Strong winds mute Fatboy Slim’s gig

Published: February 14, 2009,
By Pauline Forte, Staff Reporter


0001The strong winds blowing through Dubai in the last few days didn’t help British DJ Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, get his big beats across the air during his first-ever Middle East concert on Wednesday (February 11) at Barasti Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort.

Although the world-class dance DJ played many of his big hits, mixing his old songs with his newer tunes behind a table set up on stage in front of 3,800 fans, many people were quite angry when the concert ended.

Indeed, Fatboy Slim arrived on stage at 9.30pm and ended his set at 11.10pm.

No further musical acts were planned and people started to leave. The concert, sponsored by Live Nation, opened with several well-received opening acts, including DJ Christian, Greg On Bongos and Cathy Battistessa “The Voice of Café Del Mar,” Charl Chaka and Da:Funct.

Many concert goers expressed their frustration. “I didn’t enjoy it because it ended too early. Three hundred and fifty dirhams for an hour-and-a-half set, they should advertise that. It’s rubbish,” said Mjobni from the US.

“If you want to bring international DJs here, charge more money and let them play until 3 or 4 in the morning. Would I want my money back? Yes.”

Fatboy Slim opened his set – a banana in his mouth before throwing it to the audience – with his 1998 single The Rockafeller Skank followed by Right Here Right Now (You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, 1998), Going Out of My Head (Better Living Through Chemistry, 1996) and Weapon of Choice (Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, 2000).

Gareth O’Brian, 27, from Ireland, likes Fatboy Slim now as much as before and enjoyed the fact that the DJ played a wide range of songs from the late 1990s up to now.

“It’s good because he’s mixing his old stuff with his new songs,” said O’Brian who is a big fan of the songs The Rockafeller Skank and Right Here Right Now.

The screen set up behind the star DJ showed colourful videos such as the evolution of man with funky images of a fish becoming a monkey becoming a man, who is then overweight.

Flashy colours and neon lights, along with powerful psychedelic laser lights floated through the air.

Mixing electronic, big beat, hip-hop and dance music, Fatboy Slim also played In Heaven and one of the audience favourites, Praise You.

“I love Fatboy Slim. He’s amazing. He’s kind of funky and has good beats,” said Scottish expat Lorna Leback, 27, who travelled from Abu Dhabi to see the DJ.

“Here you’ve got the sun, the heat and the nice people. It’s hot here so you don’t have to worry about mud and rain,” she said.

Some fans were disappointed with the DJ’s performance and blamed the wind. “He’s always fun. But the wind was blowing over the records and it started skipping,” said Aussie expat Michael Fraser, 29.

“Fatboy Slim used to be huge. He’s gone down. Maybe it’s because of this outdoor venue and the sounds were lost in the atmosphere,” said Sophie Martin, from England. “In his days, he was amazing. This was okay.”

Others complained about the sound system. “The music was good but there was something wrong with the speakers and the volume,” said Aymen Datsa from Ghana. “In a couple of the sets he played, he messed up for a long time and had to stop. But it was probably the best house music concert I’ve been to in Dubai.”

In 1999, Fatboy Slim won three MTV awards for the Praise You video, for best direction, best choreography and best breakthrough video. In September 2001, his video for Weapon of Choice received six prizes at the MTV Video Awards, the most given to a single winner that year.


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