Dan Davies 23 Archive


This article was written on 17 Oct 2006, and is filled under Big Chill, festival, knowledge magazine, review.

Big Chill (August 06)

Like impending old age – The ‘ Chill has this affect on you which you can’t fight. I challenge the hardest of hardcore hedz to go there. If by Saturday afternoon you’re not walking like Mr Soft then I’ll flip my foppish Victorian dandy wig (purchased from the impressive fancy dress tent). There are several contributing factors to this chill induced state. Okay, this year there was a bit of early morning drizzle and an overcast Friday, but overall it seems that the Big Chill bowl has its own ‘glorious’ weather system. Also it is the most child friendly festival around. Seriously, how can you be feeling ‘the grind’ when in your periphery vision fairies are flitting past? Then there’s the music… 

All artists take a step back from intense choon-full sets and instead ask the audience to listen and appreciate. Friday’s entertainment sets the tone of chilled-ness with Lou Rhodes bleating out her new songs with her new hippy commune mates. Without Lamb’s loop master Andy, they are more like lilting folk songs. Later that afternoon, José Gonzalés does his notorious slo-mo bouncing ball song and his mid-eighties cover versions are given more depth. The evening time ambience affects X-press 2 who lock onto Smoke Machine – and don’t move from it, but we’re saved from locked-down boredom by Jamie Lidell. After a jazzy Joe Cocker ‘lounge style’ beginning with Mocky and Gonzales, he begins playing with his vocal chords and sampler toys and, very precisely, blows our minds. A Skillz at the Southern Comfort Fat Tuesday tent on Saturday starts the day promisingly with big beats and dirty electro squelch before Psapp cutesies us out with saccharine sweetness and pipe cleaner cats. It takes Four Tet that night to bring on a dirty jammed drum bashing thinking man’s euphoria. The sunshine greets Norman Jay on the Sunday with his ever eclectic mix, moving from old school to street to soul and even including a cheeky 20 minute drum and bass session. This suitably sets us up for another afternoon of covers; a well executed set from Bent and a chance for us to let loose and have at least a shuffle to Bam Bam project in the Funky Wormhole – especially after a much appreciated Shy FX rewind. It’s clear that dancing is a bit self centred and disrespectful when The Heritage Orchestra steals our hearts and minds with full string versions of funk soul classics. I’m wrapped up in picnic blanket hearing the groovy 2001 with Deodato and a superb closer Les Fleur. I’ve not got a sweat on, but I’m grinning from ear to ear.  

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