15 bands not to miss at Latitude this year
- Credit: Archant
Festival goers will be heading to Henham Park next week for Latitiude, this year celebrating it's 10th anniversary. SIMON PARKIN picks 15 bands and artists not to miss.
Obelisk Arena, Friday After topping the charts with their extraordinary second album, This Is All Yours, building on the success of their Mercury Prize winning debut, An Awesome Wave, Alt-J have stepped up a level and this headlining slot is arguably their biggest performance to date. Now a trio following the departure of bassist Gwil Sainsbury, the group bring their unique alt-pop, crushing synths, smart hip hop syncopations and tight vocal harmonies back the UK after months touring the US, Australia and South America.
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Obelisk Arena, Friday Fresh from a storming sunset drenched performance at Glastonbury Caribou – aka Dan Snaith – offers digital pop production, hip hop inspired beats, muted house basslines and a passion for shuffling garage, but with added warm analogue sounds of classic soul, throwing heartfelt lyrics to the mix. Our Love, his sixth studio album, was his most soulful release to date, and live he comes with a full band, to capture the full irresistible intensity of his work.
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6 Music Stage, Friday Ivor Novello nominated self-taught studio wizard Jon Hopkins, a long term collaborator of Brian Eno and Coldplay, who has also remixed everyone from Wild Beats to Four Tet, has managed to transfer his unique blend of electronic music to the live stage. His last album, Immunity, was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, and he recently curated a fantastic Late Night Tales compilation. His lush, melodic electronics tones veer from the gentle dancefloor to the blissed-out.
Lake Stage, Saturday One of the most talked about new bands at the moment, tipped as the new Oasis, Pretty Vicious have had tongues wagging since releasing one track Cave Song online. They only formed last year in their hometown of Merthyr, but immediately triggering a furious bidding war, eventually won by Virgin EMI. See if they live up to the hype.
Sun Kil Moon
6 Music Stage, Saturday Mark Kozelek — aka Sun Kil Moon — and his band perform songs from latest album, Benji, alongside material from his 11-year career including his classic debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway. Kozelek has been performing under the Sun Kil Moon moniker since 2002, following the split of his previous cult band, Red House Painters. His pensive, heartbreaking folk-rock songs deal in life, death, love and humanity, laced with tragedy.
6 Music Stage, Saturday Fresh from releasing their debut album, My Love Is Cool, London four-piece Wolf Alice already has a fierce fanbase but they've really come of age in 2015. Adding grunge grit to darkly melodic folk-pop, the band's shows so far have already earned them a reputation as one of the finest live acts around, with all eyes on mesmerising riot grrrl in the making, singer Ellie Rowsell.
Other Voices, Saturday Nominated for the Mercury Prize and the only British folk representation in both the Guardian's and Uncut's list of the best albums of last decade, The Unthanks have an army of notable fans. Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank use the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, but their influences spider out to take in Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Sufjan Stevens and Tom Waits.
Obelisk Arena, Saturday If anyone was a perfect fit with the Latitude spirit it has to be Laura Marling and she returns to the stage having previously performed in 2010 and 2012. She may look fragile, but she has a voice that resonates with depth and maturity, a great back catalogue of affecting songs, and her latest album, her fifth, Short Movie, a beefed up affairs that swaps nu-folk for electric guitar driven tracks.
Obelisk Arena, Saturday Two decades on from their landmark debut, Dummy, which helped popularize trip hop, this band are still groundbreaking and spellbinding live, thanks in no small part to the voice of Beth Gibbons. Seven years on from their last album, Third, all ears are now on the band for any sign of new material and fans will be hoping their Latitude headlining set may reveal some hints.
Lake Stage, Sunday Headlining this year's Lake Stage is Blackpool singer-songwriter Rae Morris, who has a knack of beguiling festival-goers with her combination of coy, girl-next-door charm, heart-warming back story and songwriting flair – not to mention disarming chamber pop vocal. Inspired by the likes of Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, her debut album, Unguarded, shot into the Top 10 in January.
The Alcove, Sunday Hailing from Chelmsford, Jordan Cardy – aka Rat Boy – makes music in his bedroom. His first mixtape, unclassifiable into any actual genre but fusing lo-fi punk with hip hop from the likes of Wu Tang Clan as well as element of UK garage, similar to The Streets, was raved about by everyone from XFM to the Guardian. NME's named him on the Brand New Artists Set To Storm 2015.
6 Music Stage, Sunday La Roux – Ellie Jackson, is bringing her refreshed live show to Latitude for the first time and if her performance at Glastonbury is anything to go by it should be fantastic. Her more personal; second album, Trouble In Paradise, has proved to be a triumph, swapping sparse, chilly synths for a warmer, more laid-back sound shot through with traces of funk and disco that work live. Young Fathers
6 Music Stage/Other Voices, both Sunday Featuring three vocalists from Edinburgh whose utterly unique sound combines beat, rap and song, the 2014 Mercury Prize winners followed up their debut album, Dead, with White Men Are Black Men Too earlier this year as they continue to pursue a unique trajectory, from hip hop trio to dark psych-pop rap. Taking as much from ancient African tradition as from contemporary electronic futurism, they are unique.
The 2 Bears
iArena, Sunday After meeting in the DJ booths of London, Raphael 'Raf Daddy' Rundell and Hot Chip's Joe Goddard bonded over a love of house music. They duo's blend of house, techno, ragga and more resulted in the bold dancefloor-centric shapes of their second album The Night Is Young, all made crystalline with the passion of Raf's affecting voice.
6 Music Stage, Sunday In the four years since SBTRKT released his debut self-titled album, the DJ and producer Aaron Jerome has won global acclaim for his soulful, textured take on electronic music. His debut at Latitude in 2012 in support of his first album was a powerful, unique set, and this return with a UK festival exclusive performance is the perfect off beat alternative to Noel Gallagher.
Latitude, Henham Park, Suffolk, July 16-19, £200.50 (weekend camping), £84.50 (day tickets), £5 children (5-12 day tickets), 0871 2310846, www.latitudefestival.co.uk