Caroline goes to Latitude

Posted by Guy Pringle, 25th July 2011

Reviewer Caroline Field sent us an account of a recent cultural outing:


'Had a great time at Latitude last week with the only frustration being so much choice that I missed stuff I’d normally go out of my way to see – Alan Hollinghurst and Adam Ant for two! The toilets were much improved this year, thank god, and we even braved the female urinals (to avoid the queue). Ebury Press had a book club and book shop up in the woods which was a lovely setting. You could have a cup of tea and browse their books and they hosted talks by their authors. We saw Mark Watson talk about his Extreme Rambling there. The Sunday Times also hosted a boutique tent with various readings. We decided we had to go to see how their speakers dealt with the Murdoch factor – Marcus Brigstocke for one.


We did surprisingly little in the literary tent this year – my most memorable memory of it is a man on stage wearing only wellies singing ‘I’m the only gay Eskimo’. In fact that one is haunting me a bit....


Poetry was our favourite hangout. I’ve really discovered performance poetry through Latitude. We’re Luke Wright groupies but we know just about all his stuff now. Elvis McGonagall and Tim Key were both brilliant this year. I go with Dom. I listen to Radio 4 and she doesn’t and she listens to music radio and I don’t so we challenge each other to try new things. My surprise ‘like’ this year was a beat box show, a one-man show by a world beat box champion just about how he got into beat box, how the sounds are built up and how his music was influenced by his Iranian-Jewish background.


For Dom it was Robin Ince’s Double Science sessions, pocket lectures by dishy young professors ‘ Hey, Latitude, it’s Saturday night. Let’s do data analysis!’ My boss said don’t miss Spymonkey cabaret which turned out to be 1am at Sunday night. So we finished the weekend singing Stand by Your Man with a country and western drag queen and a load more naked people waving pompoms (don’t ask). 2am bed. 7am up. 8am in the car. 10.30am home. 11.05 showered, teeth brushed and in the office! Told my boss it was excellent recommendation but her fault I was late. Are you going to give it a go again next year?


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