Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Weekend Views No.8 (in a field)

Back from a weekend, not in Shropshire as I stupidly put in my previous post, but Gloucestershire where a load of fairly posh white people get together in a field and pretend like it's 1969, or something. Actually, The Big Chill (pix here) was a super-fine festival this year. I managed to tick all the 'ooh, I MUST see them'; boxes. So that means I was blown away by the awesome Toy who beautifully recreated their slightly dark Hamleycore laptop fun. Sparks - the Gilbert and George of clever pop (making the Pet Shop Boys look like Erasure) - were also quite stunning. The entire album, Hello Young Lovers, was performed, along with their fabulous multi-media show, to rapturous applause, followed by a greatest hits medley. Swoon.
This year's biggest disappointment was the aforementioned Malcolm Cecil and Tonto's Expanding Headband. Amazingly I DID meet him! And we did talk about Steve Hillage!! But then he spoilt it all by doing something stoopid, like PLAYING. Ten minutes of footage nicked from BBC's Soul Deep harping on about his work with Stevie Wonder, followed by some frankly rubbish noodling ona cheap synth sent 90% of the crowd packing (including me). Still, he was a lovely man...and here's the proof!
Other highlights included the Heritage Orchestra with Deodato (despite them being signed to Gilles peterson's label), John Metcalfe (with Max Richter and on his own with, amongst others, Andy Gangadeen of the Bays)Amadou and Mariam and, best of all several blissed out hours spent staring at Brian Eno's '77 Million Paintings' installation (see pic at top). Can't wait to buy the software...

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