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Gig review: All Gone Pete Tong featuring Fatboy Slim @ Warehouse Project, Manchester – December 14

By Henry Vaughan

Curated by one of Britain’s best-loved DJs, Pete Tong, the Warehouse Project presented yet another exceptional line-up, featuring Fatboy Slim, Madeon, Basement Jaxx, Eats Everything and Riva Starr.

A great crowd, wonderful venue – if sometimes frustrating to navigate – and an amazing atmosphere made for a very special Friday night.

It was a brilliant coup to bring Brighton’s Fatboy Slim back up to Manchester. As if you didn’t know, Norman Cook has enjoyed amazing chart success with hits such as Praise You and Right Here, Right Now, transforming him into one of Britain’s most sought after superstar DJs. He cemented his place as a British music icon when he performed at London 2012’s closing ceremony this year, but it is his Big Beat, eclectic, unpredictable DJ sets and his undeniable mastery of his art that have kept him at the top of his game for so many years at Ibiza and at home, drawing an enormous energetic crowd whenever he plays.

Tonight was no exception. Room 1 was absolutely packed by the time Norman Cook took to the decks just after midnight. Any hopes of dancing were out of the question as space on the floor was at a premium, yet the festival atmosphere had the thousands of fans thronging with their hands in the air, showing their appreciation as Fatboy Slim dropped tune after tune of electric aural theatre.

Some fans may have been disappointed by the lack of Fatboy Slim classics but he had most of the massive main room crowd eating out of his hands for the pumping two hours that Manchester’s premier dance music venue was graced with his presence.

After rekindling his residency at legendary Ibiza club Pacha over the summer, Pete Tong took over Room 1 after 2.00am to close out the night.

Crowds had thinned somewhat as many made their way over to dance out the night to man-of-the moment and previous Mixmag ‘Star of the Year’, Riva Starr. But this is no reflection on Tong – one of the names credited with bringing the American house music sound across the pond back in the 80s and one of the most influential names in the dance music world over the last 20 years.

Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, the duo behind the massively successful Basement Jaxx, entertained an unsurprisingly sparse crowd in Room 2 as their DJ set clashed with the big draw, Fatboy Slim, in the main room.

But those who opted out of the crush, or attempted to split their time between the two, were rewarded with a bouncing two-hour electro set from the pair who brought us such massive tunes as Where’s Your Head At – with ample room to get their groove on.

The 17-year-old French disco producer, Madeon, showed skills well beyond his years in an amazing hour long pre-midnight live set, showing why his groove-heavy tracks such as Icarus have catapulted him on to the world stage, capturing the attention of dance music heavyweights like Pete Tong and gaining an international fan base.

A great night – the only people disappointed were those who missed out.

Picture courtesy of Manox, with thanks.

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