Alt-J step up to headliner level on first day of Latitude Festival

Day one of Suffolk festival also brought performances from Summer Camp, Gengahr and a secret Ed Sheeran set

Alt-J headlined the first day of Latitude festival yesterday, which also saw Ed Sheeran play a secret set to a crowd of 1000.

Headliners Alt-J wowed a huge crowd at the main Obelisk Arena with a ninety-minute set well-paced with crowd favourites and album mood pieces.

Taking the stage to the stormy pastoral atmospherics of ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ which leaked into ‘Fitzpleasure’. “It’s great to be back playing for you at our favourite festival,” said keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton ahead of the blues rock of ‘Left Hand Free’ and told the crowd “it’d be very special if you sang this next song with us” as they crept into ‘Matilda’.

Neatly linking their two albums ‘An Awesome Wave’ and ‘This Is All Yours’ by playing the first album’s ‘Bloodflood’ and the second’s ‘Bloodflood, Pt II’ back to back, the band then performed their monkish madrigal ‘Interlude (Ripe & Ruin)’ as preamble to ‘Tessellate’. Following recent single ‘Every Other Freckle’ the main set closed with the warm electronic rushes of ‘Taro’ and ‘Warm Foothills’ and the Afro-tinged brooding of ‘The Gospel Of John Hurt’.

Returning for an encore, the band opened with their disjointed cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ before recreating the central mood-pieces of ‘This Is All Yours’ in ‘Nara’ and ‘Leaving Nara’ and finishing with the crowd-pleasing ‘Breezeblocks’.

NMEJenn Five/NME

Alt-J played:

‘Hunger of the Pine’ 

‘Fitzpleasure’

‘Something Good’ 

‘Left Hand Free’ 

‘Dissolve Me’ 

‘Matilda’ 

‘Interlude (Guitar)’

‘Bloodflood’ 

‘Bloodflood Pt. II’

‘Interlude (Ripe & Ruin)’ 

‘Tessellate’ 

‘Every Other Freckle’ 

‘Taro’

‘Warm Foothills’

‘The Gospel of John Hurt’ 

‘Lovely Day’ 
(Bill Withers cover)
‘Nara’
‘Leaving Nara’
‘Breezeblocks’

Earlier in the day, Summer Camp opened the main stage bill showcasing tracks from their new album ‘Bad Love’, while The Districts drew an enthusiastic crowd to the BBC 6 Music tent for a psych blues set featuring a dramatic finale of ‘Young Blood’. Out at the i Arena, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard were one of the biggest draws of the day, although Genghar impressed with their falsetto indie rock and Ezra Furman stole the day with a rapturously received set of alternative bar room boogie rock.

On the main stage, Santigold was a stand-out, organising a stage invasion for ‘Creator’ and mixingolder material such as ‘Say Aha’ and ‘L.E.S. Artistes’ with tracks from her forthcoming third album, all while dressed in a huge red head-bow and a breakfast-themed outfit and accompanied by yellow-clad dancers brandishing umbrellas.

Latitude continues today with a headline set from Portishead.
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