Sunday, July 13, 2008

To look into the eyes of a borrowed horse...

One thing I did this morning, as part of the preparations, was to have a good lie-in and then a soak in a hot bath. Whatever the weather this coming weekend neither of these little luxuries is going to be possible. Both yesterday afternoon/evening and today I've been having a retrospective of Latitude 2007. While I already owned music by some of the artists, which is what really prompted me to go in the first place, it is only when I thought about it in this way it that I realised what an influence it has had on the music I have acquired in the last year.

Some of it has become mainstream in 2007-8, some of it hasn't, but that aspect doesn't bother me a bit. It would perhaps be possible to live entirely within the small world of music on the radio but it would be an unwelcome challenge. On the other hand it is getting more difficult but no less interesting, almost by the week, to keep tabs on new music. Here is one such item, long awaited but finally released two weeks ago by new artist Cate le Bon who I first heard at Latitude 2007, that only makes that issue more obviously difficult!

Edrych yn llygaid ceffyl benthyg. To look into the eyes of a borrowed horse.

It is hard to tell what might be the greater problem: the fact that it is only released as a 10" (45 rpm) EP, limited to just 400 copies all on heavy ivory-white vinyl (Peski 009) and only available through independent retailers, or the fact that it is entirely sung in Welsh! The title of this post is a mere translation. It is a saying similar in meaning to the phrase "to look a gift horse in the mouth" but rather more ambiguous.
This item is clearly not going to bother the UK charts, whether single or album, but it is worth noting that the album Rockferry, which is far and away the biggest selling in the UK in 2008, is the first by another Welsh singer-songwriter - Aimée Duffy - who hails from Nefyn.

In fact it is tempting to compile a list (in no order other than alphabetical) comprising ten of the acts that I most enjoyed at Latitude 2007:
  • Arcade Fire
  • Bat For Lashes
  • Cate Le Bon
  • Charlotte Hatherley
  • CSS
  • Jarvis Cocker
  • Kate Nash
  • New Young Pony Club
  • Slow Club*
  • Stephanie Dosen

And here, using last year's Festival guide but compiled today, are ten more that I now wish that I had seen:
  • Blood Red Shoes
  • Emmy The Great*
  • Jaymay
  • Joan As Policewoman
  • Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong*
  • Make Model
  • Noah & The Whale*
  • Patrick Wolf
  • Scouting For Girls
  • The Teenagers
* These artists are also appearing again at Latitude 2008 and so I will have a second chance but I can see the conflicts, between bands I want to hear but playing on different stages at the same time, are going to be even more acute this year.
Those highlighted in green have (from memory) been mentioned, at least in passing, in my blog but these are not currently links. I can promise myself one thing and that it is not going to be possible other than to make such mistakes again. That is probably the mark of a good festival!

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