Back on the festival circuit and this time it’s Latitude. The festival is held in the delightful Henham Park near Southwold in Suffolk. A massive effort goes into the site from providing colourful sheep, to floating stages, to activities (and music and theatre and discos) and installations in the woods! The Compost toilets are ACE!
The festival covers music (4 main stages), Comedy, Film, Poetry, literary, Cabaret, Radio shows and a whole host of activities for big kids and little kids alike!
The four music stages take most of my time. Main Stage is the Obelisk Arena. Second stage is the Uncut tent, both of which are in easy reach of each other and with staggered times, you can check out most bands at your own pace.
The newer bands on the radar screens play the Sunrise arena (in the woods) which is a magnificent place and one place to check out bands that will be on you turntable during the up-coming 18 months.
Back to the main area which has the Lake Stage, which is a bit like the BBC introducing stage at Glasto, where bands just breaking the surface appear.
Whatever stage the bands appear on though, (apart from the headliners) the sets are short 25 -30 mins at the most so; each band has to make their impact quickly. There are no lazy performances at Latitude. From a punters perspective, the set can be too short …. But, you have to treat that as a ‘taster’ of each artist and check them out post festival and head for a venue gig if you want too another time.
Friday kicked off at the Sunrise Arena with Jonathan Jeremiah followed by Juliette Commagere but the first ‘prick up your ears’ moment of the day was Teitur on the Uncut stage. A gentle singer from the Faroe islands with an elegant guitar style and competent band. Excellent. The Mummers followed but really needed a longer set to impress, so they just get an OK.
Back to Sunrise for Goldheart Assembly (very Jayhawks like), Charlotte Hatherley (Rockin!) and The Phenomenal Handclap Band. Eight band members at Latitude – current day 70’s super warriors laying down the funk. Brilliant stuff on a sunny afternoon and good fun.
Fever Ray in a darken Uncut tent next. One of the most stunning albums so far this year the live show was equally impressive, with the band all out Bjorking, Bjork on the costume front and with lasers cutting through the gloom the songs took on an ethereal feel. A highlight of the day.
Straight across to the Obelisk Arena for the Pretenders (with James Walborne on guitar) and a total contrast from Fever Ray in space of a 3 minute walk to a forward position in front of the main stage.
Chrissie looks like a female version of (a younger) Keith Richards indeed.. what a Rock n Roll offspring they could produce!
Chrissie dominates and controls the stage, the sun is shining the banter is fun the songs are great and we all dance and sing to our hearts content!
Squeeze give us a 30 minute sing-a-long then it’s Regina Spektor and Bat for Lashes to round off the day. The former could have done with a smaller stage but was still entertaining with such catchy tunes. The Latter (in the Uncut tent) could have played a longer set but were excellent whilst on stage. The band with Charlotte Hatherley & Co are excellent!
A quick blast of the cheesy world of Guilty Pleasures then its back to the tent for cheese & biscuits and vino!
The Rock Club UK