Sunday Express: Latitude ‘09 Festival Report

A review of The Duckworth Lewis Method's appearance at Latitude in 2009.


Festival Report

Latitude Festival
Henham Park, Suffolk

There may have been rain but nothing could dampen the high spirits at Latitude Festival. Now in its fourth year it rightly bills itself as “more than just a music festival”.

In one day I learnt the charleston (in wellies), joined an open-air knitting group, learned how to talk to strangers from School Of Life, sampled theatre (Ben Moor’s beautiful tree-climbing play Coelacanth was magical) as well as poetry and comedy. Oh, and yes, there was a smattering of music…

The Pet Shop Boys were suitably outlandish, taking to the stage with transparent cones on their heads. Anywhere else this might grate but cube-wearing pop stars could not be more at home where installation art and pop art (courtesy of Peter Blake) is dotted about.

Classically-trained pianist Regina Spektor was a highlight with her haunting pop ballads and The Duckworth Lewis Method, with their cricket-themed songs, could not have found a more appreciative audience; some had even turned up in cricket whites with ears clamped to Test Match Special.

The Pretenders and Squeeze provided nostalgia and newer stars such as Ladyhawke and Little Boots satisfied the younger crowd.

There is little doubt Latitude is an achingly middle-class event, where the queue for the lattes is as long as the lagers. It’s fitting then that BBC Radio 2 made it debut here, joining Radio 4 in recording some programmes on site.

Family-friendly and gentler than some music-focused festivals it is not surprising that this event grows ever more popular. There is something special about a festival that can draw highbrow authors (Jonathan Coe and Blake Morrison among them) and music acts alike (such as Grace Jones, Editors and Mika) and still have room for comedy from the likes of Jo Brand and Lee Mack, cabaret, ballet and opera, too. The most eclectic festival in the UK? Probably.

Sunday Express - Jane Clinton