outfits to dance on stage when they performed their 2001 hit single ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ in a nod to their music video, which featured primates playing the track in a lab experiment that spirals out of control.
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The incident in question happened at the 2009 Wireless Festival in London, where the duo were playing on the main stage. Buxton said: “We were lucky enough to meet Prince Harry.
“I think he was more interested in Dizzee Rascal [who was going to come perform [‘Lucky Star’] on our third album [‘Kish Kash’],” he continued.
“Anyway, met Harry before the show and said: ‘If you want to be a gorilla on stage, help yourself’.”
Harry duly agreed, and appeared when prompted, but Buxton told Tran that he forgot about his offer to the Prince, who was then aged 25 years old.
“He said that was one of the best moments of his life. He might look back now and think ‘Oh god yeah, I was so free’,” Buxton said. “I forgot about it completely and then we’re on the stage. I was running and jumping around.”
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One requirement of being a dancing gorilla was to not overdo it on stage, but Buxton claimed that Harry got a bit too excited. “[One gorilla] was doing this kind of silly disco dancing,” he said. “Often we say, can you try and get into the part of being a gorilla? Don’t try act like you’re on a stag do.
“So I went over and rugby tackled him down. And after doing that, I looked out to side-stage and saw [security] with a hand on an earpiece. [I thought]: ‘Oh god, I forgot! Maybe that’s him?’ It looked like it was serious on a presidential level.”
Buxton would later be able to say sorry to the Duke of Sussex in the dressing room. “I quite pathetically did a curtsy to apologise for knocking him over. Some kind of repressed colonial indoctrination came out of me in the moment.”
Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins