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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Latitude 2010: Thursday Night Review

Latitude 2010 "it's more than just a music festival" kicked off with gigs from Nigel Kennedy and Tom Jones. Just don't mention the awful rapes.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Feelin’ hot hot hot… we arrived at the field with a blanket and straw hat, viagra stuff and headed straight to the bar. Queuing for what felt like a life-time in the blistering heat, price cheap sounds of Johnny Flynn drifted through the air along with the smells of barbecued sausages. Queuing aside, we were happy.

Ciders in hand we weaved through camping chairs and stepped apologetically over blankets, occasionally catching the odd sandaled foot or splashing a little cider over a resting head… all part of the joy of festivalling, we found a spot, lay the blanket on the ground just in time for Laura Marling to take to the stage. ‘Afternoon everyone!’ Laura’s soothing voice echoed over the masses, ‘what a day!’…. people woo’d and clapped and cheered. In two years, Marling’s voice and lyrics have matured from pretty ditties to soulful folk… and her performance this weekend reeled in an eclectic crowd. Folk of all ages stood, eyes fixed and humming and Marling’s voice resonated. Songs from Marling’s latest album I Speak Because I Can mixed with original tracks from My Manic and I had us reminiscing, spinning around and singing-along.

Between sets we ate, drank and lay gazing into the brilliant blue ether… catching a bit of celebrity football, Mumford & Sons giving it their best. Seasick Steve was next up, and took to the stage with crowds-a-roaring. Unfortunately, due to minor sunstroke, we weren’t around for the whole set, but from what we saw, as always Seasick gave a cracking performance.

Mumford & Sons belted out there emotive country-inspired folk, now well-known from their vast radio coverage, and had the audience fixed. Looking and sounding the part, and slotting in perfectly to the Hop Farm scene.

Whilst queuing for a lamb kofta and chatting to a wonderful lady who lives on a pig farm in Cambridgeshire, who told me stories of her days as a festival queen in the 70s… (she was so small she used to crouch on the loo seat, feet on the seat – to avoid sitting on it… little ladies – take note!) Ray Davies performed and it came as pleasant surprise to hear the well-known Kinks records: Lola, You Really Got Me and all the rest. At the age of 66, Ray’s voice carried across fields, still very much in tact.

Last but not least, good old Bob Dylan appeared on stage, his (very) husky tones hooking the expectant field of fans, and taking them on a tumultuous journey through a plethora of songs steeped in sentiment.

Finally, an incredible set from Devendra Banhart ensued; no longer the long-haired folky-dolky guy that once plucked at our heartstrings, Devendra has completely reinvented his style: short-back-and-sides, checked shirt and long yellow cardie buttoned up; the sounds were funky and playful, his voice endearing and still with that jagged edge that made him famous. Even a few Roxy Music covers were thrown in to get us grooving. We danced until the cows came home.

All in all, a grand day out. Thank you Hop Farm!


Illustrations by Jenny Costello

With businesses struggling to survive through the recession armageddon, this site a few innovative individuals are thriving, using their imagination and collaborations with other creatives to succeed. Sarah Bagner, or ‘Supermarket Sarah‘ transformed a wall of her own home into a window dresser’s dream; featuring both vintage finds and handmade creations from the likes of Donna Wilson. Inviting shoppers into her home for tea and cake has gained her such a following that Selfridges even invited her to curate a wall for them.


Supermarket Sarah, illustrated by Emma Block

Her latest collaboration is with the queens of cool, Tatty Devine, whose Brick Lane store has been transformed into an Aladdin’s cave of Sarah’s goodies. Tatty Devine is also famous for pioneering the collaborative spirit, teaming up with the likes of Rob Ryan, Charlie le Mindu and Mrs Jones to make their iconic statement jewellery ranges. Last night fellow creatives Fred Butler and Anna Murray were spinning some tunes on the decks, whilst cupcakes were supplied by Fifi and Lola.

I snapped Sarah wearing her Tatty Devine ‘Supermarket Sarah’ necklace in front of her wall which will soon be online here. The installation will be in store until the 16th August, alongside Tatty Devine’s regular stock which is currently on sale. This is your one stop shop for sorting your festival outfits; grab some neck candy from Tatty Devine and something from Sarah’s vintage dressing up box and you’re set! 

Photographs by Katie Antoniou

With businesses struggling to survive through the recession armageddon, site a few innovative individuals are thriving, order using their imagination and collaborations with other creatives to succeed. Sarah Bagner, store or ‘Supermarket Sarah’ transformed a wall of her own home into a window dresser’s dream; featuring both vintage finds and handmade creations from the likes of Donna Wilson. Inviting shoppers into her home for tea and cake has gained her such a following that Selfridges even invited her to curate a wall for them.

