15 bands not to miss at Latitude

Laura Mvula will be at Latitude on July 17. Photo: Josh Shinner

Laura Mvula will be at Latitude on July 17. Photo: Josh Shinner - Credit: Josh Shinner

Festival goers will be heading to Henham Park next week for Latitude. From headliners to upcoming talent, SIMON PARKIN picks 15 bands and artists not to miss.

Courtney Barnett

Obelisk Arena, Friday

This Australian singer-songwriter garnered attention for her buzzed-about EPs and her first proper album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, wasn't a let down. Considering her breakthrough hit was a song about an asthma attack (2013's Avant Gardener), idiosyncrasy is a large part of Barnett's charm and it's evident within the astute, observational lyrics and stream of consciousness style of music. She's also a fantastic guitar player.

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Father John Misty

Obelisk Arena, Friday

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Favourite bearded American singer/songwriter Father John Misty —alternatively known as J. Tillman's blend of moody country rock is the perfect fit for Latitude. His folk-rock aesthetic, as evidenced on third album I Love You, Honeybear, sounding like a mix of Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson and Dory Previn, has won many hearts. Prior to his new-found alias, Tillman was a member of a staggering amount of successful bands, including Fleet Foxes (which he left in 2012) and Saxon Shore.


6 Music Stage, Friday

Punk duo Slaves had an amazing 2015. A true breakout band of the year, they appeared in many 'Ones To Watch' lists, and have gone on to become one of the most talked about acts this year, gaining an army of fans – including personal heroes Jamie T and Mike Skinner. Their debut album, Are you Satisfied?, which smashed into Top 10 charts, was a riotous riposte to the dreary mood of austerity Britain. Live they are intimidating and entertaining in equal measure.

Christine and the Queens

6 Music Stage, Friday

France's most fascinating pop star arrives off the back of a breakthrough outside her home country, following much hype, a stunning performance on Later with Jools and the UK release of her debut album, Chaleur Humaine, a top-notch collection of taut, slick and quirky pop, certified five-times platinum in France. Her dance-performance live shows mix eclectic references – from hip-hop to flamboyant pop, from Gainsbourg to Michael Jackson. She's a hot name at the moment.

Let's Eat Grandma

Sunrise Arena, Friday

Let's Eat Grandma are the most unique and fascinating duo to have come out of the UK for some time — and they hail from Norwich! Best friends since the age of four, Rosa and Jenny (now aged 16 and 17) create imaginative and original music that crosses the worlds of experimental pop and progressive weirdness. They have recently released their debut album, I, Gemini, which mixes their poppier side whilst retaining a avant garde edge, and further showcases the talents as multi-instrumentalists.


6 Music Stage, Friday

Grimes is the multimedia project of Canadian artist, singer-songwriter, producer, recorder and video director Claire Boucher. Best known for her edgy-art based aesthetic, her genre can be described as 'synth-pop' or electronica, characterised by last year's fourth studio album, Art Angels. Previously she's been dubbed 'Artist of the Year' via the Webby Awards as well as winning 'Best Electronic Album of the Year' in 2013 at the Juno Awards. Definitely one not to be missed.

The Maccabees

Obelisk Arena, Friday

Following the success of 2015's Marks to Prove It, Maccabees step up to headline the main Obelisk Arena on Friday night. In truth, the band – Orlando Weeks, Hugo and Felix White, Rupert Jarvis and Sam Doyle – were ready made for the big time thanks to fourth album, Marks To Prove It. The indie rock of their debut Colour It In marked them out, followed by Wall of Arms and Given to the Wild, until flourishing into the strength and powerful guitar lines of Marks to Prove It that bombarded the jittering vocals of their earlier work into a more mature sound.

Laura Cannell

Faraway Forest, Saturday

Following her highly praised debut album Quick Sparrows Over The Black Ear, violinist Laura Cannell will perform on the bandstand in the Faraway Forest. Having toured for nearly a decade as one part of award winning duo Horses Brawl, Cannell's work draws on the emotional influences of the landscape and the sometimes dissonant chords of early and medieval music. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Angliss will also bring her live performance and robotic art to the Faraway Forest (Friday) reflecting her fascination with English folksong.


Obelisk Arena, Saturday

Scottish electronic band Chvrches perform on the Obelisk Arena with beautiful vocals from lead singer Lauren Mayberry and catchy electro-pop songs. The tio are known for their clean sound, despite writing, recording, mixing and mastering their songs in a basement in Glasgow. You will recognise their impressive 2013 single The Mother We Share, often played on Radio 1 from their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe.

The Invisible

Sunrise Arena, Saturday

Alt.funksters The Invisible, headed up by guitar maestro Dave Okumu, who has deep jazz roots before winning over the alternative rock crowd with their art-rock-meets-uber-funk and woogly electronica alongside Tom Herbert (bass/synthesizer) and Leo Taylor (drums), for almost a decade now, though their musical collaborations stretch back further still. They will be playing from their new album, Patience, which includes guest spots from Jessie Ware, Anna Calvi, Connan Mockasin and Floating Points.

Submotion Orchestra

Film and Music Arena, Saturday

A kaleidoscope of electronic bass music, ambient, jazz and dub that sits somewhere on an axis between Bonobo and London Grammar, this Leeds ensemble's music is the perfect backdrop for the fragile beauty of Ruby Wood's vocals. More music in the Film and Music Arena includes seminal dub and techno producer Andy Stott, Young Turks' Welsh ambient mastermind Koreless, DJ Femi aka Femi Fem and South Londoner 'no-genre' beat masher Ross Allen. The London Contemporary Orchestra will also be playing Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack from There Will Be Blood, Mica Levi's SAW and Steve Reich's Triple Quartet.

The National

Obelisk Arena, Saturday

The Canadian indie/alt rock quintet are the type of band ready-made to headline Latitude. From their youthful self-titled debut album to the most recent Trouble Will Find Me, multiple collaborations, compilations, and even a part-film-part-rock-documentary made about the band and their roadies on tour, they have been a staple of the alternative rock community for years. Trouble Will Find Me possesses a directness often not heard from this unpredictable band — and it makes them perfect headliners.

Jamie Woon

6 Music Stage, Sunday

Downtempo electronica and neo-soul from the hard-to-categorise singer-songwriter Woon, who recently returned with his second album, Making Time, following a long absence. The soulful and enigmatic UK singer brought the textures of the post-dubstep UK bass scene into his sophisticated debut Mirrorwriting, though he got lost amid the clamour for peers like Jessie Ware and James Blake. On Making Time, he's pared down to focus on his stunning voice.

Laura Mvula

Obelisk Arena, Sunday

Laura Mvula has an uncompromising approach. Few records sound like her jazz, gospel and R&B-heavy debut album Sing To The Moon. It's a fact that also came to light when making her recent second album, The Dreaming Room, on which she collaborates with jazz guitarist and composer John Scofield, while Nile Rodgers lends his signature funk. Both lyrically and musically, this album is bolder and more concise than Mvula's intricate, delicate debut.

New Order

Obelisk Arena, Sunday

Closing the festival on Sunday night having recently recorded their first album in over a decade, New Order will be sporty their new edgier electronic sound, as evidence recently at Glastonbury. The band formed Bernard Sumner with Gillian Gilbert and former Joy Division band mates Peter Hook and Stephen Morris in 1980, delivered one of their very best albums with Music Complete. Let's hope for plenty of some classics too.

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