Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

The Big Chill 2010: Review

A review of The Big Chill 2010 Festival weekend at Eastnor Castle Deer Park (was it worth the four mile trek round to the purple gate entrance?)

Written by Sophie Parker and Daniel Sims

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, more about California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, pilule now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, seek California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, viagra 100mg California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, visit this there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, order California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, information pills there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, prescription California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, ed California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, sick there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, viagra sale where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, cure if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

It’s ironic then, that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. Curated by textile artist Annie Sherburne, it was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility
Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, information pills where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, information pills if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s ironic then, sale that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. Curated by textile artist Annie Sherburne, it was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet. Photograph by Tim Adey.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility

All Photography by Daniel Sims, approved do not use without permission.

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Big Chill Festival is located at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire, surrounded by beautiful peaks and greenery. Being near the Welsh border means the weather can be a tad erratic. However, aside from the odd brief (but powerful) downpour the weather was pleasant and sunny by Sunday (which I’m sure came as a relief to the nude participants of Spencer Tunick’s art piece on Sunday morning.)

A first glance at the festival map gave the impression that The Big Chill would be anything but! I realised that unless I made a mental list of what I’d like to see, I’d end up in the Cinema tent all weekend (City of God, Ponyo, Moon, Eagle vs Shark, the list was huge and impressive!)

Out of fear I chose a location at random and began my Big Chill experience at 10.00am with the press event for Bompas and Parr’s Ziggurat of Flavour. My press pack told me that Bompas and Parr are ‘Food Architects’, and the Ziggurat turned out to be what was essentially a large pyramid with an inside maze and an exit via a rather steep slide. Entrants who went through the maze would inhale atomised Fairtrade fruit juice, freshly squeezed on site (I saw one man unsuccessfully trying to pay the juicers for a cup of orange juice). Inhalation, apparently, would give you at least one of your five a day. Now whether this is scientifically proven or not I don’t know, but a slide is a slide and it is always going to be a crowd pleaser. If, by some miracle, you manage to ingest an orange via your lungs then that’s an added bonus. The Ziggurat proved immensely popular for the entire weekend and it was good to see Fairtrade’s presence on site.

My first musical highlight was seeing Mike Patton of Faith No More fame singing Italian Pop Songs from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s with his new and unusual vehicle: Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane & The Heritage Orchestra. Going through all my bootleg copies of live Mr Bungle performances I notice there is one track that doesn’t feature on the studio albums but becomes increasingly popular as part of the live setlist. It is a very lively cover of Adriano Celentano’s ’24,000 Baci’ sung in Italian by singer Mike Patton. This cover may be evidence that Patton had this project in mind from as early as the mid 90′s. Having missed Mike Patton with Faith No More last year I was eager to see this unusual performance. I’ve been a fan of a lot of Patton’s recent outfits, however, the more avant-garde his music has become, the less coherent his singing has become. This is a shame considering the vocal range at his disposal, so to hear him within the constraints of Italian classics, backed by a 40 piece orchestra, choir and electronic sounds, was a real high-point.


Chrome Hoof by Sophie Parker

But sometimes its the acts you don’t know that blow you away and on Saturday that’s just what happened. When Chrome Hoof arrived on The Deer Park Stage at 2:45pm, I was immediately swept away by the singers consistently electrifying performance. Actually, scratch that, the entire bands consistently electrifying performance. They sounded like a bizarre breed of electro-funk and dressed with a retro sci-fi Parliament aesthetic. As the first act on The Deer Park Stage on Saturday I couldn’t understand why they weren’t higher up the billing. It certainly gave all the proceeding acts a lot to live up to (and made Lily Allen’s Sunday night performance all the more lackluster by contrast).


