latitude 2009 Latitude Festival 2009 as reviewed in great detail by text message

While lesser other music blogs file a festival review as soon as the weekend on which it occurred has ended, My Chemical Toilet does things differently. There will always be people who claim that this review has only now been published because of an unshakeable laziness that plagues the site’s editor, but I think we know that those people are just HATERZ.

So, after cunningly bypassing the glut of Latitude reviews that stank up the internet like a dog fart a few weeks back, here is the definitive review of the event. It was texted through in installments by the diligent and dedicated Duncan Geere, who also writes about sprong configurations and downloadable bumware for top tech site Pocket-lint.

From the outset, Duncan was keen to show that no old duffer he. Check this pensioner-baiting update which he spat out before he’d even reached the festival:

Average age of people in coach station – 68. Average age of people carrying rucksacks: 23.

In other words – “I might be travelling on the same vehicle as you, Grandma, but I’m going to rock out while you’re complaining about your ankles. FUCK. YOU.”

Continuing his thinly-veiled tirade against the forces of grown-upness, Duncan next let it be known that the transport was in definite “difficult second album” territory:

Coach review: no leg room, confused driver, ‘rose’ decor, not as good as their earlier work. 3/10.

At this point I should point out that Duncan is quite tall, and that to find a coach with sufficient legroom for him would probably entail halving the number of passengers the vehicle can accomodate. Would the trauma of having his knees under his chin inspire Duncan to embark on a crazy Hunter S. Thompson-style psychedelic freak-out?

And we’re off. Playing animal, vegetable, mineral with my girlfriend. She’s been an african giant snail and white phosphorous so far. I was a coconut.

Woah. The answer, clearly, was “yes”. Duncan and his fair lady apparently cracked straight into the spazz-drops, or whatever hallucinogens it was they were carrying, and one can only imagine the scene witnessed by the elderly passengers on board. I was becoming quite worried that Duncan was going to burn himself out; a fear not allayed by his next dispatch:

Fucking yes! I’ve got a punnet of raspberries.

Clearly still off his table on a substance of some kind, Duncan was now seeing fruit.

Just walked past three burly-looking guys eating muller fruit corners.

And fruit corners.

With the buzz from his earlier binge wearing off, and the coach having arrived, the business of festivalgoing proper was able to begin. Alright!

Having a pint by the main stage. Not allowed to sit on the seats, so sitting on the floor leaning against them in protest. They keep playing the start of Kid A.

“Seats”? And seats you’re not allowed to sit on? What kind of festival is this??

At the poetry arena. “This one is called Ruby The Hypodermic DJ.”

You may laugh at Duncan for visiting the poetry arena, but it’s not often music fans get the chance to laugh at live poetry, so whenever the chance presents itself it is your duty to attend. Don’t stick around for too long though, or you might miss, like, decent stuff.

Decent stuff like an indie disco!

Turns out “Feeling Gloomy” isn’t very gloomy at all. It’s just an indie disco. It has started to rain, though.

I’ve been to the Feeling Gloomy club night in London’s trendy north London several times, but Duncan appears to have travelled all the way to – where is Latitude, anyway? – to experience it. Ho hum. Come on, Duncers! Where’s the mentalosity your early updates promised? Where are the fire-swallowing naked dancers? Where are the mud-wrestling trannies? Where are the fat swans?

Hiding from the rain in the film and music tent. There’s a fat swan on the screens.

That’s more like it. But then he went and ruined it by being nice to the very people he was earlier rebelling against!

Educating some older ladies on who the broken family band are.


It appeared some kind of happy-clappy communal niceness had overcome Duncan, as is always the possibility at festivals. That’s OK, I suppose. You can only rage against The Man for so long.

latitude lasers 2009 Latitude Festival 2009 as reviewed in great detail by text messageWith the music side of things beginning to hot up, some difficult decisions needed to be faced – and QUICK.

First difficult clash of the festival. Of Montreal versus The Duckworth Lewis Method.

Being an ignorant swine I thought Duncan was poking some fun at unknown losers The Duckworth Lewis Method, but some rudimentary Googling reveals them to be the latest project from Neil Hannon, of whom I know Duncan is a big fan. Which did he go for? He chose to omit this information, so it was clearly a painful decision. Let us say no more about it.

Let us instead enjoy a spot of Proper Music Journalism-style imagery:

Mew sound like they should be playing on an asteroid, not a slopy tent.

Get this man a desk at NME! He even made up a word!

