This ostensibly summery month of July has, for these past seven years, hosted Southwold, Suffolk’s endlessly impressive Latitude Festival and with the bill for its forthcoming edition newly finalised, we thought it meet and right to comb through the line up, plucking out our presupposed Fest Bests as we preen. Yesterday saw the newly baptised BBC 6 Music Stage assume the esteemed likes of ’90s lynchpins Richard Ashcroft and Gaz Coombes, with multitudinous names also added to the myriad intercultural stages which will doubtless now be nearing physical, as well as figurative completion. But perhaps most auspiciously, whereas the 2012 bash was to all intents and purposes the key weekend of the estival period what with Glastonbury taking a prerequisite breather, it feels as though the pressure has this time been lifted to most probably allow for another truly stellar rundown to really thrive. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
Who: Macclesfield-born; Glasgow-bred visual miscreant who counts the estimable, and indeed considerably more musical likes of Liars, Dirty Projectors and David Byrne, along with fellow Latitude cohorts Grizzly Bear and Hot Chip, as dedicated aficionados.
Why: Quite what this most perverse artist will get up to during his allotted timeframe remains ambiguous at best, but it could be anything from improvisational simian impersonation to rascally live graffiti in that inimitably infantile scrawl of his. Best bring a nib for a personalised scribble, if nothing else…
When: Friday, Film & Music Arena.
Who: Melodramatic pop doyens, and perhaps Copenhagen’s finest ever export.
Why: The expatriated Danes their fellow countrymen doubtless hated to see leave released one of last year’s finest slives of refined aural suavity in the beguiling form of Piramida, and their live recital of said record has been consistently spellbinding over the course of the past nine or so months since its release. Having been conceptualised, if not conceived on a Svalbard archipelago located deep within the Arctic Circle, it may be a little out of its comfort zone once stranded in the early British afternoon although expect for its ligneous timbres to recurrently comfort the ailing travails of Friday.
When: Saturday, Obelisk Arena.
Who: Ralf Hütter and his relatively newly reconfigured cronies, who are to quite literally add another dimension to this year’s line up.
Why: Kraftwerk’s career retrospective which reverberated quite resplendently about the Tate Modern’s aseptic Turbine Hall back in February will forever be remembered as one of the defining series of 2013, a sea of monofocal spec-toting acolytes awash with glee night after night. Quite how it’ll all compute in a Suffolk field will doubtless have to be seen to be believed – and in turn (hopefully) fully bought – but you can likely bet a couple bottom bucks on it being another unconditional spectacular from the tirelessly industrious Krautrock progenitor.
When: Saturday, Obelisk Arena.
Who: Gruff Rhys, whose Super Furry skin has been shed in order that he might collaborate with the considerably more clean-cut Cincinnati experimental soundscapist Bryan Hollon, aka Boom Bip. Together, they explore a mutual penchant for vivid reconceptualisations of history’s forgotten innovators, with supreme latest Praxis Makes Perfect a thinly veiled panegyric on Milanese millionaire publisher-cum-lefty revolutionary, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.
Why: The duo really brought the thing to a luminous shade of life in London last month, their live portrayal a glorious marriage of sound, vision and immersive exhibitionism produced in cahoots with the National Theatre Wales, and staged by the Barbican. As above re: David Shrigley, quite how such a grandiose spectacle will translate to an altogether incomparable environ remains to be witnessed but as was with Efterklang, accept nothing less than an ineffably hexing lecture in the stimulating life and lifestyle of one of Italy’s most intriguing of polymathic eccentrics.
When: Saturday, Theatre Arena.
Yo La Tengo
Who: Whether it be alt. rock or noise-pop; shoegaze or some other poppycock similar, you name it – enduring Matador charmers Yo La Tengo will unquestionably have been called it. But what remains transparently clear even on the eve of the trio’s thirtieth anniversary is that they are, to this day, an indispensable prologue to the slack, if still emotive guitar music that has this year already proven to be pretty endemic across popular culture.
Why: In Fade they’ve arguably composed their opus thus far, with the bond between the band’s husband and wife nucleus of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley openly exposed to the elements only for the intensified passion intrinsic to the recording to further stoke the lapping fires of awe. Live, they’ve contrived a rather endearing showing, too.
When: Friday, Obelisk Arena.
Latitude 2013 takes place in Henham Park, Southwold over the weekend of July 18th–21st, and also features Dots & Dashes faves Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bobby Womack, DIIV, John Grant, Dark Dark Dark, Serafina Steer and so forth. With a full programme of theatre, dance, arts, crafts, cabaret, spoken word and so on also scheduled, Melvin Benn et al. have again emphatically ratified the ‘more than just a music festival’ tagline with something for everyone save only the most uncompromising of philistines. For more info on exactly what that may entail, the official site can be found here with a whole host of ticketing options available here. After all that, we sincerely hope to see you out in East Anglia.