Abigail Brown birds by Sophie Parker

The workshops were something I had been really looking forward to, particularly Selvedge Magazine’s collaboration with Abigail Brown to produce the Make a Bird workshop. This was Selvedge’s first foray into festivals and I was interested to see if the magazine could extend its visual approach into the workshop format. Their endeavor certainly paid off and the tent was packed from open till close each day. The material for the birds was a colourful mish-mash of fabric and snippets supplied by well known fabric designers such as Cath Kidston and Sanderson. As an added bonus, the staff of Selvedge and the lovely Abigail Brown were lending a hand for the duration. The result was a beautiful flock of hand-made birds strung from ribbons on a nearby tree which flitted and spun in the breeze (how tempted I was to take one!). Selvedge proved they are a dab hand at creating events that are festival compatible and I look forward to seeing more of their engaging ideas soon.


Patrick Wolf by Sophie Parker

Another great visual performance came from Patrick Wolf. The first time I saw him was at Latitude ’07 from the very back of The Word arena. I knew I wanted to hear more and several albums later I saw him again in Shepherds Bush giving a farewell concert (do musicians in their 20′s really need to say farewell?) before locking himself up in Hackney to compose new material. A couple of years later and he’s back and high up the billing. His performance was just how I remembered it and both new and old material sounded tight. Something I have always enjoyed about Wolf’s performance is his energy and theatrical body language on stage and he didn’t disappoint. First song in and he was already sitting on the edge of the stage driving the nearby crowd wild. All that seemed missing was a good light show to enhance the mood, however as is the way with the open air stages, the light shows are pretty much reserved to the headliners.



I had made a conscious decision to avoid the film tents because I knew that if I sat to watch one then I’d sit and watch them all. However, when a matador approached me and gave me a flyer for Bunny and the Bull at the Dereliction Drive-In (21:30, open-air, sitting either on the floor or on old car seats) I felt I might as well check it out. I had already recently seen it once and it hadn’t really grabbed me. Not that it was a bad film, the sets were inventive, the actors were spot on, but it just didn’t work for me. However, when I heard that the band who recorded the soundtrack would be performing the entire score live, I felt it would be at least worth watching the first 10 minutes. On arrival it turned out to be a lot more than a live soundtrack, the entire film was interspersed with fun games based on sections of the film, including a crab (stick) eating contest with one of the lead actors: Simon Farnaby (that conker-headed bloke from the Charlie episode of The Mighty Boosh). I ended up staying for the majority, it was an amazing reworking of the film that, combined with cider, made all the film’s jokes ten times as funny.


Sunday was an early start for me. The arena was closed to all but press and off I headed at 8.30am for the set up of Spencer Tunick’s new photograph comprised entirely of nude festival goers painted luminous shades of yellow, blue, black, and red. The press were kept at a respectful distance (not that it made any difference thanks to telephoto lenses) and Tunick was positioned on a cherry-picker above his nude minions giving orders via a megaphone. The general feeling was weirdly positive, aided by Tunick’s friendly directions that kept his models in good spirits (considering he hadn’t had to pay anyone a modelling fee he was probably ecstatic!) Once the shots had been taken and the models disbanded it was surprising just how many did not put their clothes back on immediately, even coming up close to us in the press pit for a quick snap. Funnier still was the amount of people who didn’t wash off their body paint for the remainder of the festival, leading to some groups looking like background characters from The Simpsons. The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxed with good performances from both Magic Numbers and Newton Faulkner, who filled the stage with his charming personality and humour.

There are countless other little distractions that made up my festival experience and that’s the great thing about The Big Chill- each area is its own little world with its own brand of unique magic. Needless to say I had an amazing time and, providing the maximum occupancy doesn’t swell to epic proportions, I’d be happy to go again and again.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

One Response to “The Big Chill 2010: Review”

  1. Emily Williams says:

    awesome review! Dan I met you on the epic trip round the site to get to purple gate, and that rather blue lady in the photo happens to be me! Was lovely meeting you, I hope you had a super festival. Luckily the journey home didnt involve a cross country walk, I hope yours was pleasant.

    Take care

    Em

Leave a Reply