If you were writing a list of DJs guaranteed to get dancefloors filled, Fatboy Slim would be near the top.
The legendary producer and hit-maker (aka Norman Cook) has been making people dance for almost 20 years under the pseudonym. Prior to that he was also the brains behind clubland favourites Beats International, Pizzaman and The Mighty Dub Katz, so the man has form.
He made his way to the DJ booth shortly after 1am, which was enough time for the room to fill up – only an hour earlier Pacha’s Friday party seemed to be taking place on the roof, rather than the ground floor where Cook was set to play.
In the 60 minutes prior to his set, we were taken back to the early 90s, with a nostalgic mix of rave, jungle and dance-pop tunes from the warm-up DJ.
The man behind huge hits such as Right Here, Right Now, Weapon of Choice and Gangster Trippin’ opened with You’ve Come A Long Way Baby, from the album of the same name.
An energetic figure in the DJ booth, Cook pumped his fists, mimed along to the songs and generally put on a show throughout his performance; his enthusiasm for his job is clearly still high after more than two decades behind the decks.
Cook’s antics captured the attention of those in attendance, so there really was no need for the guy who got on the podium next to him to try and steal the limelight; his appearance was an unwanted distraction for everyone but himself.
Back to Fatboy, though, and Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat was the undoubted highlight (of which there were many, including snippets from his monster hit Praise You, as well as a few bars of the soul and funk songs he plunders for samples).
Fewer of Cook’s songs got an airing in the second half, which we found a little dull in comparison. No matter, the crowd (a mixture of dancefloor-hardened nightclub veterans and Dubai’s beautiful people) had plenty of singalong and hands-in-the-air moments.
The bottom line
A mixed bag of his own hits and tunes by others. When it worked, it was brilliant to behold.