Portishead brought an incredible taste of trip hop to their epic headline set at Latitude last night (18 July), and were joined onstage by Thom Yorke ahead of his secret set later in the night.
With wind machines, trippy computer graphics and sound effects reminiscent of dial-up broadband, the set felt like it had been lifted straight out of 1996 - in the best way possible, albeit with an undeniably ambitious staging that proved Portishead to be forever relevant, and always on form.
Make no mistake, this was one of the greatest festival sets of the summer from the band who seldom play live in the UK.
As the flickering green Portishead P logo flickered across the screens, it soon morphed into the flickering and shifting shapes of the iconic trio, as the increasingly menacing 'Silence' kicked off the set with cinematic perfection. The scratchy and mournful charm of 'Mysterons' shone as majestically as ever until they snapped back to the present with nightmare-ish footage of David Cameron, hunting parties, anti-austerity marches and a message that read, "Five more years," during a fiery rendition of 'Machine Gun' attacking the Conservative Party.
It was a risky decision to place 'Glory Box', surely the band's best loved song, halfway through the set - and it didn't entirely pay off. After they'd finished, the crowd began to gradually dissipate as fair-weather fans decided to chance their arm getting into the over-capacity Vaccines set.
More fool them, as all that followed was truly unforgettable. Those who stayed were richly rewarded - not least because later, Thom Yorke arrived onstage to massive cheers from the crowd, joining the band for 'The Rip' - a song Radiohead had previously covered. He didn't say a word, choosing instead to walk on silently, perform the song, and then disappear.
Overall, it was a consistently gripping and ultimately flawless performance, an opulent feast for the eyes, ears and heart - a show for all time from with an unflinching sense of artistry.
Latitude continues today with performances from Years & Years, Warpaint, Manic Street Preachers and headliner Noel Gallagher. Check back with Gigwise for more news, review and photos.