Putting the Attitude into Latitude

It's a little beyond our usual threshold, geographically speaking, but the Latitude Festival could be just the ticket to justify a jaunt down south for a bank holiday weekend of music, comedy and poetry slamming. Here, some of the performers make their picks...

Feature by Dave Kerr | 16 Jul 2008
  • Bill Bailey

Julian Cope - Uncut Arena (Friday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

I don't go to festivals to see anyone in particular. For myself, what makes a festival great is not who you saw but who you missed, as it is evidence that there was so much going on you could not hope to take it all in.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

The name of the festival is its most essential aspect, for its title sums up everything about living here in these islands. We are lucky to be in a geographical location where food is guaranteed through our highly temperate climate, and where there is some kind of balance between the sexes.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

People can expect a beautiful array of instruments, including 2 Mellotrons and several marching drums plus the strangest percussion rack this side of a Harry Partch composition. There will be epic amplifiers and extremely pretty guitars, plus anecdotes and strange tales. Also, I shall be playing both old and new material at the festival.

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

I'd be researching for my next book, which is a study of the Ancient Law.

Video: 'Try Try Try'

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Jim Sclavunos (Grinderman) - Obelisk Arena (Sunday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude?

Grinderman happen to be playing the same day as Interpol, whom I know from NY. Good band: I remember when they used to play tiny Manhattan clubs like Brownies, way back when. I haven't seen them perform in a long time and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again most of all. It will also be nice to hook up with The Breeders; The Bad Seeds spent an entire summer touring the US with them on the 1994 Lollapalooza.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

The audience: they seem more easygoing and relaxed than most festival crowds. Not frazzled, like they've been engaged in trench warfare for days, rather than enjoying themselves in the outdoors. latitude seems to attract an interesting diversity of types and ages too.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival?

A pink suit and a sturdy umbrella.

Do you have anything special planned?

Eating ice cream in the sunshine in a sheep meadow -- my idea of a good time. Maybe see what's happening down at the Bimble Inn??

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

I can't imagine a more pleasurable way to pass a summer's day.

Video: 'No Pussy Blues'

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David Boulter (Tindersticks) - Uncut Arena (Sunday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

I'm only there Sunday, so I'll miss Julian Cope. Barry Adamson and Jonny Trunk in the Film and Music Arena sound good to me. Hope I'm there then.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

Latitude seems to offer something else, and diverse acts get space. It seems to make sense.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

We're playing as a 12 piece band at the moment and it's been great fun, so some of that.

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

Sat in one of the many beer gardens of Praha, where I live. Probably in a 3 piece suit, so pretty much the same as at Latitude.

Video: 'Can We Start Again?'

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Metronomy - Sunrise Arena (Friday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

British Sea Power, Sadler's Wells dancers, Franz Ferdinand, The Breeders, Julian Cope, Grinderman, Interpol...plus many more.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

Last year I really enjoyed sitting in on the BBC 4 recordings. It's nice to mix a bit of culture in with the relentless drug taking. It's also nice to see that the headliners are a bit more diverse than at most festivals. The boat that takes one across the lake is also a highlight, because it is exciting.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

Well, last year we played in the daytime. This year we are headlining a stage, so I think people can expect us to bring their evening to a nice end. We'll try and do a party set and perhaps trick Sadler's Wells into dancing for us.

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

If I wasn't in a band I would be a driving instructor.

Video: 'Radio Ladio'

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The Aliens - Obelisk Arena (Friday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

The Aliens will probably hanging around the comedy tent, picking up tips for our new album. Seen Bill Bailey a few times over the years and always thought he was smashing.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

The poetry/comedy/theatre stages.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

We are bringing a tent full of psychedelia and a fridge full of funk.

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

The dishes.

Video: 'Setting Sun'

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Howling Bells - Uncut Arena (Friday)

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

I'm excited to see Sigur Ros again, they put on a magnificent show and Crystal Castles purely for great energy and Interpol, coz I've loved them forever!

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

I guess the fact that the festival acknowledges various genres of music/art/culture is a real turn on for everyone. Latitude's kinda like the hot geek at school, you know, a lil Leelee Sobieski in 'Never Been Kissed', she's cultured and sexy and ways eccentric. That's how I feel about Latitude, a lil nerdy, but profoundly cooler than the rest.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

We're in the process of finishing our second record, so defiantly a whole lotta new songs, we're anxious but excited, it'll be one of our first few shows since the last tour!

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

Anything involved in the arts, fashion, media, and culture. I have to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I do.

Video: 'Low Happening'

 

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Bill Bailey - Comedy Arena

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

Elbow, Sigur Ros, Interpol, Phill Jupitus doing Porky the Poet, Mark Lamarr doing God's Jukebox, Rich Hall, John Hegley, Elbow, because they are wonderful, Sigur Ros cos I love the grandness, the huge sounds, the slow build. Interpol, 'cos they continue the spirit of guitar indie punk that I grew up on. Phil is doing poetry again, which is great, what he did before anything, his first love. Mark is playing records - what he loves - and Rich Hall is doing Otis, but also just stand-up - we've toured together, and it's always good to hear what he has to say. John Hegley is performing, he was an early inspiration.

What aspect of Latitude interests you the most?

I love the mix of stuff, the great bands, and the fact there is a Poetry Arena...good vibes all round.

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

I will bring my Bouzouki-Saz Hybrid and I will act on the impulse of the crowd

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

Holding up shells to my ear.

Video: 'Acts of God'

 

Latitude Festival takes place at Henham Park on the Sunrise Coast in Suffolk from 17-20 Jul

http://www.latitudefestival.co.uk