This year saw the 10th anniversary of Chilled Cider, an event that has become an institution of sorts; Pete Lawrence and friends have made this a stalwart in the festival calendar; for me at least.
Nina and I rocked up on the Saturday afternoon, just in time to hear Pete spinning some tunes from the Apple Cart outside the pub. We were then bowled over by The Destroyers, a bunch of mavericks who captivated the capacity crowd. I’ve never seen so much energy from a guy who was nearly in his seventies and who was fronting the band on a few numbers. Good fun, and great theatrics.
For me though, the finest set of the weekend came in the shape of Kellie While, who played a completely captivating set of songs, some really nice cover versions and some of her own compositions. She’s got the voice of an angel and the small yet perfectly formed audience inside the Square and Compass were spellbound. She seems to suffer from completely unecessary stage fright – she blew us all away.
I was looking forward to the headliners playing – Pete had persuaded Ulrich Schnauss and Kirsty Hawkshaw to perform last thing on the Saturday night, but before they took to the the ‘stage’ it was left to Simon Martin to set the scene, and he did so admirably, using his DJ prowess to undertake some great mixing and end up with the classic Psychemagik remix of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – proper feel good stuff.
Of course, after spending a day in the Square and Compass, I was feeling a little drunk by the time Ulrich and Kirsty arrived. Ulrich played a set of atmospheric drum and bass classics, whilst Kirsty got on the mic and urged us to “go back to ’95”. I think Kevin, the head barman at the Square and Compass wished that they’d fucked off back there prior to performing in his boozer. I have to agree that the material that was played wasn’t at all in keeping with the general vibe that we’ve come to expect at this little gathering. But hey; there was a sizeable sweaty crowd that quite obviously were into it.
I opened up proceedings on the Sunday afternoon, lulling everyone present into a hazy deep chill. I premiered a load of new material that I was considering for the new LP and it went down well – there was a tidy little array of alucidnation fans and everyone seemed to enjoy the new material..
After my set, Nina and I went back to the camper and chilled in the sunshine – it was a beautiful day and we made the most of it before travelling back up to London via the old Swanage Ferry.