Latitude Festival 2011 – Saturday Highlights

After a glorious sunny Friday it was depressing to wake up on the Saturday morning to a miserable grey sky and heavy rain. I spent much of the morning standing in the rain outside the Comedy tent watching a live version of the TV quiz show, Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Stand-up comedian David O’ Doherty was the quizmaster with captains Phil Jupitus & Noel Fielding with special guests including Paloma Faith.

On the music front, Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Possee were first up for me. The Word Arena was full with forty & fifty year-olds with a few teenagers scattered amongst the crowd, some with white stripes across their faces. Adam Ant rose to the occasion enjoying the admiration but appearing to be fully aware the whole thing was not to be taken too seriously. The set was chosen purposely for a festival crowd, playing the more commercial Adam & The Ants songs such as Ant Music, Dog Eat Dog, Kings Of The Wild Frontier, Stand & Deliver and Prince Charming plus solo hits Good Two Shoes and Viva La Rock. The set finished with a great rock version of (You’re So) Physical – which was nice!

This is what festivals are all about. Adam Ant gave a great performance merging pop music with cabaret. Looking around I could see others reliving their youth, merrily dancing and unashamedly singing along to every sing, though my 13 year old son did say Adam Ant looked like someone out of Psychoville!

The American indie pop duo, They Might Be Giants continued the retrospective fun on the main stage even though the pouring rain had them playing to a smaller crowd than I had anticipated. Their quirky lyrics and fun had people dancing in the rain with umbrellas and wellies as they played songs like ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’.

I managed to catch a bit of Brighton’s indie rockers British Sea Power set in the Word Arena, the highlight being a rendition of their anthemic live favourite Waving Flags as a dedicated large group of teenagers held aloft and waved branches in the absence of flags. Great fun that brought a smile to my face and probably frowns on the faces of the ‘greener’ middle-aged festival-goers.

Dionne Bromfield is just 15 years old and has the pressure of being touted as the next Amy Winehouse, as well as being her God Daughter and signed to Amy’s own label. Fortunately, she has a great soul singing voice and as such has a great future ahead of her, as long as she can learn from others’ mistakes. Bromfield played on Saturday afternoon in the pouring rain to a packed marquee in the woods on the Sunrise Stage. Her set included a great cover version of Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’, her hit single ‘Foolish Little Girl’ and songs from her forthcoming album, ‘Good For The Soul’.

From the teenage soulful voice of Dionne Bromfield to the New York angst of Cerebral Ballzy. Loud, fast, noisy and aggressive. Cerebral Ballzy play punk thrash songs about skateboarding, underage drinking, eating pizzas and being sick. The large moshpit of fans knowing what to expect directly in front of the Lake Stage, were joined by older on-lookers bedazzled by what they were seeing and hearing. The vocalist strutted about the stage with his jeans hanging just above his kness screaming undecipherable lyrics while the bass player played throbbing bass lines atop the speaker stack. The last song was dedicated to those in the moshpit. The singer called them to the front of the stage and asked them to turn around when the music started attack the rest of the audience in a call to arms: “Let’s thrash for the cause!” A great set and a real delight to see at Latitude.

Food, drink and a break from the music had my Saturday evening entertainment kicking off with Echo & The Bunnymen playing their first two albums in their entirety. ‘ Crocodiles‘ and ‘Heaven Up Here‘ were followed by a few hits singes including Killing Moon, The Cutter and Nothing Ever Lasts Forever. Ian McCulloch didn’t look much different, apart from a few extra chins, with his back-combed hair, dark glasses, coat and familiar stance wrapping his hands around the microphone and stand with a cigarette constantly burning from between his fingers.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCGvtAZCdis

The Word Arena was packed but unlike with Adam Ant, it was noticeable how many teenagers were not only enjoying the Bunnymen but were singing along to the songs. For them it was a chance to see one of the coolest bands of the post-punk / new wave era of the late 1970’s – early 1980’s but for others, including myself, it was another trip down memory lane to reminisce about what it was like seeing Echo & the Bunnymen almost 30 years ago!

The two headline acts for Saturday night at Latitude was Paolo Nutini on the Obelisk Stage and Foals in the Word Arena. Foals attracted a large audience which once again was too large for the marquee. They are difficult to categorise. Songs from the first album, ‘Antidotes‘, are generally funkier, driven by heavy-throbbing basslines and jagged guitars reminiscent of post-punk funk from the likes of Shriekback and A Certain Ratio; where the second album, ‘Total Life Forever‘, is a darker more intense sound which has been described as post-Prog Rock and Math Rock – whatever that is!

Foals played a great set worthy of the headline slot.

Once again, there were performances I wish I had seen but for one reason or another I missed Ed Sheeran, Seasick Steve, The Walkmen, Villagers, Trophy Wife and Dels.

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Latitude Festival 2011 – Friday Highlights

The National @ Latitude Festival 2011
The National @ Latitude Festival 2011

This was my third Latitude Festival and once again it was an amazing weekend full of friendly people, interesting art, hilarious comedy, poetry and literature, film and theatre, but most of all some great performances from music artists both old and new.

Latitude is somewhere between a big and small festival, depending what you are comparing it too.  But unlike other festivals it is more than just a music festival with comedy, poetry, literature, film and theatre tents and art scattered throughout the site.  It is also a very family friendly festival and the food is great.

Friday began with a trip to the Word Arena to listen to a wonderful set by Avi Buffalo who sing great American falsetto easy listening pop songs, perfect for a sunny festival afternoon.  The songs leave plenty of room for lead vocalist & guitarist Sheridan Riley to shine as Avi Buffalo delivered a well-received folk-rooted set from their 2010 self-titled debut album on the Sub-Pop label.

Another good thing with Latitude is how compact the whole site is, allowing for time to get from the Word Arena to the main Obelisk Stage to see the legendary Edwyn Collins in fine form as he began singing ‘Losing Control’ the title track from his 2010 critically-acclaimed album; the first written and recorded since his illness.  Edwyn played songs from his solo albums including ‘Shilly Shally’, ‘Losing Control’ and his biggest commercial hit ‘A Girl Like You’ but also found time for crowd pleasing Orange Juice songs ‘Rip It Up’, ‘What Presence’ and the first song he ever wrote, ‘Falling & Laughing’.

Edwyn showed his emotion as he introduced and sang a song with his son, William who along with his wife Grace, has helped him return to recording and performing over the past few years.

To complete a wonderful afternoon of music it was straight back to the Word Arena to see a promising new group from London called Chapel Club.  I was as surprised as the band to see such a large enthusiastic crowd waiting, full of anticipation. Fortunately for all concerned, they delivered a powerful set that will help to cement the critical acclaim they have began to receive.

With their dark and moody Joy Division-esque intensity they merge wailing guitars reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, and at times The Horrors. Chapel Club grew into their surroundings as they sprinkled a few new songs amongst crowd favourites from their 2011 debut album, Palace. A real highlight of the whole weekend was ‘being there’ watching Chapel Club as they performed a great rendition of ‘All The Eastern Girls’.

As with all good festivals, however well I plan my timetable I end up missing performances along the way. Not enough time and difficult decisions not to watch Linton Kwesi Johnson, Glasser, Deerhunter and Grouplove were unavoidable and made all the worse when a colleague told me how awesome Deerhunter had been.

But fortunately I did see Dan Snaith aka Caribou, and what a great performance it was.  Live, Caribou consists of Dan Snaith on keyboards, samples and various percussion instruments, with guitar, bass and drums giving his electronica knob-twiddling a more substantial live sound full of energy, beats and squelches.  Again I was surprised at the age and size of the crowd, most of whom were very familiar with his repertoire.

The Word Arena sound was amazing throughout the weekend and the throbbing bass certainly added to the excitement throughout the marquee, especially as Caribou’s set ended with an acid squelchy long version of ‘Sun’.  That was a moment I will never forget as my son & I pogoed with our hands in the air, dancing with big Cheshire cat grins.

There’s something magical about Latitude.  Where else would I walk across a bridge past brightly coloured sheep into the woods to watch a band play psychedelic pop?

Australia’s hotly tipped Cloud Control played a tight set of quirky psychedelic-fused pop songs with lush harmonies from their 2011 UK debut album ‘Bliss release’ at the Sunrise Arena deep in the woods to round off a perfect sunny summer festival afternoon.

Into the evening as Paloma Faith overlapped with The Vaccines.  No prizes as to where the kids were hanging!

The Vaccines rise has been phenomenal.  Only 12 months ago they formed a band and this summer they are playing to packed audiences who know every word to every song at festivals across Europe.  As they took to the stage the cheers were deafening.  Bright spotlights and a feedbacking guitar emanated from the stage. One look at each other and off we go…just like The Ramones!

