According to this post, my first words at the late show at Latitude were “Fuck. Look at you. Fucking Hell”. I was surprised, that didn’t sound like my normal opening, even when doing the Pointless Anger shows with Michael Legge (he is in charge of swearing output, I handle the overly niche references). I was quite taken aback to read it (it was tweeted to me, I don’t go searching my name on the internet). It felt odd to have so little memory of being so brutish. Initially, I was in denial, desperately seeking some neuronal activity that would jog the memory into the front of my head.
“Work for me for you fucking calcium ions, ah fuck, there I go again. maybe I have a condition”.
Slowly, it has fallen into place. To the bemusement of the audience, I started the show with Michael Legge in the guise of an aggressive Daphne and Celeste act, singing ferocious, disemboweled version of “Ooh Stick You…” and “U.G.L.Y.”, then straight into compering with Josie Long, with my caterwauling Daphne guise still simmering. Overall, I think I am surprisingly unsweary by the standards of the current circuit, but now a corner of the web will know me as Robin “Fuck. Look at You. Fucking hell” Ince. I thought the Shy tory opening was tongue in cheek, clearly I delivered it with too much authenticity, such a pity the Royal Shakespeare Company never call.
Since I have “officially” stopped stand up, I have had a benefit and a few outings in various guises at Latitude and something feels a little awry. I don’t feel creative or engaged on stage. I should have drawn the line a little thicker and made the Stop sign bolder. Only have a few little gigs left, a trip to Edinburgh, some benefits, the John Peel Center (how could I say no) and a festival in Folkestone, but nothing more for this year and next. My impostor syndrome is energetic, because for now, I am one. The manic show off departed after the gig at The Bloomsbury, and he should sleep now.
As for the rest of Latitude, it was excellent. It has been some time since I have had the opportunity to wander the site so freely with the time to see so much. Despite the cliches that may be trotted out on some stages by me and others, it is a pretty remarkable feat. There is so much bloody art and so much bloody good art.
I was lucky enough to host an event with three of Yonderland – it is a superbly stupid creation – “this is not a good day to be made of jelly” (a slight misquote of dialogue from a blue jelly)
The Chris Goode Company’s Stand was a passionate piece of documentary theatre performed with superb authenticity by actors including Michael Fenton Stevens, Cathy Tyson and Spencer Brown.
Dolores Haze are a noise, punk to post punk jolt from a band who look like a drawing of Riot Grrrls by Edward Gorey.
The Districts were good independent-ish americana guitar music of a type that will see them on the main stage soon I would imagine (a good album too, but not a favourite of 2015).
Timber Timbre sounded at times like Link Wray performing PiL’s Order of Death and sometimes like the mighty Morphine interpreting My Charona, magnificent. A performance persuasive enough to make me purchase an album on Monday morning, and probably one on Tuesday afternoon.
Fight Like Apes – just the sort of aggressive hooks and powerful vocal delivery that a hastily and effectively assembled faux Dingle chapel by a lake in Suffolk needs.
King Creosote – first time I have seen them live, so sprightly you’d barely believe their collective age was 300 years, and double denim on a hot friday, brave.
Public Service Broadcasting – a band that create beautiful soundscapes around samples about space missions, did Brian Cox make this band in a particle collider especially for me (they are currently on UK tour, you should go)
Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells – surely you own these albums by now. Even better than the recordings. A Frankenstein monster of jazz and tales of misanthropic casual sex with hints of despair that does not wish to kills its creators on a frozen wasteland.
Drenge – I realise that all Sabbathy Nirvana-ish rock makes me smile beatifically, and a mosh pit too (I didn’t go near there, I am 46 and my glasses may have been crushed) – One sodden lad left creased and mumbling, “I wasn’t expecting that”. (also nice to see such a noisy band having a cup of tea between songs)
Savages – perhaps the live performance of the festival, terrifyingly mesmeric, and one looks a little like a Victorian ghost nanny or a young Mrs Danvers (in a good way).
Ibeyi – somehow missed all the hoo-ha about them earlier this year – hoo-ha deserved
Portishead – more than I hoped for, all the adjectives you imagine you need for something so beautiful and enigmatic, think them now.
So now I know that I am a spectator, the place for me is watching the event, not trying to create one.
I take one trip to Edinburgh for this. A new Monkey Cage series is currently being aired with Brian Cox and me, and a series of podcasts with Alan Moore, Grace Petrie and me arrives soon. For the time being, there is our grumpy and stupid music podcast Vitriola (also on iTunes).
Also, if going to Edinburgh Fringe, may I recommend Michael Legge, Joanna Neary and Gavin Webster.