On the threshold of a dream.
The Big Chill Love In
This was my first appearance at a Big Chill event. As you can imagine, it was a very exciting time for me, after years of attending pretty much everything that the Chill put on. To be involved at all was pretty much a dream come true at the time!
They’d done one of these Love-Ins at the same venue in February 2000 – an imposing place called Baskerville Hall in the heart of Rutland on the English/Welsh borders. Aurthur Canon-Doyle penned ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ at the same place in the 1800’s.
I played the penultimate slot on the Friday night, Djing my own material to a receptive room of chillers whilst showcasing a set of 35mm slides. I seem to recall being a trifle nervous, which is hardly surprising I suppose. To play alongside the likes of Mr Scruff, Mixmaster Morris, Matt Black and to get paid for my trouble to boot was amazing!
This was my first ever review! A really good writeup on my first EP, which had just come out during May…
The first signs of spring may have a battle on their hands at the moment, but for Alucidnation’s Bruce Bickerton the summer has already begun.
Four tracks of quite, quite beautiful chilled electronic music, including the gorgeous ode to unrequited love’I’m Not Bad’, which, in the hands of Tom Middleton, promptly became the stuff of legend during the Big Chill’s Naxos jaunt last year.
Think Global Communication at their sunniest, and if this doesn’t put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, then nothing will… 9/10
…and this was the first cover mount CD to feature one of my tracks. Again, very excited about this at the time, especially as one of the premier chillout DJs had compiled the selection of tracks.
Lenny Ibizarre from Ibiza noted in the magazine:
“Now here’s someone that I was very thrilled to hear. Alucidnation perfectly blend spacey ambience merged with a balearic beat to take you on an aural journey”
A little half page feature about alucidnation and more specifically my first EP. I remember doing an interview with the magazine over the telephone one afternoon, and this is the outcome.
Big Chill Enchanted Garden
The debut gig for alucidnation at a main Big Chill Festival. I played the last slot of the festival on the new improved Sanctuary Stage just after Lenny Ibizarre, who seemed to be chuffed to meet me! I was pretty chuffed to meet him too…
The gig went really well. It was the first time I’d sung in front of a crowd, and I chose to sing ‘I’m Not Bad’, which seemed to go down well. Another track called ‘Skygazer’ was also premiered that night – the ambient nature of the work worked superbly under the clear night skies.
I had my immediate family there to witness it; in fact they were pretty much the only people there! No; I tell a lie, this gig inspired 7 magazine to list me as one of their highlights of the whole weekend!
Big Chill Lulworth Castle
Long, long before Rob Da Bank decided to start putting on Camp Bestival at this stunning venue, Pete and Katrina had already scouted out the location for this, the one and only Big Chill in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset.
It was no mean feat staging two big festivals within a month of one another but hey; they pulled it off – I have very fond memories of this gig.
Three main stages and a dedicated Dance Tent sat in gorgeous countryside and the whole event was blessed with amazing weather, aside from a heavy shower on the Friday afternoon. I played the Sanctuary Stage on the main lawn on the Saturday night to a large and receptive crowd. With my confidence improved after the Enchanted Garden gig, I decided to do a load more singing, debuting a load of new material.
September | October
Big Chill Naxos 2001
This was the second time that the Big Chill had visited the island – this time it was for a marathon 14 day blowout and I was honoured to be invited along to play numerous times alongside artistes that I’d been listening to for years.
Tom Middleton, Irrisistible Force, Hexstatic, Another Fine Day, Bonobo, Luke Vibert and many, many more – everyone was there to make it an unforgettable experience.
Cloudless blue skies, lazy days and some fantastic moments made this a real highlight for me, not least the drive down in my camper van with Katrina Larkin, Mark Pedersen, Marcus Bailey and Nush.
I played some really storming gigs; a couple of live ones, an all-night ambient DJ set, and a final set that sent everyone home to the UK safe and sound.
December 7th – 9th
Big Chill Winter Festival, London
Three nights, three very different events…
Possibly the most daunting gig of the year to date was the Big Chill Winter Concert. It was on the Friday night and was held at the Union Chapel in Islington, Central London.
It was the start of a busy, exciting weekend… supporting Tom Middleton’s Amba project and collaborating with Hexstatic was pretty much a dream come true I suppose, so I planned to do an ambient set – and I wrote it especially for the occasion.
I’d been to this the year before as an observer, and the venue had been half full, but this year, it was packed to the rafters – both storeys were filled to capacity, so needless to say, I was very nervous before getting up on stage in front of everyone.
I needn’t have worried – the audience were pretty noisy and as a result I just got on with it – and ended up thoroughly enjoying the whole gig. Feedback from people was pretty encouraging too.
A recorded record of this gig exists in my collection at home… it sounds VERY chilled.
This gig took place the following night at a relatively new venue in London Town. Again, a superb lineup, consisting of Royksopp, FSOL, Lemon Jelly, Yonderboi and Kinobe to name but a few – it promised to be a great night.
I was due to DJ in the main room after Garry Cobain (FSOL). His set was interesting, but he managed to clear the room early on in his set – he was attempting to translate his Lulworth Castle set (which had been a rip-roaring success) to an indoors venue, and it obviously wasn’t working. So I was called upon to go on earlier than I’d been expecting… I met Garry on stage – he genuinely looked like a rabbit in the headlights
I played a pretty dance-orientated set on the whole, and the room filled up again nicely – the whole thing went down really well. I finished the night with a rendition of ‘Beautiful House’…
It was touching to have people waiting to talk to me outside the venue after the gig – one thing I recall especially is that it was a freezing night, and Nina and I had to crash in the camper van without any heating – talk about brass monkeys…