Music review: Fatboy Slim, Hydro, Glasgow

Ever the showman, Norman Cook spent at least as much time playing to the crowd as hunched over his kit at the Hydro, writes Fiona Shepherd

Fatboy Slim PIC: Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images

Fatboy Slim, Hydro, Glasgow ****

In Fatboy Slim’s own words – sampled from elsewhere, as is his impish way – we’ve come a long, long way together, though the hard times and the good, and for 10,000 fans of all ages on the floor of the Hydro it was high time to celebrate at this in-the-round DJ spectacular.

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In a taste of mash-ups to come, he took to his revolving party podium with the vocal hook of Praise You teased through Saint-Saëns’ The Aquarium. Perhaps this veteran bringer of joy should have chosen Jupiter from Holst’s The Planets. He took a moment to drink in the scene before triggering his mission statement, “eat sleep rave repeat”, and set about weaving snippets of his favoured samples – Morricone, cop show themes – and funky classics from Wild Cherry to Lizzo into the beat.

A succession of witty, playful testifying samples underlined the clubbing communion taking place, but Cook is also a performer, often mouthing along to the words of the preacher speeches and spending at least as much time playing to the crowd as hunched over his kit, while his technical team beamed a stream of colourful distorted visuals on to the canopy above him.

As famous faces melted into each other, there was a cheer for Greta Thunberg morphing into Bill Murray. The dayglo fun eventually gave way to a harder techno interlude, brief but meaty, before the giant mirrorball was lowered and the joyous deep house was unleashed.

A Brazilian carnival section fed straight into Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme; Praise You was spliced with The Chi Lites sample used in Crazy in Love and, as Cook paraded around the perimeter of his podium waving a smiley face Saltire, a pumped-up Rockafeller Skank dovetailed

with The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction – guaranteed, as always, at a Fatboy Slim show.

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