Monday, 18 July 2011
It's Official, Drew Is A Wendy pt 2
I awoke early on the Friday morning, around 06:00 struggled out of the orange coloured condom described as a sleeping bag and opened the tent to glorious sunshine which immediately put me in a good mood. It was now time to check out the amenities so I went for a wander around our part of the site bought a couple of bacon rolls, a tea and a coffee, nearly had a heart attack when the guy behind the counter asked for fourteen quid. I know, I have just reinforced another racial stereotype but fourteen quid is fucking steep and no bloody butter on the rolls!
After rallying the rest of the troops it was time to take a gander at the festival site itself, which is really quite impressive once you go down through the woods and across the lake. First stop was the children's area for fun on the helter skelter and carousel, finding out all about bees and honey and chilling out with Leo in the toddlers chill out area which was magic and then it was time for lunch and a meander up to the Obelisk arena to catch another emotional set by the ever improving Edwyn Collins and a backing band that are absolutely brilliant.
It was decided that we would remain camped where we were for the remainder of the afternoon to witness a great performance by Wanda Jackson who still knows how to have a party, even after finding god. I was not so impressed by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan who I thought gave a rather lacklustre performance which could have had a lot to do with the fact they were on the main stage when their music really needs a more intimate venue. Although some banter with the crowd, well acknowledging that they exist for a start may help. When I went back to where L and Max were, Max said to me "that man (Lanegan) scares me dad" and I suspect that Max isn't the first person to feel that when in Lanegan's presence.
L and Leo decided to stay where they were to take in KT Tunstall who was attracting quite a crowd. Max and I wandered over to catch Deerhunter at the Word Arena, who were on blistering form I thought and who in Max's opinion were "not bad". However I still don't get the Fall influence which is repeatedly mentioned in the music press.
Then it was time to re-group for some dinner after which L decided to take the boys back to the tent to get changed as by this time Leo was filthy and stripped down to his simmit.
This allowed me to watch Bright Eyes on my own. Oberst and Co were very good but a good deal heavier than the last time that I caught them live, which granted was a few years ago and I was also surprised at how easily Conor Oberst has taken to rock star posturing. The version of Gillian Welch's Wreaking Ball was particularly note worthy especially with the guest vocals from Jenny & Jonny who were playing the Lake Stage later. By the time Bright Eyes had finished with a rousing version of Road to Joy the family were back and it was time to head over to the Word Arena yet again to see the most anticipated band of the weekend by half of the family at least.
"When are they on?" was the question Max interspersed the last 20 minutes of Lyle Lovett's set with at regular intervals and looking around he wasn't the only one waiting in anticipation as the tent quickly filled up with lots of teenagers and younger children with their parents, so much so that when The Vaccinnes eventually took to the stage they were not greeted with a roar so much as a high pitched scream. The band proceeded to play their whole album pretty much in order. Max had the time of his life.
Are the Vaccines the saviours of indie rock? Not especially. To me they are not that far away from the Pigeon Detectives with the sing along choruses and songs of teenage exploits, the Pigeon Detectives were also very entertaining live. But looking around the tent everybody and I do mean everybody seemed to be loving it. Even an old cynic like me at that moment didn't care how derivative they were or the fact that there are virtually no lyrics to their songs, it was just life affirming to see so many people having so much fun listening to music with not a posturing scenster in sight or maybe I just had too many over priced pints of Magners.
We had one more stop to make on the way back to the campsite and that was to possibly the coolest stage at Latitude. Tucked away in the trees at the side of the lake was the Sunrise arena which due to the fact that the sun was down and the area was illuminated by over sized fairy lights took on a really intimate and quite magical feel.
We were there to witness for me what was the highlight of the day, Cat's Eyes. I was curious to see them live as I had bought the album on the strength of all the good reviews that it had received but had hardly given it a listen. From the first notes I just knew that they were going to be good, and not being that familiar with the album I cannot tell you what they played but they did cover an old psych song I had on a compilation tape years ago but which I can't remember the name of but has lyrics about black cat's and the like.As I watched the band L sat and relaxed, Max ran about the woods and Leo slept.
Once they had finished it was back up to the campsite passing those on there way back down for the late night revelry and thinking about what Saturday would bring as Friday had been so good.
Cat's Eyes - Over You