Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Latitude Day3

Our final day at Hanhem Park and three days were still not enough to take in it all. Having kept putting things off so many sights and sounds were sadly missed. And I never did get around to trying those ostrich burgers, the line was always too long to stand or the music too good to miss.

Sunday at latitude kicked off with a (not so) surprise set from the one and only Tom Jones. Joined onstage by his son, the remainder of his band and three stunning back up singers. Jones put on a mannered performance and played mostly new material and even a Elvis Presley cover.

The Comedy Arena was once again packed out, this time for an extremely talented male comedian who made much of stereotypical impersonations and gave Australians a little beating. Melbourne not so much, Sydney siders more so but the Brisbane accent and articulation took the cake. Other references were made to our unusual standard of measurement – “the shit load”

Leaving during the interval Jamie Lidell was making waves at the World Stage. Surrounded by his own syths and the many musical apparatuses of his band, Lidell looked like an electronic nucleus. The UK born musician, now based in Berlin, played an extremely eclectic set that showcased both new material and classic old scool Lidell. Flirting with electronic, jazz, and his own soul pop this singer songwriter’s funky arrangements ensured the huddled mass were moving as one.

Shortly after the main stage was brought back to life with the swooning four-part harmonies of Mumford and Sons. The Young charismatic folk-revivalists played a forceful set. From spin chilling lead vocals to exhilarating choruses Mumford and Sons played the crowd favourites some fresh material which saw Marcus Mumford take his position behind the drum kit for their final number.  Several of the guys even hung around for side of stage for the next act - Brooklyn  based experimental avant-rockers, Dirty Projectors. 

Led by Dave Longstreth this well balanced six piece have a phenomenal collection of songs in their repertoire, yesterdays performance however was a not quite so spectacular. Their uniquely brilliant male/female harmonies are amazing to listen, musically their production was crisp and abilities flawless but entrainment wise something was lacking. Aside from a infatuated fan politely inviting the lead female vocalist back to his tent the only other highlight was Stillness is the Move desiccated to the bands keys player for her birthday. After their set finished it was the audiences turn, serenading her with a birthday song. 

(the fan!)

Over at the World Stage fellow Brooklyn art pop musicians Yeasayer were displaying their best avant-guard version of MGMT (with showmanship). Their tribal, world beat drumming and choral harmonies seemed to get lost in a psychedelic world of haze and reverb. Creating such ambitious tunes for such a young band, Odd Blood only being album number two, the group were well received. Each song seeping into the next with only the briefest of acknowledgments, Yeasayer were clever to keep the momentum going and to fit what they could into these brief 35min time slots. Creating a rather dynamic set up, on stage that worked so well visual and functionally the band were phenomenal and  raw talent of lead singer Chris Keating that made this set what it was.

Crossing the lake again in search of the Sunrise Arena, British art rockers These New Puritans were just kicking off. Their electro beats that are usually highly infectious sounded slightly stiff. Unimpressed with that ever modern New Order sound they were trying to create interest was lost and a new agenda made. (sorry Squin, don’t hate me)

Revisiting the World Arena for French singer/actress and daughter of the famous Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbrough. There was no doubt this little love child would go on to become something in her own right. Charlotte’s timidly graceful performance changed pace a hundred times over as the alternated between songs in English and French. On stage she was seductively sweet and performed a collection of both her own music and also much of her fathers.

Mostly missing the Temper Trap (yet again. I think that’s three times now) I managed to catch the final two songs from a seated position at the very back of Obelisk stage. Catching the last song, Sweet Disposition, it was evident that lead singers Dougy Mandagi soaring falsetto vocals were a perfect match for their highly infused pop spectacle that  had just the right about of synth for the afternoon in the sun.  

Sadly missing the viciously rhythmic and unique duelling acoustics sounds of Mexican duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Darwin Deez were calling. And I’m almost ashamed to say I also chose Deez over the Intimate pop songs and warm sentiment of Sigur Ros’s frontman Jonsi….but Deez were sick.

Darwin Deez himself looks like the type of guy who couldn’t talk to the pretty girls with out blushing or the type of kid who would have gotten smoked in school at dodge ball. With a striking resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite the lead singer of this equally dorky Indie folk band from New York City were so awkwardly adorable. Spitting out infectious indie pop with that strokes-ish style croon each song playfully leaped from the last, yet all remaining true to that timidly cute and very so simple pop formula that is Radar Detector and Constellations. Aside from the music the group were all kinds of entertaining, even busting into choreographed dance routines to tracks such as Beyonce’s single ladies.

Frantically back to main stage for distinct indie rock chords and striking vocals of Ezra Koeing who made Vampire Weekend one of the most highly anticipated and highly appreciated acts of the festival. Named after Koeings armature flick of the same name, Vampire Weekend played a dynamic set that was sophisticated, complex and daring. Koenig’s showmanship was applaudable and the NYC gents had their audience captivated. Moving amongst an entwined mass of human limbs Vampire Weekend sent their audience across a million boarders. From the sweetest calypsos in the Caribbean to the reggae and Ska clubs of Brooklyn. The polished set ended with the very polite young East Coast boys inviting the audience to dance. And dance they did!

 Photos and Post By Bec Clark

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