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Latitude Festival 2010: Friday Music Review

A review of Martin Creed, The Kissaway Trail, The Kominas, Villagers, Empire of the Sun and Florence and the Machine. All wrapped up in a tasty load of illustrations...

Written by Amelia Gregory

The Kissaway Trail by Natasha Thompson.

The music at Latitude can feel like a bit of a byline given that there are so many other options for entertainment. But that doesn’t stop the calibre being suitably high. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Latitude 2010-Martin Creed by Amelia Gregory
Martin Creed by Paul Shinn.

Our first stop on Friday was a musical performance piece from Turner Prize winner Martin Creed and his merry band of sexy young things. Notably all female. I was initially sceptical – I’ve seen Bob and Roberta Smith perform at the ICA and was less than impressed by the cacophony. But this was actually entertaining, especially when Martin sang “What’s the point of it” and “If you’re lonely then this is for you” and “I don’t know what I feel, what I want” against a projection of smashing flower pots, a penis in the process of erecting and a man’s bottom. Combine this with the random movements of a ballet dancer and you pretty much had the ultimate manifestation of middle aged male angst. Brilliant.

Latitude 2010-Kissaway Trail by Amelia gregory
Latitude 2010-Kissaway Trail by Amelia gregory
The Kissaway Trail by Natasha Thompson.

The Kissaway Trail were a band I’ve not really warmed to on CD, but the live performance was a whole different deal. This unbearably cute bunch of Danish boys smashed the Word Arena with their Scandinavian take on epic indie pop. And they even have their very own version of Bez – a hyper excited braces-wearing tambourine player. A real find.

Latitude 2010-Kominas by Amelia gregory
Latitude 2010-Kominas by Amelia gregory
middle age mosh pit by Matthew Ellero
Middle Age Mosh Pit by Matthew Ellero.

Back in the Film and Music Arena US punk Muslim outfit The Kominas entertained a load of rowdy young men… and a very enthusiastic middle-aged woman, who proceeded to fend off the moshpit with the legs of a chair, before beating the youth to the free t-shirt thrown into the crowd. Thoroughly entertaining.

Abi Daker - The Villagers
Villagers by Abigail Daker.

I recently gave the Villagers’ debut album a glowing review, so I went to check out the imp-like Conor J. O’Brien and his merry band of men – of particular note was Conor’s live rendition of Pieces, his wolf howls given that much more stamina in the flesh. Conor has the air of someone heading for major success.

Andrea Peterson Empire of the Sun
Andrea Peterson Latitude Swordfish
Empire of the Sun by Andrea Peterson.

I was thoroughly miffed to have missed an early promo of the Empire of the Sun album- discovered during a clearout to have made it no further than the interns’ office: if I’d heard the album back then I would definitely have been more on the case of this fabulously over the top retro 90s pop electro… down on the Obelisk Stage lead singer Luke Steele looked resplendent in smeary facepaint and a range of over the top Samurai and Aztec/Inca influenced accessories. No expense was spared on the production of this show, which wasn’t even a headline act. The four dancers went through frequent costume changes, my favourite of which was some very cool blonde swordfish. A lot of fun.

Latitude 2010-empire of the sun
Latitude 2010-Florence crowd by Amelia gregory

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Florence and the Machine. I sort of think I don’t like her very much and then I realise I’ve been listening to her album on repeat all day. So a little conflicted then. This was the first time I’ve seen her perform live since I first met her as a bolshy unsigned artist doing a solo acoustic performance at a PPQ store party. Which doesn’t actually feel like it was that long ago. Three years?

Florence and The Machine by Natasha Thompson.

The curtain dropped and there she was: flowing vermillion locks, check, flowing cream dress, check, massive drum, check. Without further ado she launched into a bunch of songs that I could happily hum along to (I’ve never really been one to listen closely and learn lyrics) pausing only to sing happy birthday to her little sister Grace, who was dragged on stage with their brother – both dressed in animal costumes. It was really rather cute. Predictably You’ve Got the Love was the biggest crowd pleaser. Isn’t it funny how the 90s have crept up on us again without us even realising it? One new song got an airing, and sounded, well, typically Florence. That girl has a super powerful pair of lungs but you’ve got to wonder – does all that caterwauling ever render her speechless?

Remember to check out my Saturday and Sunday reviews too.


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