IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 26 Monday, 20 July 2009 London Lite AmericAn metallers Devildriver rose from the ashes of the none-more- absurd marilyn manson/Korn copyists coal chamber. Devildrivers fourth album is well-removed from coal chamber, being really quite groovy (for heavy metal). Sure, the lyrics are pure hokum and Dez Fafaras sandpaper growls par for the course, but on songs such as Fate Stepped in and Back With A Vengeance, drummer John Boecklin plays so fast that you suspect he has five arms. The debt to Pantera is pretty obvious but there also shades of motorhead and The clash on the punktastic Another night in London. PC REVIEWSMUSIC L atitude is different. that much was already confirmed by thursday night, because despite the heavy rain, there was very little mud -- a result, according to locals, of the sand-based Suffolk soil. and while at other festivals you spend the hours of darkness tripping over comatose drunks, at Latitude youre tripping over pushchairs. Family-friendly it may have been -- at times the 25,000 capacity site resembled a cool Center Parcs -- but there were edgy and eclectic treasures dotted throughout. Wandering around youd hear a roar and find something like the Phenomenal Handclap Band, who wowed a tiny woodland tent on Friday, eight of them playing marathon retro-funk grooves like some happy-clappy religious cult. then youd stumble upon some- thing as dazzling as Saturdays show by beatbox wizard Shlomo, where he recreated the Jackson Fives i Want You Back with just his voice. elsewhere we were spooked by Fever Rays ghoulish techno theatrics, accompanied by what looked like undead extras from Visages Fade to Grey video, and mesmerised by Jamie Mcdermotts gothic orchestra the irrepressibles -- who tim Burton should surely hire as his house band -- on a floating stage on the lake. a theme of expect the unexpected took hold. Why, even thom Yorke cracked a few jokes during his pleas- antly weary solo show first thing on Sunday. and even the headliners had one foot in the left-field. On Friday the Pet Shop Boys may have presented a full-blown audio visual pop extrava- ganza, but the bowler-hatted Neil tennant was accompanied by art instal- lation-style dancing skyscrapers and floating stage sets. it meant that new material like Love etc. went down as well as vintage hits like its a Sin and their cheeky disco cover of Coldplays Viva La Vida. Grace Jones needed something special to follow that on Saturday night, and boy, did she provide it. after more costume changes than Paris Fashion Week, and barking-mad stage banter (am i on the moon?), we were treated to the sight of the 61-year-old pole- dancing in a corset and spanking herself to the irresistibly slinky sound of Pull up to the Bumper. She then ended the set with Slave to the Rhythm, spinning a hula hoop round her waist as she sang. extraordinary. By Sunday evening many families had headed home, but you wont find Nick Cave worrying about tomorrows school run. the Bad Seeds tore through the ever-apocalyptic likes of Red Right Hand and Stagger Lee like it was our last night on earth, as the wind howled in agree- ment. it was a very adult end to a festival headlined by three vintage acts, and none the worse for it. Now in its fourth year, Latitudes reputation is still growing. its the scaled-down, grown-up Glaston- bury which the mud cant spoil. Whats not to like? Crowd pleasing: Groove Armada vocalist Saint Saviour is Superstylin Flo,fireandtheperfectGroove FESTIVAL Latitude HenhamPark,Southwold,Suffolk HHHHH JOHNNY SHARP FESTIVAL Lovebox VictoriaPark HHHHH CHARLOTTE MELVILLE To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P POP Amazing Baby Rewild (V2/Cooperative,10.76) HHHII WeSLeYaN university reunions must be fairly cacophonous affairs. With MGMt swirling about the science lab, Santigold squawking in the library, Chairlift in the canteen, Boy Crisis in the theatre and now amazing Baby storming the football pitch, its no wonder everyone upped to Brooklyn after graduation. the amazing Baby boys -- beefier but woozier than Chairlift, less raucous than Boy Crisis, more Pink Floyd-y than MGMt, less disco than Santigold -- skitter adroitly around the psychedelic oeuvre of Bowie, Flaming Lips and animal Collective but cant quite conjure a song so instantly timeless as time to Pretend with which to tempt the kids. MaRTHa dE LaCEy METAL Devildriver PrayForVillains (Roadrunner,10.76) HHHII iN itS ninth year, Lovebox was bigger than ever, topping 40 acres with a new stage sponsored by Gaymers and perhaps its most diverse line-up, suggesting the two- dayer was going to be not only bigger but better than ever too. More than 60,000 revellers descended on Victoria Park to enjoy a plethora of international bands and dJs who looked as excited as the fans to be there. On Saturday, the main stage welcomed a highly original mix of performances from ethereal talent Florence and the Machine, to funk and hip hop crew N*e*R*d, and topped off with duran duran -- a testament not only to the reputation of the festival for drawing music heavyweights, but also to Londoners appreciation for live music across all genres. Poor acoustics at the main stage left some straining to hear N*e*R*ds Pharrell Williams over the two thrashing drum kits, but this was rectified by the time duran durans Simon Le Bon stalked on stage under a feathered top hat. Clearly moved by the cheers and singalong talent of the audience, the group cranked out every hit, from Save a Prayer to the encore of View to a Kill, with producer Mark Ronson joining them for a jam. unfazed by the main stage, the Gaymers stage boasted Gang Of Four and the spectacular Friendly Fires. With Sundays line-up for the more discerning music lover, the depleted but no less enthusiastic crowds rocked to tunes from Ladyhawke, doves and datarock, or risked the Monday hangover for sets from Jazzie B to diplo, who smashed it with his mix of hip hop, electro, baile funk, kuduro and dancehall. Simian Mobile disco drew a big crowd after dark as fire balls burst from the circling columns, while Groove armada gave the main stage a typically crowd-pleasing mix. the festival linchpins incorporated hits such as Superstylin with material from their forthcoming album Black Light, with revellers showing their appreciation. the mass exodus was one of weary jubilation as Lovebox, with its organisation and staggering line-up, showed once again how its done. GoodGrace atGlastofor grown-ups eBony ThomAS was a soap staple on Fives Family Affairs until she decided to try to be a pop star. So far, so uninspiring. yet under the ebony Bones! moniker, Thomas has produced a passable collection of magpie, m.i.A.-influenced ragbag pop that fuses beats and tribal drums, vaguely political lyrics and a few ace hooks and tunes. The muzik, for example, possesses a spiralling chorus of which Girls Aloud would be proud, while We Know All About U meshes handclaps with cowbells, brooding synths and hyperactive rhythms to good effect. PC POP Ebony Bones! BoneOfMyBones (SundayBest,10.76) HHHII AMERICANA The Duke & The King NothingGoldCanStay (Loose,10.76) HHHHI FORMeR Felice Brother, Simon Felice, is not known for his joie de vivre. instead, his muse is shaded with melancholy, hurt and anger. One More american Song, for instance, tells the tale of John who went in the army, like a lot of them do/ and he got f**ked up over there/ and if you see him now, he pushes a shopping cart in the parking lot/ if you call him, he dont hear a thing. Of course, if feathery acoustic guitars, breathy vocals and sumptuous melodies are your thing then queue here because when Felice adds a little blue-eyed soul to his palette, as on the lovely Suzanne and impossibly regretful ive Been Bad, you might start to believe this may be one of the (saddest) albums of the year. PaUL CONNOLLy All change: Grace Jones lined up the costume swaps to wow the crowd index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html