Her latest collaboration is with the queens of cool, Tatty Devine, whose Brick Lane store has been transformed into an Aladdin’s cave of Sarah’s goodies. Tatty Devine is also famous for pioneering the collaborative spirit, teaming up with the likes of Rob Ryan, Charlie le Mindu and Mrs Jones to make their iconic statement jewellery ranges. Last night  fellow creatives Fred Butler and Anna Murray were spinning some tunes on the decks, whilst cupcakes were supplied by Fifi and Lola. I snapped Sarah wearing her Tatty Devine ‘Supermarket Sarah’ necklace in front of her wall which will soon be online here. The installation will be in store until the 16th August, alongside Tatty Devine’s regular stock which is currently on sale. This is your one stop shop for sorting your festival outfits; grab some neck candy from Tatty Devine and  something from Sarah’s vintage dressing up box and you’re set! 
Sheep Latitude Tim Adey
Photography by Tim Adey.

Last time I went to Latitude it was a mere toddler of a festival… way back in 2007 it was still possible to roam freely amongst thin crowds and I remember commenting back then that the secret wouldn’t last long. 30, treat 000 people attended the fifth Latitude, drug held in the rolling wooded grounds of Henham Park which belong to an eccentric sheepfarming millionaire known as the Aussie Earl. Every year the sheep are famously dyed various shades of pastel then penned into small enclosures surrounded by signs Do Not Feed The Sheep. There’s something quite ironic in the exoticisation of such a common animal, stomach but then again most middle class urbanites have little cause for close contact with their food. Reading through tweets on my way to the festival I laughed at one suggestion that a bunch of hippies were clogging up the local roads… nothing could be further from the truth. Latitude is famously the home of the well read intellectual classes, a fact which was mentioned on repeat throughout the whole festival.

Nigel kennedy by Jenny Costello
Nigel Kennedy by Jenny Costello.

Despite a lack of line up on Thursday evening most punters had already set up camp by the time we arrived. Like Glastonbury, early crowds baying for entertainment guaranteed a packed audience for the few shows being staged. Our first stop was Nigel Kennedy, playing with The Orchestra of Life and visiting Polish musicians on the Lake Stage: the gig was attended by an all age crowd, a significant feature of the entire festival. Nigel romped through a selection of Duke Ellington jazz standards before crashing into a barndancing favourite that had the crowd hooting in delight. In between he flirted salaciously with a lady in the crowd and swore copiously. As Radio 1 DJ Colin Murray was later overheard saying – it’s a pity Nigel has to open his mouth. It was a bit like Madonna at the Turner Prize trying a bit too hard to be hard. But I liked the ceilidh classic – more of that please. Try as I might I just can’t get into the jazz thing.

Paul-Shinn-Latitude-crowds
Latitude crowds by Paul Shinn.

Large parts of Henham Park forest have been opened up to accommodate more theatre, and down amongst the towering trees we were ushered into the heaving theatre arena for Les Enfants Terribles: The Vaudevillians. It was certainly terrible. Despite being billed as “a unique and exciting night out” I was only able to watch ten minutes before I was so bored and unexcited out of my brain that we had to leave.

Latitude flags Tim Adey
A pretty picture of flags at Latitude. Photography by Tim Adey.

Instead we paid a visit to Robin Ince in the Literary Arena. Robin Ince is the literary high priest of Latitude – he was holding court whenever I went past despite his assertion (in my recent interview with him) that he would be spending less time on stage this year. Joining him were a wide range of comedians and writers over the course of the festival, and it made me smile to hear him delivering more of his climate change material to a packed audience.

Abby-Wright-Tom-Jones
Tom Jones by Abby Wright.

Tom Jones sans hair dye was of course the big act to appear on Thursday night – clearly a last minute addition designed to promote his new album Praise & Blame. Even before we approached the lake I realised we might have trouble attending his bijoux gig on the In The Woods stage. Many thousands of people + small stage = frustrated pile up. We took the back route up to the guest area where we listened from behind the fence once they had sorted out screeching feedback, and could just discern a frenzy of enthusiastic front row teenagers screaming Sex Bomb. There was to be no Sex Bomb. One man was overheard commenting that his new bluesy songs sounded “like Johnny Cash on a downer”, but I quite liked them. Security spent the whole gig shining torches at anyone who dared get close the fence. Since I couldn’t see anything I fell asleep on the ground. Thanks for the soothing lullabies Tom.

I’ve reviewed all other days according to genre. Why not get started on my Friday Music Review here?

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2 Responses to “Latitude 2010: Thursday Night Review”

  1. Jamie Brown says:

    I know you can’t be everywhere at once but its a shame you missed Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, who played as part of a Blues Brothers-themed night on the Film and Music tent. A family of young/teenage siblings playing authentic raucous 50′s rock and roll, amongst other traditional styles. The tent was packed and they brought the house down. Undoubtedly the musical highlight of the entire festival for me.

  2. Amelia says:

    Hi Jamie, thanks for your comment and very good suggestion – I did actually pop into the tent when they were playing, but it was hot and sweaty and I’ve seen them play many times before – I actually first discovered them about four years ago and put them in issue 08 of Amelia’s Magazine – available here: http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/shop/Magazines/c1/p27/Amelia&%2339;s-Magazine-Issue-8/product_info.html They are indeed fabulous!

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