Plain and Simple at the Big Chill – The Verdict.

If you missed our Big Chill coverage over the weekend, you can catch up with the highlights of Friday and Saturday here, and it’s now time to give our overall verdict of the weekend, seeing as we are finally recovered and feeling close to being human again.
Musically we catch up with our reporting’s from Saturday night, after catching the amazing Janelle Monnae on Saturday afternoon, who is fast becoming a rising start after smashing every festival she had featured in this year:
You can see what we mean via the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury.

The main stage continued to deliver with Tom Middleton (yes, he really did play everywhere) and Metronomy bringing the afternoon into the evening. We have to say, we missed Jesse J whilst letting our ears take a wonder through some of the peripheral stages, and whilst stopping for the daily afternoon tea at Mr Scruffs, where is bass time, all the time. Dub, reggae and soul all poured out of a function-1 that seems to be entirely made of subs.
The Big Chill is a great festival for simply mulling around and catching different elements. For the parents there is the large ‘Little Chill’ area, offering plenty of entertainment for the kids, and across the board the ‘Chill is very family focused. There are plenty of little one’s running around, which adds to the friendly and smiley vibe. There have been complaints of lots more teenagers coming to the festival since Festival Republic took over last year, but although they may look a bit intimidating to obviously aging raver, when you hear them talk you realise they are generally the kids of guardian readers who have just had a musical head start when it comes to visiting festivals. The fairground, however, which was largely occupied by the afore mentioned youth, was too big and played out rubbish commercial dance music that caused sound clashes with some of the other stages, frankly a far too commercial element which will raise the ‘Festival Republic killed the Chill’ argument all over again.
All this ear wondering also led to us missing Kanye West, but the 5 minutes we did catch seemed to involve a lot of ego. For us Saturday’s main stage was always going to be about one thing: 2manyDJ’s. They came on late, thanks to Kayne’s Diva-esq antics, so by the time they came on stage it seemed that most of the festival had gathered in anticipation. Young and old, this was going to be the party set of the festival. They didn’t disappoint. Featuring some of their best known mixes to some brand new mash ups, all presented with their trademark Radio Soulwax visuals, cutting and animating the record artwork for each track they played making it a trainspotters paradise. They had everyone raving to an ecstatic finish with Nivarna. From there it was off to do the obligatory festival activities, such as buying a stupid hat and talking to the many people there that were dressed in Zebra print onesies. One thing that always stands true, is that’s it’s a very friendly festival.


Sunday always begins with one man, and has done since the festivals inception. Mr Norman Jay MBE. Taking the somewhat more dormant Sunday crowd through soul and funk vibes, right through to classic jungle, Norman Jay is the centrepiece of Sunday afternoons. We also found it quote amusing to be sat near a couple well into their late sixties, who lay nodding their toes throughout, until that final jungle showdown which saw Mrs Sixtyplus jump up and have a good old rave, we salute you madam!
If you still had the energy to be having it on Sunday evening, then it was the Starburst stage that you had to be at. Affectionately known as cubehenge the pillars of glowing light were a Mecca for the filthier, tech-ier end of the spectrum. Sunday evening saw Dirtyphonics playing filthy bassline driven dubstep, drum and bass and tech-funk, which was exhaustingly dirty, this was quickly followed by Redlight, whose intelligent blend of tech, funk and bass saw plenty or finger in the air action.

Radio 6 music were broadcasting across the weekend, and Sunday evening saw live sets from Norman Jay and Mr Scruff, both bringing the funk factor back to the preceedings. Catch them on iplayer below:
After a long march up the hill to change (be prepared if you haven’t been before, this really really is a hilly site). We aimed to close the festival with Chris Cunningham. The visionary visual artist is responsible for creating some of the most amazing, and in equal parts, disturbing music videos ever created. Whilst I can appreciate his work in small chunks, this particular show, all IDM and haunting images of children, was a bit too much for my delicate mental state after a weekend of happy partying….so it was one more cup of tea for the road.
Overall, it’s still in our eyes, one of the best festivals on the circuit. Our reporting this weekend has barely touched the surface, you should just go.