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Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Big Chill 2010

                            A more cultured clientele

What a pleasant festival this is. We were packed and on the cross-country voyage to somewhere around Malvern in Dave’s car by mid-afternoon; I thought this would be a scary prospect – when Dave goes, he doesn’t really hold back. And he tends to ‘go’ most weekends. So, the return journey was my main concern, although we did have a dicey moment on a motorway when we thought a portal to another dimension had ripped through the sky. Turns out it was a ridiculously low flying aircraft, but there we go.

                              Captain Dave at the helm

After all the immense traffic jam, game of ‘eye spy’ and saga of ‘would they discover the absinthe?’ and ‘let’s hope they don’t pat us down to discover dozens and dozens of Noz canisters’, we were in, and there the adventure began. With 3 main stages and hundreds of stalls and attractions, Big Chill is one of the nicer festivals – and that is in no way a bad thing. We made hats in a tepee, skulked around the fabulous Victorian velvet cinema house, The Lost Picture Show, and saw Newton Faulkner, Massive Attack, MIA, Roots Manuva, Layo and Bushwacker, Kruder and Dorfmeister, High Contrast, London Elektricity and the Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Show – to name but a few. Oh and of course Lily Allen, who stole the show. MIA tried to, by encouraging everybody onto the stage and creating a huge headache for the organisers, but Lily did it with a sweet voice, down to earth lyrics, and some cheeky DNB drops.

                                   Stage invasion

Our side of the valley was populated by some handily placed large lit globes by a big tree – perfect for sleeping, thinking and talking nonsense by. One night I made an accident cocktail – I was sent back to the tents to restock, but got chatting away to Georgie (an utter sweetheart who works in a boys school – they all utterly adore her). Distracted, I thought I was topping up the concoction with lemonade. I was not. I was pouring liberal quantities of red absinthe into the mix.

We named it Pink Death, although it was quite palatable after a while; Cherry Brandy, Vodka, dark rum, lemonade, a dash of red bull and of course, l'Absinthe Rouge. So, after a night on the Pink Death we were quite ready to chill by the globes until about 7 or 8 in the morning, by which time I was ready to de-costume (we were Robin Hoods – very fitting you see) and curl up. Dave however doesn’t really sleep. So, after we’d compromised – a shisha from the 24 hour café, we left Dave to his various (de)vices and off we went.

                  Twenty-four hour shisha cafe overlooks the valley

We later learnt that Dave had spent some time with lots of randoms, before being mildly alarmed by some naked people turning up for life drawing. He got over this little shock, and carried on with sitting until he was later completely freaked out by the sudden arrival of lots of naked people – only this time there were hordes of them, painted from head to toe - some yellow, some blue, some green. It was Spencer Tunick’s mass nude art shoot at the Eastnor Castle. I think this is what did him in, and finally sent him to bed. For some reason we later felt the need for a walk which saw us break out of the festival (unusual) and clamber into the grounds of Eastnor Castle ourselves. See photoshoot below.

                   Our own installment at Eastnor Castle

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