Tom Pickover gives his verdict on the Friday of Latitude

Tom Pickover at Latitude

Tom Pickover at Latitude - Credit: Archant

I awoke to baking sunshine - The whole campsite seemed to be awake by 7 o'clock - it was certainly the start of a very very hot day at Henham Park!

After mulling about at the tent I joined the growing crowd and headed into the arena. By midday the arena was heaving with sun seeking revellers. The Leisure Society kicked off proceedings with a chilled set on the main stage.

After enduring the sun for a few hours it was a welcome relief to escape into the woods and listen to some of the acts at the I arena.

It was a perfect setting, sitting in and around the swaying trees - groups of friends and families alike were sprawled from the stage area into the woods - a relaxing atmosphere for the performers and fans alike.

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I took in a set from Mikhael Paskaleb lots of upbeat jumpy music with some harmonica and trumpet interludes. Next up was Malcolm Middleton who added to the chilled vibe in the woods.

The main reason for my attendance at the I arena was to watch an old school friend, Daniel Woolhouse aka Deptford Goth perform his set with cellist Rhosyn . Woolhouse, 29 is from Suffolk originally so it was enjoyable to see him perform locally.

I've been meaning to watch him for a while and the set did not disappoint the packed tent and crowds outside.

I then spent the afternoon backstage with him, fiancé Anna and Rhosyn. It was an interesting journey to get the keyboard and Cello from the I Arena to the backstage area behind the BBC Radio 6 music stage - a powerboat ride across the lake! Once backstage I was able to relax in the artists area and take in the artists experience of Latitude.

Each performer gets a dressing room filled with the usual conveniences there was also a number of treatments available - I opted for a back massage - which after a tough afternoon was throughly enjoyable.

Other backstage highlights included playing some table football. Sadly I was beaten 5-4 in the inaugural game to Deptford Goth - unfortunately I'm not sure when I will get to play him again as he is performing in Gothenburg, Oslo, Sicily and then a number of UK dates before heading to the US and Canada.

Woolhouse was pleased with his performance and welcomed the chilled ambiance of the I Arena - a perfect setting for his set.

After my jaunt backstage I headed to the main arena in time to watch Bloc Party. After literally bumping into lead singer Kele back stage it was great to see him and the rest of the band closing day one of Latitude with energy and vigour. The laser and light show was also something not to be missed.

In the crowd I met with Anna Shelmerdine, 25 from London who had cycled 130 miles from Brixton for the festival. Her highlight so far has been Beth Orton who she described as having the voice of an angel. Anna along with the rest of the crowd were enjoying the energy from the band, certainly her dancing showed no sign of fatigue from the cycle ride!

After Bloc Party signed off I headed to Guilty Pleasures - an after hours disco the crowd were loving the 'cheesey' classics from MJ and Prince to some boy band classics of the 90's. It was a great way to expend any remaining energy from the day. The long walk back to the tent followed, I like many others wondered what else the weekend has in store.

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