Suffolk sees fantastic sets from Gruff Rhys, Jarvis and CSS

Arcade Fire closed a weekend of great weather and eclectic music at the second Latitude Festival last night (July 15).

Performing a long set drawn from their albums ‘Funeral’ and ‘Neon Bible’, the Canadians delivered a faultless gig to the crowds at Henham Park in Suffolk.

Arcade Fire ended their stint with ‘Wake Up’, as fireworks were set off over the stage.

The festival, held in wooded grounds with a picturesque lake, also featured poetry and stand-up comedy in the midst of its four music stages.

Sunday’s highlights also included a stunning set from Super Furry Animals’ frontman Gruff Rhys, who performed tracks from his second solo album ‘Candylion’ seated behind a desk inside a giant cut out of a television.

Before Arcade Fire, Jarvis Cocker performed an energetic gig to a packed crowd at the Obelisk Arena, ending with a cover of Survivor’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, previously debuted at Cocker’s Meltdown performance last month.

Another highlight of the final day was the performance by hotly-tipped US indie band Ra Ra Riot, who recently suffered the loss of their drummer, John Pike, who died following a party in early June.

The band seemed in high spirits, however, energetically delivering their string-laced post-punk to the enthusiastic Uncut Arena crowd.

The previous day hosted a headline set from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, who performed their eponymous debut in full, accompanied by a top hat-sporting string section.

Damon Albarn paid tribute to the nearby A12 road running through his native Colchester before performing b-side ‘Mr Whippy’, featuring rapper Eslam Jawaad, and dedicated ‘A Soldier’s Tale’ to a British serviceman posted in Iraq he had met.

Albarn told the crowd: “He said the squaddies used to listen to ‘Song 2’ before they went out to do whatever they did. So I suppose this is for him.”

Saturday also saw CSS turn the Obelisk Arena into a giant party when they performed second on the bill.

With the stage decked out in a large number of balloons, the Brazilians inhaled helium while Lovefoxxx sported her usual technicolour leotard.

After charming the crowd in the bright and sunny weather with songs such as ‘Off The Hook’ and ‘Alala’, bassist Iracema Trevisan thanked the audience for their reception, saying: “We love you, we love you, we want to have babies like you!”

Bat For Lashes also turned in a beautiful set earlier in the afternoon, performing tracks from her debut album ‘Fur And Gold’, including ‘Horse And I’, dressed in a skeleton suit and her customary gold headband, before a malfunctioning piano pedal cut the set short.

Latitude wasn’t short on collaborations, and Saturday afternoon saw acclaimed Dylan-esque singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins joined by Cold War Kids and Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for the closing song of his set, ‘Doomsday’.

Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers joined Midlake for one song on Friday (July 13), as the Texan Americana stars treated the crowd to a selection of songs including fan favourite ‘Roscoe’.

The first day of the festival, headlined by Damien Rice, also saw a lively set from Patrick Wolf in the Uncut Arena.

Despite being dogged by poor sound, Wolf treated the crowd to sing-alongs such as ‘The Magic Position’, sparkling ballads like ‘The Stars’ and gypsy-techno such as ‘The Libertine’, before ending on classic early track ‘Lycanthropy’.

For more news and blogs on the festival, check out Uncut’s Latitude pages at Uncut.com/latitude (http://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/index.php?blog=11&title=).