Latitude 2009

Jarvis Cocker -- your OBE's in the post

Michael Bonner

The festival's most entertaining front man is, by a country mile, Jarvis Cocker. His colourful, between song digressions are frequently priceless and, on the odd occasion, better than the songs themselves.

"Hang on," he mutters gamely at one point. "I'm going to straddle these two monitors like the colossus of rock that I am." We're getting the full Jarvis tonight -- blowing up imaginary giant balloons with the mic stand, talking at length about cloud formations and the absence of a Philosophy Area at Latitude.

Maybe he's just tired -- he and the band have literally just flown in from Barcelona -- but more likely Jarvis just likes the chance to show off.

"This is the first time we've played in daylight. You can tell our age. My face... hanging... hanging... hanging... like dust in a funeral parlour."

It's all brilliantly funny, his rambles drifting towards stand-up more than acting as intros to songs.

It also compensates for the lulls in the set. Jarvis has only got one album to choose material from, so we get pretty much everything -- even his sweeping torch ballads, which don't really suit the festival crowd.

They're far more receptive to the glam thrill of "Fat Children", "Black Magic" or "Running The World". It's during that last song that mothers atart swiftly escorting their delicate offspring from the Arena as Jarvis, encourages a rousing singalong of the chorus "C**** are still running the world."

And then he finishes with "Eye Of The Tiger."

"I'm going for a swim later, so if anyone wants to join me, that'd be great."

The crowd waits in trunks with baited breath by the lake.


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