I think I enjoy camping, and camping it up as well, obviously! The lack of a shower over this whole weekend was not something I looked forward to, but one lives with it and let’s face it, it is very much a first world problem. After another delightful breakfast with the gang we set off to the main site where I started the day with a delicious Dirty Chai. If you haven’t read my previous posts I should point out that this is nothing perverted, it is simply a Chai Latte with on or two shots of Espresso added to it. Many of us kicked the day off in the Literature tent for an overview of ‘The Life Project’ by Helen Pearson. It is about a study that began in 1946 that included all the babies born in a particular week in March and staying in touch with them to understand their development throughout the years. The exercise was repeated every twelve years with two notable exceptions; 1982 and 2016. The reasons for those gaps in the study seem largely to be the Thatcher government and current austerity measures respectively. Nonetheless this remains the biggest study of its kind ever.
After that I thought I needed a musical interlude so I wandered off to the Sunshine Arena for Pumarosa. They delivered a very festival friendly summer sound. A kind of dreamy hypno-trance. Is that a new combo genre? I really don’t know. But if you want a reference point I found them musically reminiscent of the Beloved. Pumarosa’s lead vocalist is a supremely talented singer and a musical whirling dervish to boot. I look forward to seeing this band again some time. Being British the next thing I did was very stereotypical. I saw a queue near the Alcove stage and joined it thinking I was lining up to go into the Alcove. However I was wrong I was one of the lucky folk to visit the DIY Den for a brilliant acoustic set from the singer and mainstay of Frightened Rabbit. A really intimate set, I loved it and I think I might have become a Frightened Rabbit fan as a result.
I popped into the Comedy tent next where I caught a proper laugh out loud Aussie comedienne, Felicity Ward. But it was time for more music after that so I dashed across to the BBC 6 Music stage where I was hoping to see Ratboy, however the programme timings were wrong so I missed him. I did see the DMAs though who were bloody good. They offer a sunny indie pop sound with some great earworms in their sing along choruses. Back to the Sunrise Arena which I do believe is my favourite stage. Here I saw The Very Best. Now if you call your band The Very Best you either have to be very confident in your abilities or stupidly arrogant. This lot are most definitely not stupidly arrogant. Are they as good as their name suggests? Definitely and possibly even a bit better. They are made up of Swedish, British and Malawian musicians and as a result they take the best of Swedish Pop, the best of African music and they mix it up with an inherent ability to party. They handled a brief loss of sound immensely well with a quick switch to acoustic delivery. I loved their song “We Okay” which in my opinion deserves to become a festival anthem.
I made my first visit to the BBC Introducing stage after that to catch an excellent set from Vincent Burke a highly recommend friend of Barbara (one of our festival gang). He even got a decent round of applause for his sound check. I loved his songs and he has a great voice. He seemed a little nervous but clearly won the crowd over. I doubt that anyone walked away from his set disappointed, I certainly didn’t. His songs are terrific. “He Paid To Have Himself Murdered”is a truly excellent and quirky story song. He also has a truly moving protest song in “Remembrance Day”. It feels like Vincent comes from a long line of great British singer songwriters from Cat Stevens, through Clifford T Ward, Billy Bragg and many more. Next it was a must see for me in the Film and Music tent. This is one that I had really been looking forward to. Cassette Boy vs. DJ Rubbish, a comedy disco that was clever, topical, political, entertaining and truly bloody hilarious. I danced solidly for more than an hour. Can Latitude ever top this? I doubt it. All together now “all the dinner ladies, all the dinner ladies”.
Rob Auton’s Sleep Show was a highly rated event in the Poetry tent. It certainly succeeded in sending me to sleep. Th first few minutes were okay, but after that it was like watching paint dry. Thankfully there was still the Cabaret stage to come. This time for a fabulous set from Johnny Woo – The Glory. This was alternative, comedy entertainment at its best, especially the death of Princess Diana sketch. So the further demise of Diana it was time for the sun to set on another excellent day at Latitude and back to our tent corral for cheese and wine. Yes this is a truly brilliant festival, albeit a tad middle class!