Catching up on forty years. 1999: Praise You – Fat Boy Slim
I’ll always be a little bit biased about Praise You. After all, this is the song that opened the Seagulls’ long-awaited Amex Stadium in 2011, a celebration of the long haul, the club’s wonderful new home and their unique relationship with dance music star DJ Fat Boy Slim. For nine years, the Seagulls sported the highly appropriate and immensely cool sponsorship of SKINT records, Fat Boy Slim’s own label. It never did any harm to shirt sales.
So 1999 as it turns out wasn’t the year of Prince’s song, but of Fat Boy Slim’s rather unique song and video. The song is a series of piano, guitar and vocal samples meshed together to make great dance music. Much like all of FBS’s work, although possible more accessible to the casual listener than most. It even involves samples from Disney’s “It’s A Small World”! But it’s also the video that makes this shine – allegedly made for as little as $800 it features a unique brand of street dancing performed impromptu to a cinema queue by a fictional troupe called the Torrance Community Dance Group. It’s filmed hand-held and very grainy. What comes out is a show that is both awful and wonderful at the same time. This is not the gloss of most street dance films but genuinely talented group performing real-time including interruptions from the cinema management!
I always get a tingle with this song – it’s a great piece of music, but also represents the rise of a football club and the unique relationship it had with it’s fans and sponsor at that time.