John Grant and Nathaniel Rateliff also star in Suffolk
The National were joined by Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry as they headlined Latitude for the second time last night (July 16).
Mayberry guested on ‘I Need My Girl’ from The National’s most recent album, 2013’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’, with singer Matt Berninger declaring after the duet: “That was so fucking awesome.”
The National, who previously headlined in 2011, previewed four new songs in their 90-minute show. As well as ‘The Day I Die’, which was debuted in Canada last month, they played ‘Can’t You Find A Way?’, ‘The Lights’ and ‘I’m Going To Keep You’.
Berninger said of ‘The Lights’: “It’s a shitty title and it’s going to change”, before describing ‘I’m Going To Keep You’ as “our prom song”. He added: “it’s the song I wish I’d danced to at my prom. I actually danced to ‘Stairway To Heaven’. That song is super sexy, but that’s not the point.”
The singer jumped into the crowd during ‘Terrible Love’, performing the whole song from among the front rows, before the set ended with ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’, which Berninger sang without a mic to let the audience sing the track from 2010’s ‘High Violet’ album.
Chvrches admitted to suffering from the heat during their energetic show just before The National. Mayberry said: “We’re really sweaty and we’ve chosen to wear black. Good move. But after a point, you don’t really notice. We’re not going to wash until the end of festival season anyway.”
John Grant attracted a sizeable crowd to the main stage. The singer had shared a photo last weekend from his T In The Park show which had fewer than 100 people watching. But Grant’s show at Latitude was a celebration, as the Colorado singer announced: “We’re going to play something nice and depressing for you in case you’re too hot” before ‘It Doesn’t Matter To Him.’
Veteran London band Squeeze also proved popular on the mid-afternoon main stage. They played five songs from last year’s comeback album ‘Cradle To Grave’, but mainly played 70s and 80s hits such as ‘Cool For Cats’ and ‘Up The Junction’ which Damon Albarn has cited as an influence on Blur.
Squeeze were preceded on the main stage by Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats. Closing song ‘S.O.B.’, familiar from their chatshow appearances, was the inevitable highlight, but the rest of their blues revue show was also well-received.
Of the day’s newer acts, Louis Berry was a strong opener on the Lake Stage. The Liverpool singer showed off his gashed hand at the end of his raucous set, saying: “If you’re not bleeding or sweating then it’s not rock & roll.”
Irish rockers Otherkin were another highlight. The band had only arrived off the ferry from Dublin the same morning, but provided a ferocious show with shirtless singer Luke Reilly constantly singing their infectious Catfish And The Bottlemen-style anthems from among the crowd.