Live Music + Gig Reviews

Latitude 2011 Part 3 @ Henham Park, Southwold

17 July 2011

On the final day at Latitude Festival, The Leisure Society were the first band to play in The Word Arena, and they were very good. One of the best live folk bands around, they have an endearing enthusiasm and eagerness about them. Most of their material came from their slightly weaker second album Into The Murky Water, but in a live context the songs worked remarkably well. All in, an enjoyable early afternoon experience that had the whole crowd begging for more.

The Comedy Tent had become packed in anticipation for the appearance of Dylan Moran, so it was required that anybody wanting to see him had to turn up about an hour early just to get in. To ease the waiting, the thoroughly odd looking Tom Wigglesworth entertained the assembled crowd. He was never really exceptional, but a good enough comedian to be passable. Finally Dylan Moran arrived on stage. His mastery of comedy was demonstrated, as he shambolically swayed around the stage, but was always in control of a well rehearsed set that was at times very funny. It wasn’t the best material he’s ever done, and the pretend drunk routine does wear a bit thin, but it was still a very strong performance. Male-man Adam Buxton provided a very different experience, mostly showing his YouTube videos then reading the comments in a humourous manner.

Finally back to the music. Everything Everything put on a great performance at the Word Arena. Initially, their sound was awful, with the drums and bass far too loud, drowning out the other elements of their music, but they grew into their performance. Fellow Mercury nominee Ghostpoet was one of the strongest acts of the day, putting on a spellbinding performance that people were very happy to stand in the rain for. One of the most original and innovative acts performing at Latitude, he showed exactly why he’s become so respected. OMD played a set entirely consisting of singles. Lykke Li, an excellent front woman, put on an elaborately exquisite show. Her voice was particularly strong, and the music was played to perfection.

Dry The River have received much hype for their indie-rock infused folk, and this was justified with their performance on the Lake Stage. They occasionally were a bit rough, making the odd mistake, but their energy and sheer quality of song carried them through. However their quieter bits worked less well, as they were simply drowned out by a booming Lykke Li. Just a bit later were Gold Panda over at the Sunrise Arena, who had heads bobbing and the entire tent dancing. Electronic artists can be boring to watch, but he had enough quality to keep it interesting. Crystal Fighters certainly knew how to get a crowd going; with their insane dance music they put on a good show. It wasn’t really about the music, but instead about the atmosphere and excitement they created.

James Blake‘s set wasn’t especially well attended. However, he put on a great show, not only playing tracks from his excellent debut album, but also playing through the entirety of CMYK. Blake’s was a spellbinding performance, and a great way to end what had been a better than expected Latitude Festival.

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