The Big Chill Festival 06 Special
Show broadcast on Radio 1
Monday 14 August 2006: 0100-0300
Tracklistings for this show
Photos from this show
They say the best things happen when you least expect them. This was my first year at the Big Chill and all I knew about it was that I would be camping out for a weekend in the Herefordshire countryside. I like to think that I am a seasoned festival-goer, always ready to brave the elements - wellies, waterproof and socks close to hand. The Big Chill was a first in many ways - sunshine all weekend, lattes in the morning, massages on call and a few musical surprises.
I learnt a few things too - mainly that camping is rubbish (earplugs will not block out the snoring stranger in the tent next to you nor will handy wipes make you feel clean). But that is all part of the festival experience, as is stumbling across musical treats. Walking over to the Castle Stage on Sunday afternoon as Glenn Tilbrook performed a fantastic version of 'Up The Junction' - one of the best songs ever written - was a personal highlight. Equally, witnessing The Proclaimers record a version of 'Turning Away' for us in their dressing room whilst Nouvelle Vague performed on stage was incredible. Twenty years in the business and their professionalism really shone through. It is easy to see why their 1988 album 'Sunshine On Leith' continues to sell by the bucket load. Sebastien Tellier was another surprise - he sang a whole song with a cigarette up his nose…very french and very charismatic. Sparks were interesting - they received a mixed response after their epic set which included their new album 'Hello Young Lovers' performed in its entirety, followed by highlights from their 20 album strong back catalogue. If you have never seen them live expect something very theatrical. And of course there was Lily Allen, performing one of her first live festival dates - she was relaxed, confident and entertaining.
I regret missing Lamb frontwoman Lou Rhodes solo performance, Tunng, Lambchop, Coldcut and The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. True, I had no expectations of The Big Chill, but I left with the reminder that festivals do not have to be about achingly hip bands - sometimes the colourful characters and tranquil surroundings play a much bigger role.