Big Chill – the debrief

Yey! We rocked the Big Chill on Sunday! Here’s me & Des…

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Here’s me & Lucy!

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We had a blast and are grateful to each and everyone of you who bought one or more of our tracks to get us there.

But the true course of rock never did run straight and with only three days to prepare for the gig after finding out that we’d won the comp, we did encounter a couple of exciting last minute problems:

– My synth controller decided to stop working a fortnight ago, and as it was under warranty I sent it back to the shop in Newcastle who promptly sent it straight back saying it was working fine. Obviously they’d never heard of an intermittant fault because at the very next rehearsal it stopped working again. But no probs, I borrowed an equivalent thing from Des and used that instead.

– Des’ lovely Roland SH-101 decided in the penultimate rehearsal to also stop working, which was a real shame cos it’s a lovely sounding thing. Luckily he had enough time to borrow a Korg Prophecy which did the job – but just not quite as analoguely and vintagely as usual.

– We borrowed the Flippers’ laptop to project their awesome visuals as per usual – only this time it was to be on two 20 foot screens, huzzah! But when I decided to check it 30 mins before setting off for the gig, it decided it was broken. This meant calling the Gav and the Jas to work out an emergency plan involving them uploading the 300 meg file to an ftp site and Des bringing a spare laptop. Unfortunately when Des tried to download it later that day, the connection was so ropey it kept corrupting. But for once, fate smiled on us, and the original Flipper Laptop (the Flippertop) miraculously came back to life with the message ‘your system suffered a serious fault but it has now been corrected’. Woo-hoo – visuals are back.

– I’m not even going to mention the drive there, the two hour traffic jam on the M4, getting lost around Gloucester trying to find the venue, and discovering police diversions due to an accident on the tiny country roads around Eastnor…!

Here’s Lili preparing to drive the visual rig:

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(note that Lili is smiling bravely here despite suffering the agonies of a bee sting. She is indeed a trooper!)

Here’s a nice shot I took of the moon (top bright dot) and the ferris wheel (the star thing), plus some fairy lights and stuff:

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This was taken shortly after arriving at about 9pm at the Big Chill. We had actually left London at 1pm, but got stuck in horrendous traffic and got lost a couple of times once we’d dropped our stuff off at the well dodgy B&B I had booked.

Well it was cheap.

There’s usually a reason for cheap, and in this case it meant having a breakfast fridge doubling as a fire hazard – official!

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Here’s Lucy in front of the running order of The Coop where we were to play:

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You can see some of the stickers we put on it so people knew who we were and what time we’d be on. Lucy is proudly holding the sheet of stickers, as you’d expect.

Here’s my table at the B&B with sundry items, such as set list, albums, receipts, stickers and heroin spoon.

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So on Sunday morning we turned up with all our gear, parked in the artist carpark and unloaded. The Big Chill is an amazingly well run operation. All we had to do was label up our stuff with big green stickers and then it was driven for us over to the stage where we could store in a lock-up until soundcheck/gigtime.

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Have to say all the crew were amazingly friendly and helpful. There was Lila and AJ who were the artist management people and looked after us splendidly at the stage itself, Al the sound guy, and all the runners who drove the landrovers all day around the site ferrying artists, crew and kit. All super cool.

The gig itself went really well. Although it was quite early in the day, we had several hundred people watching by the end, which was pretty good. (Incidentally we were playing in the biggest tent in the festival!) We even had a little group of dancers as well.  So we played our stuff and it all sounded really good, and I think we gave a good account of ourselves.

We were actually really pleased when the sound engineer came over to us afterwards and said he really enjoyed the set – those guys have seen it all, so was a nice compliment.

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I think next time we need to bring a dedicated photographer, cos the only thing we don’t have too much of is photographs from the event, which is a bit of a shame. The ones above of the performance are by my friend and colleague Mike, who writes for http://www.zapbangmagazine.com/

We noticed that the winners of last year’s Alterhit comp where on before us, so hopefully we’ll be invited back to play next year too. Who knows, perhaps we’ll even camp properly next time rather than the dodgy B&Bs!

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