back from the big chill - a wonderful weekend. i will of course add some photos to flickr later in the day or week. not sure how to review the weekend as we packed so much in but here goes...
why i love the big chill
i have followed the big chill since coming across the first compliation album they did - eyelid movies. i listen to a lot of chilled/ambient/leftfield music. and the big chill clearly had similar taste. i also love the experimental approach to music, creativity, new media and the arts - embracing the creative underground rather than becoming too commercial - where else would you get a live score performed along with belleville rendezvous?! the festival typifies the chill's approach - an exquisite location set in the malvern hills (spiritual home as pete lawrence describes it), plenty of space to move around, lots of creativity everywhere, a full on festival vibe with partying everywhere, attention to detail - lit up trees, the lights on the lake, fab showers, a chilled atmosphere, an eclectic music line up - DJs, classical, chilled, bands, acoustic, soul, hip hop, dance, etc (though not much rock in site - hooray!). i go to greenbelt every year (which i also love) but at greenbelt i never have time to go to much as i help plan the worship, and i spend a lot of my time bumping into people i know and chatting (which i love) - at the big chill i can just go to stuff and i don't know many people!
this year's discovery...
in a word fink. there are plenty of things we went to that i knew nothing about. fink was one - partly on the strength of him being on ninjatunes. a set of songs played on acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and a simple drun kit (bass drum, high hat, cymbal, nsare and brushes) - but just sensational. i bought the album biscuits for breakfast straight after the gig and haven't stopped playing it yet.
belleville rendezvous played with an original live music score was just amazing. i really hope this is performed in london - i'd love to go again
amba - one half of global communication tom middleton's act. i'd heard a couple of tracks (which i love) on big chill compilations - very chilled emotional music. but for the festival tom had got a full orchestral string section to play live with his beats and bleeps and the result was amazing.
fat tuesdays - this is one of the party tents. set down by the lake serving cocktails all day long. a DJ booth is set up outside and you can listen to tunes in the sun or get up and dance. by midnight the place is full on party. we sat having a beer/cocktail listening to tunes each afternoon (with joel being a tune trainspotter) - it didn't sem to matter too much who was playing either though i enjoyed dave hill's sunday gospel set and it was good to end the festival partying while coldcut mixed up the tunes.
lou rhodes - i absolutely love lou rhodes voice - it is sensational - love her stuff with lamb. her set at the chill was beautiful - an amazing set of musicians - you could hear every note of everything and it was an exquisite blend - the percussionist/drummer was possibly the best musician i saw all weekend and together with the double bass player provided a sensational rhythm section. and her lyrics are uplifiting, vulnerable and spiritual - moved me to tears. delighted to see she has been nominated for the mercury prize this year
coldcut - amazing as ever. the show was recorded live and a limited edition of 2006 CDs available to buy on CD the next day
good times - norman jay brought the sun and the crowds out on sunday afternoon as ever. with his infectious eclectic blend of tunes you just can't stay sitting down. good times 6 will be out in september.
brian eno - fantastic video and sound installtion as part of the art trail at night in the wonderful enchanted garden
friday - flipside | roger eno | lou rhodes | mr scruff | the beauty room | joes gonzalez | AIM | d'archetypes | ursula rocker | x-press2 | coldcut | nathan fake
saturday - mark pritchard | amba | arrested development | fink | a skillz | bugz in the attic | jose padilla | chilled by nature | nightmares on wax | (then off taking night photos)
sunday - dave hill | norman jay | lily allen | nicole willis | billy woods | gilles petersen | ben westbeach | bent | laura b | coldcut (dj set) | sundaze rescore belleville rendzvous
things i wanted to see but didn't - they clashed...
longrange | boozoo bajou (dj set) | all the late night take me home sessions ( i just can't take the pace and stay up all night!) | steve reid and kieron hebden | sebastien tellier | the egg
roger eno's set (ended up leaving) | pete lawrence singing - (joel leant over to me and said 'you can tell it's his festival - i.e. he wouldn't be up there singing otherwise - it was a bit of an embarrassing dad situation - clearly hadn't done it before, looked awkward and sounded very nervous...) we forgave him of course as he's the person behind the big chill! | the beauty room - this had been bigged up as the greatest new album - you could tell that the music is good but the lead vocalist seemed to sing just under or off the note on quite a few tracks which ended up being a bit painful.
didn't get why the big chill had pole dancing and other over 18s stuff going on - just doesn't fit the festival vibe. sure it was late and in an indoor venue for over 18s but why?
run the showers on monday morning? (the showers were a stroke of genius this year - communal school changing room style all in together - meant lots of people got through quickly - i didn't have to queue once)
albums now on the wish list (or already purchased)!
fink | jose padilla | jose gonzalez | good times 6 (sept 06) | mr scruff big chill classics (sept 06) | laura b (jan 07) | AIM (sept 06) | longrange | bonobo (sept 06) | arrested development (yes they are back - oct 06) | beauty room (probably good in spite of the lead vocal live)
anyway i guess i'm boring most readers with an over indulgent post but as you can tell we had a fab weekend. pictures to follow. you might want to listen to gilles petersen's show (online just this week) from the big chill to get a flavour. or i've just noticed that pete lawrence is presenting a new weekly radio show on chill radio (if you've got DAB you can find it - mike has been raving to me about the station for a while). see you there next year?...