Grindermen, Julian Cope, Sam Issac - Latitude Festival: A preview.

Bill Cummings 02/06/2008

Live music is in a boom and it feels like there's a new festival announced every day. Lattitude is perhaps one of the best new editions to the festival season, and this year's event is shaping up to be one of the best.Taking place between the 17th and 20th at Henham Park, Southwold in Suffolk. The line up includes Scottish art-rockers Franz Ferdinand who play their only festival show in England; the majestic and soaring Icelandic post-rock outfit Sigur Rós head up Saturday's line-up and powerful and atmospheric New York titans Interpol close the arena on the Sunday. Also confirmed are: Grinderman, The Mars Volta, Amadou and Mariam, Death Cab for Cutie, Elbow, The Breeders, Tindersticks, M.I.A., The GO! Team and Seasick Steve. There's also a feast of film, cabret and onsite activities to be part of. We preview the festival with interviews with Grindermen, Julian Cope and Sam Issac.


1.) Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival across the Arenas (Obelisk, Uncut, Comedy, Theatre, Literary and Poetry, Film & Music) and why?

Grinderman happen to be playing the same day as Interpol, whom I know from NY. Good band: I remember when they used to play tiny Manhattan clubs like Brownies, way back when. I haven't seen them perform in a long time and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again most of all. It will also be nice to hook up with The Breeders; The Bad Seeds spent an entire summer touring the US with them on the 1994 Lollapalooza.

2.) What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

The audience: they seem more easygoing and relaxed than most festival crowds. Not frazzled, like they've been engaged in trench warfare for days, rather than enjoying themselves in the outdoors. Latitude seems to attract an interesting diversity of types and ages too.

3.) What can people expect you to bring to the festival

A pink suit and a sturdy umbrella.

…and do you have anything special planned?

Eating ice cream in the sunshine in a sheep meadow - my idea of a good time. Maybe see what's happening down at the Bimble Inn??

4.) If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

I can't imagine a more pleasurable way to pass a summer's day.

5.) What is your favourite colour Sheep?
Pink, of course -- to match both my suit and drum kit.


1.) Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival across the Arenas (Obelisk, Uncut, Comedy, Theatre, Literary and Poetry, Film & Music) and why?
I don't go to festivals to see anyone in particular. For myself, what makes a festival great is not who you saw but who you missed, as it is evidence that there was so much going on you could not hope to take it all in.

2.) What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?
The name of the festival is its most essential aspect, for its title sums up everything about living here in these islands. We are lucky to be in a geographical location where food is guaranteed through our highly temperate climate, and where there is some kind of balance between the sexes.

3.) What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?
People can expect a beautiful array of instruments, including 2 Mellotrons and several marching drums plus the strangest percussion rack this side of a Harry Partch composition. There will be epic amplifiers and extremely pretty guitars, plus anecdotes and strange tales. Also, I shall be playing both old and new material at the festival.

4.) If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?
I'd be researching for my next book, which is a study of the Ancient Law.

5.) What is your favourite colour Sheep?
I'm interested only in the black sheep.


1.) Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival across the Arenas (Obelisk, Uncut, Comedy, Theatre, Literary and Poetry, Film & Music) and why?
To be honest it's got to be the big acts on the main stage this year. I think they're pretty much the best of any festival all summer. Sigur Ros, Death Cab! Getting to see those bands play at such a great festival is one of the things I'm looking forward to most all this summer. Also my good friends Luke Leighfield and Tim and Sam's Band on the BBC Introducing Stage on Sunday. They're doing a collaborative set and its going to be amazing.

2.) What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?
It's just so different from any other festival. The beautiful site, the amazing range of both music and literary and comedy stuff. All in such a small site that you can walk across in just a few minutes. It's much more easy to get around than something like Glastonbury.

3.) What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?
I'll probably just be bringing my six piece indie-pop band. We'll be playing some new songs and hopefully getting some musician friends that are playing in other bands on stage to sing some gang vocals. It will be great!

4.) If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?
Recording my album in a hot studio near London Bridge. Probably fretting, worrying if the songs are ok, wishing I was at Latitude.

5.) What is your favourite colour Sheep?
Plain old white. None of these multicoloured new-age ones.

Press release:

Spring has sprung and the cold nights are over, the warm embrace of the sunshine reminds us all that once again, it's festival time! Henham Park on the Sunrise Coast is definitely the place to be this summer for the most diverse and original festival of the year; offering you the finest from all areas of creativity. Over the weekend you can experience some of the greatest bands in the world performing across three arenas, hear readings from some of the countries best loved poets and authors, see some of the finest theatre productions the UK has to offer and watch in amazement as the sun goes down and there's still time for some cabaret! If that's not enough then why not relax with a couple of drinks watching the astounding dance compositions on a floating stage on the lake? Latitude is a festival like no other and every year, it just keeps getting better!

Welcomed to Latitude are Nada Surf of whom you will find fewer bands with as dedicated a following, The New York based American Indie legends have toured relentlessly throughout their career spanning 16 years and the band's 1996 debut album 'High/Low' is a cemented in history as 'Surfer Rosa' by the Pixies or Mudhoney's epic self titled debut. Having released new album 'Lucky' in February of this year the band are still staying true to their name and playing as many gigs as is humanly possible and thus, the ever growing Nada Surf faithful remains as strong as ever. Don't miss the opportunity to witness a piece of musical history in Latitude's Obelisk Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The menacingly named Murder By Death met and reside in Bloomington, Indiana where they create dark and rumbling, drink hazed scenes of sin, redemption and guilt with an insouciant musical swagger and whiskey soaked lyricism. Their gothic snapshots of middle Americana, laced with a hint of blue grass, are threaded through with glorious vignettes of the underbelly of life. If Deadwood's saloon had a band, it would be Murder By Death. Dark, sultry, rock n roll to love, dance and drink to in the Obelisk Arena on the Friday.

After a considerable hiatus of twelve years, many were surprised to see the return of The House Of Love in 2005. Instead of writing just another reformed Indie band record, they came up with one of the most critically praised albums of the year with 'Days Run Away'. Since their reunion the band have gone from strength to strength, playing gigs across the UK and Europe, bringing back to life what made them great in the first place. Sing-along moments are going to be plentiful at Latitude this year but it will be hard to find one louder than when the band breaks into their greatest hit 'Shine On'; be sure not to miss them on the Saturday in the Uncut Arena.

In the Uncut Arena Bristol quartet Gravenhurst will be bringing their dark and highly atmospheric sound to Latitude on Friday forming part of the festival's soundtrack to the Summer sunshine. Having built up a large back catalogue and joining the ranks of the Warp records roster a few years ago demonstrates this act's diversity and it will be very entertaining to see what the band bring to the Suffolk coast.

Electro-punk outfit Heloise & The Savoir Faire have had their live shows described by Disorder Magazine as a “great big flying disco ball swerving through a relentless shower of pink glitter and synth-lasers,”. Recently signing to Elijah Wood's Simian Records the bands electrified collision of late-70's disco-infused dance punk and 80's synth-pop is backed up by two dancers who certainly know how to shake their thang! Heloise & The Savoir Faire have gained popularity in the UK after making TV appearances on The Graham Norton Show and The Friday Night Project. Their debut album features guest vocals by Debbie Harry (headlining the Uncut Stage on Sunday night as part of the legendary Blondie) who called Heloise & The Savoir Faire one of her favourite underground bands. See what all the fuss is about in the Uncut Arena on Friday.

As Latitude is dedicated to bringing the very best in emerging talent, the Sunrise Arena will host a line-up of tomorrow's stars.

Broken Records have only been a band for just over a year but have already released their critically acclaimed debut EP, toured with the likes of Editors, Idlewild and Sons and Daughters and played a sold out 750 capacity hometown show! Drowned in Sound have described the band as 'magical, engrossing and wholly enveloping, genuinely and excitingly bursting with commercial potential'.

Anya Marina whose debut record 'Miss Halfway' earned a San Diego Music Award for Best Recording with select tracks ending up on TV's Grey's Anatomy as well as the show's soundtrack, and MTV's The Real World. The multi talented Marina DJ's for her much loved San Diego radio station and can also be seen in her first feature-length comedy film '100 Girls' in which she plays the eccentric and trichotillomaniac eyebrow-plucker, Rhonda. With material ranging from her upbringing to ex-boyfriends and all the after-effects, Marina's razor sharp pop songs and beautiful voice will enrich your Latitude experience.

The mysterious troubadour Billy the Kid and his Barbaylios Brothers preach full-blooded tales of tough love, hard luck and the triumph of romance against the odds.
Their gritty urban folk from Teeside has already been snapped up by the same management as Oasis and are definitely ones to watch in 2008. See what you think of them on the Saturday afternoon in the Sunrise Arena.

The Beggars fuse all the best bits of La's esq raspy voiced scally jingle jangle and wrap it in a poetic delivery that could be at some points be likened to Morrissey. You'll be able to feel the bands declamatory wail on their cover of Leonard Cohen's 'The Future' which they'll be playing at Latitude in the Sunrise Arena on the Sunday.

Southampton's Thomas Tantrum features chiming guitar which effortlessly blended with jerky rhythms and soaring melodies. Their enchanting sparkle is a breath of fresh air in an indie scene saturated with electric guitars and synth lines, and Megan Thomas' distinctive vocals will swirl around your head for days.

Brighton four piece Hold Fire inspire the same sense of wellbeing as a brisk walk on the seafront on a sunny day with their upbeat summery pop rock. They've also made a few friends at Radio 1 and XFM, having gained exposure from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Claire Sturgess and John Kennedy as well as being one of the most requested bands on local radio.

Headlining this year's event on the Obelisk Arena, Scottish art-rock heroes Franz Ferdinand play their only English festival show exclusively at Latitude on the Friday night; the majestic and soaring Icelandic post-rock outfit Sigur Rós head up Saturday's line-up and New York titans Interpol close the arena on the Sunday with their unique brand of powerful and atmospheric inventive indie rock. Friday night over on the Uncut Arena will see an incredibly special performance from “Africa's funkiest band” (Evening Standard), the remarkable Amadou and Mariam and throughout the rest of the weekend the Obelisk and Uncut Arenas will host stunning performances from Nick Cave's Grinderman, the beautiful poetry of Martha Wainwright, epic musicians The Mars Volta, the charming Death Cab for Cutie, the superb Elbow, legendary alt rockers The Breeders, legendary performer Julian Cope and grime, hip-hop, electro pop queen, M.I.A.

Boasting four Music Arenas, the Obelisk, Uncut, Sunrise and The Lake Stage span a wide range of genres and music hand-picked especially for the festival; bands and artists are chosen with the essence of Latitude in mind. More established bands play in harmony alongside the freshest new acts and with so much more to be announced - it only gets better!

But of course, Latitude is so much more than a music festival. This year's Latitude can boast the exclusive involvement of Michael Nyman and BAFTA in the Film and Music Arena; a quite astonishing comedy line-up including Omid Djalili, Ross Noble, Frankie Boyle and Rich Hall in the Comedy Arena. The Literary Arena is packed full of top authors including Simon Armitage, Hanif Kureishi and Iain Banks as well as Latitude favourites Vox 'N' Roll, WordTheatre and Marcus Brigstocke's The Early Edition. The National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, RSC and The Bush all bring exciting new shows to the Theatre Arena. Plus stellar poets Adrian Mitchell, John Hegley and Carol Ann Duffy are all confirmed for the Poetry Arena hosted by Luke Wright. The Cabaret Arena welcomes the ever hilarious and inventive Vauxhallville with plenty more exciting performances to announce in the pipeline. And that's not to mention the awe-inspiring Sadler's Wells who will perform their world class dance on a beautiful stage floating in the middle of the lake as will The Irrepressibles with their orchestral brilliance.


Future Cinema Live Presents




Music & Film Arena

The Music and Film Arena at this year's Latitude will once again prove to be one of the most popular spots at the festival. With some never before seen collaborations between artists from the areas of film and image and the world of music, there are performances here that are simply unmissable.

The legendary Future Cinema Live present Mercury and Brit nominees Guillemots. Having recently been announced for the Uncut Arena this year, their incredible array of instruments will be in full flow as they play a set around David Lynch's classic surreal horror movie: Eraserhead. This mind-blowing show will include performers, short films and installations that will provide a unique live cinematic experience inspired by this cult movie landmark. This kind of performance is what the Music & Film Arena does best, so prepare yourself for a truly amazing spectacle - a treat for the eyes and the ears.

Independent filmmaker Chris Waitt attempts to interview his ex-girlfriends to find out why they dumped him. This revealing and humorous documentary sees the slacker filmmaker go on a sexual and emotional odyssey in a desperate quest to solve his innumerable problems. Latitude is proud to present A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures, the first release from Warp Films' Warp X project which showcases the most exciting young directors in the UK with a series of low budget features. Director Chris Waitt will be in attendance to give us insights into his unique and personal documentary.
Bishi (aka DJ Siren), a 19 year old singer, DJ and musician began singing at the fragile age of two years old. Bishi's impressive fusion of pop, electro and folk music has an infectious beat that has you starting with a shoulder jig, then before you know it you're in the centre of the dance floor, arms aloft, with a group of people you don't know too well. It is little surprise the Bishi rubs shoulders with fellow musical theatro-cat, Patrick Wolf. With a nomination for the Times breakthrough award already under her belt, Bishi also finds the time to DJ at London's notorious cult nightclub Kash Point. Latitude are delighted to welcome this multi-talented young artist to the Music & Film Arena this year.
Johnny Flynn, dressed in a crumpled plaid shirt, jeans and well-worn tweed jacket, has the air of a young, sensitive academic rather than a pop singer wrapping himself in a strange mixture of English and US roots music carrying himself on a wonderfully sweet melody and traipsing drums. Appearing later on this evening at Latitude, he visits the Music and Film Arena this afternoon with an exclusive artistic early set. We're not sure what he's doing yet, but as a poet, artist and musician we're sure it'll be fantastic!
Birds Eye View brings to Latitude the silent film The Danger Girl by Clarence G. Badger. The film follows a love triangle between three characters where the vampish Helene uses her charms on Bobbie before Gloria breaks up the pair by disguising herself as a man to seduce Helene. The film will be accompanied by live music from experimental vocal trio Juice who specialise in vibrant, theatrical performances. Inspired by everything from jazz to pop, the trio regularly feature on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Latitude are pleased to announce London's finest folk quintet Hey Negrita who will no doubt put on an unforgettable performance at this year's festival. Wowing audiences both young and old with their energetically charged performances, the group's Americana/Country crossover has an unmistakable sound and will be the perfect accompaniment to the sunshine. The performance will conclude with a screening of 'We Dreamed America', directed by Hey Negrita's Alex Walker. 'We Dreamed America' “a twisted tail of British roots and American music”, features bands such as Alabama 3, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, The Broken Family Band, Matthew Ord and the Barker Band.

Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring is the creation of evil genius, Markus. They make inspirational congregational indie-pop music to sing along to. Think Roy Orbison and Spiritualized crossed with a strong dose of Arcade Fire. They count the BBC's own Tom Robinson and Huw Stephens amongst their fast growing troupe of fans. Warning: May include audience participation and vast amounts of fresh flowers! Buzzard Buzzard provide a visual extravaganza of cup cakes (for the audience) and even more beautiful flowers.
Recently signed to the legendary Warp Records, Pivot is comprised of Sydney's Laurence and Richard Pike, plus Perth electronic manipulator Dave Miller. Influenced by synthesizer luminary Vangelis, Warp label mates such as Autechre, and the post-punk new wave of Talking Heads, Pivot are reminiscent of Battles in their combination of electronic and organic elements to create an outstanding groove. They released their first single 'In The Blood' on Warp records in May. At Latitude they combine a set alongside a specially commissioned visual extravaganza.
The Exploits Of Elaine are five young men from Nottingham and Leeds make mysterious music that speaks of the past and points to the future. Organic, Kraut-like experiments with elements of folk poking above the noise. Expect chord organ, Jew's harp, synth, melodica, mandolin, glockenspiel, banjo, wok and other amplified objects. They will accompany Sarah Wood's film The Book Of Love, a found-footage investigation into the psychosexual landscape of love.

Having dusted down rusty old tins of 35 and 16 mm film discovered in the depths of national archives, The Smoking Cabinet presents a selection of films, which aim to exhibit and explore the early moving image and its relationship with other forms of live entertainment popular before 1933, and a panel discussion with two of the cabaret & burlesque scenes most delightful talents. Amy Lame, host and co-founder of seminal cabaret night Duckie, and acclaimed performer Marisa Carnesky. The discussion will cover the topic of women in burlesque & cabaret and the notion of empowerment vs. titillation. The discussion will be followed by a screening of rarely screened short films that epitomise the flair, humour and eroticism of cabaret and burlesque inspired early cinema. The films screened will celebrate popular entertainment in the belle époque to the Weimar Republic and includes work by Ernist Lubitsch (So This is Paris 1926) Percy Smith (Birth of a Flower 1910) and Thomas Edison (Trapeze Disrobing Act 1902) as well as featuring turn of the century music hall stars, circus performers, early erotica and performing animals.
English Language [With English Subtitles] is a tenderly offbeat comedy about love and communication, or the lack thereof. Written and directed by actor Tim Plester, and featuring sparkling music by singer/songwriter Barbarossa. Meet Mulligan, a typically English man, Esther, his Scandinavian girlfriend, and the on-screen subtitles that find themselves along for the ride.

Brian Cano brings his short film Rubberheart to the Latitude Music and Film Arena. This US romantic comedy treads similar ground to the recent cinema hit Lars & The Real Girl, as we follow a lonely man's quest for love. He finally finds the right girl, but she has to face a few other ladies after his heart.
Sweet, a short film by James Pilkington and staring The Mighty Boosh is defiantly a treat that will be well received in the Music and Film arena. Noel Fielding plays Pete Sweet, who works on a record stall, owns a scooter and two puppies, has a best friend called Stitch played by Julian Barratt and is currently dating a short, dumpy ginger girl called Poppy. Who is imaginary. She was originally imagined by Pete's mate Dave's Mum, who had always wanted a girl. Does that explain it for you?
A comedy short film festival - for adults only! Darryl's Hard Liquor & Porn Film Festival, part video showcase and part drunken bash, will feature films and animations from across the world. There's no guarantee you'll see any real porn, so we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you perverts. Founder Darryl Gold will be attending direct from Toronto to tell us how to make porn funny, and how to make your spicy porno pic.
Since directing the video for Orbital's THE BOX starring Tilda Swinton, Jes Benstock's work has veered from art installations to animated documentaries. At Latitude he will be on stage to introduce his two personal documentaries ORDERS OF LOVE about his family's Jewish history and THE HOLOCAUST TOURIST looking at the industry built up in Europe in the wake of the recent resurgence of interest in World War 2.
Blowing audiences away with astounding performances, Latitude are proud to welcome Patti Plinko and Her Boy to the Music & Film Arena. The duo's brooding, atmospheric sound is a story of dark seduction, death and sex, the words can be whispered with love or screamed with passion, it is truly the sound of a woman baring her soul for all to hear. In a world where the singer/songwriter label has become something of a cliché, it is always refreshing to have something uncompromising and unique.
They join an exciting line-up including a Latitude exclusive performance from infamous composer Michael Nyman, alternative film and documentaries courtesy of BAFTA and the Halloween Music & Film Club as well as Mark Lamarr presenting Buzzcocks, Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & The True Loves, The Heavy, James Hunter and Pete Molinari and live performances from Barry Adamson plus much more to be announced.

Cabaret Arena

Pure outrageous fun is the order of the day at Latitude's quirky little cabaret house. With a list of new and glamorous additions added to the bill, the Cabaret Arena is the necessary sparkle sprinkled over the top of the weekend.

The Gawkagogo Freakshow's eye-popping freakazoid comedy, art, theatre and cabaret show bursts into Latitude with characters that include Elephant Man Elvis, Norma Guntz (and her Tom Jones Celebrity Tumour), Dennis Hopperfield and Master of Mentalism. Using the classic grind show format, Gawkagogo Freakshow consists of a rapid-fire, action-packed 15-minute freakish variety bill. The show features quick-change cartoon-style costumes, weird puppetry, stage illusion and audience interaction, to produce an experience unlike anything the audience has ever seen before.

London burlesque cabaret troupe Burly Q will show us a thing or to with their tassel twirling, jet set lifestyles, cocktails and fanfare when they take to the stage. Inspired by the likes of Bettie Page and Dixie Evans, this is a 50's Hollywood type of teasing of the finest kind. Art directed by the hilarious, glamorous, and exuberantly irreverent, Fancy Chance the undisputed comic spectacle of the UK Burlesque circuit and the best tassel twirler this side of the Atlantic, this is burlesque of its highest form.

Latitude is pleased to be play host to avant-garde showgirl Marisa Carnesky and her Magic War Show in the Cabaret Arena on Sunday. This burlesque starlet and professional dancer-turned-illusionist is not one for card games or pulling rabbits out of hats, dress in a gold and purple costume she is a collision between a World War 1 nurse and She-Ra decorated with Masonic symbols. A stalwart of London club Duckie and the brains behind 2004 hit Carnesky's Ghost Train, she uses magic and illusion as a metaphor for war. Carnesky hosts like a sinister doll come to life, drawing attention with conspicuous relish to how magic, like modern battle, both celebrate violence.

The Launderettas are regulars at the Guilty Pleasures club nights where people have danced the night away at previous Latitude's. They will be performing an alternative version of everybody's favourite high school classic - 'Grease'. Drag out your hoop earrings and cork stacks and fellas slick back that hair, this show is a sing-a-long.

We've all had that lost moment at a festival, the wind blowing softly against your face with the music and the sun surrounding you as you smile. But wait, just as your inner harmony feels as settled as can be you see a face that makes your heart skip a beat and as usual there is nothing you can say. Enter the soulful strut of The Voguettes, 5 blonde women all dressed in red walking with equal measures of sunshine and thunder. Catch them on Friday as they spread the love with paper hearts for you to leave a message for that someone special and on Saturday you can hear them perform an exclusive DJ set over at the Cabaret Arena. Love is in the air this summer so why not step into The Voguettes world, or indeed their kissing booth and have a little fun?

Winners of the World Disco Dancing Competition in 1983 Glitterbanditz are still doing the same moves and wearing the same costumes with the added addition of beer bellies. With hot pants too tight and glitter covered dance routines these boys are enough to give The Full Monty chaps a run for their money. Belting out original tracks influenced by the feel good retro of Wham! and Mark Bolan, Glitterbanditz interpretive dance routines have to be seen to be believed. The boys have supported Blondie at the London Hippodrome and George Michael at Wembley (as the second act ever to perform at the new Wembley stadium) so they certainly know how to work an audience - don't miss them strutting their stuff at Henham Park.

These wonderful new additions will be joining the likes of the ever hilarious and inventive Vauxhallville and the self proclaimed king of cabaret Lenny Beige in a fantastic Cabaret Arena line up.

Elsewhere at the ground-breaking Latitude Festival there is a quite astonishing comedy line-up including Omid Djalili, Ross Noble, Frankie Boyle and Rich Hall in the Comedy Arena.
The Literary Arena is packed full of top authors including Simon Armitage, Hanif Kureishi and Iain Banks as well as Latitude favourites Vox 'N' Roll, WordTheatre and Marcus Brigstocke's The Early Edition. The National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, RSC and The Bush all bring exciting new shows to the Theatre Arena. Plus stellar poets Adrian Mitchell, John Hegley and Carol Ann Duffy are all confirmed for the Poetry Arena hosted by Luke Wright. And that's not to mention the awe-inspiring Sadler's Wells who will perform their world class dance on a beautiful stage floating in the middle of the lake as will The Irrepressibles with their orchestral brilliance.

Weekend tickets 130 plus booking fees. Day tickets: Fri, Sat, Sun 55 plus booking fees. Weekend tickets prices include car parking and camping. Days include car parking only.
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