Latitude Festival 2019, Underworld Review: Underworld whip festival into a frenzy

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Latitude needed this.

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A little bit of rebellion, a sly two-fingered salute at the play-it-safe British festival scene.

Duo Rick Smith and Karl Hyde - who have been working together in several different guises since 1979 - took to the main stage in the wake of a rather puzzling Stereophonics set that largely ignored their far more interesting first album for the pallid, flabby rock that has followed since. And thank goodness Underworld were invited along.

Perhaps not to spook the largely conservative Latitude crowd, Underworld were billed as a 'special late headliner'. They weren't actually on any later than anyone else. But whatever the thinking behind that this was an inspired booking.

Underworld gained a glimmer of mainstream fame on the back of 1996 single Born Slippy. And since then they have, often without due recognition, released album after album of serious quality.

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Underworld headlining the Obelisk Arena on Saturday at Latitude 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

And at Latitude they rolled out all the fans' favourites. Rez, King of Snake and Moaner worked the crowd progressively into a hysteria but it was finale Born Slippy that blew the roof off.

Made famous by its inclusion in 1996 junkie classic Trainspotting, the track builds and rolls through hypnotic lyrics before dropping into full-on techno madness.

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Down the front a frenzy captured young and even those old enough to remember Underworld back in the 1990s.

Sometimes Latitude can feel a bit safe. Underworld were the remedy to that.

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