With Treefight for Sunlight, Eels, Lykke Li
Latitude Festival 2011

It’s really hot waking up in a tent on the Sunday of this year’s Latitude, but unfortunately that doesn’t correlate with the level of sunshine suggested. We are in for a day of five minute cycles of rain, then cloud, then bright sunshine, then cloud, then penetrating rain again. But while this gets the better of some people, most are still animated (and cappucino-fuelled) at the prospect of one last day of entertainment.

In name and in sound, Denmark’s Treefight for Sunlight defend the corner for a brighter mood, their glorious, creamy harmonies conjuring images of golden haired kids playing in lush soft-focus meadows in the way that Scandinavians do best. All four members share the psiren-like vocal harmonies but it’s bassist Christian Rohde Lindinger who astounds with his pitch-perfect soprano take on Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.

Fellow Scandinavian Lykke Li is also on breathtaking form, punching out her smooth crystalline vocals to rapturous applause. These are great, mature pop songs, brooding, with massive production values influenced by that big 60s Motown sound, but with just the right amount of eeriness to make it all her own.

But if you want to see an expert in big sounds, look no further than Eels. Mr E’s rich, gravelly voice cheerfully narrates his songs’ stories. There’s not one moment to get bored because if you’re not being carried along by Eels’ flawless rock and roll, Mr E is delighting in talking to you, the band are jamming, or you are cheering your heart out. Mr E knows what he’s doing: “Well, that was positive!” he states with a glint in his eye before commanding his Eels - “sing!” No expense is spared in making this a full-on affair - we have saxophone, horns, and a flute on top of the usual suspects; even dainty ditties like I Like Birds are given the full trumpet treatment. Eels come across as a true band of gentlemen, and given that they are likely to go on open-ended hiatus soon, it’s a fittingly celebratory and irrepressible end to the festival.

Words by Elly Oracle

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