[Photos/Text by Andrew Parks]
Bless the girl in the above photo and her undying devotion to Fatboy Slim despite the unfortunate frat-party approach of his New York ‘performance’ last night. Playing to a not-quite-full Terminal 5, Norman Cook started off strong with swift “Praise You” snippets and speaker-rattling sheets of acid techno and big beat, but overall, his rare 105-minute (!) set suffered from severe peak/valley problems. In other words, nearly every time he led the laidback crowd down a path of potentially-losing-their-shit, Cook lost his momentum somehow, either by wearing out a song’s welcome (do we really need to hear DJ Kool drops for six minutes?) or not ratcheting up the tension of the few familiar Fatboy tracks that made the mix (“Right Here, Right Now,” “The Rockafeller Skank,” the aforementioned “Praise You”).
Which is really surprising given Cook’s level of experience (he’s been around for decades and is in his mid-40s), and top-dollar reputation for transcendent DJ skills. Think what you will about the Brighton icon based on the more-played-out-than-Moby nature of his key You’ve Come a Long Way Baby singles; there’s no denying the influence of his back catalog on crossover dance music in the states. Especially his highly underrated debut Better Living Through Chemistry, one of the enduring templates for electronica’s early days.
So yeah. Maybe Cook wanted to really retire his Fatboy Slim alias by publicly shunning some of his best songs for “Jump Around” and bits of his BPA album. Speaking of, what’s up with Iggy Pop not providing some guest verses after two nights of nailing “He’s Frank” on live TV?
Anyway, here’s what Cook did play last night (we shot two epileptic videos), along with an S/T Five countdown of cuts that should have been selected at some point.
The Top Five Songs Fatboy Slim Should Have Dropped In His NYC Set Instead of a Six-Minute “Let Me Clear My Throat” Edit[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio5/11%20-%20Michael%20Jackson.mp3]
1. “Michael Jackson”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio5/10%20-%20Sunset%20(Bird%20Of%20Prey).mp3]
2. “Sunset (Bird of Prey)”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio5/03%20-%20Brimful%20Of%20Asha%20(Norman%20Cook%20Remix).mp3]
3. Cornershop, “Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio5/05%20-%20Gangster%20Trippin%27.mp3]
4. Gangster Trippin’
5. Going Out Of My Head
What we saw/heard instead: