20 July 2009

Latitude

I spent the weekend in beautiful, idyllic fields at Henham Park, Suffolk at Latitude Festival. In its fourth year, and having missed the past three, this was my first and I loved it.  Fighting with the constant threat of downpours aside, it was a roaring success - great music and comedy line-ups, the 25,000-strong crowd very nice, pretty, spacious and green; relaxed and family-friendly.

Well, slightly too family-friendly for my liking - the site was awash with precocious 'Verity's prancing around in eco slogan-emblazoned T-Shirts, achingly hip mini cons or crocs.  A reviewer on the BBC website writes: 'according to one comedian, the three-day bonanza is "so middle class you have to put your kids on a waiting list to get into the play area".' But the whole place was their play area.

Slightly annoying children aside, musical highlights included an electrifying set from New Favourite Band Passion Pit in the middle of a wood: Hot Chip's cooler successors played dancy, electronic pop which got the whole packed crowd jumping, the frankly bizarre Irrepressibles who played their beautiful operatic, orchestral music in the middle of a lake complete with theatrical goth-baroque outfits, a strings section and lots of eerie minor notes at dusk. Goosebumpingly good.

Regina Spektor was reliably excellent playing a mix of old and new to her ever-growing dedicated following, Friday's headliners The Pet Shop Boys were amazing playing poppy hit after hit accompanied by awesome videos, angular set (pictured below) and dancing squares, like an 80s synth dream. Grace Jones was terrifyingly fierce prancing around the stage in a thong and countless extreme costume changes as Saturday night drew to a close, the Guilty Pleasures tent was perfect for dancing until your feet hurt and your dress covered in cider (just me?) and Phoenix and Saint Etienne last night were equally fun.


I didn't really see much in the poetry and theatre tents as I was too busy sitting on the grass, getting drunk. But it's always nice to have the option to do so. The diverse range of non-musical events going on was great - you could stumble up a hill to find puppet shows, art installations, multi-coloured sheep or life drawing classes.  There was loads on at clashing times, so I missed Lykke Li, Little Boots, Bat For Lashes, Nick Cave and most of Editors. Next year, I'm hoping for bigger names during the day, fewer children (please) and if it rains: the sky's in trouble... 
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1 comment

Mr Christopher said...

I AM SO THERE IN 2010.

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