This week it was my best friends birthday (Fi) so we had many a drink, watched our friends band, Stacks play a gig (The Blind Tiger), boogied at Digital and saw the X Factor tour (reviewed for Latest magazine). In other news I read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - brilliantly thought provoking and moving. Finally, the dissertation continues.Next week the dissertation continues to evolve, lectures at university start again and my boys have another gig.
My week in photos
This week I enjoyed many a gin and tonic, caught up on the twilight saga, got a free graze box to aid me through my interim report, dyed my hair ginger and saw ma booooys.
Next week yet more library stints and going to the races.
My Week In Pictures
Okay so not a massively exciting week, but I have got new nails, did make a pumpkin pie and had a hilarious girls friday night. I also had the chance to see my beautiful Suffolk Solko boys play in brighton, but alas there are no photos.
Bring on next week with promises of Twilight and long stints in the library.
Azealia Banks @ Concorde 2
Lana Del Rey ‘Heart Shaped Box’ (Nirvana cover)
Utterly amazing. Nothing more really needs to be said to ruin this…
Hot Chip ‘How Do You Do’
The second track ‘How Do You Do’ has been unveiled from Hot Chip’s critically acclaimed 2012 record ‘In Our Heads’. Directed by Rollo Jackson, the boys have a play with the green screen as they are embedded into scenes with African tribes, Irish dancers and high up in the sky. This instagram-esque video won’t knock your socks off in comparison to the boys other work, but it’s a pleasant enough watchable clip. ‘In Our Heads’ is out on Domino records now.
Micachu & The Shapes ‘Easy’
Behind the album release gig in Dalston this week Micachu & The Shapes release a series of videos for every single from their sophomore album ‘Never’. Directed by the band and filmed by Chloe Hayward, ‘Easy’ opens the album with a glimpse into the eclectic work of Micachu. The setting, which can only be described as a warped version of The Simpsons, allows for the mangled sound to be communicated. The charming Micachu will hold you captivated with her dance and expression. ‘Never’ is on sale now through Rough Trade records.
Slow Club ‘Beginners’
Slow Club reveal the video for their track ‘Beginners’ taken from their sophomore album ‘Paradise’ out now on limited edition. The beautiful chiming vocals from Rebecca Taylor come from (I won’t mention Harry Potter) Daniel Radcliffe’s mouth as he mopes around a dingy pub in Finsbury Park. The melancholic clip was shot in one take showing Radcliffe’s top class acting joined with Slow Club’s emotive melodies, creating a watchable and stirring piece.
Beat Connection ‘The Palace Garden, 4am’
Beat Connection drop the video for ‘The Palace Garden, 4am’ ahead of their debut album release, closely named ‘The Palace Garden’. The clip treats us to a pavement walking, insect crawling affair with a positively jaunty vibe, directed by Jon Meyer and Rachel Sharkeye. Out on the road this clip was filmed in under a week producing the joyous and blissful atmosphere to play alongside this synth-pop track.
‘The Palace Garden is a record that finds the band meditating on the idea of unattainable beauty, one that encases magical evenings, bountiful happiness, heavy regrets, and sky-clearing epiphanies. They’ve left all genre constraints behind allowing their music to broaden, rise and take them on new adventures, to new audiences.’ We wait with anticipation.
Daniel Avery ‘Taste’
This visual video, directed by Daniel Bereton, accompanies Daniel Avery’s latest creation ‘Taste’ out on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label. After extreme chlaustrophobia, the up close and personal imagery creates a memorable video, giving this electro track deserved credibility. Erol Alkan had these kind words to say on the project…
"Daniel Brereton previously produced Connan Mockasin’s ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ video for us, and it was one of those rare occasions when I was completely floored after seeing it, so it seemed natural for us to work with him again.
Both Daniels and I met up one afternoon and spoke about some of our favourite videos and any ideas that we had for a visual connection to ‘Taste’, and Daniel B took it far further than we had ever imagined - we are absolutely delighted with what he’s come up with. He managed to capture a visual balance to what I personally feel the music holds, in the melody, a feeling of nature gone wrong, and that general essence of it still being outsider music.”
