Latitude Loves… James Acaster, Lime Garden, and Mandy, Indiana

Can you believe there’s only two months to go until Barclaycard Presents Latitude 2023? Neither can we! For this week’s Latitude Loves…, we’re going to take a look at the smorgasbord of entertainment we enjoyed from three of the acts who’ll be joining us at Henham Park in July!

James Acaster (Temps)

Fans of James Acaster’s offbeat, zany comedy are sure to love his latest endeavour, Party Gator Purgatory, the debut album from his 40-strong musical collective Temps. Following its release, the man behind the music took to the stage at Rough Trade East to spill the beans on the story of Temps and how the album came to be. All the way back in early 2020, Acaster was filming a mockumentary following his dramatic departure from stand-up in favour of rekindling his first love of drumming, with the Party Gator – a cuddly toy won at a fairground – serving as his muse.

The project was, of course, aborted, as the first lockdown was imposed. But as everyone else was making whipped coffee and banana bread while getting the hang of Zoom, Acaster was reaching out to musicians from around the world – many of whom he counts among his heroes – and sending them recordings of his own drumming. The other musicians sent back their own (mostly improvised) recordings in turn, Acaster cherry-picked his favourites, and thus Temps was born.

Anything goes in Party Gator Purgatory – all regard for traditional musical structures is thrown out of the window. Instead, the album is a weird and wonderful lasagne of sound, layered with offerings from forty members with notes of hip-hop, jazz and spoken word (and a little bit of everything else). It’s an ambitious labour of love, but ultimately a celebration of uninhibited creativity and testament to the power of collaboration.

We can’t wait to welcome James Acaster to Latitude 2023, where he will share stories and music with Tim Burgess as part of his Listening Party.

Lime Garden

We saw the excellent Lime Garden perform their sell-out show to a buzzing crowd. The Brighton-based four-piece have grown together and took the wild proceedings of the last few years in their stride. Dominating the underground indie-pop scene, the band concoct a melting pot of strobe lighting, elements of disco and rock and beautiful lyricism into each show.

Their set was a well-oiled machine, reeling in its own fun! ‘Pulp’ offered a sultry marriage of hypnotic synth lines reminiscent of a hit 80s action movie and the striking guitar riffs sent the crowd into a trance. With the iconic beginning of their most recent release ‘Bitter’, the crowd soon catapulted into mosh of glee.

They have taken to the studio in recent months, cooking up their highly anticipated album. We’ve heard through the grapevine that something special will be with us sometime early next year. It is evident that each member holds an innate mastery of their own craft: Chloe carried an authoritative voice with her superb lyricism, Tippi stayed cool as a cucumber on bass, navigating and steering the band her grace and demeanour, Leila shredding ferocious riffs which pierce through the venue air on lead guitar, Anna leading the pack and an absolute animal on drums.

If this sounds like something for you, Lime Garden will be performing at the Sunrise Arena on Friday 21st July. We are stoked for their return!

Mandy, Indiana

Last week also saw the release of i’ve seen a way, the debut album from the Mancunian-Parisian four-piece experimental noise band Mandy, Indiana.

It’s an album that creates a sense of unease from the outset, but in the best way possible – the synth-laden opening track ‘Love Theme (4K VHS)’ is reminiscent of a retro sci-fi film score (the band count Blade Runner 2049 among the album’s visual inspirations), dragging the listener away from the real world and slowly lowering them in a pressure cooker of noise.

This sensation of discomfort does not just lie in the sensory overload, but in the lyrics, too – ‘Drag [Crashed]’ is a furious dissection of the experience of growing up as a woman in the twenty-first century, brought to life with furious, seething energy from frontwoman Valentine Caulfield.

i’ve seen a way is an experience akin to an odyssey through the seedy underbelly of the world we know, elevated by the band’s choice to partially record tracks across a variety of eerie liminal locations – an empty shopping centre and a cave, to name but a few. The album is an astonishing feat of sonic density, full to the brim with clashing, discordant forces that collide to create something truly mesmerising.

Make sure you catch Mandy, Indiana at the Trailer Park at Barclaycard presents Latitude 2023.

We were thrilled to get a taster of what each of these acts is bringing to Barclaycard presents Latitude. Be sure to check out our next Latitude Loves… for another preview of what you can expect to see at the festival, but until then, grab your tickets while you still can!