Review: Latitude 2012 – Day One

Latitude Day One
There’s a sense of optimism as festival goers arrive for the first day of the seventh Latitude festival. Despite one of the wettest summers on record and scenes of mud-soaked chaos at other music festivals, early arrivals at Henham Park at least managed to set up camp in the dry and with the sun even making a rare appearance.

With forecast of rain set for the remainder of the weekend, campsites and roads leading to the venue seemed busier than normal, though preparation work on site seems to have paid off, with both campsites and car parks in good condition.

Thursday’s programme is always an interesting insight into the feel of the festival, as festival goers begin to explore the site.

Former Housemartins and The Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton was one of the first major names to take to the stage with The 8th, a contender for one of the longest songs ever written. Part gospel, part rock, part musical and part drama, Heaton is joined by a wealth of musical talent as he looks at the seven deadly sins and there impact on modern life. It’s a piece packed full of motifs familiar to fans of Heaton’s previous work but also an exiting development in the use of song writing to deliver a strong narrative.

Elsewhere on site, the usual eclectic mix of events were taking place in corners of the park. A large and appreciative audience braved the drizzle on The Waterfront Stage as local youth group Aldeburgh Young Musicans thrilled them with a lively mix of jazz and world music. Made up of 20 young musicians, all aged under 18, from across East Anglia, the group are one of many local groups being showcased across the four days.

There can’t be any other festivals that would see a large group of revellers dancing in the rain outside a ‘disco shed’ at 11pm at night but as Colchester lad Dermott O’Leary kicked off his Indie Disco in the early hours, Latitude had well and truly launched.

Pic Marc Sethi


— Glen Pearce — Follow Glen’s Latitude Tweets on Twitter @glenpearce1
Glen’s website blog:

Glen Pearce is based in Suffolk and his reviews focus on the vibrant arts scene in East Anglia but also cover frequent trips to London and beyond. On average he sees around 150 shows per year, from small scale fringe shows to major West End productions.

Glen trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has worked as a stage manager, lighting designer, box office, front of house, in theatre management and arts marketing. He has reviewed for the regional newspapers in East Anglia.

In addition to his own blog he also contributes to OneSuffolk, blogs for Arts Professional Magazine, contribute to and is also the resident theatre critic for BBC Radio Suffolk’s Drive Time show.

He is also the South East Regional Editor for