Just back from the Mercury Music Prize scrum down in Covent Garden. I realise that making a fuss about this sort of thing is playing into the hands of the organisers, on the grounds that any publicity is good publicity and all. And, yes, there are a bunch of records here that I like: the Arctic Monkeys (a deserving winner, I'd say), Amy Winehouse and the Klaxons, for a start. I guess as a measure of how healthy new British music is right now, it's OK. And the absence of Editors, The Fratellis, The Twang and so on is mildly satisfying.


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Well, we're all finally back from Latitude and looking back at one of the best festivals any of us can remember.


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Sorry this blog's been quiet these past few days. I've actually been squatting over at the Latitude blog. The extended Uncut family all spent an excellent weekend up there at the festival, and there are something like 40 blogs you can check out on all our highlights.


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A lively afternoon at Latitude today, where the conditions are fluctuating between blazing sunshine and torrential rain. It's oddly suitable for Andrew Bird, whose fascination with meteorology led him to call one of his old albums "Weather Systems".


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Down by the lake this morning, there's a large band dressed like bad mime artists in boho pierrot gear. At ten thirty, the flute and oboe players are making bird noises at each other from opposite banks of the lake.


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It's been a night of being proved wrong, for me at least, at Latitude. As I'm walking across the site, I can hear The Good, The Bad And The Queen, and they sound really good. I'd previously pegged them as a rather self-conscious trip into psychogeography and musicianly fandom for Damon Albarn. But here the overworked fug clears and the elegaic true quality of the songs - and those Simonon basslines, of course - comes to the fore.


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At some point in the last few years, Rickie Lee Jones appears to have subtly evolved from the Duchess Of Coolsville into a spiritual, raging poet-figure who comes across like a West Coast counterpart of Patti Smith.


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How many times have people written this summer about The Hold Steady being the unexpected hits of a festival? Enough times, I guess, for the hardest-working band in showbusiness to become blase about these sort of shows. The thing is, as Craig Finn surveys the crowd with undisguised glee, it's clear that this remarkable band's appetite for rock'n'roll is still heroically potent.


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Afternoon, lovely day here at Latitude, pretty densely populated with singer-songwriters, it has to be said. I started the day at the lovely Sunrise stage in the woods(apparently, its strikingly mellow atmosphere was fractured yesterday when Les Rita Mitsouko got booed off).


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This weekend Uncut is coming live from the Latitude Festival, and you can keep up to speed with all the latest news and reviews by visiting our dedicated site for...


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Editor's Letter

The 31st Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Some logical excitement here this week about the impending Leonard Cohen and Aphex Twin albums; in the event you've missed it these past couple of days, you can hear Cohen's superb "Almost Like The Blues" further down this blog.

Worth noting, though, some strong...