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Five Minutes With: Fatboy Slim

By Sophie Pettit 7 July 2016
Responsible for the biggest anthems of the 1990s, Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) is a household name of dance music. Later this month, he'll be raising the roof at Pacha Macau to prove he's still at the top of his game after over 20 years in the music industry - and we can't wait. We grabbed five minutes with the British DJ and music producer ahead of his gig, to talk vinyl records, beach parties, and the real story behind his wacky stage name.

You've Come A Long Way Baby - but where did it all start?

In a nightclub called The Brighton Belle in 1982. Every Tuesday night I cut my teeth playing everything from James Brown to The Jungle Book, and learnt the craft of making people dance and smile.

Where does the stage name Fatboy Slim come from?

Thin air - it means nothing!

What was the first gig you ever played?

Redland Youth Centre, Reigate Surrey - 1979. I played the drums in a band called Disque Attack. We played a punk cover of House of The Rising Sun (way too fast) and finished with an original song called Teenage Waistband.

... And the best gig you ever played?

The first time I played Brighton Beach (not the really big one). We had no idea whether it would work or if people would turn up. Everyone was so genuinely loving where we were and it was a hometown crowd too ... mmmm bliss ...

What's your favourite track to play to a huge crowd?

Dropping Praise You to a big crowd and having them sing along is always a big thrill.

How did you find the transition from vinyl to digital?

I transitioned slowly, reluctantly, and painfully - and was bullied every step of the way by my peers. Some call me a late adopter, some call me a Luddite. I actually played on vinyl at a party the other day and it was fun, but seems quite primitive these days - it has a soul to it but you can never go back!

What's your take on the modern DJ scene?

There are new tricks but the same motivation. To share music you love with others in an atmosphere of collective euphoria is a joy no matter what the equipment, the size of the gig, or the age of the crowd.

... And your favourite DJ?

Diplo is an animal ...

You've worked with a lot of stars - who's your dream celebrity collaboration?

Working with Iggy Pop on the BPA tune He's Frank was a lovely experience. I'd love to write a modern song for Al Green - he has the sweetest voice.

Is there any new Fatboy Slim material coming our way?

My last musical project was remixing The Charlatans for Record Store Day. Now, I'm kinda sorta working on something - coming soon.

What can we expect from your gig in Macau?

I've played many times in Hong Kong, but only once in Macau. I'm hoping it won't be too VIP-tastic. Let's forget who we are and just party together!
fbslimSee Fatboy Slim LIVE in Macau!  Dance the night away as Fatboy Slim takes to the decks on July 15 at Pacha Macau, Studio City, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau. Tickets cost $250 (including one drink), and the first 100 ladies to arrive get in for free! Click here to buy your tickets.
Read more! Spend Five Minutes With some of Hong Kong's most colourful characters.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.