EDitorial ± 22-Jul-2019

Latitude 2019

Bit of an odd one this year since we'd spent the previous day driving to Loughborough, unloading The Boy and his worldly goods, then returning in the failing light. I would recommend NOT attempting to turn a VW Crafter van at the top of Broom Hill Road.

A pleasant change, then, to be back behind the wheel of the comparatively quite small Qashqai and to take in a This American Life podcast about Bob Nelson's adventures in cryonics. Is that Blythburgh already? Five cars in from that fence, seven rows back from the longer fence, and pleased to be through to the arena for half-ten. Lured in by by the word "barista", I'm in a static queue -- darn, I've forgotten my KeepCup -- and arrive a few minutes late into the atmospheric set by Penguin Cafe. Was father Simon Jeffes at the stick, now son Arthur Jeffes. Mellow music, kicking coffee. Well placed to remain in the Music & Film arena for Charlie Brooker & Annabel Jones nattering about Black Mirror. Congrats to one festival goer who managed to get his laminated acting CV passed directly into their hands.

Emerged into the early afternoon sunlight to be one of the cool people smiling at Suffolk's own Alfie Indra, charming and unassuming as he talked of his wish to hook up with Sigrid. Waved my black card to grab a chicken stuffed paratha to consume largely in The Listening Post, a groovy new tent for podcast people. Very entertained by Dave and Cathy from The Cinemile as they chatted to Asif Kapadia about Ayrton, Amy and Diego.

Water and a wander before wending my way to the big BBC Sounds tent for the uncategorisable sounds of Sons Of Kemet. Classic line-up of two drummers, sax and tuba who together make a mindblowing noise. Would have loved to know what my dad thought of that tuba playing. Over one of the many bridges and into the woods to gaze enviously at the folk occupying the sofas surrounding the BBC Music Introducing stage. Enjoyed what I heard of Martha Hill while supping a builder's tea.

Back over the writers' bridge for fifteen minutes of the Latitude fixture that is Simon Armitage, current poet laureate, natch. Thank you for waiting, indeed. Left his set to sample some down-under Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever sounds only to find they weren't for me. Great name, though. Once more into The Speakeasy, this time clutching a bap crammed with merguez sausage, for yet more podcast action, now with that Russell Tovey & Robert Diament talking art. Took me a while to figure out that the woman on the other sofa telling of her time as a teenage Jehovah's Witness was Deborah Frances-White, the Guilty Feminist herself. Gosh.

Eight pm and I need donuts. A pack of five, please, for £4.50, ready cooked for me to slip into my bag to nibble while watching LP. Boy, that Laura Pergolizzi can utilise her tonsils. Crowd were loving her as I stole away in search of hydration and further female-led bands. Sun's setting as I hit the Sunrise for The Japanese House. Stayed for the entire show, which says something, though I'd have liked a tad more grit. Still a big crowd standing in the Sunrise come 11pm for maybe my most anticpated band of the day, The Comet Is Coming, much fancied by Gilles Peterson. Featuring the mighty Shabaka Hutchings (seen earlier that afternoon with Sons of Kemet), TCIC generate waves of power that slap you in the chest, bit like Jon Hopkins from 2018. Bit of Sun Ra, bit of sci-fi, bit of sonic blasting. It's midnight and I'm done.

...and still missed Kermode On Film, Let's Eat Grandma and Ben Okri.