A festival line-up to broaden your mind

THIS weekend one of Suffolk's biggest music events will be under way. Today JAMES MARSTON speaks to some of the performers at this year's Latitude Festival.

James Marston

THIS weekend one of Suffolk's biggest music events will be under way. Today JAMES MARSTON speaks to some of the performers at this year's Latitude Festival.

STRANGE-coloured sheep, music, poetry, drama, comedy and thousands of tents - these are just a few of the hallmarks of the annual Latitude Festival.

With tickets sold out, organisers are expecting 25,000 to pass through the gates to the festival which will be held in the grounds of Henham Park near Southwold between July 17 and 20.


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Headlining this year's main music arena will be Icelandic group Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand and Interpol.

Over in the tented Uncut arena, which plays host to some of the best in eclectic and leftfield bands and artists, will be the likes of Amadou and Mariam, The Tindersticks and Mars Volta.

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Blondie will also be playing the Uncut arena on Sunday night.

The Lake stage is described as a stage of “discovery and enchantment which showcases new talent” and appearing on this stage will be Suffolk boys Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds.

But Latitude is not just about music - every aspect of culture from poetry to dance has been catered for.

Today we ask some of the performers what they are expecting from Suffolk's biggest festival.

Who?

Julian Cope

Where are you performing?

Uncut Arena, Friday

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“I don't go to festivals to see anyone in particular. For myself, what makes a festival great is not who you saw but who you missed, as it is evidence that there was so much going on you could not hope to take it all in.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“The name of the festival is its most essential aspect, for its title sums up everything about living here in these islands. We are lucky to be in a geographical location where food is guaranteed through our highly temperate climate, and where there is some kind of balance between the sexes.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“People can expect a beautiful array of instruments, including two Mellotrons and several marching drums plus the strangest percussion rack this side of a Harry Patch composition.

“There will be epic amplifiers and extremely pretty guitars, plus anecdotes and strange tales. Also, I shall be playing both old and new material at the festival.”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“I'd be researching for my next book, which is a study of the Ancient Law.”

What is your favourite colour sheep?

“I'm interested only in the black sheep.”

Who?

Mike Gayle

Where are you performing?

Literary Arena

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“Elbow because they sing the line: "I guess that what I'm asking you is to back a horse that's good for glue and nothing else".”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“That when you get bored of music there's poetry, when you get bored of poetry there's cabaret, when you get bored of comedy there's literature!”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“The first public reading of my first foray into non-fiction!”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“Sitting at home wishing I was there. Southwold is an amazing part of the country.”

What is your favourite colour Sheep?

“Red. Is there any other?”

Who?

Tallulah Rendall

Where are you performing?

Sunrise Arena, Sunday

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“The Mars Volta - their records are brilliant and I have never seen them play.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“Exploring it all... giggling to Bill Bailey, listening to Nick Torday, wiggling my ass with the Laundretta chicks and finding a boat.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“Butterflies... yes”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“Buying a ticket, taking a guitar and Jo´s cello and playing in the wood... and the railway station... and anywhere else that would have me/us.”

What is your favourite colour sheep?

“A white one.”

Who?

Timo Tierney of The Maybes?

Where are you playing?

Sunrise Arena

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“The artists I'm most looking forward to seeing at Latitude would be Sigur Ros, because they're a really good band and they very rarely play England, well up north anyway, and they sing in a language that we can't understand that's always interesting. I am Kloot are probably one my favourite bands around at the minute - I've been to see them a good few times and they're great.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“I've heard that there's lots of forest land and clean toilets. A good environment for watching and listening to music.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“People can expect us to bring a fresh sound and a collection of good catchy songs previewing our album out in September called 'Promise'. We also know how to make a good campfire!”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“If I wasn't in The Maybes? I'd probably be doing something in music, well I would like to think that I would be anyway. But my dad and my three uncles are all scaffolders by trade so I was lucky to escape that!”

What is your favourite colour sheep?

Black, it's a gorgeous colour sheep!

Who?

Nick from Fields.

Where are you playing?

Uncut Arena, Sunday

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“We will be looking forward to seeing Sigur Ros as it will remind Thorunn of home. One of the best things is just to wander about and discover things as they happen.

“It is nice not to have a plan sometimes. I expect to be enjoying some spoken word in a cidery haze. Is 'cidery' even a word? It is now.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“The coloured sheep. Do they get a choice in what colour they will be?”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“We shall probably bring a tent so we can stay the entire weekend. As for our performance we shall be bringing an entirely new set of material and a Somerfield bag full of cider. Expect some form of psyched up cider-fuelled carnage.”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“Probably attempting to recreate Latitude on the roof of my east London flat with elaborately spray painted pigeons, some acoustic guitars, 'the ha ha bonk' joke book and a Somerfield bag full of cider.”

What is your favourite colour sheep?

“It is tempting to say black as I can relate to that but really I would rather see a gold sheep. Can you do one with stripes? Pink/gold/black. That would be good. What colour does the sheep want to be?”

Who?

“Tim Minchin”

Where are you playing?

“Comedy Arena”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“Foals 'cos they're young and I met that lead-singer dude and he amused me; Franz Ferdinand 'cos I ain't yet seen 'em; anything Stewart Lee does 'cos he's smart and funny and grumpy, anything Robin Ince does 'cos he's smart and funny and grumpy; Michael Nyman because he does what I used to want to do; some poetry, because it's so poetical sometimes.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“Sleeping in a tent with my wife and baby, because I love a challenge.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“Comedy that will rock harder than the rock bands and a bearsuit, maybe.”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“That.”

What is your favourite colour Sheep?

“Dirty, off-white, woolly sort of colour.”

Who?

“Joe Dunthorne”

Where are you performing?

“Poetry Arena”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“MIA, Crystal Castles in the music arenas. I'm looking forward to just hanging out at the Theatre tent. And in Literature and Poetry there's lots: Irvine Welsh, Simon Armitage, the Aisle 16 boys, Rachel Pantechnicon, Tim Turnbull, John Osbourne.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“The arts stages. There's no other festival with its breadth of arts stuff going on.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“I'll be bringing the noise, the pain, the wickedness - anything I can lay my hands on.”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“Making creepy noises outside people's tents as they sleep. Yeah, that was me.”

What is your favourite colour Sheep?

“I'm Welsh and we keep it traditional: white.”

Who?

“Stewart Lee”

Where are you performing?

“Comedy Arena”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Latitude festival and why?

“Julian Cope, John Hegley, Ken Campbell and Steward Lee, who is listed on the ads as being on in Robin Ince's Book Club. He has almost the same name as me so I am looking forward to seeing what he is like.”

What aspect of Latitude Festival interests you the most and why?

“The fact that you can go in the theatre, comedy and spoken words tents and actually hear what people are saying, which never happens at any other festivals.”

What can people expect you to bring to the festival and do you have anything special planned?

“I will be doing 20ish mins of old material on the big comedy stage and lots of little sets of new stuff at the Book Club.”

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

“Staying at home working.”

What is your favourite colour Sheep?

“Black”

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