Latitude 2014, review: A huge success that shows festival is maturing nicely
Eclectic line-up catered to all age ranges as sun beat down in Southwold
Monday 21 July 2014
In its ninth year, the queen of arts festivals’ music line-up was more eclectic than ever.
Lily Allen suffered Twitter abuse from annoyed Two Door Cinema Club fans when she was announced as a late replacement for the Northern Irish group in Friday’s headline slot, though a delighted crowd that had baked in Friday’s heatwave was more than receptive to her charms.
Especially when she threw in a spirited take on the band’s 'Something Good Can Work'.
Allen’s debut set in the Suffolk countryside revealed stretch marks in her more banal love letters and clunky social satire, yet feisty tunes, enthusiastic chat and meta-pop references pleased a multi-generational audience.
Another sign of the festival catering for the tween generations was a surprise appearance earlier in the day from r’n’b/pop outfit Rudimental, delivering a confident, vivacious set. Elsewhere, the youth vote went to George Ezra, at least for gap-year anthem ‘Budapest’, and the inexplicable classical/r’n’b mess of Clean Bandit.
Two Door Cinema Club themselves were barely missed with a line-up dominated as ever by tasteful alt-rock, whether the glittery country-folk vibes of Swedish sisters First Aid Kit or Bombay Bicycle Club’s awkward mix of the fey and bombastic.
Among the heritage acts, hordes spilled out of the tent for Daryl Hall & John Oates, rebuilding the smooth blue-eyed soul of ‘I Can’t Go For That’ and ‘She’s Gone’ with blue-collar grit and barroom loucheness. Chrissie Hynde, meanwhile, showed her smoky vocals remained intact on former group The Pretenders’ taut new wave gems.
Damon Albarn’s mid-life musings were at first glance an odd choice to close Saturday night, though through sheer exuberance and punky vim his intimate, nostalgic reveries and state of the nation critiques mainly worked on a larger canvas.
As the lightning came closer, he closed with a pulsating encore highlighted by a fist-pumping take on Gorillaz’s ‘Clint Eastwood’ and Blur favourite ‘Tender’, joined by their guitarist Graham Coxon.
More esoteric fare arrived on the main stage in the form of neo-hippy vibes and headdresses from the exuberant Crystal Fighters, while the voodoo funk of masked Swedish tribe Goat cast a mesmerising spell.
Deep in the woods, Fat White Family spread more combative vibes with oikish intent. At a weekend where Sadler’s Wells is a huge draw, best of the few dance acts was the brilliant fusion of rave euphoria and pop thrills from two Scandinavian talents – Royksopp and Robyn. Imagine Kylie fronting Orbital.
For funkier rhythms, Kelis’s newfound organic sound made for a mid-afternoon hit, with infectious reboots of old hits, including the deathless ‘Milkshake’ and even rave anthem ‘Bounce’.
More leftfield, though just as infectious, was a collective tribute to crate-diggers’ delight, William Onyeabor. Vocal thrills came from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and Green Gartside in a white Stetson, though the real star turns were the Nigerian synth pioneer’s seventies Afrodisco grooves.
An unexpected delight at a festival that is already a huge success and maturing nicely.
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader