There are a few records around the Uncut office at the moment that I think I could responsibly class as disappointing, not least the new Mercury Rev album, which ambitiously finds them trying to reinvent themselves as whimsical cosmic ravers.
Thanks to everyone who’s submitted their lists in response to the Best Records Of 2008 brainstorm from last week. Some excellent albums rising to the surface, and it’s especially nice to see love for No Age, Fleet Foxes and Elbow, three records which narrowly missed my original cut.
It begins with a flutter of guitar, a dusting of cymbals. Then a female, faintly ethereal vocal arrives, accompanied by bells. At first, it sounds like she might be distant kin to the acid folk scene which still percolates away in the US; there’s a very vague resemblance to Meg Baird and Espers, perhaps. But then again, she’s not singing in English, and there’s something discreetly exotic about the song, “Dawn Over The Clouds”.
Coming to you live from Mars, the sci-fi loving Never Mind The Buzzcocks team captain will be dispensing more of his unique brand of humour in the Comedy Area. Bailey will doubtless be one of Latitude’s highlights – his fantastic sets usually feature surreal, digressive routines covering everything from Star Trek to otters.
In this month's Uncut, Guy Garvey previews Latitude and notes, with regard to The Mars Volta, "We're all into some heavy prog." A sceptic might say that you'd need to be, given that this remarkable Californian band have a much more unambiguous relationship with prog rock than most of their more timid contemporaries.
PAUL Simon and Crowded House were the billed main headliners but if the phalanx of photographers snaking its way across the field during The Bangles’ Saturday set is anything to go by, the biggest star at this, the fifth Cornbury Festival, is an inconspicuously turned out gent and a lady we take to be his wife who are making their way, as casually as possible, down into the throng around the stage.
Franz Ferdinand, Glasgow’s most eminent art-college band turned international rock stars, close the main stage on the first night of Latitude. According to frontman Alex Kapranos, Franz Ferdinand set out to prove that art-rock could involve "really, really catchy tunes that girls can dance to".
Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...