Sunday, 27 July 2008

Latitude Review

Latitude 2008 Review

With the heat-wave that was Glastonbury the festival season had to balance itself out by having at least one rainy festival, enter Latitude!
Despite the constant shift between sunny and monsoon weather it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. This festival was never going to be as wild as Reading or as surreal as Glastonbury but compensates by providing gorgeous scenery, lots of camping space and a Pimm’s island bar!
In terms of music you are not stuck for choice with a range of acts going from the established superstars like Franz Ferdinand to the up and coming, underground bands like Thomas Tantrum.
In the category of the up and coming is Errors (think Battles from Glasgow) who put on an impressive performance with boundless energy, mostly from the guitarist and the very chatty drummer. Definitely a band to watch out for in the future.
Unfortunately, The Go! Team didn’t have the same luck having played the majority of their set with singer Ninja’s microphone so quiet you could barely hear her. However, the rest of the band sounded marvellous with yet more boundless energy. Despite these technical problems they remained one of the best live bands that weekend.
The Saturday sees the turn of the bearded French electro hipster Sebastian Tellier to impress the Latitude with his sleek, and sometimes sexy, branded of guitar based electro. Tellier doesn’t say much and when he does its masked with a thick French accent which just makes him sound even cooler as he stands behind the mic stand with sunglasses permanently fixed to his face. He plays through his half hour with ease playing a varied selection of tracks from both his albums. Unfortunately his set was cut due to him losing track of time which didn’t please the crowd and there were calls for an encore but sadly he never reappeared.
For all those who think prog-rock is dead obviously haven't seen The Mars Volta whose hour and a half set consisted of just one song. Omar Rodriguez bounds about the stage, afro flying while Cedric Bixler noodles away on his guitar. You could almost compare this performance to that of a jazz band where each player gets a turn to show their skills (and they are all very skilled musicians).
Swedish youngsters Those Dancing Days managed to wow the crowd with their fun filled mix of guitar and synth based indie pop which you can’t help but dance to. Despite looking a bit nervous when the started their set once they relaxed it became a fun packed performance, complete with brightly coloured balls being thrown at the crowd for us to play with.
Grinderman puts on the best performance of the weekend thrashing their way through their set with Nick Cave striding about the stage like a bespoke menace while long time companion Warren Ellis beats the snot out of a hi-hat and wails on his mini guitar. Their set included a new song, Dreams, which sounds like My Bloody Valentine on an acid trip. Ending their set with a vicious performance of ‘No Pussy Blues’ where you can’t help but join in with all the on stage air kicking.

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