Music

Fatboy Slim: 24 June 2009 - Terminal 5, New York

Sachyn Mital

Words and Pictures by Sachyn Mital

In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim ingrained himself in American popular culture with his release You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, more than peers like Basement Jaxx, Armand van Helden or The Chemical Brothers. The video for “Praise You” won some MTV awards, “The Rockafeller Skank” was used in soundtracks, and the later “Weapon of Choice” video featured Christopher Walken dancing and flying around a hotel.

Unfortunately, Cook’s name does not have the same cachet today; many friends I spoke to before the event elicited a response along the lines of “he sounds familiar, what’s his song?” Then I would quote “Right about now, the funk soul brother” before recognition would occur. Cook, however, continues to pack spaces around the world from Sydney’s Bondi Beach to Sao Paulo to his hometown of Brighton. And the audience packing the floor at NYC’s Terminal 5 for Cook’s only East Coast appearance reflected the diversity of his fans.

Cook successfully utilizes video and lighting into his set, as is crucial for a show featuring one man standing behind mixers. As he entered to a sample of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka, the projection screen showed a giant clock and hypnotic slow dancing Oompa Loompas. Then, in his workman overalls, he popped up a bit of “Praise You” to start the dancing.

Prior to this concert, Cook appeared on a couple of late night shows to perform the song “He’s Frank” with Iggy Pop from another one of his monikers, the Brighton Port Authority (BPA). Iggy did not make a guest appearance, but he showed up on the video screen along with Walken, some soul singers, and all sorts of moving shapes of monstrous creatures.

So with the crowd clapping along, jumping in the air and having a good time, Cook’s nearly two-hour block party proved very sweaty and incredibly fun. Incorporating recognizable elements from other songs, he spun some flamenco that got people singing along as well as DJ Kool, David Bowie, and “Feel Good Inc.” by the Gorillaz, before segueing into The Chemical Brothers’ “Block Rockin’ Beats”, complete with Monty Python-esque images. And he dropped House of Pain’s “Jump Around” whose simple directive the crowd immediately took to.

Of his own tunes, Fatboy Slim played the churning “Right Here, Right Now (Redanka Remix)”, the crazed “Renegade Master”, and near the end a mashup of the Rolling Stones “I Cant Get No Satisfaction” with his own “Rockafeller Skank” that everyone had been waiting for. But after dropping “Praise You” for one final time, Fatboy Slim exited the stage. Though he never came back, Fatboy Slim’s artistry shined through in the limited time. He would be most welcome back in New York for an extended set, but next time at a venue without a curfew.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.