Monday, July 19, 2010

Latitude Festival Diary (Day 02)

Day Two of Latitude music festival and after a slow start we were raring to go! Compared to Friday there was a distinct lift in energy and excitement in the crowd. Thanks to an insiders tip I quickly made my way down to the Lake Stage to catch local five piece Ipswich band The Cads (check out their Facebook group here). Recently featured on "BBC Suffolk Introducing" this talented young band are making ripples across the musical pond, do yourself a favour and have a listen!  I met with the lads for a brief backstage interview after their performance which I will upload soon.

Next up I caught a few songs played by a fresh faced band called The Supernovas who let rip on the audience with their rude faced thrash rock. It was great to see such attitude and you can safely say that Uk based punk is still alive and kicking! I enjoyed the energy of the performance and just watching the whole spectacle of it all go down. In stark contrast the more commercially safe and refined music of Clare Maguire followed. A small percentage of the audience (mostly with young kids) breathed a sigh of relief as she launched into her performance.

Next up we headed south of the river to the Sunrise Arena (situated in the forest) for a completely different vibe. I was very happy to discover the band O.Children and was struck by the bands dark raw sound and the singer's deep vocal register (somewhat akin to The National). With a simple guitar, bass, drums and vocal line up, musically they kept things fairly basic. However it was instantly engaging and looking at their youtube channel they have great content which I really recommend you check out.

As people departed I made a bee line for front and centre to secure a good vantage point for Lauren Pritchard. Right from the start I was impressed by her vocal dexterity. Listening to the lyrics in her music, something which I normally hear last, I felt there was a lot of life experience under that youthful skin. She had a great mixture of songs to perform and it was entertaining to watch her to bust out in rhyme during her cover of TLC's "Waterfalls."

Shortly after Lauren's performance I noticed some quirky retro sounds emanating from the fold back speakers during sound check. Intrigued by this (and possibly because I spotted what looked like a Roland SH-101 on stage) I decided to stay on for a few songs. Introducing themselves as "The Lost Levels" (which evoked memories of Super Mario Brothers) I hoped we might be in for some serious Super NES-esq sounds and squelchy synthesiser modulating madness.

Thankfully I was well rewarded for staying on as the performance descended into a orgy of quirky lead synth riffs countered by a steady base of indy rock grooves and witty computer gaming references in the lyrics. Musically their compositions are very well composed and it's not possible to stop yourself humming along with the melody and bobbing along to the beat. Intrigued by it all I did some digging on the internet and didn't find a whole lot of information on the band despite the stella work of some of their work.  Apparently they've been around since 2005 so it's nice to see them getting out of their bedrooms and doing some serious festival gigging (not that I think they've been hiding in their bedrooms).

While enjoying a short break for dinner we re-grouped at our favourite meeting spot (the big tree next to the Lake Stage) where we were greeted by the mayhem known only as Teeth. Although they are a simple trio containing just vocals, laptop and live drumming they managed to produce a racket capable of bring the dead back to life. While I would largely describe their performance as "Nu Rave" I could also hear elements from the genres of Dubstep, Punk and Glitch. Watching the laptop 'player' was quite interesting as he jumped about on stage and managed to cue up samples using Abelton software I presume?

Heading over to the "Word Arena" I caught the tail end of the performance by British folk indie band Noah and the Whale. It was such a touching experience to see these talented performers coming together to share their soulful music.

We managed to secure a fairly decent position by the main stage in preparation for Crystal Castles' performance. I'm a big fan of the aggressive sounds produced by the band which makes you feel like your headphones are drilling into your auditory canal. As a live performance the band put 210% effort into their set. While I think that playing on such a big stage can cause some artists to overcompensate and exaggerate their performance the use of props (namely a bottle of Jim Beam with the security tag still on it) was entertaining and made me laugh.  I didn't buy into the notion for one second that it was actually stolen merchandise however! Stylistically I love their music and it has a safe home on my iTunes playlist.

Frankie and the Heartstrings : Great band, fantastic lead man!

Despite them being on my must see list I didn't manage to make it back in time to catch as much of The Horrors as I wanted. Hopefully they'll be playing another festival on our list!

So everyone was raving about The XX so I decided to take a punt and go check out what all the fuss was about. I was expecting something a little more upbeat for a headlining act but was mesmerised by the beauty and depth of their music. I found myself being drawn progressively into their performance until I became unaware of my surroundings. Their minimalistic approach to music composition and production is a refreshing approach that really heightens the experience for the listener.

Post by StereoDan

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