The Vaccines blend 1950’s rock n roll, 1960’s garage and surf rock and 1970’s punk rock with C86 indie pop music to create something that is full of life and energy, if not at all original or unique.  Perfect three minute pop songs that strike a chord or three, The Vaccines drew a very large crowd and gave an energetic performance that was appreciated by people of all ages.

Last year, The National, who in my opinion are one of the best groups on the planet, headlined The Word Arena. Tonight, playing Latitude for a third time, they headlined the Obelisk Stage with a 90 minute set with songs taken from their previous five albums and EP’s.

In all honesty I was surprised when they were announced as headliners and wondered if the intensity and power of their music and live performance would be lost somewhat on the open-aired main stage. But alas my fears were unfounded as The National played a mesmerising, awesome set starting with a somewhat subdued ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ and ending with great version of a very early track, ‘Son’ with an intro that, ,after an earlier mention of Joy Division, had me thinking they were going to burst into a cover version of ‘Ceremony’.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=237IsUOJAc4

The groups may have ended at 11pm but the music wasn’t about to stop.  Music blasted out across the site from various locations.  Among them were two renowned London club DJ collectives from Pump Up The Volume and Horsemeat Disco who shared the honours until 3am in the Comedy Arena while Annie Nightingale played a set from the past 10 years in the woods.

I’m assuming I had caught too much sun, as I can’t remember what time I eventually found my tent and drifted off to sleep for what seemed at least 10 minutes!

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Latitude Festival 2011

Latitude Festival 2011 headliners are The National, Paolo Nutini, Suede, Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Eels
Latitude Festival photo: Paul Wesley Griggs

Latitude Festival is almost upon us and still more acts have been added to the best small UK festival.

The National, Paolo Nutini and Suede headline the Obelisk Stage while Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Eels headline The Word Arena.  But there’s plenty of old and new music across all the stages over the course of the three days.

For the middle-aged among us wishing to reminisce there are some real treats in OMD, The Waterboys, Edwyn Collins, They Might Be Giants, Adam Ant and Echo & The Bunnymen performing songs from their first two albums, Crocodiles & Heaven Up Here.

I am looking forward to seeing the electronica genius of Gold Panda and Caribou, the indie rock of Glasvegas, Foals and the indie pop of  The Vaccines; not to forget the extremely talented young singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.  I have also recently been introduced to the dark and brooding sounds of the upcoming and highly rated Chapel Club.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7NjFG_LBUs

I am also really looking forward to witnessing a live performance from the wonderfully titled Cerebral Ballsy.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQRMr7KxZzo&feature=related

Below, I have selected a few lesser known artists that have caught my ear recently and so will hopefully get a chance to see whilst swigging on a cider and basking in the glorious English sun.

Still Corners
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDnyy0Sgsh0

Glasser
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP2YydjRRUk

Fixers
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lMUXewRsvY&feature=relmfu

Avi Buffalo
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evu_MqAZpC0

Latiude Festival is on from Thursday 14th  to Sunday 17th July in the sumptuous surrounds of the Suffolk countryside.

Since its inception in 2006, Latitude has changed the face of festivals forever, with a passion only matched by its ambition. Encompassing all aspects of the art and music worlds Latitude is the only place that brings together the best in music, literature, comedy, poetry, film, theatre, cabaret, art, dance, opera and fashion for one spectacular weekend. With an unrivalled line-up taking shape, Latitude 2011 will be another exhilarating, scintillating and inspirational festival of fun.

Latitude Festival 2011 Ticket Information

Tickets are currently still available

Weekend tickets £170.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £70.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Child ticket (5-12 years) £5.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Campervan Permit £30.00
Weekend tickets prices include car parking and camping
Day tickets include car parking only

Credit Card line: 0871 231 0821

For more information visit the Latitude Festival website.

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Fight For Your Right Revisited – a film by Adam Yauch

Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) AKA The Beastie Boys are played by the likes of Seth Rogan, Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell and Jack Black in the promo video for their current single, ‘Make Some Noise‘.

The video is an edited version of a 30 minute short film wiritten and directed by Adam Yauch called ‘Fight For Your Right Revisited’.  The film includes cameo appearances from a wealth of Hollywood stars including Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, Mary Steenburgen, Chloe Sevigny, Ann Archer and the band themselves.

The film pays homage to The Beastie Boys first hit single, ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)

The film includes a brilliant dance off between the ‘real’ Beastie Boys from the present and the ‘real’ Beastie Boys of the future in a very amusing ‘dance off’ with some hilarious results.

