So, it’s almost time for Latitude. The very family friendly, yetsomehow with it festival has managed to provide another line up to tempt just about everyone. As usual inaddition to the music, there is a wealth of other entertainmentavailable. With so many acts coveringeach and every base, Latitude could be considered a jack of all trades.
As well as comedy and cabaret arenas showcasing everybody from Omid Djalili to Duckie, there’s a wealth of theatre playing ontwo separate stages ‘The Theatre Arena’ and ‘The Outdoor Theatre’.Companies such as Lyric Theatre, NationalTheatre of Scotland and Gate Theatre areeach appearing on multiple days.Sadler’s Wells will be showcasing dance performances from theirat The Waterfront Stage. There are films, too, and Q&As withluminaries such as Ralph Fiennes and SteveCoogan being shown. There’s even a PoetryArena, a Literary Arena and more than enoughfacilities and activities for children and young teens.
But, what with us being a music site, we should zero in on what’s happening in that regard.
Starting us off on the first day at the Word Arena we have the lovelyAvi Buffalo, followed at the SunriseArena by the most enjoyable The Phantom Band. Next, it’s a matter of hoping the risingGrouplove and the indie godheadsDeerhunter don’t clash. Deerhunter would naturally becompletely unmissable, but Grouploveare an excellent young band that could be headed for bigger things. If you saw Deerhunter you might stick around for Polaris prize winners Caribou, before heading off to seethe Obelisk Stage trio of indie heart throb Bright Eyes,the colourful Paloma Faith and thepossible highlight of the entire festivalThe National, whose slow and steady rise to famehave earned them many fans, and a deserving headline spot. An alternative would be AdmiralFallow over at the Lake Stage, whose Frightened Rabbit-esquegrowly, slightly twee, indie-rock should go down a treat. Also playing at this time are The Horrors front man Faris Badwan’s side project, Cat’s Eyes, at the Sunrise Arena.
The comedy programme offers up Tom Deacon andJoe Wells, both great young comedians, andappearing earlier in the day. You’ll recognise the musical IsySuttie as Dobbie from Peep Show, and she’s an excellentcomedian in her own right. Influential, ‘comedians’ comedian’Simon Munnery is also worth seeing, while the day’s biggest draw is the edgy, clever and very funny RichardHerring. Black Books star and comedian extraordinaire DylanMoran hasn’t yet had his day confirmed, but it looks likehe’ll be headlining Friday night In addition,Richard Curtis is interviewing Steve Coogan and RobBrydon as well as the entire creative team from TheTrip.
Early risers on Saturday get to see fresh-faced singer songwriterEd Sheeran and the experienced, platinum sellingThey Might Be Giants, who are returning with new material. Dog isDead, The Head And The Heart and Irish shoe-gazing punksFight Like Apes provide assorted thrills over at the Sunrise Arena. Man of the moment James Blake is ‘alsoappearing’ at some point on the Lake Stage. He’d best not clashwith British SeaPower, a deservedly acclaimed live act. Echo And theBunnymen should provide an experienced set full of oldfavourites, while Word Arena headliners Foals have produced a set of very strong songs in second album TotalLife Forever. Middle of the road folk juggernaut PaoloNutini, who opened the first Latitude Festival, now finds himself headlining the Obelisk Stage.
Saturday is also an excellent day for comedy, with literarycomedianRobinInce and Tom Wigglesworth on early in theday. Later, the energetic Danny Bhoi and inbetweenersstar Jon Richardson are appearing, and OmidDjalili is headlining.However, Tim Key will be reciting his hilariouspoetry over at The Poetry Arena, and shouldn’t be missed by any fansof either comedy or poetry.
Early on Sunday Morning, try to get up for the lovely folk of theThe Leisure Society, and ex-Libertine Carl Bart at theWord Arena.The diverse, individual folk ofSea Of Bees at theLake Stage is also worth seeing if you want to catch a talented youngartist. Later in the day, there is the acclaimed country singerCaitlin Rose on theSunrise Arena, and folk mainstay Iron And Wine at theMain Stage. Gold Panda andEverything Everything are, as ever, worth catching; both play over at the Word Arena. Suede areheadlining at the Obelisk Stage, and should provide a good burst of nostalgia for the olderattendees of the festival, while the experimental, artyEels provide a strong alternative at the Word Arena.However, Dry TheRiver are gracing us with their Fleet Foxes-esque folkover on The Lake Stage, and if you hold no love for either of theother two headliners, then they should be worth a look.
If you feel like a break from music, there is, again, a wealth of goodcomedians playing. Bill Hicks-esque Steve Hughes isgreat fun, while later in the day we’ve got half of Adam and Joe inAdam Buxton, and Mock The Week regular MarkWatson. Alan Carr headlines the comedy bill, while multiple award winning Jo Shapcott closes the Poetry Arena.
There’s far more to see at Latitude, for it is not merely a music festival. There really is something for all thefamily, as well as holding enough enough relevance and entertainmentvalue to attract those who don’t have children to entertain. While Latitude may nothave attracted many of the biggest names in the industry, it maintains its unique identity on the festival circuit.