BIG CHILL

Country United Kingdom

Style Hard Rock

bigchill_press1The Sheffield, UK band Big Chill consisted of lead vocalist/bassist Roy McLeod, drummer Stuart ‘Stu’ Wright and guitarists Andy Bassett & Jon Grainger. The band originated when Adams’ Grammar School, in Shropshire, friends Wright and Bassett formed Trailblazer in 1981. Trailblazer morphed into Warrior, which after several lineup changes and false starts would come to feature bassist McLeod. In 1984 Warrior would become Lynchpyn, but it soon became apparent to core members McLeod, Bassett and Wright that if they were going to succeed in the music business they needed to get to the bright lights of the big city.

Once the trio got settled in Sheffield they began looking over the local talent and found lead guitarist Jon Grainger and vocalist Mick Cantwell. The band, christened Cincinatti, found it was hard to get gigs in the city as well but eventually saved enough money to record a demo titled ‘Dark Side’. The Demo featured three songs, “Dancing Like A Cat”, “Answers” and “The Dark Side Of Your Smile”. However, soon after the demo was finished Cantwell left to join Baby Tuckoo.

McLeod would take over the frontman position and the band forged on playing the local clubs. The group decided that they needed a new name and Big Chill was born. They had a nice following so they kept the Cincinatti name when they’d play clubs, so they could keep money coming in. In 1990 they recorded the seven song demo ‘Run To Survive’ at Rich Bitch Studio in Birmingham. They band sold the demo tape at their shows and sold over 800 copies. They also made videos for ‘Run To Survive’ and ‘Skin Deep’, which were done by Jon Wilford, who made the Def Leppard TV documentary ‘Rock Of Ages’.

It was also around this time that Big Chill won the Metal Hammer Magazine/Music For Nations contest. The prizes included free recording time, radio airplay, a track on Metal Hammer’s House Of Hammer cassette series, an appearance on the Metal Hammer Video Magazine and radio/TV promotion by Solid Promotion (whose clients include Steve Vai and Judas Priest). Bands from all over the country flocked to enter the contest which was run in conjunction with 14 top hard rock radio stations, to find a great new British band. Each station decided on three bands chosen from the demo tapes they received, and forwarded these for a final decision by a panel of judges.

The grand prize was the record deal with Music For Nations, together with three days free recording time in a residential studio and airplay on all the participating radio rock shows. After hearing what the band had done in the studio Music For Nations decided to let the band record a full album.  In 1992 Music For Nations released the bands debut ‘Halfway To Heaven’, but by that time the climate of the music world had changed. In late 1992 the band members were having a conversation when Bassett said, in a very matter of fact way, that they weren’t going to make it. As sad as it was, they all knew it to be true and Big Chill played their last show in December. At the request of a friend, for his wedding, the band reunited for one last gig in 1996 and Big Chill were no more. Wright quit the music business completely while the others continued on in various bands.

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– Run To Survive [1990] EP
– Halfway To Heaven [1992]

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