Monday, July 19, 2010

Latitude Day 2

Latitude personified would best be described as someone with a severe case of schizophrenia!  One minute you’re witnessing a ballet on the lake, the next, Crystal Castles are violently shredding your ear drums in an electric battlefield. Day two of the festival there were fewer frantic bolts between stages but that’s not to say fewer acts on my agenda.

With each arena overflowing with newly arrived punters, Saturday’s crowd at Latitude was extremely dense. Lines have been pretty reasonable aside from the popular food vendors around lunch and dinner time and the hectic wait to get into some theatrical performance in the woods. Most bars were quick and the toilet queue was non existent. But I’m going to attribute that to the fact these were hands down, the WORST festival toilets I had ever experienced.

Dodging an immense crowd that had formed to watch a ballet on the lake we managed to get back to the Sunrise arena for boy girl electro rock duo The Hundred in the Hands followed by fresh young talent Lauren Pritchard.

Playing to a crowd of mostly families, Pritchard’s set showcased a repertoire of songs had an emotive passion sung in confessional blues style. With quite the fairytale of how she made it big Pritchard’s story appealed just as much as her performance. Her staggering vocals tore though the captivated audience as she sung Wasted In Jackson, Painkillers and among others a bloody fantastic cover of Waterfalls by TLC. And yes she rapped. And yes it was wicked.

Back across the festival - five boisterous Scottish lads better known as Frightened Rabbit were beginning to rip apart the World Stage. Their drum heavy folk rock tunes and thick accents made for a killer set that enveloped their eager host of fans. Charismatic frontman Scott Hutchinson’s performance and on stage energy was intensely powerful and set was only emphasised by the raw talent of the remaining band members. Despite some technical issues that meant one set of keys were out, Frightened Rabbit put on a brilliantly potent set.

With a good 45 minutes before my next essential act I took this opportunity to grab a burger and some cleverly crafted comedy. 6000 strong, the arena was full, many of the punters having been there all day. I couldn’t tell you the name of the comedian I saw but I can tell you she played the black card extremely well. Fuck she was confronting but fuck she was good.

Heading to the Obelisk Arena English indie quintet The Maccabees proved why they remained on the scene amidst a sea of simular English acts that dropped over the last decade. Leaving the Maccabees via British folk five piece Noah and The Whale, who pulled an impossibly large crowd and filled the World arena with that warm, fuzzy vibe we then headed to Electro trio Teeth who were later shredding up Lake Stage. The lead singer doing all that she could in an attempt to rally the horde into a circle pit that merely resulted in a few people doing laps around the crowd rather than the legitimate shit storm she had hoped.

Back at the main stage Canadian experimental electronic duo Crystal Castles put on a chaotic and legitimately violent performance. Their low-f synth loops that usually feel as though they could tare you apart were not so apparent during last night’s performance. This type of act clearly being better suited to an enclosed rave cave style venue. Playing a frenzy of old and new material Crystal Castles set musically began to fall apart when vocalist Alice Glass launched herself into the audience, entertainment wise, this is where things really kicked off. Some guys in the audience inappropriately grabbed Alice as she was crowd surfing to which she responded with a barrage of punches and kicks to the head. Climbing back on stage to continue with the performance only moments later to decide she wanted more and headed back into the audience for the sole purpose of getting some more hits in. Brilliant

Catching the epic final track and deep vocals of English garage rockers The Horrors I later patiently awaited London’s uber cool indie darlings The XX. Last nights performance was ten times heavier than their album and a hundred times more captivating than Coachella. Being in this enclosed tent did them justice. Beautifully trading vocal leads the XX were utterly seductive. Their heavy breathing and swooning lyrics stood out amongst a sea of simple chords and heavy drum beats. Entirely living up to the hype the XX were simply stunning. 

Finally indie pop veterans Belle and Sebastian, who last night, played their first show in four years.  Aside from fans who have followed their fourteen year career there were a number of younger teens also as excited. The band’s charming stage presence, catchy melodies and sweet harmonies were the perfect finish to the night.

 Photos and Post by Bec Clark (Reebajeeb)

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