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The Big Chill in transition

The Big Chill 2010 - packed full of chilled out goodness

It was with a teeny tiny bit of trepidation that we made our annual pilgrimage to The Big Chill this year, having covered the event for the past four years we were questioning whether or not the involvement of those festival giants Festival Republic would hamper or improve what is after all, a well loved and quite unique event in the festival calendar.

The big thing about this festival is that it simply isn't about the headliners, it's actually about letting your hair down, going with the flow, making new discoveries and relaxing, chilling out, chilling down and totally relaxing.
a well loved and quite unique event in the festival calendar.
We had expected this element to have changed - and we were right - it certainly had changed, to our surprise we discovered that it had changed for the better, the revamped site, good organisation and use of quality security meant that the event was even more relaxed and chilled than it had been in previous years, this was the first of many surprises that kept us gainfully occupied for a very full weekend.

We arrived on site early Friday afternoon and the ease of entry was the first indication that this years Big Chill was going to ease us in gently, and a stroll around this gorgeous site soon unveiled the fact that there was fun, impromptu entertainment and delights to be found at every twist and turn. Our first port of call was to Mr Scruffs tea tent, something of a tradition, totally addicted to the substance and once aforementioned brew is in hand we know we have arrived and are ready to take advantage of all the sights, sounds and other delights that so identify the Big Chill and mark it out as both different and special.

The stagger up to the Enchanted Garden is always a bit of a trek for weary festival goers, but once you've made it to the area it certainly lives up to expectations. Enchanting it really is with its myriad of hidden gems and delights. The Body & Soul holistic therapies area was a delightful spot packed with a vast range of therapeutic delights. Hidden well away Lazyland provided a little oasis and a gem of an area where you could really escape from it all while enjoying a range of different and eclectic sounds. The Buskers Stage was in full flow throughout the weekend and if you made the rather long walk there it was a hidden treasure.

Patton then proceeded to stun the Big Chillers with a magnificent set that showed a completely different side to this hugely talented and quite unique artist.
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions warmed up the Deer Park Stage for Mike Patton with a melodic, gentle and inspirational set. But it was Mike Patton and The Heritage Orchestra who really got us into the mood. As we headed into the early evening the one and only Mike Patton took to the Deer Park Stage with the full Heritage Orchestra, always a huge pull you never quite know what to expect from this immensely charismatic performer. He arrived on stage with the now trademark slicked back hair, wearing a dark pinstripe suit with a bright red handkerchief poking out of the pocket - the perfect 50’s Italian Lothario.  Patton then proceeded to stun the Big Chillers with a magnificent set that showed a completely different side to this hugely talented and quite unique artist.

Mike Patton’s Heritage Orchestra brings a band and choir, performing a collection of covers of Italian pop songs from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, their highly-acclaimed album was released in May, 'Mondo Cane' is without a doubt the biggest departure for an artist who actually makes a specialism in the avante-guarde “art of weird.”

A softer more crooning version of Patton was laid bare as song after song was performed in Italian,  all showcasing a side to this performer that many of us never knew was there. it's rare for a performer to be able to transfer skills so beautifully but Patton showed how it's done with a set that drew the crowds to the stage and held them there for the duration. This was another brilliant, unexpected coup for the Big Chill and a simply stunning, stand out performance. "Get any more chilled and this place is gonna be a mortuary," claimed ex-Faith No More man Mike Patton at the start of an intriguing, captivating and mesmerising set…indeed.

Explosions in the Sky took to the stage next, perfectly placed they took o the stage and performed a neat set that was passionate, intense and yet strangely calming.

Our most highly anticipated set of the weekend had to be one Thom Yorke, a performer who we never tire of seeing and simply never get to see often enough. For our money he is one of the most highly talented guys out there and any opportunity to see him live is not to be missed. As darkness fell over this magnificent site Thom Yorke took to the Deer Park Stage, sporting a fetching bowler hat, to deliver a typically impressive set to an equally impressed and increasingly totally delighted audience.

The vocally haunting strains of Yorke were a perfect match for the Big Chill, the sun had set and the ambient lighting around the site added a certain gentle air to set off the starkly powerful, emotional and lyrically challenging songs.

Yorke said that the was 'flying by the seat of his pants' - but this was a top quality performance from a gifted and charismatic performer made all the more magical by the stunning setting. Yorke is a performer who can command a stage effortlessly and  has no trouble in holding an audience enthralled as he neatly slips from one song, musical instrument, mood and style to another.
The vocally haunting strains of Yorke were a perfect match for the Big Chill
Yorke played an unaccompanied solo set with a handful of Radiohead favourites thrown in,  'Planet Telex' from The Bends, and a stunning version of 'Airbag' from OK Computer drew massive reactions and we also got 'Everything In Its Right Place', 'Black Swan' and 'I Might Be Wrong' during this jaw dropping set. Yorke's performance was another real coup for the Big Chill and, for us at least, the clear stand out performance.

Massive Attack were a perfect choice for a festival that is as diverse and eclectic as it is enigmatic.
Friday night headliners on the Deer Park stage were Massive Attack who grabbed the opportunity to perform tracks from new album 'Heligoland'.  Massive Attack provided plenty of gems from their extensive back catalogue, all the while using graphics that made you sit up and take notice - showing footage of police brutality, Palestine and the issues it raises, natural disasters, our celebrity culture as well as generally pointing out some of the hypocrisies, immoralities and causes that might just concern us.  Massive Attack had no difficulty in powering their way through a well received set, with 'Teardrop', 'Angel', 'Mezzanine' and 'Unfinished Sympathy', Karmacoma’ brought the set to a remarkable conclusion. Massive Attack were a perfect choice for a festival that is as diverse and eclectic as it is enigmatic.


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7th August 2010
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The Big Chill in transition
The Big Chill

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