|Here comes the nice. Stornoway, 19 July 2015|
The band? Stornoway. The venue? The tiny 'other voices' stage, with a few hundred inside a pulsatingly hot room, with loads outside trying to get in. All the boxes were ticked: the music, the venue, the banter, the intimacy - and - the crowd. That crowd were lovely.
But...we discussed whether the whole festival was a bit, well...too lovely. How can that be? Well, on the Saturday night, a young man brushed past me on a bridge crossing the lake, and then came back to fully apologise in the most grovelling way. The teens camping near us confirmed that they preferred the Latitude vibe (man) to say Reading or the V Festival. It was fantastic.
But, we're veterans of those other festivals. From 2005-2012, our group went to the V. We went because the bands were good and some of us hadn't yet entered our sixth decade alive. We've since retired from the V...But, in 2013 and 2014, various members of our group had to chaperone teens at Reading.
Those festivals have an edge. A few years ago, during MGMT, a cardboard pint of urine struck me on the neck and drenched two nearby-standers. So, to put it bluntly, we've been pissed-whipped and exposed to a feral end-of-the-world young people's hades. After that, seeing a good performance was all-the-more deserved and earned.
At Latitude, perhaps the way to look at it is to say that the reason our group loved Ezra Furman, the Vaccines, the Charlatans, and many other bands, is because we've done our time in hell. We bloody deserved this.
And, if it's any consolation, we got told off for building a fire far too high. Naturally, the security guards were apologetic in asking us to put it out. So, we were the worst behaved at the whole Latitude festival. Practically feral.
Below is my list of bands I saw in order of how much I enjoyed them.
But forget what I said when I started this blog. Latitude was amazing. I'll take nice, polite people any day. Just like Stornoway. A fantastic memory.
Rob Delaney (comedy)
Margaret Thatcher quiz show (cabaret)
Manic Street Preachers
Ivo Graham (comedy)
Liane La Havas