Music review: Fatboy Slim, Hydro, Glasgow

HE MIGHT not be thankful for the description “nostalgia show,” but in a certain respect that’s exactly what Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook’s huge, in-the-round arena experience is. After all, i t’s been 15 years since he released the most recent of his four albums, and the bulk of his chart success arrived in the 1990s. However, Cook has maintained his impressive reputation as a first-class DJ of wide tastes and ability.

Cook has maintained his reputation as a first-class DJ
Cook has maintained his reputation as a first-class DJ

Fatboy Slim, Hydro, Glasgow ****

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Before an audience which stretched from taps-aff young teenagers to nostalgic ravers of Cook’s own age (he’s in his late fifties), this show recreated a nightclub ambience. The lights were down, the air full of stage smoke and the lighting shifted above the crowd, while Cook’s DJ booth was sited on a revolving podium in the middle of the room.

The set was both an uninterrupted DJ performance and a greatest hits show, with a cylindrical video screen above Cook’s dais projecting sophisticated but somehow old-school club visuals around the room – including digitally manipulated images of his own face, morphing images of diverse heroes of his, from Che Guevara to Bruce Forsyth, and live footage of Cook’s own performance from on-stage cameras.

No song was simply played in its entirety, with inventive mixes and edits adding diversity and invention to snippets of Daft Punk and Run DMC as well as favourites from his own catalogue, notably Right Here, Right Now, Sunset (Bird of Prey) and The Rockafeller Skank (the finale, fused with the Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction). Rarely has nostalgia felt more timeless. - DAVID POLLOCK