So my only beer at Latitude was Carlsberg, served in plastic cups. As I wrote, it was surprisingly tasty paired with herring. As I’m sure it is in all Wythenshawe boozers.
You don’t go to music festivals for beer, but you might be surprised to know that the only beer visible at Latitude is Carlsberg, and this liquid purporting to be Woodforde’s Wherry. Some Henham homebrew may have been available, but I never saw it.
At least the
glass cup is lined, heh ? That was a fiver for a pre-poured pint that Mrs RM said was taken out of a fridge. I only knew it was there, hidden at the back, because I’d scoured the bar price list small print before hand.
“Ugh” said I.
“Tastes OK” said Mrs RM, who as you’ll know will drink anything. Quickly.
Adnams, at least, can preserve the reputation of their beers brewed 3 miles from here by staying well clear. Goodness knows what the Head Brewer of Woodfordes would have made of it.
To be fair, I don’t go to festivals for beer, or even pubs for that matter. But in August End of the Road has 30-odd decently priced beers from the likes of Vibrant Forest, Gyle 59 and Eight Arch, all of which will be gone by Saturday night.
Mrs RM and I will, naturally, keep Beavertown in business for another year, as long as they learn how to work the keg machinery this year.
Of course, you’ll say, people who dress up as willies and farmyard animals, as Latitude’s target audience are wont to, wouldn’t appreciate a 7.4% Black IPA like Black Betty, so best let them prop up Carlsberg and Somersby instead.
Or keep out of my way by hogging the Prosecco Bar.
But Latitude is supposed to be a celebration of cultural highlights, the Radio 4 of festivals. So you get John Pienaar interviewing Damian Green on Sunday (after the Corbyn illuminations had faded).
Plus “Dido and Aeneas” with techno backing, and Kathryn Jenkins singing rugby anthems.
Plus all the comedians that dull folk watch on telly on Fridays, and the poetry of Vladamir Mayakovsky reinterpreted for 21st century Cambridge, a personal highlight.
A crowd of 35,000 fits into 3 stereotypes;
- People who shop at Waitrose and enjoy hugging each other and chatting to their mates over music.
- Young girls with face paint who’ve just finished posh private schools and enjoy chatting (“OMG”) to their mates over music.
- Pub bloggers and their wives.
It was my idea of hell. But, like watching an opera or visiting France, you have to do it once.
The music was a saving grace. Aimed partly at 40-somethings reliving their youth by watching 40-something versions of Placebo, Ride, Divine Comedy and other ’90s indie, and partly at folk who were too scared to go to Glasto but really want to see someone they saw on BBC Red Button.
Within the mainstream, 20 year old Norwegian Sigrid clearly stands supreme. Perhaps she was buoyed by news that Norway has been usurped by Denmark as the most expensive place for beer, but her performance was one of the most euphoric things I’ve seen since the Jesus & Mary Chain had the energy to do a 20 minutes set.
If only I could have bought her single. In keeping with a festival where only half the people seemed to be looking at the stage, there was not one place where you could buy a record.