Latitude Live Review
Lana Del Ray, Bon Iver, Wild Beasts, Elbow wow the crowds at the 3 day event...
The 7th Latitude festival kicked off last Thursday (the 12th of July) amid widespread fear among punters that they were going to need rowing boats to traverse the Suffolk-based festival.
Those fears turned out to be largely (although not completely) unfounded and the festival got off to a pleasant sunny start.
Weather was not something that Lana Del Rey had to worry about, booked as she was to play the undercover Word arena. This was a booking obviously made when she was less of an international mega-star and the tent was packed to the rafters with festival goers eager to catch a glimpse of this mysterious popstar. And disappointed they were not as this was a flawless vocal performance, and judging by her smiles throughout the show, playing hits like 'Born To Die' and 'Blue Jeans', it looked like she was enjoying herself too.
Friday Night saw Wisconsin folkers Bon Iver, led by beardy icon Justin Vernon, take to the stage for their headline slot. Alternating between the intimate heartbroken songs off his debut album 'For Emma, Forever Ago' and more expansive tracks from it's self-titled follow up like 'Holocene' and 'Calgary', Vernon had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Later on, in the huge Obelisk arena (otherwise known as the main stage) Laura Marling cemented her reputation as the UK's favourite folk songstress mesmerising the crowd as the sun (yes, it did emerge from the clouds briefly) went down. Following Marling were festival favourites Elbow who relished their headline status. A huge crowd assembled to sing along to hits like 'Grounds For Divorce' and rousing set-closer 'One Day Like This' which most of the crowd continued to sing after the band had left the stage amid a flurry of fireworks.
On Sunday, punters were treated to sets throughout the day from artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Jack Dee, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and Bat For Lashes before Ben Howard blessed the Obelisk arena with his signature brand of folk. Like a male counterpoint to Laura Marling the day before, he played to a sun-kissed crowd who swayed and swooned to favourites including The Wolves and heartfelt final song 'The Fear'.
The final musical acts of the weekend were Paul Weller on the mainstage and Wild Beasts in the tented Word Arena. Paul Weller gave the 'festival Dads' something to sing along to mixing new songs 'Kling I Klang' and 'The Attic' with classics such as 'The Changingman', 'A Town Called Malice' and 'Eton Rifles'. It was a no nonsense set showing off the 54 year old's musical prowess and reluctance to slow down or rest on his considerable laurels.
Meanwhile, Wild Beasts held a slightly younger crowd under their spell, their intricate sound tinkling and warping through the suffolk night. In a set-list heavy on tracks from their last two albums Two Dancers and Smother, the played pitch-perfect renditions of 'Hooting & Howling', 'This Is Our Lot', 'Albatross' and 'Bed Of Nails' among others, sending everyone who had chosen them over The Modfather floating back their tents in a slightly woozy dream.
It may have been the muddiest Latitude yet, but it's fair to say it could also have been the best.