REVIEW: Latitude Festival - Day 1

Latitude Festival - Day 1

The Latitude Lineup was incredible. I caved one week before the festival and bought a ticket - that's what overdrafts are for though, right? I've been to enough festivals to know the drill, wellies, wet wipes and hand sanitizers at the ready. Makeup? Oh no! and a decent nights sleep? pah you'd be so lucky. 

But Latitude was something of a luxury, the sun was shining and volunteers were handing out packets of free percy pigs!! The portaloos were fit for Kate Middleton to give birth in and I managed to sample almost all of the Hummingbird Bakery (the most instagrammed cupcakes around) amazing flavours. I haven't even covered the musical wonders that I saw.  

Bloc Party 

The crowd waited, almost silently for their arrival. The spotlight flashed on a girl whacking her drumsticks. Before I could even question why the drummer had been replaced by a ultra cool brunette, the lights invaded. Green lazers scattered the whole of Henham Park, I'm sure NASA's satellites on the Moon would have got a good view of the light show. 

The stage was electric as 'Helicopter' began. Kele presumptively let the audience chant the first few lines and kept smugly quiet. This, of course, worked accordingly as the crazed crowd, broke into the hit from their first album. It might be 8 years since our ear first tingled to Silent Alarm but it still feels so current. With the Stone Roses, Rolling Stones and Primal Scream all resurfacing this year there is reassurance that rock never left us. Bloc Party have kept true to their punk-rock vibes but have progressed as music technology has. Four, released in 2012 is packed with loops, sound pedals and distorted vocals still manages to keep the Bloc Party sound. The urgency of Kele's very clever lyrics (Helicopter does make political references to a certain Mr.Bush) teamed with the tight, energetic drum beat makes it impossible not to splutter the words back. And, of course it'd be rude not to dance to electronic music. Bloc Party are so uncool they're cool. The bassist was sporting farmer boy gingham, the lead guitarist, donning a Manchester United sweatband and Kele Okereke, the front man had a loud African tribal shirt on. Yet, regardless of mixed up fashion I headed back to my tent, slightly blinded by the frantic light show and wondering 'How can I be that girl drummer?' God, they are cool. 

The Maccabees 

My first ever review was on the Maccabees. It was my GCSE english exam and you had to write about something you're passionate about. I am passionate about The Maccabees, well their frontman, (frontGod!) Orlando Weeks. I began to relive my year 11 crush as Orlando pushed his hands through his greased back hair and readjusted his guitar strap. 

The ambient sheathes guiding the intro was stifled by the sound of excitable fans, admittedly I was the loudest and shrillest. Weeks’ voice like a drop of watercolour falling into liquid, undulating the atmosphere; whispering the lyrics ‘I will love you better.’ Strangely, it did seem that my Orlando was serenading me. However, the lead singer's intense eye contact throughout the performance did make each audience member feel like he was personally addressing them. 
The beginning of the set covered a lot of the most recent albumn 'Given to the Wild.' Felix Whites’ guitar solo sends the crowd wild until Orlando haunting voice simmers them down once more. This routine recurs for the first few songs from this amazing album. The combination of Week’s vocals which are stripped of any auto tune and the bare drums tremble is really emotive. The rawness of the song makes the enquiring, haunting lyrics “How will I ever dare to breathe?” relatable and frankly, bloody fantastic.

The 2008 album 'Colour it in' was the band's first surface into fame.  Understandably, it targeted a limited, optimistic audience as every song was a bit sickly sweet. This in small doses is a recipe for a delicious nostalgic sing-song. The acoustic guitar strum imitates a kumbya, fire camp melody, which initiates fond memories for any listener; whether you had collected every Scouts badge available or not. Orlando’s humble, gruff voice matches the spontaneity of picking up a guitar around a marshmallow melting, camp fire session. Perfect for singing Toothpaste Kisses to.
Two years later the boys composed the album 'Wall of arms.' somewhere along the course they must have encountered emotional damage, as it was darker. One man's pain, conveniently for us, is another man’s pleasure. And what a pleasure is it. The intricate Guitar plucking gives the song an upbeat calypso rhythm which metaphorsises the heart break to an exotic island rather than at Latitude, in a field in Suffolk somewhere.  
The fivesome ended on the beautiful 'We Grew Up At Midnight' from their 2011 album. This album is remarkably more grown up from their previous stuff. Now with a portfolio of different sounds from their 3 albums, The Maccabees are now a fully established band to go in the history books. 


  1. I am so jealous, it sounds amazing. Before I get into the music can I just say I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT! How gorgeous do you look?! Ooh aren't the Hummingbird Red Velvet cupcakes the best ever? Love them!

    Has it really been 8 years since 'Silent Alarm' came out? It's official, I'm old. :( I remember seeing them when that album came out and it feels like just yesterday. 'This Modern Love' is still one of my all time favourite songs EVER EVER EVER. You're so right btw, they are so uncool, it makes them cool. I've gone through a phase of fancying them all, right now it's back to Gordon I think haha. I never really got into The Maccabees but I think I need to give them another shot. Great review btw, you've described it all so well, keep up the music reviews! :)

  2. Haha thank you Izzy! I need the baking recipe book, they're fab.

    Aw thank you, you cutie but yes Maccabees are worth a spotify stalk, they need to bring out some new things though!




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