Fatboy-slim @ Back to Basics, The Mint Club, Leeds (04/05/02)
Mr Cook. Norman, formally Quentin has managed to turn his "Fatboy Slim" guise into something of a world cult. In the UK he continues to command the "GOD like DJ/ Producer" status despite a rather underachieving last album, and a run of no more than "luke warm" single releases. Stateside, he's cited as a favourite band on college radio, and his Spike Jonze-directed videos have been cleaning up at award ceromonies everywhere. Even his blissful marriage is high profile material (weird)?
The truth is, we are more than willing to forgive the Fatboy a few musical gaffs, the reason for this is we truly, and rather unconditionally, love the guy. But we actually love him because he seems to love us loving him.(even more weird??) Perhaps he knows that, and in this role, these plaudits are deserved.
For a start, few DJs actually play with Cooks energy and enthusiasm.. There's also his knack for unearthing otherwise un-championed old tracks, as well as cheeky pop numbers, and bootlegs often straying into the pass end of the dance spectrum. That just wouldn't be tolerated if it we're anyone else-but it isn't .this is our Norman.
So Mr Cook comes to Leeds to grace one of the oldest, and again probably best loved of British clubs (Back to Basics). As expected, on the night about ten times as many clubbers turn up as can fit in the tiny 600 capacity Mint club. Once all the lucky ones are in, Fatboy hits the decks. The set runs for three solid hours 1 till 4am, opening with a brass heavy, funk'd up version of the cheesy/slinky pop of X-Press 2's Lazy. Through the night Norman plays 4 different versions (do you think he likes this record). The set meanders along the varying paths of funky break-beat, pounding trance, and light hearted house finishing up back where it started from. All in all, a good set of records played (V. loud) to a more than willing audience by probably the most enthusiastic and down to earth of DJs.