Looking back at my summer so far, the Summer of 2010 will go down in my books as a good one..
At the beginning of June, I went to THREE gigs in TWO nights, seeing the incredible Villagers at the beautiful Bush Hall on the Tuesday, followed the next night by a visit to the Charlotte Street Blues Bar to see Sparrow & The Workshop play an early starting free gig, which was followed by a dash across town to the Lexington to see my esteemed work colleague Rob's band, Codes in the Clouds, play. Its taken me a while to finally go see them, but glad I got there in the end. 3 weeks later, and I was off to Glastonbury, as I previously blogged!
July has brought / brings more fun and music based frolics. A few weeks ago, I was at the amazing Arcade Fire gig at Hackney Empire, which has received amazing reviews in the press so far.
On Wednesday 14th (following a few cancelled trains, and me panicking that I wouldn't get there in time!), I went to the London Forum to see the acclaimed Snow Patrol, REM & co side-project TIRED PONY. I have never been very lucky when it comes to booking seated tickets, but luck was looking down on me the morning those tickets went onsale, as I managed to get a 2nd row ticket for the first of the two gigs they were to play that night. The gig was brilliant, and featured an amazing array of people on stage playing, with Tom Smith (Editors) making a guest vocal appearance on a couple of tracks (one of which features on the album), aswell as playing various musical instruments in the background; Lisa Hannigan also appeared on backing vocal duties throughout the whole set.
During 'Point Me At Lost Islands', Gary had a few technical issues with his guitar, which led to Peter Buck making the decision that everyone should unplug their instruments, get the PA turned off, and with that, they all walked to the very front of the stage and started the song again, performing it acoustic and without mics. It was an incredible surreal experience. This surreal-ness was later further at the end of the gig, when Peter Buck shook my hand.. I headed back to the tube station with a big smile on my face.
The next day started early again, as this was the day I was heading to Suffolk for my 3rd Latitude festival. Trying to put the tent up in the wind on Thursday, was certainly interesting, everyone onsite was preparing for their tent to take off, I think. There isn't too much on usually, on a Thursday for the campers, but we saw a little bit of Nigel Kennedy's set on the Lake Stage, before getting some food and heading over to the Theatre Tent to see Les Enfants Terribles' production of the macabre musical 'The Vaudevillains', which was highly entertaining and cleverly put together.
Friday, I saw some awesome comedy from Doc Brown and Stephen K. Amos, before heading off to see Villagers (Conor is quickly becoming one of my favourite performers), and it was one of the best performances I've seen them do, Hockey, Esben & the Witch and Laura Marling all followed in quick succession. After Laura, came Empire Of The Sun (imagine if you will, if Prince got together with Pet Shop Boys for a collaboration), who inturn was then followed by Florence and the Machine in her first festival headline performance, and I personally think she did a mighty fine job. Whilst some would say its not right that she headline due to the fact she only has the 1 album to perform, Latitude has never been a festival to do what people expect, they always come at you with something a little different. They went from having Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros and Interpol headlining in 2008 to Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in 2009. Surely mixing things up a bit is a good thing, otherwise things get stale. In my opinion, Florence appreciated the fact she was headlining, she was beaming from ear to ear and it was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the performance as a whole.
Saturday, I really wasn't feeling too well, but the day for entertainment started off well. I went back to the Theatre tent for the Bush Theatre's production of the Russell Kane-written 'The Great British Country Fete', which was brilliantly funny. After this, the comedy tent once beckoned, where I stayed for a couple of hours, seeing Ardal O'Hanlon, Josie Long, Jimeoin, Josh Widdicombe, Dominic Holland, Kevin Bridges, Mickey Flanagan and Shooting Stars' Angelos Epithemiou.
Sunday was beautiful, everything about it was pretty much perfect. I saw Amiina, Tom Jones and Andrew Lawrence play, I went to meet up with my friends who were watching Antlers, we then made our way back up to the Obelisk to see the amazing Mumford & Sons who drew a massive crowd. After Mumfords, we went and chilled out on the grass while listening to Dirty Projectors and Midlake.. I honestly think that if the weather wasn't as gorgeous or if they had played a different day, the moment wouldn't have been the same. It was the perfect last day.