With the Gossip‘s latest album Music For Men out this week (June 22), the band’s force of nature front woman took time out to talk to us about their Uncut Arena headline show at Latitude next month.
UNCUT: We’re very pleased to have the Gossip headline the Uncut Arena‘s final night at Latitude, are you going to be taking us out with a bang?
BETH DITTO: I dunno! I never know. I like to keep it simple and say NO! I’ll say to expect it to be be mediocre, so that way you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
U: Do you prefer playing in tents (the Uncut Arena is covered)to outdoor stages at festivals? Does it help keep it intimate and rowdy?
BD: I like the tents! Can I be honest with why I like tents? I like the fact that tents are shaded.
U: Our tent can get pretty sweaty when packed to capacity, any possibility that you’ll strip off again, like you did at Glastonbury last year?
BD: You’ll have to wait and see! You never know!
U: Any ideas yet if the Gossip will be treating us to any cover versions this year, after previous live surprises like Aaliyah and Wham?
BD: We have a couple of tricks up our sleeves, but I’m not going to tell you what they are! But they are going to be REALLY COOL. No, no I have no clues at all! I can’t tell you, ‘cos then you’d know and spoil the surprise!
U: So what do you do before shows, to get yourselves in the mood for your onstage party?
BD: There’s a long time, where I’m just putting on eyeliner for like an hour. Because I wear so much eyeliner, that’s really boring, but it’s true, that’s what I do! Before we play the show, we usually play “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac to get everybody in. That’s always good. That’s Hannah’s [Billie, drummer] choice. It’s her No.1 pumped-up jam.
U: Any ideas, as yet, what glamorous outfits you’ll be treating Latitude to?
BD: Wait and see! I never know ’til the day of the show really. I carry a LOT of stuff around with me on tour. A lot. I have a lot of stuff, which is kinda a problem! I always have two suitcases, I have one for the daytime and one for the night time. The night time one has show clothes in it. It’s really hard for me to wear the same thing twice.
U: How do you deal with hecklers and stage invaders during your live shows?
BD: I am really good with hecklers! They bring out the best in me sometimes, actually. By the end of it I usually feel like we really have a good rapport with each other, there’s some really good jokes going back and forth.
U: Are you going to have any time at Latitude to check out any of the other artists that are playing? Or are schedules too tight nowadays to allow that?
BD: The sad thing is, we never have time to see the shows. Never. Ever ever ever. I know it’s a shame, it’s the worst. Last year it was like ‘Jay-Z‘s playing, when are you ever gonna see Jay_z play again y’know’. And then, yeah, we’re used to it by now. I used to get really disappointed. I’m probably not going to get to see any of the shows.
U: What new music are you currently into? – You’ve been raving about Fever Ray (playing the Uncut Arena on Friday July 17) on your blog.
BD: La Roux. We’re all really into La Roux. She’s very pop. Everything about her is incredible.
U: So finally, what are your top festival survival tips?
BD: Baby wipes! So you can stay clean. I suggest a nail file. A lighter. You know what, if I were a lady, ha ha I guess I am a lady actually! As a lady, I would sew a pocket into my bra, so i could keep all my money there. Maybe even sew an iPod and a phone pocket into my bra, so they could just stay there. It’s like my grandmother did in the old days. She would make a little pocket in her bra and keep all her money in there. It’s a really good idea, no one will ever think to look there!
The Gossip headline the Uncut Arena at Latitude 2009 on Sunday July 19.
For a chance to win one of ten copies of the Gossip’s ‘Music For Men’ album, go to Uncut’s competitions page now, here!
Don’t forget: you can still get tickets for the four-day event; with music headliners including Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds here at www.latitudefestival.co.uk
With less than a month to go until Uncut’s favourite event of the summer, we’ll be bringing you daily artist previews, news updates and prize giveaways as we count down to Suffolk…so check back here tomorrow for more exclusive content!