They call this time the gloaming -- night coming down, all colours leached from the sky. It seems a remarkably appropriate moment for the Arcade Fire to take the stage and close Latitude Year two with an enormous bang. And some fireworks.
The last few hours of Latitude 2007 and it’s starting to feel like the fall of Saigon, but only in a genteel and latte-sipping way. As night engulfs the woods and almost the entire remaining crowd is sucked towards Arcade Fire’s headline set, there are precious few refuges left for cultural dissidents who may be immune to epic Canadian folk-rock.
Mark Lanegan, undoubtedly one of this planet’s greatest singers, hasn’t put a foot wrong in the last fifteen years. Tonight, he’s exemplary once again, but it’s hard to shake the feeling he’s made his first mistake.
It's a criminal shame that one of the finest bands to come out of the planet's lower end should play to a half-empty tent. Australian indie charmers Howling Bells were more than up to the challenge, proving unequivocally that a voice like a loudhailer channelling angels can overcome anything – even having Arcade Fire as their audience competition.
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.
Here come The Rapture. They are loud, they are rowdy, they are woo-yeah funkay for tha laydeez - but frankly, they are also a bit dull. Come in, let’s be honest, the flavour has drained a little from all this knowingly retro punk-funk now that the formula has been hammered to death by every disco-rock chancer from London to New York and back.
It's a loveable tick of Latitude that you get kids sporting squeaky-clean floral wellies in the same ground as well-heeled WI members. "He’s got lovely tattoos," says one old chap admiringly, pointing at Cold War Kids frontman Nathan Willet's inked chest. Still, while indeed lovely, they're not really enough to keep a crowd visually entertained for 45 minutes.
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".
There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...