Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day 114: Bye Glasto, Hi Latitude!

Today's soundtrack: Doves - The Best of Doves

Yes, I know we've had Doves on the soundtrack before, but there's nowt wrong with that. They've come up courtesy of my new iTunes 'Latitude' playlist, 826 songs of beefy goodness incorporating all the artist on iTunes that are playing at this year's Latitude Festival. Including Doves, of course.

So why the focus on Latitude today? Well, two reasons really. Firstly, my ticket arrived today (yay!) which in itself is enough to set the pulse racing. But secondly, I have been emailed by an increasingly giddy mate who is soooo looking forward to the festival, and we have been swapping notes on itinerary, packing lists etc in advance of next week, when it all kicks off.

Up to now, most of my festival focus has been on Glastonbury, with Latitude too far off to get excited about. But now Glasto's gone, and Latitude is rapidly appearing over the horizon.

So why is Latitude so good? Well essentially, it's Glastonbury in concentrated format - smaller scale, fewer stages, but a really good ratio of quality to dross and a really good history of dropping a few gems quietly into the mix.

The big surprise this year was the announcement of Thom Yorke performing on Sunday lunchtime, completely out of leftfield that one. I was also (pleasantly) surprised today to see Tricky performing on the Uncut Stage on the Sunday - not sure when that was announced, but it had completely passed me by as well.

Some interesting headliners this year - I already know that the Pet Shop Boys and Nick Cave will be ace, having seen them both already in the last month or so - so Grace Jones will be the really interesting one. Similarly, I've seen Magazine, Doves and the Gaslight Anthem recently and know that there's some real quality there. Then you have the likes of Squeeze and Pretenders - old favourites from back in the day - and quality indie from the likes of Editors and White Lies.

And that's before even considering the bands on the smaller stages that I know nothing about yet! Last year, there were a number of bands I'd never heard before who made a big impression - White Lies, who opened proceedings on the Saturday morning, The Maybes?, The Beep Seals, Johnny Foreigner, Beggars, Nada Surf, I Am Kloot... if this year's hit rate is anything like as good, it will be a great festival.

I might even find some time to spend in the comedy/theatre/literature areas this year as well!

Now, just need to start checking the weather forecast....

In other news, it was another domestic day today, baking (French rustic loaf, since you ask) and finishing the ironing. I also found time to finish my latest book - called 'Man on Wire', the story of a Frenchman who managed to string a high wire between the Twin Towers during the final stages of their construction back in 1972/3 and to walk between the two buildings. It's a fascinating story, if wrapped up in a bit too much cod-philosophy for me. apparently there is a documentary on the walk that's been released recently and will no doubt pitch up on DVD soon, which must be worth a look as well.

I've now started reading 'Homicide' the book written by David Simon, creator of The Wire, about the year he spent shadowing the Baltimore Homicide Department, and which provided a lot of the raw material that informed The Wire and made it as true to life as I am sure it is. Another fascinating read so far, but a long way to go!

So some more Doves for your enjoyment - Jetstream, recorded live at Delamere the other week. I must have been standing about six feet away from the bloke filming this!

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