The Beastie BoysFight For Your Right Revisited film will be screened in the Film & Music Arena at Latitude Festival 2011.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evA-R9OS-Vo

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Latitude Festival 2011 – it’s more than just a music festival

Latitude Festival 2011 - it's more than just a music festival
Latitude Festival

On 14th – 17th July in the sumptuous surrounds of the Suffolk countryside, the welcoming daisy-adorned gates will open for the 6th edition of the magical and fantastical Latitude Festival.

Since its inception in 2006, Latitude has changed the face of festivals forever, with a passion only matched by its ambition. Encompassing all aspects of the art and music worlds Latitude is the only place that brings together the best in music, literature, comedy, poetry, film, theatre, cabaret, art, dance, opera and fashion for one spectacular weekend. With an unrivalled line-up taking shape, Latitude 2011 will be another exhilarating, scintillating and inspirational festival of fun.

With more acts still to be announced here are just a few of the music artists appearing at Latitude Festival 2011, so far…

THE NATIONAL, PALOMA FAITH, BRIGHT EYES, KT TUNSTALL, ISOBEL CAMPBELL & MARK LANEGAN, PAOLO NUTINI, MY MORNING JACKET, THE CRIBS, SEASICK STEVE, RUMER, THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, SUEDE, HURTS, GLASVEGAS, THE WATERBOYS, BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB, THE VACCINES, LYLE LOVETT & HIS ACOUSTIC GROUP, CARIBOU, FOALS, ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, I AM KLOOT, BELLOWHEAD, BRITISH SEA POWER, EELS, LYKKE LI, OMD, EVERYTHING EVERYTHING & CARL BARAT.

For a full line-up visit the Latitude Festival website.

As well as the four main music stages (Obelisk Arena, The Word Arena, Sunrise Arena & The Lake Arena Stage) there is plenty of other things to see and do.

The Waterfront Stage

Floating on the surface of Latitude’s central lake is the stunning Waterfront Stage. A beautiful platform on which audiences can enjoy visual displays of delightful dance, one-off musical performances and incredible work by some of the countries most highly regarded choreographers, with Latitude’s luscious landscape providing the perfect backdrop.

Film & Music Arena

One of the most diverse and cutting edge elements to Latitude’s repertoire, the Film & Music Arena offers audiences mesmerising displays, performances and viewings of fantastic cinema and music. Sonically and visually rich, the worlds of alternative film and music collide with a full programme of award winning screenings, documentaries, shorts, Q&A discussions and musical treats.

Literary Arena

Latitude celebrates the written word in all its glorious facets with its very own renowned library of literary excellence. Bringing together today’s most illustrious wordsmiths; the Literary Arena is a hub of storytelling, book discussions, lively debates and in-depth interviews. Top authors and special guests bring books to life and take audiences on fun-filled journeys to the far reaches of their imaginations.

If impassioned and healthy discord gets your juices flowing then find a spot in the Literary Arena for the renowned and revered Instigate Debate. A rock ‘n’ roll version of Question Time, Instigate Debate brings the hottest topics of the nation to the fore and allows you, the audience, to participate, pressurise, pontificate, ponder and pose questions to a specially selected panel. This year the subject title is ‘The State Of The Nation: Cuts, Wars and Weddings’. From Fortnum and Masons and Pippa Middleton’s dress to sleeping with the enemy in Westminster and savage cuts; to crisis in Libya and the Arab Spring, ID present the ultimate in high-brow Punch and Judy. In what will be an incendiary and lively exchange of ideas, opinions, and thoughts the panel is: Rt Hon David Davis MP (Conservative Party), Danni (UK Uncut spokesperson), Liz Jones (The Daily Mail), Jon Cruddas MP (Labour Party, and anti-BNP campaigner), Peter Tatchell (Human Rights campaigner), Gail Porter (The Wright Stuff, broadcaster and former model) and Don Foster MP (Liberal Democrats spokesman for Culture, Media and Sport)

Comedy Arena

Over the past five years, Latitude’s Comedy Arena has become a comedy festival in its own right. Bursting at the seams with the best comic talent in the land, crowds gather all weekend to witness a variety of hilarious turns from an unrivalled bill. With Alan Carr, Omid Djalili, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Jason Byrne to name just a few confirmed already – it is another stellar line-up of the very best comics on the circuit.

DJ’s

As the sun goes down and the moon lights the night sky, the Comedy Arena transforms into the best club around. Featuring amazing DJs playing top tunes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night – the party never stops at Latitude Festival.

