Superstar DJs with Annie Mac | ep. 4: Fatboy Slim
Welcome back to another episode of Superstar DJs! We had the one with the questionable but filthy rich “DJ” (that we didn’t recap so don’t look for it), we had the one with the super fun, awesome, courageous guy, we had the one with the duo of extra talented and hard-working youths and now…. *drumroll* we have the proper legend. The man. Norman Cook. Fatboy Slim.
(A bit of a digression: Now that I’ve typed the last couple of sentences, a question comes to mind – why is everyone featured on the show a dude? Yes, Annie Mac is hosting it but it hardly gives us a glimpse into her life as a DJ and the ladies in this dude-centric profession and lifestyle certainly give a new perspective to the job. And just look at that short film RA did with Nina Kraviz. The completely unneeded controversy it spurred is enough to show just how hard people are still finding it to talk and think about a female DJ and her DJ-life choices. Needed to be said. Get on it with series 2.)
LET’S GO RECAP AN EPISODE NOW!
He’s the OG Superstar DJ with an estimated worth of 13 million pound-moneyz (which initially may sound like ‘Yeah!’ but if you google current ‘DJ’ net worths and see the knuckleheads that are worth way more it suddenly sounds like ‘What? How? …?‘).
The guy’s tracks are anthems of their times and are absolute household classics. When some of today’s ‘stars’ were just a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, just a ‘one more drink and I’ll go home’ conversation – he was producing number one bangers. One time he played for an audience of 360 000 people. Hashtag facts.
We’re in Porto Alegre in Brazil and Cook is ambassadoring the hell out of the World Cup by playing at the opening of one of the stadiums! Woot!
He’s nervous but a guy who looks like Graham Norton (I might be having a heat stroke and he might not look like Graham Norton at all) is there to slap him in the face a couple of times. That happened.
And then it’s eat, sleep, rave, repeat and woosh – we’re in Palm Springs, California after a show at Coachella.
The show was themed around Cook’s latest record, the aforementioned ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’, but with a Coachella twist – ‘Heat, Sleet, Rain, Repeat’. Ha! With rain and snow machines and everything. Sounds fun.
Annie and Norman discuss gigs, the opening of new markets in the post-EDM explosion world and his biggest show so far – that particular 360 000-people one on Flamingo beach in Rio.
Annie asks about Fatboy Slim‘s criteria when saying ‘yes’ to a gig since he’s most definitely in a position of throwing ‘no’ left and right.
Apparently, it’s got to fulfill 3 of the 5 ‘F’:
– A First
– Favour for a Friend
Personally, I’m in a position where just the food part is enough. Finance is still a dream. Fun is this blog. Student life.
Next we discuss Norman Cook’s habit of DJing barefoot – it helps him get into the Fatboy Slim character. He puts on the Hawaiian shirt, takes the shoes off and gets into the spirit. Works for me too.
Through some editing magic and the kind sponsorship of Ford (*WINK*WINK* I’M POOR SPONSOR ME), we are now in Brighton where Norman Cook went to university and never left.
(I’ve been to Brighton once and would’ve liked not to leave. It was February and it was significantly less depressing then London. It had sunshine. In February. In England. Enchanted place.)
So we enter his beachside house and we go where the magic happenes – the studio. There’s a very weird poster of one hit wonder pseudo-lesbian Russian pop star duo Tatu and I feel very confused.
And then – cue history lesson.
But then there’s the real shocker.
He’s written some entertaining clarifying comments on his records’ sleeves. There’s one that says that that particular record is for the club, not the stadium and Annie’s cracking up. No biggie. It just has a less-than-a-360000-audience vibe.
Laughing, we cut to a commercial break. This is a message from mofidelity.co’s sponsors… Cue more hysterical laughter here.
And we’re back. At a football stadium (The Amex stadium? I didn’t pay attention to the football stuff because when I hear that word, my immediate reaction is to nod off).
Norman Cook helped raise money for the stadium to be built and then held two massive parties to celebrate it. That last record we saw was obviously not played then. But never mind the stadium gigs
Let’s talk about the ‘back in the day’, the illegal raves and about… DJing at the houses of parliament, 19 years after that same establishment tried to ban that same activity (Google it – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, section 63).
Then we go on a tour around Brighton and its key places in Fatboy Slim’s career. Concorde 2 is one of them and is also the place where Big Beat Boutique rocked the house many a nights. There are smiles and stories and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Oh, and talk about putting Brighton on the map.
We sit on the beach and Annie asks the serious, existential questions about happiness and overcoming your problems. Norman is happy, proud of his career, now totally sober but not having regrets about the 30 years of extreme hedonism and self-abuse before that.
From Brighton to Essex and We Are FSTVL where both Annie and Fatboy Slim are DJing, opening the English festival season.
There’s a moment where they’re not being let into the restricted area and have to tell the security guy that they’re actually going on stage next.
We go backstage and learn that Fatboy Slim’s rider has just towels and air horns. Hashtag Lol.
Later on, he comes out on stage and has a technical problem right from the bat. Bugger.
My continuous heat stroke worsens and Graham Norton keeps popping up everywhere so we need to wrap this up. I wish I were in Brighton right now… so bad, so so bad.
Parting Annie Mac words about the legend that is Fatboy Slim: you can’t not put your hands in the air!
And I have a parting image for you.
If you’re in a fancy country that permits it (certainly not in my country of origin, ha-ha!), you can watch the whole episode on 4od.
And then follow me on Twitter @rayaiam
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