Fatboy Slim at Bestival 2013

September 7, 2013

Fatboy Slim review – Bestival 2013

Blowing out candles and metaphorically blowing a fond kiss to the festival he helped launch 10 years ago, Fatboy Slim returned to HMS Bestival for his eagerly anticipated Friday night headline performance, ready to unveil a carnival of lights, camera and dance music.

Entering stage right to a huge crowd and replete with a sailor’s cap, a salute was offered to the cheering masses before promptly taking his position behind the decks.


Photo by Victor Frankowski

If ever a reminder was needed as to why DJs have superseded rock musicians as the superstars of the post-millennium, then a cursory glance at the adulation and willing abandon inspired by Norman Cook in his alter-ego will give you all the evidence you need.

He stands with arms flailing like a dance music conductor, signalling the crowd to the pauses and meter of the music. Witnessing such a theatrical expression of escalation and euphoria is an exercise in understanding the true communal power of dance music. He is a master of ceremonies in its purest form, offering direction and joy in equal measure.

That is not to say that this is a set without its faults. You sense a conflict of interest over how to juggle his recorded output. His signature big beat is confined to snippets, teasing the audience before veering away into more contemporary fare. It is arguable that such an injection is a necessary move that brings this giant of the scene bang up to date.

As the set veers to a close, a choir assisted ‘Praise You’ garners the biggest cheer of the night, before giving way to a ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ infused ‘Rockafeller Skank’. It is on this home run that the evening’s entertainment is cemented as a fulfilling success. Stuttering beats and pulsing electro throb and shimmy in the Friday night air. Together, they work in unison with the visual aesthetics for a perfect melding of sound and spectacle.

Phptograph By Dan Dennison

As tired limbs wander away from the main stage into chilly open spaces elsewhere on site, one thing is clear; The festival, the BESTival, the party, had graced each one in attendance, right there, right then, collectively indoctrinated in the repeated instruction, ‘Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat’. It seems like hell of a good idea.

Written by Greg Wetherall

Fatboy Slim review-Bestival 2013

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