Latitude 2009

Latitude -- Paul Merton! Capes! Aliens!

Michael Bonner

So, there's Paul Merton -- no less -- smoking a cigarette and eating a baked potato. This, gentle reader, is the first thing I see at this year's Latitude -- and, surely, as celeb/food/fag interfaces go this might well take some beating.

Still, walking out into the site, I head straight to the Radio 4 Arena. If I can confess something to you, I'll be missing this Sunday's Archers onmibus, so I'm planning to spend as much time as possible loitering round the Radio 4 tent, particularly as they're recording Just A Minute live from here tomorrow. Hence, of course, the presence of Paul Merton. Anyway, strolling off in the direction of the Lake Stage, I catch a bit of Bearsuit, from (relatively) nearby Norwich -- bringing their inflatable balloons and blue capes to the pastoral bosom of Suffolk.

I also catch a snatch of The Aliens. I was a huge fan of the Beta Band, who featured The Aliens' Gordon Anderson in their original line-up -- and if the Beta Band's debut "Dry The Rain" was the greatest song Primal Scream never recorded, then there's something satisfying about hearing Anderson's Aliens close their set with a suitably psychedelic cover of the Scream's "Higher Than The Sun". Mixed into The Beatles' "Helter Skelter". And the Close Encounters theme.

A good start, I reckon, to Latitude 08.

Anyway, gotta motor -- there's Black Kids and Howling Bells to come, and if I'm very lucky I might be able to squeeze in a smidgeon of Julian Cope.


Editor's Letter

"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014

Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of...