My first festival since V in 2001, would I still enjoy my weekend...
The tents, the toilets & the rain were all similar memories, shame that the price of a pint has gone up !!!
I've chosen tracks by my favourite artists of each day, and decided to put a video of a live performance rather than a music video to try and give you a feel of my experience. Feel free to put on your wellies if you want the festival experience !!!
Billy Bragg - 'New England'
I loved this song when I was a kid, albeit the version released by the late Kirsty MacColl and it wasn't til a few years later I found out it was written by Billy Bragg. At that time I had read about him in Smash Hits and heard some of his stuff and wasn't impressed. Fast-forward almost 30 years and watching him own the main stage on the first day at Latitude 2014, I am happy to admit I was wrong. I missed his first song as I was buying a hat (the sun was beating down) but the rest of his set was really good and his banter with the audience was excellent. He finished with this song and when he said towards the end "this verse is for Kirsty" I had goosebumps all over and a lump in my throat. Thank you Mr Bragg for a great start to my weekend.
Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Evening/Morning'
Saturday evening was difficult, do I watch something new to me like 'Ghostpoet' or 'Solomon Grey' (as recommended by Shellhunter) or should I go see the BBC who I've been a fan of since day dot. I bit the bullet and went to the main stage and wasn't disappointed. The London boys (I still can't believe they're only in their early 20's) were amazing. Hit after hit followed and it was difficult to choose a standout. I went for this track which was on their debut album and was their first single. It's also the track that got me to like them in the first place.
Kate Tempest - 'Icarus'
I first heard of Kate Tempest when her band 'Sound Of Rum' supported Scroobius Pip a few year ago at a gig in Hoxton and was mightily impressed. On the Thursday evening, before the festival had officially started there was a showing of one of the plays she has written (which I didn't get a chance to see). She has also won awards for her poetry and is in the process of writing a novel, a talented and very busy lady. When I saw that she was performing in a small venue, the Film & Theatre Arena I made it my mission to watch her again which meant I wouldn't get to see 'Parquet Courts' or even 'Chrissie Hynde' who was on the main stage. I'm happy with my choice as I had a great position to watch from. The room soon filled and it got pretty damned hot in there and to make matters worse, I felt myself dancing along more than I can ever remember doing for many a long year. She played tracks from her recent album 'Everybody Down' backed by a small band and the whole room was alive. Ironically though the song I have chosen is an old song that she played. Due to the drum machine temporarily packing in, she performed 'Icarus' as a piece of spoken word. I remembered it from that gig a few years back and maybe it had been that long since she had last performed it as towards the end she forgot a line. She apologised to the crowd but we didn't mind it was still a brilliant recital. Moments later, drum machine fixed, she continued with her set and the crowd continued with their sweat.
Subscribe/listen to our Latitude Best of playlist, which is better value than a £4.80 pint of lager !!
London Scouser's Best Of Latitude 2014 - Billy Bragg, Bombay Bicycle Club, Kate Tempest
4/ 5Oleh London Scouser