Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Latitude Festival Diary (Day 03)

Thomas Woodward (aka Tom Jones) kicked off proceeding for my third and final day at Latitude festival. His arrival at the festival caused quite a stir with them shutting down roads for his entrance, so I'm glad we got up early to make sure we didn't miss this living legend!

It's an incredible achievement to think he's been a recording musician for almost 50 years. With a reputation for his overt sexuality Tom Jones performed a more mellow set of new songs which have been described as his "Johnny Cash" album. I was hoping for more of his old school, leather clad, up beat, Las Vegas showman style songs but I respected his desire to stake his claim in the religious music domain. One things for sure, this 70 year old crooner has still got THAT amazingly powerful and rich welsh voice which you can hear for miles!

Heading south of the river I caught the tail end of Egyptian Hip Hop's performance at the Sunrise arena. They had a difficult challenge to pull off such an indie attitude as they were drenched in the natural sunlight. However they managed to pull it off as the audience slowly shook off their third day dreariness and listened intently.

Back at the Obelisk stage Dirty Projectors played an explorative set of avant-garde indy music to a lazy sunday audience who were content to bask in the glorious sunshine. They showed off their musical skills with a diverse selection of songs ranging from African percussive, latin based rhythmical grooves, right through to more accessible 70's rock and experimental new wave. The audience didn't analyse it too much and just contently sat back and enjoyed the music.

I quickly watched performances by Yeasayer (picture below left) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (below right) in between a few visits to the bar (yes it was beer O'clock). Yeasayer had a peculiar mixture of electronic sounds which made for interesting listening. The usage of delay and reverb based effects was very interesting and nice to see it being incorporated into their performance as an instrument in itself. Charlotte was easy on the eye and the ear.... and being a fan of the female french accent it was pretty easy to be taken in by her performance. With a fairly simple bluesy folk rock approach there was little ornamentation added but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Aussie alternative rock heroes The Temper Trap were a big draw card of the day for me (as they were for many others!) with their fluttering guitar riffs and uplifting vibe. Looking around the audience it was clear to see why this band is doing so well internationally as people were finally getting up from their picnic blankets to shake a leg. With a massive assortment of festivals on their agenda this year I can't wait to check them out again and get further down to the front of the audience.... or better still the media pit in front of stage!

A musical highlight for me at Latitude festival would have to be Jonsi who's captivating sonic landscape of musical textures and escalating vocals is enough to make anyone get tingles running down their spine. I didn't have a single clue about a word he said but it didn't matter as he proved how much depth of emotion could be communicated through his music. As a gentle haze arose within the tent the crowd breathed a sigh of relation as they forgot the outside world and embraced the magical experience. It was a beautiful performance but in need of fresh air I made my way out of the tent.

Well the best way to finish off a brilliant weekend at Latitude festival was very much with Vampire Weekend They pulled out a great set that got everyone back on their feet and putting on their dancing shoes on! I'd be told by someone at the festival that they had annoying winey voices which I felt was harsh and not even accurate. I think where they were coming from was that their melodies get stuck on loop in your head. Horchata has been stuck in their for a while now and my only tip to removing it is to replace it with another equally ingraining one!

So the festival was over which was a shame because it was the first time that I had felt like the atmosphere was just right. Don't get me wrong it was a really amazing festival with so much great stuff to see and do. The festival has such a wide appeal but with all the schoolies and stressed parents minding kidlets now home it was feeling more like I imagined it should. People were upbeat and enjoying themselves, engaging in sociable rants about their favourite acts and moments of Latitude festival. 

I would say this was the best festival to date on the My World Tour experience, and having been once I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for more culture then you can poke a stick at. It was made all the more great thanks to the lovely nature of the people in attendance and of course all the amazing artistic talent featured! 

Post by StereoDan

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