Glastonbury is a wonderful thing. It's one of the few festivals that offers a genuinely transformative experience, and is deserving of all the platitudes thrown its way. However it does tend to dominate the summer landscape, leaving legions of quite brilliant events gasping for air and headlines until Eavis turfs everyone back up the M4.
With 'G.Bury' out the way, we can look forward to the next big fella on the horizon: Latitude. Now in its 10th year, it’s nailed down its position in the UK festival scene through box-ticking line-ups that comprise stellar headliners alongside a bevy of left field theatre, art and comedy names.
It’s easy to get bogged down in those names in bold at the top of the poster, and this year Latitude isn’t disappointing anyone with Alt-J, Portishead and Noel Gallagher headlining. But there's really so much more, so here’s five relatively little known acts splashing in the shallows of the bill; each of them deserving of your time and probably-not-whole attention
Rat Boy dropped his first mixtape, named, uhm, The Mixtape, back in November. From the very first sample it was imbued with the scraggy, everyman swagger that made teenage stars of Jamie T and Alex Turner. To be honest, Rat - real name Jordan Cardy - will probably get tired of comparisons with the former. Seeing as he’s 19, signed to Parlophone and posting regular pictures of him hanging out with Miley Cyrus in LA, he should just let them slide for now.
If Leon Bridges can cruise into the top 10 with his nice-but-dull Sam Cooke nostalgia fest, it’s a puzzle as to why Curtis didn’t make similar moves with his Soul Power record released in January.
Curtis is more indebted to the funk fluctuations of Curtis Mayfield, TV On The Radio and maybe even your man Muddy Waters. As a result, he slides a little less snugly into our nation’s supper club playlists and is all the more interesting for it.
By the time Latitude comes round, Ezra’s third album Perpetual Motion People will have dropped. If there’s justice the world will have fallen for the dude who channels the spirit of Bowie, Reed, and all those other weirdos you love. Early word suggests the record is going to be feted by every critic going; with good reason, as it is a delightfully offbeat waltz through the mind of this Chicago-born pop goblin.
These have had a couple of features on Sabotage Times already, with much love being spewed for their rueful depiction of this generation’s desire to keep pushing the limits of the weekend. With an image that is all Lacoste polos and Reebok Classics, and a sound giving 5am nods to New Order and ‘Blinded By The Lights’, they’re going to keep the good time girls and dusty-nosed Dave’s well happy.
Neon Waltz hail from Caithness, the northern most part of the UK. Despite holding such a notionally dreary place in their bones, their music is a curiously uplifting beast- fiery, passionate chorus’s and winsome vocals form the basis for a clutch of songs that as yet have only been released as demos.
Fans of Scottish counterparts Frightened Rabbit and Broken Records will like much here, and Latitude presents one of the final chances to catch this new Atlantic Records act in such an embryonic state.