Next came a flurry of messages from the Pet Shop Boys set:

Pet Shop Boys are wearing boxes on their heads. The boxes have screens on with their heads on them. Are they inside? Who knows.

BREAKING NEWS: THE BOXES HAVE GONE. I can exclusively reveal that the Pet Shop Boys were indeed inside them.

Surely taking a Village People song and adding Cold War overtones is one of the best things the Pet Shop Boys ever did for pop music.

What an entertaining time that sounds. I kind of wish I made a bit more effort to see the Pet Shop Boys when the opportunity arose now. OH WELL.

Walked past poetry tent again. Bloke in a pork pie hat reciting a poem about getting poo in his eye.

I wonder if this poem was based on a real-life experience. If so my thoughts are with you, shit-in-face man.

The next day began with a spot of “comedy”:

For the love of God, never go see John Gordillo do stand-up. He’s miming his dog giving itself a blow job. You’ve been warned.

What?! That’s filthy! John Gordillo, you scum- Oh, hang on:

Correction – Rob Rouse. Dick. Comedy tent running behind, it seems. John Gordillo actually really rather good.

Oh. If Rob Rouse and John Gordillo read this via Google Alerts – apologies, for quite different respective reasons.

We’ll skip over Camera Obscura because I find them annoying. What happened after Camera Obscura, Duncan?

Watching some avant-garde theatre. A tent is alive. Doves were good but dicked around with “There Goes The Fear”, which is a crime.

Some people might say Doves could do with a fair bit of dicking around, but not me, oh no. What an open-minded chap Duncan is though, don’t you think? To go from a bunch of ugly, almost-certainly-anoraked Mancunians to a spot of performance art, just like that. I’m assuming he didn’t glass the living tent here, obvs.

Enough of this music stuff, though. Give us what we really want, Duncan – a toilet update.

Compost loos are a squillion times better than the long drops, which in turn are a squillion times better than portaloos.

Does the phrase “long drops” in relation to lavatories make anyone else want to do a little spew into their hand?

On to Thom Yorke’s set. The tension beforehand was palpable:

Someone just yelled at a roadie, “make sure everything’s in its right place”

Those Radiohead fans, so erudite. Stylish, too – no doubt due to following producer Nigel Godrich’s lead:

Nigel Godrich is wearing a very stylish raincoat.

Nigel Godrich is taking pictures on his iPhone. Official – Nigel Godrich is a metrosexual.

I’m wondering if I missed a text in which Duncan details Nigel Godrich exfoliating by the side of the stage? Anyway, latitude thom yorke radiohead 2009 Latitude Festival 2009 as reviewed in great detail by text messagethat’s where the Thom Yorke references ended, so we’ll assume his set was shit. Or maybe Duncan was just distracted by something. But what?


Credit to our correspondent – despite the pain he managed to send this dispatch twice. In case you missed it the first time:


Poor Duncan. I became concerned that this might signal the end of his report, but another nature-related update soon followed:

Whoa. A rabbit just ran through the crowd. A real rabbit. Chased by a load of kids. Poor thing.

I was half-expecting things to go a bit Watership Down from here on in, but it was soon back to the music:

Phoenix are very strokes-y, and not very French.

Watching Saint Etienne and discussing Goth clip art. Does such a thing exist?

Er, I don’t know. If you know, leave a comment please.

Sarah Cracknell seems perpetually on the verge of threatening bed without any dinner, or an afternoon of finger painting.

Gentlemen of a certain age are at this point allowed to go a bit wibbly, thanks to the mention of La Cracknell and “bed” in the same sentence. “I wish I had had a schoolteacher who looked like etc etc”

Meanwhile, if you’ve been looking for a recent example of the sublime turning to the ridiculous:

She ended their set with the word ‘wowzer’. Editors now.


“This isn’t angular, this is shit” says @eduardiansnow (that’s Duncan’s girlfriend’s Twitter thingy)

Editors were fucking dull.


Surely there was an act around the corner to wash the Editors’ dullness away, though?

Packing, then back to the coach. Bye Latitude!


And that was it. The end. The end of a saga that featured wasps, poems about getting shit in your eye, rabbits, living tents and a man miming a dog giving itself oral pleasure. What an adventure!

Thanks to Duncan for covering literally everything worth covering at Latitude 2009, and a little bit more besides. Be sure to check out his articles about 3G video-enabled toasters at Pocket-lint, won’t you?

[Latitude sign photo: spiritquest; Lasers sign photo, Thom Yorke photo: photoaf)

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