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Latitude Festival Review: The Quietus Gets Saucy In Southwold
Luke Turner , July 24th, 2009 07:26

The Quietus bored by Yorke but tentage to Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at the driest wet festival of the year. Photographs by Lucy Johnston.


Of Montreal
Obelisk Arena
Friday, 16.20

At the kind of festival where a bum fluff boy wanders past in a Robin Hood costume and isn't Patrick Wolf, it's as well to be wary of fancy dress antics. But when adults in pyjamas gambol onto the stage to collect boxes off an alien, open them to find gas masks perfect for a key swapping S&M party in the car park after the sun has yet, it's clear there's nothing whacky about Of Montreal's onstage antics. The tableaux that accompany most of their set are twisted explorations of conflict and deviance that sit as an interesting counterpoint to their baroque pop. And so a group of ninjas become untoward over a girl in a prom dress, and there's a choral prog moment where a pink gargoyle wanders onto the stage. Kevin Barnes looks very pleased, and gets changed into an outfit that shows off his generous lad to terrific effect. Plenty more of that, this weekend.

Fever Ray
Uncut Stage
Friday, 17.30

It's during Fever Ray that it becomes apparent that the influence of David Bowie is going to be seen in many of the Latitude performers. There's an interesting balance between the showy camp of Of Montreal and the murkier confusion of gender that lies in Fever Ray's early evening tent set. With old lampshades glowing and darkening, the caped musicians onstage have an apothecarial air about them, though you wouldn't be surprised if your Anadin super were spiked with a tincture of laudanum. The debut Fever Ray album has taken a curious hold over me after initial misplaced disdain, and today it's only a shame that this isn't later in the evening, where the medicine might work to better effect.

Next: Blue Roses