Six Things Not To Miss At Latitude (Apart From The Pink Sheep)

“Latitude weekend,” tweeted comedian/’In The Loop’ star Chris Addison this morning. “The perfect opportunity to go and burgle some middle-class houses.”

It’s a good gag – but isn’t it a tedious cliché now, mocking Latitude for being ‘genteel’?

Sure, it’s the favoured haunt of high-haired Hugos, Radio 4 presenters, and marauding squadrons of tannin-ravaged civil servants maxing-out their ‘flexitime’.


But it can also be fairly debauched.

These two contrasting qualities often collide in surprising ways: a friend of mine swears blind Geoff Hoon tried to get off with her near the Lake Stage last year (legal disclaimer: I really, really don’t believe her).

The point is: it’s time we laid to rest those tiresome falafel-munching jibes. Personally, I plan to spend hardly any time sat in a wicker-weaving class, harrumphing to Blake Morrison in the literary arena, or scoffing my own weight in quinoa while watching an RSC-sponsored haiku jam.

Although I might go and watch The Rev’s debate with Ben Bradshaw MP (subject: the rise of free newspapers), purely on the off-chance that McClure will stray wildly off-topic and burst into tears, ranting about Hugo Chavez while beating his fist against the floor.


Anyway, here’s a bunch of other stuff you should check out.

Of Montreal
Ever the flamboyant showman, frontman Kevin Barnes has been known to take to the stage astride a white stallion. It’s not clear how he’ll top that at Latitude – perhaps he’ll parachute in, naked save for a Beefeater’s hat – but fans will be pleased to know the Athens, Georgia band have been playing seldom-aired track ‘The Past Is A Grotesque Animal’ recently, so that should provide a euphoric highlight.
When: Friday, 4.30pm, Obelisk Arena.

Fever Ray
Inhuman shrieking. Terrifying lyrics about insomnia. An overarching mood of ice-bound desolation. If you want to kill your afternoon cider-buzz stone dead, this is the place to come. But at least Dreijer Andersson’s soloset will be… immersive.
When: Friday, 5.30pm, Uncut Arena.

St Vincent
There’s loads of good stuff in the Uncut Arena on Saturday – although you might want to give Mika a miss, unless you plan to pelt him with rancid hummus – but Brooklyn’s St Vincent is the pick of the bunch. She’s like Bat For Lashes, only weirder, and less easily assimilable by Sunday Times Style magazine.
When: Saturday, 2.45pm, Uncut Arena.

Yes Giantess
Knowing 80s parodists with a fine line in billowing digi-yacht-rock? Or the next Palladium? They’re doing our Radar tour in September, but you can get a taster when they play the Sunrise Arena at 12.30 on Saturday. Dress code: think Molly Ringwald.

Thom Yorke
Don’t expect him to trot out the hits – he’s as likely to yodel the ‘Knight Rider’ theme as he is to sing ‘Creep’ – but this should be a bracing, hangover-blitzing lunchtime slot, with the tantalising possibility of new material. Let’s just hope he’s in acoustic alt-troubadour mode, not glitchy techno-soothsayer mode.
When: Sunday, 12 noon, Obelisk Arena.

Jake Chapman
Not a band, obviously, but worth checking out for the potential shock factor. The Brit-art enfant terrible is being interviewed by Miranda Sawyer. He’ll no doubt do something jaw-droppingly offensive, like set light to a swastika made of nappies, or present a Polaroid of his brother rimming a waxwork Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And you wouldn’t want to miss that.
When: Sunday, 2.45pm, Literary Arena.

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