Time Out has a Fatboy Slim interview for DXBeach at Zero Gravity, taking place on Friday October 21. Watch music videos and get ticket information
When Fatboy Slim arrived in Dubai in 2009 to play a gig at Barasti, it was very nearly pulled because of a sandstorm. The dance music maestro will no doubt be hoping for more settled weather when he arrives this time around – and since the gig will be held at Zero Gravity on Friday October 21, we reckon he might just get lucky.
Fatboy Slim – also known as Norman Cook when he’s not behind the decks – is one of the biggest DJs in the world, who once performed to around 360,000 people on Flamingo Beach in Rio de Janeiro. He’ll be back in Dubai on Friday October 21 to play on a slightly less crowded beach, at Zero Gravity’s DXBeach festival.
We spoke to him while he was at home in Brighton, enjoying the peace and quiet after a busy season of shows and a residency in Ibiza. Despite that, he’s already looking forward to partying in Dubai.
“I’ve been on holiday there a few times, so I’ve done the Burj Khalifa and I’ve done the indoor skiing,” he says. “Most people in Dubai are expats, so they all know me quite well. Sometimes you travel far away, and everyone’s like, ‘Who are you?’”
Cook admits that nowadays he’s much choosier about which gigs he plays, otherwise he’d never stop gigging. They have to fulfil criteria that he’s called “The Five Fs”.
“Those are: Fun – if I know it’s going to be a fun gig; First – a place I’ve never been to before; a Favour for a friend; Food; and Finance. If it offers three out of those five, like Dubai, then it’s worth doing.”
One place that crossed off all five of those was Dismaland, the surreal theme park in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, that was designed by Banksy. Cook performed there last year, since Banksy is a friend of his. “I decided to play on the bar,” Cook says, “which made it even more surreal. Nobody knew I was going to be performing, so they were like, ‘Are you playing records or serving drinks?’ For the first 20 minutes I was pulling pints while playing.”
This year is a big one for Cook. It marks the 20th anniversary of his first album Better Living Through Chemistry. He still finds that hard to believe. “I couldn’t see myself still DJing at 50. I’m 53 now and loving it more than ever. I don’t know what the age limit of a DJ is, but Fatboy Slim will still be going in 20 years’ time.”
And we’ll be right there, too, hopefully. As long as there are no more sandstorms.
Dhs225-400. Fri Oct 21, noon-3am. Zero Gravity, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).