Why The Last Poets should be on everyone’s list of must-sees at Latitude Festival 2015

A view of the Latitude Festival site

A view of the Latitude Festival site - Credit: Archant

Latitude Festival comes to Henham Park, near Southwold from Friday, July 17 and here reporter Tom Potter shares his tips on the acts not be missed.

Kanye West recently grabbed headlines – mostly unwarranted – for his performance at this year’s Glastonbury festival.

Like him or loathe him, the hip-hop star is one of the modern protectors of a musical movement without which we’d all have to endure some bland alternative preferred by the whiny mob that lobbied to have his Pyramid Stage slot cancelled.

‘The College Dropout’ featured on the second track of fellow Chicago rapper Common’s critically lauded sixth album Be, which also featured The Last Poets, to whom Kanye West, Common, and every hip-hop act in history owe their livelihood.

Many cite Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s anthem The Message as the great harbinger of hip-hop as we know it – and it’s true to say its influence paved the way for countless successors.


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But that was 1982…14 years after the formation of The Last Poets, whose early spoken word albums laid the foundations for a generation of artists.

Forty-five years on, they will grace the Poetry Arena at this year’s Latitude festival, alongside the acclaimed Sabrina Mahfouz and Anthony Anaxagorou, and a selection of up-and-coming UK voices.

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Forget about that band whose song you liked on the phone advert and make The Last Poets an absolute certainty for your must-sees at Latitude.

You’ll still have plenty of time to fit in these following recommendations: Caribou, Femi Kuti, Django Django, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sun Kil Moon, The Thurston Moore Band, SBTRKT, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Timber Timbre.

For more information, latest news and more from Latitude, see here

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