DJ, label boss and founder of Bestival, Rob da Bank has added a new credit to his résumé – music adviser on new BBC1 drama From There To Here, set in Manchester at the time of the 1996 IRA bomb. Bestival is on the Isle of Wight, 4-7 September.
What were you doing in 1996 and what are your memories of that time?
I was a music journalist and aspiring DJ. I don’t actually remember the Manchester bomb that well. I remember Euro ‘96 and the general atmosphere of that year and I remember all the tunes. It was such a great time for music.
“By the time I’m 50 I want to have scored a Hollywood film”
Was making the transition from DJ to TV drama music adviser a smooth process?
It was a total baptism of fire, but a really cool, exciting one. I thought I was going to get delivered three finished hour-long programmes, but actually you are working a bit blind. It’s a real collaborative process. I’m quite used to working on my own, so I had to learn to not be in charge and go with what other people were saying, which was very good for me.
Did you have a firm idea of what you wanted on the soundtrack from the start?
It’s a primetime BBC drama so there is no point in being too clever about it. At the same time you don’t want to just whack all the hits out in one go. The Stone Roses, New Order, The Smiths, The Fall – they all crop up, but not necessarily their biggest tunes. Also, it’s not just Manchester music. There’re a lot of different artists on there. It’s a really rugged different path of styles.
If you had to pick just one profession to pursue for the rest of your life which would you choose – DJing, festival boss or producing TV and film soundtracks?
I have never had a game plan, but I have just reached 40 and by the time I’m 50 I want to have scored a major Hollywood film. I’m going to continue doing festivals, DJing and everything else, but at this moment that would be my main priority