Latitude Festival, Southwold, Suffolk

4.00

All points of the musical compass

In its three-year lifespan, Latitude has gone from being a boutique event and a reasonably well-kept secret to a major date on the festival calendar. With its "more than just a music festival" motto – it also hosts theatre, comedy, poetry and film – it's the sort of thing you can take the kids (or their grandparents) to, and plenty of people do just that.

A day at Latitude is more civilised than at any other festival. You could begin with a spot of theatre from the RSC, the National, the Royal Court or the Bush Theatre, whose comi-tragic compilation of break-up scenes, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, was especially popular. Then it's on to see the novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi in conversation with Miranda Sawyer – both good value despite raging hangovers.

You could drop in on Bill Bailey's comedy set, or hear a verse or two of performance poetry, before even thinking of seeing any bands. And that's if you weren't lucky enough to secure a seat in the Radio 4 tent, the hottest ticket of the weekend.

Last year's festival benefited from perfect weather and a bill that had some urgency to it – Arcade Fire, for instance, were very much the band of the moment. This year, there were scattered showers and a trio of coffee-table headliners (Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol) who have only released one album between them in the last year.

That said, Sigur Ros's Saturday night set was the ornamental centrepiece of the weekend. Over the years, Iceland's finest have perfected their formula for a euphoric crescendo, and they demonstrated it over and over again in a glorious show, full of all the bells and whistles (and brass and strings and lights and snow machines) now available to them as a major international act.

On Friday, Franz Ferdinand's note-perfect performance lacked added value. What sounded like a greatest hits set was interrupted by a couple of promising-sounding new tracks, though they didn't exactly smack of the Afrobeat influences the band have hinted at in interviews. Instead, Franz were upstaged by the Malian duo Amadou and Mariam and their band, playing next door in the Uncut Arena. Their jumping African blues-rock made them the hit of the night.

Interpol, wrapping up the festival on Sunday, had the worst of the weather, but at least the rain matched their gloomy, doomy rock.

Elsewhere, London's youthful "anti-folk" scene was well represented, with Johnny Flynn, Emmy the Great and Jeremy Warmsley all playing the suitably pastoral Sunrise Arena (it's out in the woods) on consecutive days. Flynn and his band the Sussex Wit are the more accomplished musicians, but Emmy the Great's deceptively dark lyrical conceits – disguised by butter-wouldn't-melt melodies – make her an intriguing proposition.

Golden Silvers – the winners of this year's Glastonbury New Talent competition – played a sparsely populated Uncut Arena on Saturday afternoon. They do a good line in Elvis Costello-influenced indie-pop, with rhythm-heavy instrumentation (bass, drums, keyboards) brilliantly balanced by three-part vocal harmonies.

Seasick Steve's blend of blues and anecdote is fast becoming a festival staple, and with good reason. A bluesman with a compelling back-story, he can do remarkable things with a plank and a piece of string. Martha Wainwright's stunning Friday performance contained a spot of festival serendipity – duets with Fyfe Dangerfield from Guillemots and the eminent beatboxer Shlomo.

The hirsute Sébastien Tellier looks like his namesake and fellow Frenchman, Sébastien Chabal, but sounds like an electro Serge Gainsbourg. His sadly curtailed set must be the only one of the summer to contain a Eurovision Song Contest entry – and very popular it was, too. Joanna Newsom's Sunday lunchtime show was a superb tonic to anyone recovering from a night of excess, and the crowd clapped politely even when she mislaid her lyrics – no beer-chucking here.

While it may have been a bit chillier and more crowded than in previous years, Latitude's village-green vibe is still a treat. Here's hoping it stays that way.

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...