EDitorial ± 25-Jul-2022

Latitude 2022

Twelve months ago Festival Republic ran Latitude as a "test event" as part of the government’s sinister sounding Events Research Programme. Despite 1000+ people seeing that infamous line in the weeks afterwards, I guess it must have passed since they're doing it again this year. Though no need for a Covid Pass this time. Weirdly insistent emails, though, from Ticketmaster saying "print your tickets". One step forwards.

En route in the Polo it's odd to see the Jet garage at Darsham hawking their unleaded for £1.79, some 10p cheaper than the cheapest 'Swich outlets. How does that work? I'm parked at 10am yet it's a good 30 minute warm weather walk into the arena. Lakeside path next to the pink sheep is more like a beach. Good to see Suffolk Archives here, matching my black tote, with their horsebox and smart yellow deckchairs. As per 2021 my days starts with competent Kate Mosse (still not that one) in an expanded Outpost cramming an eight week novel-writing course into 90 minutes. Talk to your neighbour on the grass, says Kate: the woman to my left is, it turns out, writing an erotic historical novel. Nice.

First coffee du jour -- from Greenpeace, of course -- plus a chat with a guy in a Los Pollos Hermanos T-shirt, and over the buzzing Writers' Bridge to the periphery of The Listening Post. Once the neurodivergents have had their moments, on comes an ebullient Aisling Bea, "the Suzie Dent of swearing", to chat books. Can't hang around since I'm into the woods to catch the powerful Samantha Crain, clearly from somewhere over the water. "I caught a boat here," she tells us, "over that lake."

Aware that I need to be elsewhere, I transport my £12 chilli burrito to consume in the queue for the theatre and start nattering to a Northern Irish woman now living in Norwich, A Fine City. She's also 70,000 words into her novel, natch. "Isn't that Richard Curtis?" she asks, as Mr Blackadder strolls past. We eventually squeeze into a large hot tin box with seats: welcome to the theatre, on the stage of which Tim Key lurks in a furry tracksuit by a fridge and a front door. He's somewhat nonplussed by parents who've brought along their kids but goes all out on the swears. "What's your favourite lockdown?" As good as he is, and he is good, it's an absolute pleasure to exit stage left and to consume a £5 waffle cone, finished while watching a glowing Katy J Pearson (last seen at Sound City) who duets with Samantha Crain.

Sauna sucker that I am, I'm once again in the theatre queue, less frantic this time, for a band called caroline (lower-case, obvs). Bunch of them onstage, three guitars, two violins, and a drummer who switches to the cello after the first number. Mostly vocal-free improv stylings not for everyone, and the heat doesn't help, but I lapped it up.

Thank goodness for the multiple free water points around the site. Filled my bottle again then into the BBC Sounds big tent for Cavetown. Clearly a heart-throb, the kids know all the moves, all the words, and the screams resemble the Wembley crowd at an England U21 game. Past the diminutive obelisk itself -- never easy to find -- and into the crowd at the massive Obelisk stage for the mighty Little Simz, an absolute ball of energy in her groovy red hat, Gucci shades and Brain Dead T-shirt. Sometimes she might be introvert but not today as she jumps and moves and smiles loads and loads. What a star.

Nearly 9pm and time for tea: so much choice. Chicken & chorizo paella, please, and across the Sunrise bridge into the Lavish Lounge, home of BBC Introducing and many outdoor sofas. They're between acts when a seat becomes free, PTL, and I sink into it with my spicy rice. That was a fine 10 minutes, let me assure you.

With nothing in particular lined up in the "faves" section of my Latitude app, I wander over to see what's occurring at The Alcove (where previous highlights have included Gaffa Tape Sandy and Dingus Khan) Hanging around, I recognise the woman alongside at one of the fiddle players from caroline and pass on my appreciation. One of the band, she tells me, is playing is this band due up next, Broadside Hacks. "What kind of stuff do they play?" I ask. "Folk," she tells me. Yikes. Yet I'm there for the whole set of "un-authored songs" that include some fine tunes. Very much liked Gently Johnny, for one.

Come midnight, doesn't look like I'm getting anywhere near Charlotte Church's Late Night Pop Dungeon so I head up the slope, back past The Co-op, and do that same 30 minute journey in reverse, everything looking different. How am I going to locate the VW in a largely unlit field? With the miracle of an Apple Air Tag ... except I've got no Gs and no service. There's a couple of women approaching security saying "Can't find our car." Then a miracle as some 4G kicks in and my iPhone tells me I'm 0.4 miles away, giving me a handy compass direction. Walk that direction, rescan, and boom. No finer sight than a nearby motor flashing its lights.

...and still missed Sea Power, The Staves and Foals.

EDitorial ± 11-Jul-2022

Ipswich on Film: Lovejoy, Breaking The Broker

Among the final few Lovejoy episodes was Breaking The Broker.

Shown on BBC1 on Sunday 13th November 1994, it features a number of scenes shot in Ipswich.

See also Requiem Apache and Yesterday's Hero.

— Port of Ipswich —

Episode opens at the Port of Ipswich with a police raid on a Polish boat captained by Sidelski (Struan Rogers); Det Sgt Pulver (Gary Waldhorn) sips tea from a red Thermos.

— Stoke Quay —

We see Lovejoy (Ian McShane, of course) and Tinker (Dudley Sutton) driving a white pick-up along Stoke Quay to park by The Steamboat.

— Steamboat Front Door —

Pausing outside the front door of The Steamboat, Lovejoy questions Tinker's loyalty.

— Steamboat Interior 1 —

Lovejoy plays chess with smuggler Sidelski ("You be Nigel, I'll be Garry") in the rear of The Steamboat.

— Jeff's Cafe, Wherstead Road —

Tea is taken at Jeff's Cafe on Wherstead Road; years later a photo of Ian McShane and Dudley Sutton still graced the wall of the Megabyte Cafe.

— Steamboat Interior 2 —

Dodgy pawnbroker Adam Bailey (Martin Jarvis) searches for Tinker in The Steamboat.

— Felaw Maltings —

Martin Jarvis catches up Tinker outside the scruffy Felaw Maltings.

— Vernon Street / Hawes Street —

Tinker gratefully accepts a lift in Sidelski's bright red Lada near the Vernon Street / Hawes Street roundabout.

"Breaking The Broker", along with other Lovejoy episodes, is currently free to watch on UKTV Play.