Latitude: where the arty and urbane lit-rockers of the shires gather to picnic along to the most sophisticated modern sounds, dodge the GCSE-relieved teens rutting like chimps in the woods and chase around after young Matilda, who’s had her first ever sniff of a skim latte and gone feral. 2018 was a prime year for the most middle-class festival this side of Alex James’ annual Smell My Cheese Muthafestival (or whatever it’s called), with The Killers bringing the Vegas glam, Alt-J providing the metaphysical lullabies, Solange coming on like Diana Ross In The 25th Century and Liam Gallagher wonderfully lowering the tone with his secret Saturday set. Here are all the highlights, in pictures.
An early highlight, Madrid’s Hinds appeared to have brought along some of the world’s heaviest guitars.
It was a good year for the indie old guard, with James packing out the BBC Music tent on Friday night and Tim Booth of The Charlatans starting the weekend’s onstage trend of praising the glorious sunshine.
Janet Planet of Confidence Man got the hang of it too, during a set that saw her and Sugar Bones dance around wearing masks of each other’s faces and strip to hi-tech neon underwear.
The younger Knowles, meanwhile, brought her own moon, a huge white globe hoisted over the stage – she also stepped away from her minimalist sci-fi dance routines to commune with the Sol-Angels in the front row.
Saturday was an indie kid’s wildest dream. Canada’s Alvvays dished out lovelorn lushpop harmonies like ‘Archie, Marry Me’ and ‘Dreams Tonight’ in the BBC Music tent and accidentally mentioned football – “Why did we bring that up?”
Parquet Courts seemed to have invented their own form of Oasisvision sunglasses, which makes everyone look like a Gallagher. “Welcome to the stage everyone’s second favourite member of Oasis,” they announced, “Diego!”
Justin Young battled vocal issues through The Vaccines’ Saturday night set, but the band still stormed through a visceral set of ramalama punk and Young managed hawk up a jibe at Trump: “what a day, almost good enough for a round of nine at Turnberry…”
But Liam stole Saturday, turning up as the surprise guest for a set dotted with Oasis classics like ‘Supersonic’ and even wandering on during The Killers’ spectacular headline set to explain, rather bizarrely, that he wouldn’t be singing on their cover of ‘Acquiesce’.
We can only assume that Black Honey singer Izzy once heard Dolly Parton singing about feeling blue and got the wrong end of the stick.
So sweltering was the weekend that Fickle Friends brought along their own tropical garden, which preceded to wilt in the heat.
Clearly no-one told Superorganism not to mention the football.
Or the weather forecast.
Idles delivered the wildest set of the weekend, carrying guitarists plucked from the audience around the stage on their shoulders and bawling covers of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Mary Berry’s never done that. Well done.
Wolf Alice proved late fest-stealers with a superb Sunday night set of multi-personality riot pop.
Future headliners in waiting, if infamous guitar-mangler Joff Ollie has any instruments left by then.
Caged in by The Future, Alt-J closed the festival with an absorbing Sunday headline set that lulled Latitude into a blissful reverie. Then snapped them straight out of it by using Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ as their walk-off music.