There are dance music personalities, and then there’s Fatboy Slim. Everybody has their own favourite Fatboy Slim anecdote! He’s headlined The O2, Brighton Pride, Ally Pally and this August he returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to inject some OTT antics to Elrow Town. Following that seismic artist announcement, we take a look back through his storied career and reminisce about the moments that turned Fatboy Slim into a livin’ legend!
01. Chart Domination
Worthy of individual distinction on their own, but how about this long list of accolades: his Brimful of Asha remix, Dub Be Good To Me as Beats International, seminal albums A Better Living Through Chemistry & You’ve Come A Long Way Baby, that video for Right Here, Right Now, that video for Praise You, that video for Weapon Of Choice (only blimmin’ featuring Hollywood legend Chris Walken!!), Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat and his marriage to TV Presenter Zoe Ball – the Posh N Becks of their generation. A walkin’, talkin’ hit factory!
02. Mayhem on Brighton Seafront
July 13th 2002 is a date in dance music infamy, handing Fatboy Slim cultural icon status. It was the second year of Big Beach Boutique, a free party thrown on the beach in his Brighton hometown… and 250,000 people turned-up – hardly boutique! Whether you were old enough to remember or not, chances are you’ve heard about this day, having gone down in rave folklore. It wasn’t just that the event was free, but it coincided with the first heatwave of the year, after a damp and dreary start to summer. Though police cut Norman’s set short amid crowd safety concerns, the scenes were unparalleled – and cemented Fatboy Slim’s cult status.
03. Worthy Farm Smiles
Few dance acts have graced the sacred fields of Glastonbury as much as Fatboy Slim. He’s still a regular fixture at Michael Eavis’ festival showcase to this day. But perhaps his most memorable appearance came in 2005, when he headlined The Other Stage, closing Friday night in spectacular fashion. Whilst we sure there are plenty of mud-laden antics left in the locker, this came at the height of his popularity and keeps a warm spot in our heart.
04. Closing the 2012 Olympic Games
In 2012, Fatboy Slim starred as the centre-piece of director Danny Boyle’s ambitious Olympic Closing ceremony. Emerging from the centre of a giant inflatable octopus decked in the Union flag, Norman fist-pumped as Right Here, Right Now echoed around the stadium. Celebrating all things British, his involvement was testament to his impact on Brit pop culture. Some eagled-eyed keyboard warriors were quick to point out his mixer was unplugged – but this wasn’t about that. It was about championing one of the country’s best loved musical exports.
05. Smiling High!
In 2015, Norman pulled double-duty on August Bank Holiday, headlining both Creamfields and SW4 in the same weekend with his brand new party concept, the Smile High Club. The appearance included an ambitious publicity stunt in which he convinced campers to participate in a giant human smiley. Streaming the escapade from a circling helicopter, the giant smiley consisted of 2,000 revellers. And though it wasn’t quite visible from space, it did give the rolling Cheshire countryside a new albeit brief feature!
06. No Bombing! No Dunking! No Heavy Petting!
Pulling-off an Ibiza style pool party in the UK is a tall order. In Bognor Regis, even moreso. In the midst of January – naysayers might claim even impossible. And yet against all odds, evergreen promoters Bugged Out succeeded at their legendary Butlins-based Weekender in 2015. Largely, thanks to a virtuoso star-turn from Fatboy Slim. Assuming the role of master of ceremonies come head lifeguard, Norman showered trunk-donning partygoers with an array of inflatables and big tunes. It was the role he was born to play!
07. Ibiza Veteran Lands His First Island Residency
It seems bizarre to say, but despite yearly appearances for Carl Cox & We Love at Space, Pure Pacha and the odd fumble at Ibiza Rocks, crazily Norman never held down his own residency in Ibiza. That was until 2016 when Cream came calling. It was a no-brainer. In his own words, “it was the party I kept coming back to.” Taking over the terrace for a string of dates throughout the summer, Fatboy Slim delivered his own brand of high-jinx capers. So much so, he was invited back the following year.
08. Boiler Room
It’s a rite of passage that each superstar DJ must have at least one infamous Boiler Room stream under their belt. Fatboy Slim may have been late for the party, but after years of begging fans finally got their wish in 2016 as Norman brought the cameras to his adopted hometown for a three-hour extravaganza! The outing was a rare opportunity to dig deep into his record collection, and pay the kind of club set he used to play back in the day. It sure gave us the feels!
09. Street Shutdown
It might be 2018, but Fatboy Slim is still up to his mischievous best. This time shutting-down an entire street for a raucous party in a side alley adjacent to a nightclub and theatre. On a freezing cold night in mid-January, party-goers flocked to Kent in their droves to witness the Skint records boss lay-it-down alfresco style. Still had it? He never lost it!
10. Coming Soon… ?
We’re leaving this one blank. Or - more specifically - we’re keeping it reserved for Norman’s forthcoming appearance at Elrow Town on Sunday 19th August. Elrow + Fatboy Slim = shenanigans! Confetti – check. Airhorns – check. Carnival scenes – you better believe it! In fact, we can hardly think of a better match on paper. It’s gonna be truly spectacular with a guaranteed shedload of fun! Norm will throw everything at it, including the kitchen sink. So see you on 19th Aug, front and centre with a perma-fixed grin.