WORDS AND IMAGES BY RHYS GROVER
This is the result of an immovable force meeting a truly immovable object
Manchester and DJs go hand in hand, like cheese and fine wine, so there was always going to be something special happen when Fatboy Slim turns up at O2’s Victoria Warehouse. Fatboy Slim (or Norman Cook for his Sunday name) has always been known for being able to deliver his trademark DJ sets across the world, and this was no different. A couple of thousand had braved the snow and the cold to pile themselves into Victoria Warehouse to witness a man whose talents behind a set of decks knows no bounds.
Before this gig, it had been around 4 months since I last got into a venue to watch an artist do their thing, but getting back into the swing with a show like this was just what was needed. Powerful bass, punching rhythms and the incredible energy levels in the room were enough to get anyone back into the swing of things. The adrenaline was pumping round the bloodstream once again, and being back in amongst it all was just what was needed.
Samples of some of his well-known hits, intertwined with tracks that you’d never associate with a DJ set of this calibre were the main feature of the night. His short samples of ‘Praise You’ and ‘Right Here, Right Now’ work surprisingly well when weaved into tracks from the likes of Queen and Bee Gees. DJ’ing is all about the skill, anyone can have a go and create something, but to do it properly, and to do it with the conviction and ability that Norman has takes some incredible determination and skill, he’s a master craftsman when you put him anywhere near a stage and some decks. Going to see one of his shows is a must, whether you love his music or genre or whether you just fancy a solid night out, he’s a force of nature and it’s an honour to be able to see him do what he is so excellent at doing. It’s more than just listening to some creative mixes, the visuals are second to absolutely none.
Lasers, confetti cannons, AI caricatures, and on-stage fish eye lenses all come together to form the backdrop of his incredible tracks. At many points throughout, you find yourself almost hypnotised by the visuals, forgetting at times that the music is what has brought you out into a cold Manchester night. Images of everyone from Greta Thunberg to Gary Lineker, Keith Flint to Idris Elba are cast behind him as he mixes the tracks, paired with an array of darting lights and lasers. You could go to his show for the visuals alone and tune the music out. It’d be hard to not be drawn into the music, but the visuals are worthy of being a show all of their own.
Manchester will always welcome this sort of gig with open arms, the city has built its recent musical endeavours based around the DJs and nightclubs of the 80s and 90s, so for many in attendance, this was a revival of youth. A night where you can go back to being in the Hacienda or Factory, totally off your nut on a weekend with little care in the world. It’s escapism at its finest for many, and it’s the best form around. It was the perfect city for the tour to land in too, because nothing will ever get in the way of a Mancunian getting to a gig, not even a bit of snow and icy cold winds.
NO SET LIST AVAILABLE
FOLLOW FATBOY SLIM
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.