Crushed Beaks ‘Grim’
The reminiscent sound of the 80s chimes through in Crushed Beak’s music. Their video for aptly named ‘Grim’ has premiered this week, with direction taken from the warped mind of Jonny Sanders. In this clip the boys combine their passion for music and 70s Italian Horror Movies through a bizarre turn of events. Combine a sheep’s head, a handful of locusts, vomiting eyeballs, intrusive camera shots, vivid lighting and you get a seriously surreal and eye-catching music video to accompany this track. Weird.
‘Silent Film’ is available for streaming on Monday taken from Torches forthcoming 7”, which also features the critically acclaimed ‘Sky Blue & Ivory’. Put simply Torches sound fits perfectly into 2012s very British direction of music with lead singer, Charlie Drinkwater’s, quirky baritone vocals. Think of Spector or Wild Beasts, but with more empathy and potential beauty. The desperate lyrics Hold steady hold steady or we’ll just fall apart infuses the song with depth, leaving one feeling fumbled with emotion by the end. Secondly, the lyric It’s the sound of a silent movie that you love ending, is genuinely one of the loveliest lines written this year. On top of all that the accompanying guitar melodies create a close call to perfection. Hats off to Torches, they are doing what other mellow guitar bands are trying, directly getting into the emotional crux of the audience. A job well done.
Alt-J’s ‘Tessellate’ from the beautiful album ‘An Awesome Wave’ is set for release on Infectious Records this July. Prior to release we are presented with Alex Southam’s ambitious video combining the old, the new and the bizarre. Based on Italian Renaissance artwork Alt-J’s track is accompanied by unfavourable characters with gold teeth, vicious dogs and swimming sharks in the ceiling. This is a gripping video complimenting Alt-J’s work well.
Live Review: Latitude 12th-15th July 2012
Travelling home on the train after a weekend in a field my thoughts turn to a cleaner, much fresher group of people making their way to Latitude a few days prior. Memories spring up of looking out of the window from the comfort of my bedroom at the sun struggling to shine through the clouds early on the Friday morn, practicing my best wet-happy face. Thankfully, even though this is the most appalling weathered summer we have seen in many a moon, the Latitude micro-climate stayed moderately dry and the mock wet-happy face wasn’t needed. It was smiles all around. Entering the campsite the unmistakable sounds of Drum and Bass from Lucozade’s ‘Yes’ tent greeted the festival goers setting the weekends mood in good stead as the campsite filled up with excitable young folk and more experienced veterans of the festival. The buzz in the festival air was palpable as thoughts turn to having a boogie to some first class music.
The Lake Stage, set surprisingly by the Lake, acted as the hipster’s paradise having one of the best line ups seen in the history of Latitude. Kicking off on the Friday with Polica and Alt-J, huge crowds huddled around the small stage to get a taste of fresh music hitting the mainstream. Polica performed like season pros as ‘Wandering Star’ and ‘Lay Your Cards Out’ bewitched the crowd. Alt-J who have exploded in popularity with their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ showed that their performance lives up to the hype. It was a refreshing sight to see many choosing Alt-J over Lana Del Rey over at The Word Arena. With their eccentric vocals and thumping bass the crowd forgave them instantly for coming on late – many showing the Alt-J triangle hand gesture in appreciation. Hitting their stride on Saturday, Theme Park did their thing. Although with a smaller crowd, this band knew how to do a festival. ‘Milk’ and ‘Jamaica’ got plentiful cheers predicting a good future for this charming band. Surprisingly artists on this stage came in very different forms of Dingus Khan and Lucy Rose as they pulled in large crowds to show off their early work. Unfortunately, the acoustics of this stage are terrible. Getting the best position is key, as you will lose the clarity of certain instruments making the bands at times sound like clashes of noise.
