TOO LATE? HELL NO. “THIS IS ME PEAKING” FATBOY SLIM TELLS WIND BACK WEDNESDAY


Sliding some Fatboy Slim records onto the turntable at the weekend did more than induce embarrassing old man dancing, it prompted a search through the Wind Back Wednesday files for some words with Mr Slim, aka Norman Cook, aka not really Norman.


Back in 2005, when people still danced, still went to Bondi, and still took a cheeky half, or maybe even a full (what? they still do? gettouttahere!) a NYE set by the former Housemartin to see out the year by the surf wasn’t just possible, it was demanded.


Appropriately, as you’ll see, the conversation happened at the witching hour. The dancing happened later.

Mr Norman Cook, superstar DJ and not a man short of a quid - with a house next door to Paul McCartney on what the local cabbies call "millionaire's row" in Brighton, England - does not have minions to answer his phone.


Well, he does, during the day. But when you call him at midnight it's the man himself answering - answering with "Fatboy Slim Hotline" as it turns out.


You're thinking midnight is an unreasonable time to call anyone? Nah, it's right in the middle of office hours for the boy christened Quentin by his mother but known to gurning dancefloor addicts as Fatboy or Slim or maybe, that tall bloke up there making me move.


"Having been a DJ most of my life this is my working time," Cook says cheerily. "This is me peaking, so you are getting the best stuff from me now. I get my best work done between eight in the evening and two in the morning."

Those early morning telephone calls from the accountant must be a bugger then.

"Everybody I know knows not to call me before midday. We just don't answer it."


Of course one of the upsides of being a (very late) night owl when you are a respectable husband and father is that you can put your four-year old son to bed and then head off to work. Nice.


Another upside may be that people keep asking you to do things like play on New Year's Eve on Bondi Beach. Nicer. Still while it might be a big deal for some of us, you would have to think that for Fatboy Slim playing to 30,000, 50,000 even 80,000 people on Bondi is small beer after you've played to a quarter of a million people on Brighton Beach and more than 300,000 on a beach in Río. But no.


"It's part of the trilogy of the three biggest beaches you to get to play in terms of importance to me," says Cook. "Brighton is very close to my heart, we did Río and this [Bondi] is the only legendary beach we haven't played yet."


So, January 2 we can expect to the announcement of the retirement of Mr F. Slim, now that he's achieved all major career goals?


"Ah, no. Definitely not."


And why would you quit? Sure, as he readily points out, the album sales have tapered down from “extravagant” to merely “very pleasing to my accountant thank you”, but the demand for live sets from the Fatboy seems to be expanding.

"I'm still selling 10 times better than tonnes of people I think are better than me but on the live thing I'm peaking," he chuckles, adding," It's almost as if the less records I sell the more people want to come and see me DJ. So I'll be around until I get properly thrown out: 'come in number 36 your time is up'."


Well, a Zimmer frame does lend itself perfectly to working in the DJ booth and as the 42-year-old Cook helpfully points out, " DJs last longer than rock stars: we don't have to leap around the stage or look quite so attractive".


"And some of us weren't that good looking in the first place," Cook offers. "Which is why we became DJs."


And of course you can always turn the lights down so they can't see you up in the booth.

"Hit them with a strobe and they don't know what you look like."


Or slip them a cheeky half and they think you're the best looking man ever.


"Yeah, yeah. Perfect."