Latitude Festival: Day by day preview
With summer more than halfway over, the longest day has been and gone, we’re well into festival season and that means a couple of weeks until Latitude Festival opens its gates. A strong line-up this year means some potential clashes; we’ll give you a guide through the acts you really should see on each day.
Friday 18th July
The Obelisk Arena has a proper smorgasbord of acts on its opening day, the highlights on that main stage though are surely going to be Editors. Finally given a supporting slot, they’re loved in Europe and kinda ignored in the UK, and are a band just waiting for the big breakthrough. Their accessible goth rock, in the vein of The National but more anthemic, is perfect for a slot high up on the bill. They’ve headlined 80,000 capacity festivals in Belgium so this could be their chance to win over the UK masses. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for US r’n’b chameleon Kelis who is playing in a late afternoon slot and ex-Beautiful South duo Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott whose recent album was enthusiastically received.
Moving away from the Obelisk Arena there are upstart rockers Temples whose live show has been blowing people away, and are this year’s Vaccines or Alt-J, i.e. they’re headlining every festival going. At the quieter end of the spectrum is the serene setting of the Lake Stage, where you can find quirky Welsh singer Cate Le Bon. The girl from Penboyr will play a set heavy with cuts from 2013’s Mug Museum, especially the offbeat ‘Are You With Me Now?’ Along the same lines is Danish minimalist Broken Twin with her quiet, mysterious mix of piano and light vocals.
The iArena have a mix of the electronic (East India Youth), indie (The Phantom Band), and folkers (Hiss Golden Mesenger).
Saturday 19th July
Yeah yeah Blur and Gorillaz blah blah, but Damon Albarn has been reluctant to pull out any of the super hits in his solo shows so far, which should make guessing the set list fun. And why should he when he can call on a debut as strong as Everyday Robots, and really though, who doesn’t want to hear the joyous ‘Mr Tembo’ closing the Saturday night? Ably supported by experience earlier in the day, the Obelsik Arena is home to indie survivors James, the reformed Afghan Whigs, and the legendary Booker T. Jones.
The BBC Radio 6 Music Stage is the home for Americana types in the afternoon with Conor Oberst, Damien Jurado, and Agnes Obel but it’s laid back soft rockers Dawes that start the day. Good melodies, some wicked guitar playing, and songs about air travel and girlfriends; challenging it’s not but you will enjoy.
Competing against the multi-faceted Albarn in the evening is a UK exclusive performance from Royksopp & Robyn with the Swedish dance poppers joining forces for a sure to be epic mash-up.
Sunday 20th July
The Black Keys meteoric rise from clubs, to O2 Academies, to arenas, and now on to headliners means the duo from Akron, Ohio have started to pick up some negative vibes. Despite their ability to grow, to write better tunes, to have hit records, all while keeping their sound doesn’t seem to have pleased everyone. Still, hot off a fantastic Glastonbury slot their closing show of the festival should be something special. And they’re backed by a great line-up on the Obelisk Arena with Australian shoegazers Tame Impala and girl band of the moment Haim. There’s also the most interesting sounding act of the weekend first thing on Sunday, Atomic Bomb! Who Is William Onyeabor?, a collective of musicians from other bands all brought together by David Byrne to celebrate William Onyeabor.
On the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage the must-see acts are at the start and the end of the day. Starting the day off with her self-styled organic moonshine roots is Memphis native Valerie June and ending it is Sweden’s foremost purveyor of moody dance, Lykke Li. Elsewhere the iArena has some intriguing acts, not least the atmospheric Julia Holter and famous-from-Dave Letterman Future Islands.