Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Big Chill

Thursday at work we had our "Away day" which is supposed to be a team building day, of sorts. Since I knew I had Friday off to go to the Big Chill- I went to the pub Thursday night with a few friends from work and ended up meeting up with some of the guys at The Dog. Friday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and packed the car to head for Big Chill, only running a half hour or so late. I met up with Rachael and her son Isaac and followed her to the festival. I wanted to have my own car so they could leave earlier if they needed to Sunday and I could hang about and make the most of my weekend ticket. Old Rusty made it to Malvern well and we unloaded and attempted to carry all of are gear to the camp site. This was pure car camping, which means an excess of stuff and it was not an easy carry. We made it past the live-in vehichles and not long after that we had some nice young security men see our need for attention and carry our stuff the rest of the way for us. I got our tent set up and by the afternoon Friday we were able to go enjoy the festival.

Isaac relaxing in the tent before heading into the festival.

We climbed the hill from our site and down another large hill to the actual festival grounds. It was huge with about five or six different stages and all sorts of other random entertainment- glitter wrestling, insect circus, chapel of love and all. . .

The atmosphere was definitely geared toward "chilling" (with a bit of late night debauchery thrown in once the kids went to bed). All the ponds and trees were doused with various candlelight and effects.

Jose Gonzalez. . . very, very far away.

There were all sorts of costumes and outfits abound at the festival. For those that wanted it and didn't bring it with them, there were various dress up tents where you could buy your outfits and accessories.

Rachael and Isaac

I wanted to check out Nizlopi but was a bit reluctant because their popular song, JCB is not a favorite of mine. I was very surprised and impressed. They had amazing energy and talent and now I want to buy everybit of music they have.

After their set they came out and got friendly with the audience.

Random man in suit of armor chats with the security boys. About five minutes later a rubix cube walked by. . .


I left the Castle stage after Lambchop was over and was going to head back to the tent to hang out with Rachael but was halted by the massive crowd for X-Press 2. This isn't a clear picture, but I still thought it was a good one. I danced along for a few minutes but the boredom of being on my own and fatigue from staying out too late Thursday kicked in and I headed for the tent. It was a restless night of sleep, with drunken people running into the tent throughout the hours of the night.

The next morning Rachael, Isaac and I went and grabbed a nice veggie full breakfast. The weather was not looking good in the morning so I made a trek to the cars to collect our wellies. Rachael and Isaac went and enjoyed the kids tent and I headed for the Open Air Stage with my blanket and book and chilled listening to the first bands of the day, the first being Mark Pritchard, a DJ mixing various folk and psychedelic sounds.

Tom Middleton with Amba was next. Tom is a DJ but was playing with a full band and string section. The music was ethereal sounds composed by Tom Middleton and he clearly had a lot of passion for all the songs and the meanings they had for him. It was great music to sit back and close your eyes. . .or read your book as I was doing.

Next up were Arrested Development. They are reunited and have a new album coming out in September. It brought back some lovely memories of the 90's but they are still just as talented today and it reinvigorated my interest in their music.

I met back up with Rachael and Isaac in the afternoon and found them at the tent. Isaac had made a new friend, this guy from Kenya who was trying to show him moves of Capoeira. We went back into the festival and enjoyed the afternoon sun at the Finlandia tent. Rachael and I enjoyed a pitcher of Midnight Sun while we chilled.

This is a group who were presenting Capoeira at the festival. It is a martial art from Brazil but almost looks more like an intricate dance. I saw their presentation again on the Village Green stage Sunday afternoon.

Bugz in the Attic with Bembe Segue. An infectious blend of funk, soul and hip hop.

We walked around for a bit and Isaac was getting ready to go so Rachael took him back and I headed for the Club Tent. I went in for Quantic and came out a sweaty mess after an hour and half later of dancing. Mr. Scruff (blurry view of above) was on after and I stayed for a bit for his set. I've seen him before and love his stuff but I was getting a bit bored with the tent and the scary middle aged men trying to chat me up. I headed for the Finlandia tent again and eventually made a few friends for the evening. I ended up hanging out there until the wee hours of the morning and eventually made it back to my tent. . .the next day.

Sunday morning Rachael and Isaac headed out as soon as they got the car packed up. I was feeling a little rough and tired so I grabbed some breakfast (this time a vegan one- not so nice) and set up in front of the Castle Stage. The music in the morning was great, that's Another Fine Day above, and I napped off and on in the blaring sun. I was hoping to run into a friend I had made the night before but didn't catch him so I just chilled there all afternoon.

After Another Fine Day, a quick shift to the Bikink Beach Band, who covered an eclectic mix of songs in their surf rock style and quite quickly enamored the crowd.

After the Beach Band, a terrible comedian came on who was eventually booed off the stage. It's unfortunate he was as bad as he was since he was supposed to be there in support of Amnesty International. To appease the crowd, Lily Allen came on a little early. I ended up staying for most of her set, but why, I am not sure. She's become a pop sensation but her lyrics are a bit too trite for me and I just couldn't immerse myself into it. I shoved my way through the huge crowd there to see her to make my way for the Village Green.

Martha Wainwright

I was so glad I got to see Martha beacuse I missed her a couple months ago when she was playing in Birmingham. She was definitely a highlight for me over the weekend and a great way to round off the festival. On reflection, I wished I would have just camped at the Village Green all day because all of the artists playing there sounded excellent, but then I would have missed the joys of Another Fine Day and the Bikini Beach Band. After Martha's set I ran into a newly made friend (likely to never be seen again I'm sure :-) and hung out with him for a bit before heading home and getting a nice hot shower. I would have liked to stay over Sunday night as well, but it was back to work for me on Monday!
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Julia said...

oh -- I don't think you're going to come back across the pond. You're having too much fun over there. You wait -- all of a sudden you will meet somebody and then stay in the UK... dotcha think? I do.

Lisa said...

Nah. . .I met a nice boy there but he'll never call. See, my fate always seems the same- the guys that really like me I don't reciprocate those feelings and vice versa. Perhaps one of these days the feelings will be mutual, but I'm not sure it will happen in England. :-)

Julia said...

well, I hold out hope that you'll meet a nice "bloke" there and stay in the UK. I'm going for my MSW and my hubby wants to return to his homeland, Yorkshire and leave these bitter canadian winters behind. I LOVE this blog as it gives me a glimpse into the life of an UK social worker. I love all the weekend trips you take, which face it, you just can't do to the same extent in N. America.