Girish Gupta

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Fatboy Slim, Manchester Warehouse Project
Nov. 29, 2009 — Manchester, England

Published by Student Direct: Mancunion

With a back catalogue stretching back halfway between the gutter that was his 80s synth-pop days of the Housemartins to the stars of the 90s when the funk soul brother was ubiquitous in every Top of the Pops teenager’s record collection, Fatboy Slim was able to pull in a crowd atypical of regular Warehouse Project last Friday night.

And that’s a good thing. No one really likes the inaccessibility and quasi-highbrowness that dance music is often shrouded in, especially at venues like Warehouse. The underground car park was therefore brimming with regular punters, with their poppers and day-glo visors, as well as those wanting to hear nothing but You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby on repeat for the two hour set.

Both factions walked home that cold Manchester evening with a smile on their faces. The night opened, for those not queuing waiting for the doors to open, with Italy’s Riva Starr who warmed up to Cook in a style that only a Southern Fried label-mate can, his drops of Fedde Le Grand’s remix of Praise You and Riverside sending the crowd very close to boiling over.

With none of the stage props or light show that too many DJs feel the need to bring to Warehouse, Cook then jumped on stage to the sound of Praise You itself, the original, the one we all remember the video of those muppets dancing round in a shopping centre too. The show didn’t slow down for the next two hours.

There wasn’t a huge amount of Fatboy Slim: twenty seconds of Right Here, Right Now as well as the image of Christopher Walken swaggering down that escalator in the infamous video for Weapon of Choice. But there was no need. Ending with Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, Cook proved on Friday that he can mix records like Dulux mix paints, only without having to bring on stage a prop sheepdog like Erol Alken no doubt would have done to make the same point.

Filed from
Manchester, England






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© Girish Gupta