In what will prove to be an impressive collision of two dance super powers, Latitude Festival will be bringing you Horse Meat Disco Vs Pump Up The Volume:

The institution that is Horse Meat Disco is dedicated to and appreciates all forms of Disco music. Horse Meat’s appearances at boutique festivals and clubs has been turning swathes of unexpecting clubbers into string-laden disco stompers and is at the forefront of the so-called disco revival. The club’s ethos has always been to provide a space for everyone, after all the best parties have always been the ones where the crowd comes from all walks of life. Attendance at any Horse Meat event has become a badge of honour with which to be worn with pride so make sure you take to the floor to claim your Latitude one!

Stiffen up that buzz cut, polish your high-tops and get your Global Hypercolour on: One of London’s best parties, Pump Up The Volume, will take you on a journey all things ’90s. Guaranteed to be an excellent way to get your Festival started, the PUTV crew move from their always-rammed base at Dalston’s Visions to Latitude for an old skool soundclash with Horsemeat Disco, transporting you back to the 1990s Rave in the process with an old school hip-hop, house and pop shakedown.

The ultimate feel good pop party extravaganza Guilty Pleasures shall be gracing Latitude festival 2011. After a busy day of basking in the sun on Latitude green and luscious grounds, what better way to shake off those inhibitions than dancing the hours away to the music you’ve never been so proud to admit you love. Golden oldies, forgotten classics, power ballads and pure pop gold are all lovingly compiled for your pleasure. Dancers in animal outfits, cheerleaders, mascots and camp dance troupes all await you in what promises to be one of the highlights of your festival diary.

Latitude welcomes Blow Up, one of Britain’s longest running club nights, to close Sunday night in the Comedy Arena. Cited as the birthplace of the Britpop scene and influencing the style and sound of a generation, Blow Up’s playlist though is far from being defined by the genre it helped kick-start back in 1993. Expect to hear British Pop, Glam and New-Wave colliding with 60s Soundtracks & Electronica, Library Music, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Indie-Pop, 60’s Soul, Beat, Garage, Funk, Ska & more. Blow Up founder Paul Tunkin has DJed for Blur (Modern Life Is Rubbish/Parklife), Pulp and Suede whilst taking the Blow Up club on tour in the UK, Europe, USA, Russia and Japan. Paul will be joined on the decks by Blow Up’s co-resident DJ Mr. Ian Jackson.

Poetry Arena

A fantasyland of innocent pleasures and unbridled fun lies deep within the festival’s magical woods. A quirky corner of the Latitude site where anything goes. Side shows, games, interactive art, dance troupes, workshops and cutting-edge theatre will keep you entertained all weekend long. Release your inner child and come play around in Pandora’s Playground.

Faraway Forest

Latitude’s fairytale Faraway Forest is a secret haven of dark desires, mysterious mayhem and salacious sin-filled pleasure. This clearing under the woodland canopy will host the decadent Winter’s Ball full of all of the delights of Christmas, hands on workshops and mesmerising theatre and musical performances. Come along and lose yourself in the depths of The Faraway Forest.

Cabaret Arena

A veritable feast of vaudeville fun and mischief, Latitude’s Cabaret Arena is a carnival of top comedy and theatre. With a heady mix of sketch shows, freak, burlesque and drag acts alongside puppetry, illusionists and hearty sing-alongs, the Cabaret Arena encourages you to ditch your woes at the door and be seduced by the frivolities inside for a not-so-innocent ol’fashioned knees up.

Pandora’s Playground

A fantasyland of innocent pleasures and unbridled fun lies deep within the festival’s magical woods. A quirky corner of the Latitude site, here, anything goes. Side shows, games, interactive art, dance troupes, workshops and cutting edge theatre will keep you entertained all weekend long. Release your inner child and come play around at Latitude’s Pandora’s Playground.

Literary Salon

A hub of life-enhancing interactive workshops, discussions, wide-ranging debates and mind expanding sessions, the Literary Salon is the noisy little sister of the Literary Arena that encourages you to get involved. Discover and learn new skills, air opinions and explore your innermost feelings in this progressive school of thought.

Latitude Festival 2011 Ticket Information

Tickets are currently still available

Weekend tickets £170.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £70.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Child ticket (5-12 years) £5.00 including VAT, subject to booking fee
Campervan Permit £30.00
Weekend tickets prices include car parking and camping
Day tickets include car parking only

Credit Card line: 0871 231 0821

For more information visit the Latitude Festival website.

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