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  • Country: UK

Cagedbaby - Tom Gandey to the taxman - has been here all along. That was him spreading musical sunshine all over a rain-sodden Glastonbury last year; that was him rallying the troops in Ibiza; his electronic tales of melodic bliss were the perfect starter for The Chemical Brothers on Tom'n'Ed's end-of-year jaunt; that was him and his merry band making whoopee at Japan's Mount Fuji festival; and if you were lucky enough to have been down under in January, you might have caught a glimpse of the all-singing, all-dancing 'Baby experience with fellow genre busters The Go! Team, LCD Sound System and Soulwax. He's also just finished a 3 week tour of Japan supporting Fatboy Slim in Japan, the tours are still coming thick and fast. Of course, none of that would have been possible without the kaleidoscopic sonic tonic that was Cagedbaby's debut album, Will See You Now, recently released on Fatboy Slim's Southern Fried imprint - Tom's a Brighton boy, so it makes perfect sense - its playful mix of seductive electro-pop, subtle techno rhythms, laidback party music and snippets of 80s power chords, made it irresistible to all who stumbled upon it.

Pleasingly, this hot fuss began to grow, stealth-like, as the summer gave way to autumn. And by year's end, away from the hyperbolic glare of the vacuous fashion police, Cagedbaby, by sheer force of word-of-mouth was finally beginning to assume his rightful position as the people's new boy wonder of dance. This was confirmed when not only Rough Trade record shop placed Will See You Know in its Top 20 albums of 2005 and Pete Tong re-discovered its unfettered joys, something that has culminated in the Radio One godfather seemingly making it his personal crusade to spread the word. Essential Selection 14 weeks in a row! he also broadcast his first essential mix in march, as well as having essential new tune for the dance floor stomper.

Sat in his Australian hotel room, the ever upbeat Tom is over-the-moon at the album's continued upward trajectory. 'Word of mouth is the best thing, you can't buy that,' he beams. 'The best restaurants are word of mouth, but every restaurant can advertise that it's got the best risotto.' He continues: 'I hoped I'd get a good response,' he says of the album's release. 'I knew it was good, but very different and I didn't know if people would get it; I mean get the chance to hear it. A lot of good music goes by the wayside, not everything gets picked up. I think the key is, you've got to listen to Cagedbaby more than once. There's a lifetime going on in that hour.' So to recap that lifetime: born in Brighton to less than conventional, okay, hippy, parents, Tom was torn between the sea and music as a child. His granddad once conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, while his dad ran a fishmongers, a business his two brothers have inherited. He once joked that the only way to reconcile the two family traits would be to transform himself into a rock star yachtsman. 'Like Simon Le Bon.' As an adult he took to his life's credo - 'Sunshine, smiles, maximum respect, moderate toxins, party, party, party,' - with relish, and his big break came when DJ magazine were looking for an unsigned producer to follow around Miami 2002. His hot buttered Balearic soul, which effortlessly evoked the late 80s acid house meltdown, was just what the mag, and Southern Fried as it turns out, were looking for. And so that brings us up to speed.

From Brighton to Australia, and Rolf Harris, with love. Eh? 'The frikking funniest thing happened last night,' he explains. 'I'm pretty obsessed with Rolf Harris and I've been talking to The Go! Team about stylophones and Jake The Peg. The guy's a legend, right. 'So yesterday I get back to my hotel and Rolf Harris and his missus get into the lift, yes, my lift and he starts talking to me. I was speechless, he then got out of the lift and his eyes blew me away. Yes, Rolf is King.' Thankfully, Tom's still got his eyes on the prize. His DJ and Laptop sets are making big waves in clubland and the full live shows, with added 'Baby's Jim Carmichael (drums), Jimmy Day (keys) and Kan Lailey (guitar), are, in Tom's words, going 'sweeeeetttttt'. With a busy club diary and with appearances at the festivals aplenty the summer is sure to be silly season. So, that's been the last 12 months for Cagedbaby: he's got married, got a one-eyed cat called Nelson, travelled the world, ate some top gourmet grub and released a splendid debut album which shows no sign of ceasing the thrills for an ever-eager crowd of dancefloor pleasure seekers and home listening head nodders. So what are his plans for the next year? 'It's always been about the big yacht,' he laughs. 'So whatever gets me there quickest, you know. No, seriously, I hope I can kick my own ass into gear to get there. It's not an ego thing, everybody's welcome on board and we can sail off into the sunset together. Hey, it doesn't even have to be my big yacht.'

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