Latitude 2012: Crowds’ spirits lifted by soulful choir

EVEN those festival-goers suffering the heaviest of hangovers had their spirits lifted today as the London Community Gospel Choir injected some much-needed soul into the weekend’s proceedings at Latitude 2012.

The choir burst into life at 11am in the Film and Music Arena, backed by a five piece band, featuring some terrific audience participation and inspiring Caribbean rhythms, alongside some familiar beats and tunes.

One of the few acts of the weekend to completely fill the stage in the stuffy and airless tent, the choir attracted a sizeable crowd, who by the end were all on their feet and clapping along to Oh Happy Day.

The run of acts across yesterday lunchtime sums up the quality that Latitude offers - and the variety.

The LCGC set was followed by Chinese master pianist Lang Lang playing on the tiny Lake stage - the audience stretching along both banks of the lake, including a handful of the Henham Park multi-coloured sheep.

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Lang Lang, who stole the show at the Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace, came close to stealing the weekend from the more well-known headliners.

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright brought his band to the Obelisk Arena for the now standard Sunday lunchtime slot. In previous years the likes of Joanna Newsom, Thom Yorke and Tom Jones have filled the spot, but this year Rufus and his team took to the stage and performed a sweeping and grandiose set.

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Over in the comedy tent, Reginald D Hunter fared less well. The Georgia-born comic who now lives in the UK and is well known for his TV panel show appearances was testing out some new material for his Edinburgh Festival show, and several chunks of his set fell a little flat.

Thankfully, his winning charm, quick wit and easy-going manner prevented the routine from becoming a total disappointment.

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