11 Unmissable Acts at Latitude 2015
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Lurking in the depths of reed-ridden, pond-lined, forest-saturated Suffolk, Henham Park played host this to the tenth anniversary of Latitude. The festival thrives off of its variety, presenting not only the best in music, but comedy, cabaret, spoken word poetry, theatre and dance, with the likes of Sadler’s Wells performing on a floating waterfront stage and Shappi Khorsandi causing her audience to get abdominal muscles from laughing too much. With the sun shining and temperatures pleasantly reaching 26 degrees, not even the slightest amount of mud was to be seen. Though we’re still ridding ourselves of the dust/ Bursting with talent and with pink sheep wandering around is undoubtedly worth a visit, but with so much going on which acts shone out this year? Alt-J The first of three headlining slots, before Portishead and Noel Gallagher on the following nights, saw Alt-J sweep onto the festival’s Obelisk Stage. The beauty of both their debut and sophomore album was brought to life as the trio created not only a spectacle for the ears, but for the eyes. The three proved as to why their most recent album, This Is All Yours, was nominated for a Grammy. Drifting from the exhilarant nature of 'Fitzpleasure' and 'Breezeblocks' into calming tracks perfect for the sunset, 'Lovely Day' and 'Nara', Alt-J blew away the tens of thousands displaying triangles with their hands in the air. The band also teamed up with ActionAid, selling custom designed t-shirts raising money to help rebuild Nepalese communities. Owen Jones The beauty of Latitude is how it offers so much more than just your typical big headliners. Before the festival fully kicked off on the Friday, left-wing author and all-round good person Owen Jones lead a debate on The Politics of Hope, discussing Labour’s defeat, the future of politics and how young people can be heard. We were lucky enough to speak to the lefty after his hour in the literary arena, interview to follow.
Ed Sheeran A tenth anniversary for any festival wouldn’t be complete with a few surprises and Latitude definitely know how to pull off some big ones. In the middle of one of Henham Park’s forests, only a small crowd gathered for an intimate late night gig with global superstar, Ed Sheeran. Playing Stevie Wonder and Iggy Azalea covers interwoven with his own, smash-hit singles, Sheeran played to just 3,000 a week after selling out Wembley Arena three nights in a row. The ginger-haired Brit couldn’t get enough and joined Snow Patrol on an even smaller stage the following night, while Thom Yorke from Radiohead DJed in the party filled woods.
Kicked off Latitude with a New Statesman debate featuring Owen Jones. Are we festivalling correctly?— Alex 90210 (@1029Alexander) July 16, 2015
— Snow Patrol (@SnowPatrolBand) July 18, 2015Years & Years Happy new Years (& Years). A personal favourite and just two days after the trio’s debut album Communion went in at number one, Years & Years got a sweaty crowd in the BBC Radio 6 Stage, well, even sweatier. Complete sweetheart and lead singer, Olly, had a constant and genuine look of awe spread across his face while singing chart smashing 'King' and 'Shine' alongside album tracks 'Gold' and 'Worship'. You could tell how grateful they were to be on stage. Olly explained that the year before they played on the tiny Alcove Stage, a cocktail bar, at the festival, highlighting how the band really have blown up in the past year. Their presence and joy radiated into an already sunny tent, proving why their album went number one and how it should stay there. Josef Salvat
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— Lianne La Havas (@liannelahavas) July 20, 2015Rae Morris Late in the final day’s evening, on the picturesque Lake Stage, curated by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, saw Thumbelina resembling and incredibly humbling Rae Morris sing to those enjoying their last few chilled ciders, as the sun set in flares of oranges and pastel pinks. Morris’ performance is how you expect a festival to look, with the superfans with their arms in the air at the front and families further back on picnic benches miming along at her music.
Marika Hackman Hackman is like no other. A personified poem that’s blasphemous not to notice. Distortion and her break away from more mainstream forms of indie music (ironic) makes the songstress an impeccable act. Her eerie and mossy sound couldn’t be presented to the masses on a more perfect stage, lurking within the edge of a forest. It was like something from a fairy-tale. Her cobwebbed tracks, armed with her sultry tones liken her to a British, more poetic and better version of Lana Del Rey (plus we love her hair). Having previously supported Alt-J last year, it’d seem odd to not have Marika at the festival. In a previous interview with The National Student, Marika told me that she writes “about whatever’s going through my head and I sift through and to the dark stuff out which keeps me sane.” La Roux Proving that she’s more than just a two hit wonder, saw La Roux take the the BBC Radio 6 Stage following an energetic Years & Years set. Displaying sass and serving true La Roux energy caused tracks Cruel Sexuality and Tropical Chancer (which I misheard as Chopping Board Chancer) explode into the aural capacity of a packed out tent. La Roux brought a crowd of young and old, proving the versatility of her music.