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The Big Chill - 2008 Preview
Now in its 14th year, even though Pete Lawrence, the co-founder of the Big Chill Festival, resigned earlier in the year (see HERE), the other founding half Katrina Larkin has just announced “a clutch of trailblazing female songstresses from across the world - and hot comedy straight from the nation’s TV screens”.
No only will Natalia Clavier be performing tracks form her album Nectar, Beth Orton will be giving a rare acoustic performance accompanied only by multi-instrumentalist Rob Moose of Antony and the Johnsons; Rising Swedish pop-starlet Lykke Li will be showcasing material from debut album Youth Novels’ and the unique Camille who has just released a new album (you’ll recall Ta Douleur was rather excellent).
For those after a laugh, in the comedy tent you’ll find Adam Buxton of ‘Adam & Joe’ fame and Simon Day from the BBC’s ‘The Fast Show’ will appear courtesy of festival co-curating partners Underbelly; along with award-winning comics Richard Morton and Danny Bhoy.
Anyone else? Only one of the greatest singer songwriters of all-time, Mr. Leonard Cohen. The Canadian legend has kept going since the sixites and has a undeserved reputation as being depressing; 1988’s I’m Your Man was almost disco!
Just as an example of the breath of acts, there’s the pioneering a Live performance by Danish DJ Trentemøller (thier The Last Resort album of a couple of years ago was one of the most wide-reaging and accessible minimal techno albums), punk legends Buzzcocks, New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band, Kiwi dub/reggae seven-piece Fat Freddy’s Drop, maverick composer John Metcalfe and 1950s-influenced indie mavericks Vincent Vincent and the Villains.
Other artists and partners already confirmed for the festival include The Mighty Boosh, Bill Bailey, Bomb the Bass, John Shuttleworth, The Thievery Corporation, Plaid with Random Dance, Portico Quartet, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset and Ara Malikian
The very latest artists confirmed are, on the Pama International stage, you’ll also find folk concept of The Imagined Village, Gong Gong, Afro Funk All Stars (JB Horns, Tony Allen, Manu Dibango, Cheikh Lô): Listen to today’s The Beat where Mark Coles talks to American saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and Nigerian singer and dancer Wunmi (A.L.A.) about a fantastic new tour called Still Black, Still Proud - an African tribute to James Brown (The Beat, 8th May 2008).
Soundcrash present breaks, drum’n’ bass and a certain Mercury-nominated UK hip-hop legend including DJ Krush, Roots Manuva & DJ MK, DJ Luke Vibert, Memory 9 (live), DJ Vadim and the absolutely brilliant Daedalus (check out the Love To Make Music To as soon as you can).
You go south of the border via east London for Hackney Globe Trotting with a superb session of current Urban Latin beats with DJ Toy Selectah (Mexico), the future funk of DJ Russ Jones and Hugo Mendez’s favourites Very Be Careful (live).
To get a club experience in a tent you need go no further than Need2soul to find DJ Joe Claussell from New York’s legendary Body & Soul club at the top of a world-class soulful-house bill of Ron Trent (Chicago), Sonar Kollectiv’s Âme (they of ‘Rej’), Benji B (BBC 1xtra) and Rap Saunders
And even more top class DJ in the Rizla Arena Invisible Players with Greg Wilson, Justin Robertson, Annie Nightingale and Kid Acne.
Shaanti present their award winning sound system - with some very special live acts to be announced with DJ Manga.
Friends & Family crew stir up a typically-eclectic melting pot with Flying Lotus (live), dub-step and Charlie Dark’s UK soul/funk/afro Soundsystem collective DJ Toddla T ft MC Serocee, DJs Caspa and Rusk.
Perverse Universe featuring WanDan Human Beatbox, the Top Bananas 5-piece Stilt Band, a Strongman, Lazlo the Gender Blender, The Tragic Loungeabout and more.
Pick Your Own run the Club Tent with contemporary blues, wide-scoped experimentation and a blast of unashamedly cool 1950’s retro of Son Of Dave (live), The Mules (live), Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers (live), Vincent Vincent & The Villains (live) with the Kartel DJs.
And if all that wasn’t enough the festival co-creators the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) have also announced a festival exclusive for The Big Chill - ‘Action Dub Painting’ - an explosion of dub and paint. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry will be visually interpreting Adrian Sherwood’s dub soundtrack on an improvised canvas to be auctioned on behalf of Amnesty International. Their also bring live programming from international Dada art rockers Lust Faust, Douglas Fishbone (as recently seen at the Hayward Gallery) and alt-folk originator, comic book hero, pop culture poet Jeffrey Lewis will lead a choir of first-time singers to Eastnor via instructional video.
Plus somewhere on the site you’ll find UK psychedelic dubbers African Head Charge, Federico Aubelle, eclectic Celtic influenced Peatbog Faeries and the innovative dub and free jazz masters Spring Heel Jack & Evan Parker.
And if you’ve not got the idea yet, The Big Chill Festival is an independent music, entertainment, literature, arts and comedy festival crammed into 3 days and set in the beautiful Malvern Hills at Eastnor Castle, Deer Park, Herefordshire.
MAY UPDATE: Genre-defying, marathon set DJ, producer and everyone’s cup of tea, Mr Big Chill Classics Scruff, folk-pop singer Martha Wainwright and Manchester dance floor terrorisers The Unabombers are the latest additions to Eastnor’s line-up as even more great acts are added, including Matthew Herbert Big Band (at last he’s back!), Tom Middleton celebrating the third Summer of Love, The Big Chill’s co-founders’s Pete Lawrence’s classic vibes, dubsteps finest Benga, the deck talents of A Skillz and best of the lot, global dance rhythms from Yam Yam with tunes from the Eatdubafrobeat album.
And then after the Sunrise Celebration festival found themselves washed out by terrible flash floods that hit the area with the site a muddy quagmire, they’ve accepted an invitation to become a part of The Big Chill festival who will open their doors to everyone with a Sunrise Celebration ticket this August in Hereford. Now, how good is all that?
JULY UPDATE: Electronic ambient pioneers The Orb are to play a top slot at The Big Chill 2008. They will play the Castle Stage following the withdrawal of Fat Freddy’s Drop, who were forced to pull out of their European tour due to recording commitments. Other fresh additions to the bill include New Zealand acoustic sensation Aronas, a solo acoustic performance from Ninja’s tunes Fink, and one of 2008’s hottest tips; Natty. The festival has also announced open auditions for the Eastnor Welcome Sessions - an opportunity for acoustic performers, buskers, orchestras, rappers and any musical genre to serenade festival-goers on arrival to the site. The winners will perform two forty-minute sets across the weekend, with 10 slots open to the public. MP3 submissions are accepted at buskers@big chill.n And finally, there’s a Thursday Film Screenings the multi-award winning ‘Man on Wire’ being screened ahead of its theatrical release on 1st August. The film won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival; as well as the Audience award and Grand Jury prize at Sundance film festival - the first British film to achieve such critical recognition
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