Damien Jurado, Sadler’s Wells ballet and the Gruffalo: Latitude’s organisers pick their ones to watch for this weekend
- Credit: Archant
Looking for unknown gems for this weekend's Latitude festival? Here are 15 tips from the festival's organisers to help you plan.
Latitude music programmer Natasha Haddad's music picks:
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Natasha says: 'Prolific singer/songwriter Damien Jurado has been quietly building up one of the strongest catalogues on the indie scene for decades, following his own muse wherever it took him.
Many of Jurado's best songs spin concise, literate tales of quiet, everyday despair. With detours into pop, world music, full-fledged electric indie rock, and even found-sound experiments, Jurado assures us that his body of work will continue to be impossible to accurately pin down.'
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'Experimental Swedish band Goat have a magnificent live performance reputation that is sure to spellbind audiences at Latitude. Goat's guitar riffs have been likened to Hendrix and their music is a magnificent melting pot of music genres, with an audio-visual live performance that owns the stage. Colourful and psychedelic, they're only playing one festival this summer and it's Latitude, so this is one set that's is not to be missed!'
'Norwegian songstress Emilie Nicolas quickly graduated from being an unknown music student to one of Scandinavia's hottest new talents via a viral cover of Dumbum Boys' Pstereoo. Her brand of melancholically inflected electro-pop, delivered with immense energy, is already making waves across UK music blogs and her forthcoming album promises to be very special indeed.'
'London-based collective Jungle are one of the most hotly-tipped new acts in the UK. Recently signed to XL Recordings, their recent run of singles Busy Earnin', Platoon and The Heat singles have been universally acclaimed and racked up millions of views on YouTube. Based around a core musical duo known simply as 'J' and 'T' who expand to a thrilling seven piece live band, Jungle make mesmeric, modern soul that's unmistakably born in the UK but with true global appeal.'
'Berlin-based contemporary composer Nils Frahm has built a steady reputation for his intimate, poignant piano recordings, yet they so far only showed a fragment of what to expect from a Nils Frahm concert. Frahm's heart lies in improvisation, in the magic of a moment where, inspired by the space and the audience, his fingers can create new compositions loosely based around his familiar melodies.'
'Baltimore three-piece Future Islands believe in true love, you can tell that because their songs speak through our lives. Over the last eight years the trio have maintained an admirable level of skill and pace, never slowing down for the corners. Their sound is at once beguiling and irresistible. It's one part melancholic, one part euphoric; full of animated basslines, robust drum machines and questing keyboards, all set off by Sam's remarkably distinct, soaring vocal.'
Latitude arts programmer Tania Harrison's Top Arts Picks:
This stunning combination of circus and physical theatre takes audiences into a Kafka-like world, to explore our desire to break free from bureaucracy and the constraints of work.
Strike! Is a new production directed by the very exciting director, Keziah Serreau. She devised it in collaboration with five highly skilled physical performers. It uses intense physicality and humour, innovative aerial tricks and a deluge of cardboard boxes to blur the boundaries between circus and theatre.
The Letter Room presents Bonenkai
The Letter Room is another group of talented young performers, based in Newcastle, who will be presenting their second show at Latitude. Club Bonenkai is an experiential piece of performance that combines raucous live music, tap dancing and a distinct visual style to evoke the speakeasies and hedonistic parties of times gone by. A celebration of the act of forgetting, Club Bonenkai will take audiences to a place where the nights are long and their troubles are far away.
Sadler's Wells presents Ballet Revolucion
Direct from Cuba, Ballet Revolución is coming to Latitude as part of their 2014 European tour. The company was born as a gathering of some of the world's most talented classical, hip hop and contemporary dancers. Its dancers perform to the infectious rhythm of Latin-America and to the No 1 hits from Usher, Shakira, Beyonce, J-Lo, Chris Brown and Enrique Iglesias to name just a few. Anyone who loves dance will be dazzled by the sheer skill and versatility of these phenomenal dancers in a show that unites ballet, contemporary and street dance.
Dirty Dancing 'The Classic Story on Stage'
Every year Latitude's Waterfront Stage plays host to some of the world's best dancers and dance companies. This year it's offering something a little bit extra, as Dirty Dancing: The Musical comes to Henham Park. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit brings the classic story of Baby and Johnny to the stage. The version presented at Latitude will be an edited highlights, but it has everything that made the film so special: heart-pounding music, passionate romance and of course sensationally sexy dancing
Massive Dad are a trio of sketch comedy performers who are one of the funniest acts I've seen in ages. Brand new and utterly exciting, Massive Dad are Stev Stevie Martin, Liz Smith and Tessa Coates, and are finalists in the Best New Sketch Act 2014 competition, which will be held in Edinburgh this August. Their appearance at Latitude will see them perform a half-hour set of their best sketches to date, and is a great opportunity to see performers I firmly believe are the stars of tomorrow.
Latitude children's programmer Sharon Reuben's things for young people to do at Latitude.
The Book Nook presents some of the best-loved characters in children's books, sponsored by Macmillan Children's Books. This year the nation's favourite monster, the Gruffalo, is celebrating his 15th birthday every day. Expect some wild fun as Young Latituders are invited to help him celebrate with The Gruffalo Games!
Bobby Dazzler dolls are a cult classic, made by hand with love, so each one is different with its own story to tell. You can grab a needle and thread and make your own special edition Latitude Dazzler to take away with you, using vintage fabrics and the jazziest of accessories. The freakier the better!
The Wildlife Hospital
The Fairyland Wildlife Hospital will be magical, teaching kids how to care for wildlife by giving them their own patient to look after. They're looking for caring doctors and nurses this weekend. On arrival at the field hospital, every child will be allocated a patient – perhaps a baby badger with a thorn in its foot or a tiny bird that's lost its voice – and these toy animals will need everything from diagnosis to bandages, food for recovery to putting to bed in their correct habitat. It's a magical session that teaches children to care for wildlife.
Horace the Dinosaur
Horace the Pliosaur is a giant, 35 foot-long sea lizard. Fresh out of the Jurassic ocean, Horace is 165 million years old, (older than your Granddad). Brought to you by performing professors and dotty groom Jo, audiences are invited to explore Horace and help prepare him for the day, before venturing inside his belly on a cinematic journey full of slimy surprises! Horace delivers fact-filled and fun family entertainment!
Culture Works East
Culture Works East are so popular in the Teen Area, they now have a brand new arts hub in the Family Campsite as well - with superb workshops, silent disco, family film club, DJ'ing for Dads and much, much more.
Creative teenagers will be able to let their imagination run wild at Latitude in our digital and creative workshop spaces where young people can use state of the art equipment to produce their own work, get real hands-on experience of the media and music industry and a chance to work alongside industry pros in a range of interactive and industry savvy workshops. Work will be available to take away, and will also be showcased across a range of regional and national platforms. Confirmed partners include The Roundhouse, BBC, DIY, Ideas Tap, BFI, Into Film, Access to Music and Eastern Daily Press.