Evening all. Thanks to Maddie for getting this Latitude-shaped ball rolling. The regular reader will know that Latitude Festival is where some of the earliest conversations about this blog happened (years before APFOS ever came to be). It’s where I saw some truly seminal performances form the likes of The National, Andrew bird, Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros, Jarvis Cocker, Thom Yorke, Wild Beasts, Bat For Lashes and countless others. It’s where I first heard the lyric “A pocket full of seeds“, where I first stood and really cared about music, where I first really thought I had fallen in love and where I will hopefully spend the rest of my Summers.
So here are my overly sentimental picks from each stage at this years Latitude Festival. Completely spoiled for choice as always so I’ve gone for the acts which resonate with me personally and which resonate with my past experiences with Latitude. It’s worth noting that there is so much more to Latitude than music but I don’t think anyone reads this blog to hear about poetry, theatre, comedy, cabaret, film or the countless other arts on offer. But good for you if you do.
The Tallest Man On Earth – The Gardner
The main stage this year is actual paradise of music. Countless bands which have shaped music and have shaped me over the years, it would be impossible to pick one. Luckily I have to pick The Tallest Man On Earth because 3 years and 3 months ago I sat down with my brother and wrote the first blog post on this website we call home. I saw Kristian play a few times last year and it was this song which kind of blows my mind. It makes me sad about not writing on here very much any more but there are genuinely very few pieces of music that really shift me like this one. I mean look at that fucking sunset.
Catch The Tallest Man On Earth on the Obelisk Stage on Sunday.
Modest Mouse – Dramamine
Modest Mouse and, more specifically, Dramamine are incredibly important to me because of my friend Harpur. It’s also no lie to say that Latitude Festival is important to me because of my friend Harpur. He and I were both part of the original Latitude expedition and if I had to pick someone out who shaped my earliest and most important musical discoveries Harpur is right up there with my parents. This particular track was part of a compilation he gave me for my 16th birthday and has since become my secret weapon when making my own mixtapes for people. There’s something unbelievably amazing about the guitar lines which sound like they have been out in the sun just long enough to start curving into the cracks of the shattered drums. I’ve sung this song for hours on end behind the noise of a neighbours lawn mower as a penny earning 15 year old and I’ve yelled it into the windscreen of my car. I don’t see Harpur enough and I don’t listen to this track enough.
Catch Modest Mouse at BBC 6 Music Stage on Friday night.
Wave Machines – Punk Spirit
This is a track which I will never be able to separate from Latitude fest. One of my earliest festival memories is realizing I had lost all my crew of fellow 16 year olds and having trike out alone into the musical rainforest (to be fair it was raining insanely). The band I found was The Wave Machines who were closing their set with Punk Spirit. I hadn’t heard of the song or the band before and I completely lost it words couldn’t describe how pleased I was with my discovery. The song has stuck with me for years now and nothing could be better than the idea of seeing them play in 80 days and 19 hours in the same corner of the Suffolk countryside.
Catch The Wave Machines on the iArena on Saturday.
It feels terrible not writing about so many of the other acts on the bill (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foals, Alt-J, Daughter, CAT FUCKING POWER!, Junip, James Blake, Beach House, Laura Mvula, Jessie Ware, Efterklang, Fimber Bravo, Jagwar Ma, The 1975, Malcolm Middleton, Swim deep, Sweet Baboo, Rhye, Purity Ring, Temples, Dan Croll, Ben Francis Leftwich etc etc. You can even catch British Sea Power and Flume on the Film and Music Stage).
See you by the sheep.