On Sunday Joel and I went to the Latitude Festival in Suffolk.
As well as soaking up the general festival ambience, dodging the showers and taking in a few acts and artists that we wouldn't normally have encountered, our main focus of attention was three acts on the main stage in the Obelisk arena.
Thom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead, performed a rare solo set during the middle of the day to a packed arena, a daunting prospect for any artist. With a minimum of fuss, and a little gentle banter with the audience, Thom delivered a moving and compelling performance that held the crowd right to the end, including an encore; the only encore of the day.
In the afternoon we went our separate ways, enjoying snippets of sets by various bands. In my wanderings I happened across the Samphire Band in the Film and Music Arena – one of those golden moments when I got caught up in something that would normally be off my music radar. Joel and I met up later at the poetry tent before finding food and heading back to the main arena.
In the now warm and sunny evening we settled in for Editors who performed a well balanced set of somgs that included material from their forthcoming third album as well as plenty of old favourites. Tom Smith certainly knows how to command a whole stage and the audience with an energetic performance that you won't be able to imagine from just listening to their albums.
Finally, the band we'd principally come to see – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. A band that includes two drummers, a power chord playing violinist and often five vocals at a time is bound to be huge, but this is as nothing compared to Cave's overwhelming presence and passion. Over the blues / post punk foundation of The Bad Seeds Cave fulminates like an Old Testament prophet, lamenting the tragedies of this world and daring to challenge God for answers in songs of passion and faith and doubt and poetic insight. His songs will undoubtedly disturb the comfortable, even as they frequently comfort the disturbed.
All in all a great day and well worth the money.