Latitude offers a wealth of arts on Saturday despite some cancellations

Latitude 2011 Review

published: Thu 21st Jul 2011

around the festival site (Saturday)

Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th July 2011
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£170 weekend adult ticket, day tickets £70
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Thu 7th Jul 2011

On Saturday we awake to greyer, damper surroundings than yesterday. Noel Fielding's gonna have to provide the sunshine.

around the festival site (Saturday)
By 10.30 am most of the Latitude punters are heading across to the Comedy venue for an extended live version of the TV music quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks. This is its festival debut. We have the regular team captains, Phill Jupitus, and Noel Fielding and the host is comedian David O'Doherty, who's hosted the telly quiz before. The guests on Fielding's team are comedian Charlie Baker and singer Paloma Faith, who looks stunning, and Jupitus has comedian Seann Walsh and a shy Rob from Dog Is Dead who is a last-minute stand-in for Seasick Steve. They roughly stick to the same format as the TV show with the Video round, Intros, Next Lines and Identity Parade where they have to spot Ed Seymour, the guy who stepped in when Preston famously walked off the show.

There's a house band, an assembled choir of Latitude punters for the Intros round, plenty of audience participation and lots of messing around, with Fielding's team hiding under the table at one point and answering questions from there whilst Seann Walsh dashed about the stage in a makeshift cloak mimicking Fielding. It finishes with a crowd singalong of the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction' led by Jupitus.

Adam Ant And The Good The Mad And The Lovely Posse
As it's still piddling down, the Word arena, the second largest music venue here, is absolutely rammed for reinvented 80s icon Adam Ant And The Good The Mad And The Lovely Posse. Ant is dressed like a dandy pirate with bandanas, white shirt, military waistcoat and pirate hat, backed up by full band including two drummers and two female backing vocalists, one of which I think is Georgina Baillie (Andrew Sachs' granddaughter). Although he's had some low points over the last few years, he's back on top form with this current tour, looking great and energetic and having lost none of his sex appeal. I'm a bit worried about this performance as some of his sets that I've seen him play recently in this present incarnation, have been quite punk-orientated and he's been a bit hit and miss with regards to interaction with the audience. But today Ant delivers a perfect-for-Latitude, family-friendly (apart from one little word during some banter), greatest hits set which includes 'Kings of the Wild Frontier', 'Goody Two Shoes', 'Ant Music', 'Prince Charming' (with audience armography participation), 'Vive Le Rock' and 'Physical', and he gets an uproarious reception from the crowd.

Over in the Cabaret venue – thankfully most of the venues are covered and we can escape the rain – Bryony Kimmings is inviting single people on stage to recreate "drunk and feeling horny" moments with some slow dancing, touching, lip-kissing and full-on snogs! 6 Music breakfast DJ, Shaun Keaveny, introduces the next act (I missed his full set which clashed with Ant), Sara Pascoe who is doing a warm-up for her Edinburgh Festival show entitled 'Sara Pascoe vs the Apocalypse'. She endears herself to the crowd by being self-effacing and telling us about previous bad reviews. The premise of the show is what she would do if she survives the apocalypse and has to re-start society and make society better, which means she can weave in any topic from porn for geeks to Hamlet. Pascoe throws in some jokes about posh people at Latitude for good measure.

around the festival site (Saturday)
It looks like a couple of shows on the Waterfront Stage have been relocated or cancelled due to the weather – NSDF's Robin Hood and the English National Ballet's show – so I head to the Theatre for Tantrums Production's 'Hot Mess'. An interesting and engaging, slightly baffling at times, story about four characters, a twin brother and sister and two friends, who meet up to celebrate the twins' birthday. The twins were supposedly born with one heart – the sister got the heart and the brother was left with a hole (hence his name Polo?). There are a couple of songs woven in and it starts with Plan B's 'She Said'. The play explores the twins' dubious relationship as well as sexual attitudes – the twin sister is uptight and possessive, whilst the female friend is much freer and blasé about liaisons – and is very engaging.

The Poetry venue is hosting Serafina Steer, who performs poetry and prose over melodies on her harp, followed by a presentation of The Captains Tower – an anthology of poems put together to celebrate Dylan's 70th birthday. Poems are read by the book's three editors and several of the contributors, including Luke Wright, Pamela Johnson and Matt Bryden, who also sings a few songs.

Echo and the Bunnymen
I drop in to Echo and the Bunnymen in the Word marquee. I love McCulloch's voice, quite Jim Morrison-esque in places, but it's a bit doom and gloom in there, quite literally as the screens either side of the stage are virtually redundant as the stage seems to be dark apart from strobe lighting and it's difficult to discern the musicians, which could be deliberate. So, from the darkness to the light, physically and spiritually, with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in the Film & Music arena. There's a slight delay as the City Sessions short films are over-running and the band have a prolonged sound-check. They're worth waiting for - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a nine-piece hip-hop-fused-with-jazz band who have a fantastic feel-good factor. The capacity crowd dances and sings along and happily succumbs to all the clichés – "make some noise", "hands in the air" – and joins in the "Hypnotic house party". One of the band even crowd surfs at one point and everybody leaves smiling at the end.

around the festival site (1)
The Stargazing workshop at the Waterfront Stage has also been delayed so I manage to catch it but there's no actual stargazing as the sky's too cloudy. Instead Professor Martin Hendry shows us beautiful pictures of planets on the screens on stage to a backdrop of fireworks from the Obelisk arena. This part of the festival site looks stunning at night with the fairy lights across the bridges, the uplit trees, the lake with colourful 3D images projected onto water-spray and floating flowers.

Back to the Poetry tent for the astonishing Kate Tempest, a Latitude regular for the past few years, who admits she's a bit nervous at playing a headline slot but she has a very appreciate crowd assembled. She performs her slam poetry in a very physical way, the words are fast and furious but rhythmical, and relate to her South London origins – dealing with topics of drugs, gangs, crime, and friendship – they're earthy but also life-affirming. Tempest reads a couple of new poems from scraps of paper, the rest she knows by heart which is quite some feat considering the amount of words packed in to each. One of the new poems has been written for the Southbank Hip-Hop festival, about how she drew inspiration from that movement and another is about the themes in her debut play 'Wasted' – the three actors involved drop in to read an extract of prose from the play. Tempest finishes with a 13½ minute long incredible poem called 'Patterns' which brings a tear to the eye at points when she's talking about a childhood friend changed beyond recognition by drugs.

The evening is brought to a close by Tempest's band, Sound Of Rum, busking under a nearby tree with an amp balanced on top of the artwork next to the tree and extra percussion supplied by enthusiastic members of the crowd, dubbed the "rum kit". Shockingly they haven't been booked for a Latitude music venue as yet.

around the festival site (1)
review by: Helen OSullivan

photos by: Chris Mathews / Helen OSullivan

Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th July 2011
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£170 weekend adult ticket, day tickets £70
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Thu 7th Jul 2011


latest on this festival

Latitude 2019
festival details
last updated: Thu 13th Sep 2018
Latitude 2018
photo galleries
last updated: Mon 23rd Jul 2018
Latitude 2018
festival details
last updated: Tue 26th Jun 2018