REVIEW: Idris Elba rounds off Goodwood’s Three Friday Nights

Idris Elba was a huge hit at Goodwood
Idris Elba was a huge hit at Goodwood

Is Idris Elba the coolest man in Britain? As an actor he’s played Nelson Mandela on the big screen and Luther on TV to critical acclaim. He also drives fast cars and is being talked about as the new James Bond when Daniel Craig hands in his licence to kill.

But at Goodwood it was his skills as a DJ that the crowd had come to see and hear - and he didn’t disappoint. With the last horse safely loaded up and on the way home and the parade ring rapidly transformed into an open air nightclub, it was time for Elba to do his thing behind the decks on the last of the hugely popular Three Friday Nights.

In black leather jacket, white t-shirt, natty cap and obligatory shades, he soon had people jumping up and down and waving their hands in the air. As the sun disappeared and dark descended on the Downs, it could easily have been Ibiza (where, no surprise, he’s had successful residencies).

Banks of synchronised lights flashed and lasers lit up the night sky as Elba took us on a musical journey, headphones clamped on as he expertly linked and mixed rhythms, slowing things down and then building up to a crescendo.

‘Goodwood, make some noise’ he urged, wiping sweat off his face with a towel and dragging on a cigarette as he wove the heavy beats and power vocals of club tracks with mainstream hits from Rock Lobster to Show Me Love and a Fleetwood Mac finale. But he didn’t need to ask.

‘You are beautiful tonight,’ he smiled as he looked out at the sea of partying people below. As they roared back their approval, it was clear that right now he’s a man who can do no wrong.

Banks of synchronised lights flashed and lasers lit up the night sky as Elba took us on a musical journey.

SIMON TOFT

See the latest from Goodwood in the Chichester Observer, out on Thursday

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