FATBOY SLIM, House of Commons – Evening Standard, 7 March 2013


The first ever DJ set at the Houses of Parliament: not quite as historic as the events marked by aged plaques and murals on the way through to a marquee on the riverside terrace but an intriguing footnote even so.

Norman Cook had the honour, donning his Hawaiian shirt to become Fatboy Slim once more, though in fact he was only the warm-up guy. The event was a prize for 22-year-old unknown Bryce Fury, who won the House the House DJ competition organised by charitable foundation Last Night A DJ Saved My Life.

Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove and Portslade and an avid Iron Maiden fan, pulled the strings to make it happen. An invitation-only audience of music industry types and “just the cool MPs”, according to Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, shuffled gamely. Hopes of spotting a moonwalking David Cameron with his tie around his head were swiftly dashed.

Cook briefly donned a Guy Fawkes mask, perhaps in protest at being introduced as “Norman Jay”, but otherwise avoided any political commentary with his usual set of rubbery party funk. Energetic reworkings of his own hits Right Here, Right Now and Praise You rubbed up against snippets of Billie Jean and Crazy in Love.

He gurned and air-punched while standing in front of a buzz-killing screen announcing what was on offer in the main room: “Question for short debate: sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.” There’s never been a dance event previously that has been interrupted by a call for MPs to return to the House because “there’s been a division”.

The house music was much more appealing. All praise to the Right Honourable Fatboy Slim.