Paul Weller closes a diverse weekend at Latitude with a couple of The Jam songs

Latitude 2012 review

published: Wed 18th Jul 2012

Paul Weller

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£175 weekend adult ticket
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012

Sunday started overcast again. We made our way in through the woods area which had been heavily wood chipped in places. The area was getting a lot more footfall due to the day ticketers being taken through from the guest area as the normal day ticket car park was unusable due to mud. This again showed that the organisers had responded fast to potential problems and limited the impact to revellers. We passed through the woods and made our way to the children's area.

around the festival site (2)
This is a fairly large area that had a lot of things to keep the kids occupied. These included a few small rides, a helter-skelter and workshops which included fire starting in the woods. Unfortunately due to its popularity all of the workshops had been booked up before we managed to get there so my daughter didn't get the chance to experience the joy of playing with fire. Instead she found the timeless pleasure of sliding on a Hessian mat down an old fashioned helter-skelter. As did plenty of adults.

After we had finished in the children's area we walked past the Cabaret area to the Comedy tent to catch Reginald D Hunter. As Friday the comedy area was packed, inside and out but we managed to squeeze at the back just in time for him coming on stage. Hunter was good, very clever humour but there was not a lot of belly laughs from the crowd. As he explained he didn't like afternoon gigs and was using us as guinea pigs with material he was experimenting with ready for the Edinburgh Fringe festival. We couldn't complain though as he was correct in saying that he had fulfilled his contractual obligations.

Simple Minds
The next thing on the agenda was for us to pick up a huge bubble maker (which apparently made the music better, or so I was told) before heading up to the Obelisk Arena. We arrived mid way through Alabama Shakes set and couldn't believe how full the main stage field was. Any chance of my daughter making the music any better was dashed because we couldn't hardly turn around never mind produce unbelievably large and messy bubbles. Luckily, in the end the bubbles weren't needed as the American punk blues outfit captivated the crowd with a great performance. After heading into the main area for a bite to eat and some liquid refreshments we went back to the main stage to watch what was billed as Simple Minds exclusive England/Wales gig.

It was well worth going as they were excellent. Mixing both new and old classics they kept us entertained and as they finished off with 'Alive and Kicking' they left us wanting more. One thing I couldn't understand is the amount of people who go to watch a band play one song. In Simple Minds case it was 'Don't You Forget About Me'. The crowd went mad when they started it mid way through the set but large sections of the crowd walked away as soon as it had finished. Next up was English singer songwriter Bat For Lashes, she went down well with the late afternoon crowd who were now lapping up the unusual site of the sun.

Once Bat For Lashes had finished the field seemed to fill up with teenage girls getting in prime position to see Ben Howard. We decided to head off across site to the Outdoor Theatre and watch the Levellers perform an acoustic set on a small stage. It was worth the walk as they were brilliant and entertained the huge crowd which included a hard core down at the front who couldn't seem to stop themselves bouncing about furiously during each song.

Paul Weller
As soon as the Levellers had finished we marched back to the main stage to watch the Mod-father himself Paul Weller. The first thing we noticed was how small the crowd was, especially near the stage. We guessed this was down to the fact that most of the teenage girls had moved on to other areas. The lack of crowd didn't put Weller off and he played out of his ageing skin. Moving from one song to the next without seeming to take a breath he showed how you can headline on material and performance alone. As the night drew to a close he finished with a couple of The Jam songs which were lapped up by the crowd, especially the ones of a certain age (including me).

We left the still relatively clean site (the litter pickers were excellent) and headed back to our car happy planning our return in 2013. The organisers were right in saying that it was more than just a music festival and paraphrasing Reginald D Hunter - they fulfilled their contractual obligations.


review by: Andrew Hogg

photos by: Caitlin Hogg

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£175 weekend adult ticket
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012


latest on this festival

Latitude 2018
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 10th May 2018
Latitude 2018
festival details
last updated: Fri 27th Apr 2018