Pics by Andrew Bibby
This was one to remember.
Here we were at the great Sidney Myer Music Bowl, to experience the great Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, for an arena spectacular, a house music education.
Before the legendary house music icon took centre stage, the crowds begun pouring in for 2manydjs, the well-known outfit known for throwing down some serious heat. The Belgian duo purveyed an eclectic array of selections from acid house, hints of tribal, tech, peppered with electro – they were definitely setting the scene for things to come.
As Fatboy Slim took the stage, it became evident that not only would we get an electronic masterclass but a spectacle, of personality and showmanship.
After kicking off with a well-versed mix of ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’ with some backing vocals from ‘Star 69’, the crowd immediately had their hands up high.
Cook has that distinct quality that even though you may not know his music personally, you would have heard it somewhere at some point in your life. It screams fun, emanates energetic drums and synths, pulsates with subtle melodies and brings about spontaneous joy. It’s pop music that’s perpetual and unending.
Unquestionably a master of his craft who constantly engages his audience, his masterful strokes lit up the crowd and brought everybody to the same level – it’s not only his proficiency that can be marvelled at but also his ability to bring everyone together.
Continuing on through his set, mixing in everything from the music’s crème de la crème, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, to ‘I See You Baby’ via Fatboy compatriots Groove Armada, it became difficult to cease attention at any given moment. It’s always been Cook’s intention to induce familiarity and comfort as though you’re there with him through the whole journey and tonight was no different.
The night culminated in a strong sequence of songs to finish, Cook laying down the goods alongside infectious melodies, percussions and drums throughout.
The crowd couldn’t get enough of the nostalgia flashing back and forth, spinning in the likes of ‘Praise You’, ‘Right Here, Right Now’, ‘Star 69’, ‘Rockafeller Skank’, ‘Ya Mama’, and Cook’s mix of ‘Renegade Master’ to name just a few – whilst all the merry, dropping in effects, vocal hooks, beat juggling and a mixing style that brought about one of the most enjoyable sets you can experience.
With nothing short of a storming show, Cook still has it, believe it. And lastly, thank the electronic music gods that his weapon of choice still remains the same – the glorious turntable.