The Word arena (formally the Uncut) acted as the tent for the festival. SBTRKT kicked off Saturday’s evening with a fairly mellow rework of his self-titled album, easing the crowd into the mood for night time antics. Previously, the lovely Lianne La Havas, arguably with the best voice at the festival, hypnotised Latitude’s punters with her soulful ways. Closing the Word arena on Sunday night was Latitude favourites Wild Beasts with their strangely pleasurable whine. An assortment of songs from their three album back catalogue was played for the fifth time at the festival. Hayden Thorpe told the crowd in all seriousness to ‘party like there’s no tomorrow.’ The crowd obliged whole heartedly.
The i Arena, annoyingly rebranded from the more serenely named Sunrise Arena, is set in the most beautiful location of the festival. Under a canopy of trees on a sea of pine cones a perfect unique atmosphere is created. Foy Vance and Daughter acted as the perfect ambient acts in the daytime, lifting the spirits of struggling crowds. There couldn’t be more of a violent contrast from the chilled out daytime music to the DJ sets in the early hours of the morning. Shy FX, the original nutter, smashed his party set playing hit after hit with the majority of the festival piling into the woods. Throughout each night a plethora of DJs could be found cracking out big tunes in the woods until sunrise, accompanied by trippy projections taken from old movies, the nights are made even more thrilling than the days. If the woods are a bit too heavy for the festival goer of a calmer disposition, there’s always Guilty Pleasure’s pumping out the Footloose soundtrack or The Disco Shed (yes an actual Garden shed) in the main arena.
(Bon Iver + band)
The Obelisk’s bill oozed soft rock this year, with the likes of Elbow, Laura Marling, First Aid Kit and Paul Weller taking to the main stage. A disappointing Metronomy played pre-headliner on the Friday in front of a bored looking crowd, begging for even a few bars of ‘A Thing For Me’ or ‘Heartbreaker’. The excitement in the air refuelled during the moments before Bon Iver took the stage. Ethnic drapes fell from the ceiling of the stage as Bon made his only UK festival appearance this year. ‘Blood Bank’ and ‘Skinny Love’ captivated the crowd with a type of silence the Obelisk arena hasn’t seen since Thom Yorke’s performance a few years previous. This was an emotional set that will be remembered for many a year to come and the hurricane of applause from the audience after ‘For Emma’ communicated this perfectly. One of the absolute highlights of Latitude was the modest Ben Howard late evening on Sunday. As a string of his guitar broke early on in the set Howard seamlessly retuned and got on with it. Afterwards he giggled ‘biggest gig of my life and my string breaks’. It was unadulterated perfection standing in the late evening sun in front of Howard’s ‘Black Flies’ and ‘Diamonds’.
Elsewhere, tucked away in the depths of the festival The Faraway Forest lurks. With homemade gypsy vans and dudes perching under trees with guitars – gems of music are found hidden away from sight. Notably The Last Wagon Wanderers put on by Isobel Brierley put together a gypsy bill with a perfect daytime atmosphere - recharging the crowd’s batteries. Another highlight un-music related is the punting on the river giving time to reflect and get a cheeky glance of the Sadlers Wells dance troupe on The Waterfront. Other entertainment areas are just as important to Latitude’s identity of culture. The comedy tent was packed day in and day out with tight sets from Rich Hall and the brilliant Tim Minchin. The Cabaret Tent also gave its worth, notably putting on the effortlessly funny Cardinal Burns. And plenty of action could be seen in the Poetry, Literature, Theatre and Film tents. These aspects of the festival bring together a great diversity (a fundamentally middle class diversity), however the majority of the punters are there for the music and it was the music that made the festival what it’s famous for, even if it is ‘more than just a music festival’.
Latitude in its seventh year holds a rarity of not changing too much from its humble beginnings. Yes its more expensive, has more stages and brands have popped up all over the shop, but it has the same down to earth atmospheric quality from the early days that makes this festival special. This is a quality that should be nurtured and retained; doing this Latitude will remain as one of the UKs top music festivals. It was a class weekend that should not go unnoticed.
Latitude - the new Glastonbury?