Everything is beautiful down at Latitude
Andrew Trendell

15:26 17th July 2015

Latitude 2015 has kicked off in style with beautiful, sun-drenched sets from the likes of SOAK, Summer Camp, Ed Harcourt and more. 

Thousands flocked to the idyllic Suffolk site last night, with Latitude expanding the myriad cultural experiences to celebrate their tenth anniversary. It was an evening of song, dance, theatre and opera in the lake by the the forest - culminating in an epic firework display before the dusty masses raved into the early hours in the woods. 

Photo: WENN

The main programme of music began today, with SOAK stunning an early-rising crowd with her fittingly soulful acoustic sounds on the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage as one of the first acts, while Summer Camp did exactly what it says on the tin over on the main stage Obelisk Arena. 

Photo: WENN

While The Districts blasted the cobwebs off with a rush of real blues rock courtesy of their brilliant album, A Flourish And A Spoil, the first true highlight of the day came from Ed Harcourt on the Obelisk stage. 

"Thanks for coming out," he smiled, "I am the horsderve of the day." It was a pleasure. The day may have been young, but Sir Harcourt did all he could to win over the sun-baked crowd with some bright and breezy charm. This came in spades with a heavenly rendition of 'God Protect Your Soul', before the searing hellfire and brimstone of new track 'Immoral' - taken from his upcoming album and given a more dramatic and post-punk darkness since he last performed it acoustically for Gigwise. 

Watch Ed Harcourt perform 'Immoral' for Gigwise below

The jovial defiance of 'Born In The '70s' delighted all as he captured the true spirit of this sweet midsummer dream of a day, and clung the audience close to his chest from then on. May his next LP finally bring him the success he has so long deserved. 

Photo: WENN

Latitude continue tonight with performances from Alt-J, Caribou, Wild Beasts, Jon Hopkins and many more. Check back at Gigwise for the latest news, reviews, photos, updates and more from Latitude 2015. 

  • Beach Baby: Combining the gentler, falsetto side of Foals with the buoyant melodies of a band like Bombay Bicycle Club, and cranking them through their own wistful, lo-fi stylings, Beach Baby produce languid, sun-drenched guitar pop with lyrics that invite you to double-take, and rewind to check you heard right: "I wanna be your mother, raise you up and fuck, fuck you right up."

  • Adult Jazz: Slowly layering barely-there drum beats on top of gently reverberating, richly soulful vocals, the comparisons to Alt-J that Adult Jazz have attracted are inevitable but reductive. There's less affectation, more experimentation and a heavier edge of folk.

  • Shura: There's a quiet, self-effacing quality to Shura's stage persona that translates into her music in all the right ways. In the aptly-named '2Shy', for example, her vocals are barely more than a whisper, yet still carry themselves above the pulsing trip hop instrumentals.

  • Blossoms: When we spoke to Blossoms at Liverpool Sound City last month, they made no secret, refreshingly, of their dream for mainstream success. With Alex Turner-influenced vocals atop psych-rock inflected synths and electric guitars, that dream may very well come true.

  • Ibeyi: XL's newest signing released their brilliant debut album earlier this year, which blends elements of hip hop and soul with Yoruban chants and layered harmonies. But it's in a live setting, rather than on record, that the duo really come into their own.

  • Seafret: It wasn't just the star power of Game Of Thrones' Maisie Williams that made the video for 'Oceans' go viral; it was also the achingly sincere melody, which is somehow both starkly uncomplicated and deeply, inherently moving - as if it's always existed somewhere in the stratosphere, and Seafret were just the first to grab it. They haven't existed for very long - having met each other at a pub's open mic night and spontaneously decided to meet up again and play music. It was a very smart move indeed.

  • Rat Boy: Like a scrappier, more urgent Jamie T, Rat Boy's youthful, raucous energy is never more tangible than when he's onstage, singing about losing his job in Wetherspoons and going on the dole.

  • All We Are: Bassist Guro Gikling, whose vocals usually take the lead under the haunting harmony of drummer Rich O'Flynn, is the magnetic backbone of All We Are when the band play live - gently shimmying from side to side as she churns out thumping bass riffs. The band's brand of ambient, dreamy falsetto harmonies is suited to both late night and sunny afternoon sets.

  • Honne: Their brand of futuristic soul is very au fait at the moment - but Honne add enough of their own creativity and flair that it feels like they're adding to the trend, rather than riding on its coat-tails.

  • Jack Garratt: The one-man band, who produces rich, soulful vocals whilst playing the guitar and operating a loop pedal, drum machine and keyboard, is not going to be in many of these "new artist" lists for long. In fact, he looks brace to become the Royal Blood of festival season 2015.

  • Soak: The 18-year-old's beautiful, soothing single 'Sea Creatures' opens by sampling 'Stand By Me', before bursting into something entirely new. There's a disarming sweetness to her lyrics: "They don't know what love is / Throw it around like it's worthless / I pray for you... And you know I don't like Jesus."

  • Oscar: Combining his love of Buddy Holly and Damon Albarn into something that doesn't sound quite like either, Oscar Scheller's laptop pop is bursting with choruses that have every right to be anthemic. Instead he reins them in, favouring a DIY aesthetic over the temptation to burst into the high production that his melodies invite. Somehow, it works.

  • Tuff Love: Fuzzy and lo-fi to the extent that their choruses often swell and distort, Tuff Love combine a ramshackle recording approach with methodic musicality and sweetly poignant lyrics. The band should have made waves last year when The Guardian, thanks to handwritten note from their label boss, dedicated a whole piece to why they'd "fallen in love" with Tuff Love. They never quite broke through though. See them at Latitude and right that wrong.

Photo: Richard Gray