Big noises on their way to Suffolk

FROM rock legends to stars of the future, Latitude's main stages will make a big noise at Henham Park. Jonathan Barnes and Anthony Bond preview the line-up.

SUFFOLK will rock, dance and chill out to some of the biggest names in the music at the Latitude Festival at Henham Park this weekend. Jonathan Barnes and Anthony Bond preview the music stages.

THERE are big names that leap out of this year's Latitude line-up.

Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are the headliners - three acts with long careers behind them.

But don't be deceived. This is no heritage festival. The line-up is rich is new talent, including many upcoming bands who have been given their chance on the main stages. And there are a couple of huge stars in surprising places.


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FRIDAY night promises an intriguing clash between the electro-pop anthems of the Pet Shop Boys in the Obelisk Arena and the haunting melodies of Bat For Lashes, topping the bill in the Uncut Arena.

Regina Spektor, a pioneer of New York's “anti-folk” scene is the main support in the Obelisk, ahead of veteran US pop-rockers The Pretenders and their repertoire of festival-friendly numbers.

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Ladyhawke, whose hit single Paris Is Burning seemed to be everywhere earlier this year, flies the flag for dance music.

The day's highlights in the Uncut Arena include British pop legends Squeeze, rising Aussie rock band The Temper Trap and Danish indie stars Mew. If you're distraught at missing the Ashes, then content yourself with the Duckworth Lewis Method, featuring ex-Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon, with their clever, cricket-themed pop.

Disco diva Grace Jones is last on the Obelisk Arena on SATURDAY in a performance that is set to turn heads. But indie fans might prefer the atmospheric soundscapes of Spritualized, headliners in the Uncut Arena.

The magnificent Doves are likely to be regarded Ms Jones' warm-up act for many onlookers, but their heavyweight anthems will provide a perfect soundtrack to the sun going down.

They will be on stage after rising indie band White Lies, who hit number one this year with their debut album To Lose My Life, and flamboyant singer Patrick Wolf.

Uncut Arena's line-up also promises a wealth of riches, with folk star Newton Faulkner - best known for his incredible cover of Massive Attack's Teardrop - joined by a clutch of rising stars, including Camera Obscura, Scott Matthews and Paloma Faith, a feisty singer who could eventually steal Amy Winehouse's thunder.

You might be surprised to spot the chart-topping Mika booked for mid-afternoon on the Uncut line-up. It's due to be an acoustic performance from the Lebanon-born singer, who is readying a new album. Expect some ingenious reworkings of the likes of hit singles Grace Kelly and Love Today.

SUNDAY could be the best day of all on the main stages. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke will open things up with a solo set at midday on the Obelisk Arena - seen as a key slot after the eye-opening popularity of harpist Joanna Newsom last year - in what is sure to be one of the highlights of the entire weekend. He'll play tracks from his 2006 solo album The Eraser while fans will also hope for versions of Radiohead classics.

Indie band The Rumble Strips will up the tempo before New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem - who were joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen at Glastonbury - take over. Editors are set to give the first live airing to tracks from their eagerly awaited new album In This Light and On This Evening before Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cloak the Obelisk in their dark world.

Those seeking some more commercial tunes could head over to the Uncut Arena, where Gossip are topping the bill. Singer Beth Ditto (you know her if you've seen her) rarely fails to put on show. The undercard features newly-reunited post-punk group Magazine, trip-hop innovator Tricky and 90s indie darlings Saint Etienne.

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