After months of spreadsheets filled with quotations and bibliographic work, I dispatched the upgrade report to the examiners, whizzed off one or two proposals and made it to Latitude Festival. Now the summer feels like it’s finally arrived and Nana is back.
2012: The Summer of Promise. At least that was the view from under Henham Park’s expansive early skies as, brew in hand, I frolicked in the maze of mental stimulus gathered from each festival day in much the same way the famous coloured sheep constantly moved around the frame of their pen (and still there were so many things I didn’t do or see!)
Interpreting First Aid Kit on the Obelisk stage was a genuine pleasure as well as a privilege. Scott (the manager) was helpful and efficient, Johanna and Klara both friendly and playful and their profound lyrical narratives were perfect for exploring some ideas around sign creativity gleaned from my PhD work with the best of the British Sign Language poets – Paul Scott, Richard Carter, John Wilson and Donna Williams. I was really pleased with the results: @deafjesus tweeted that First Aid Kit were “immense, cool dudes” and First Aid Kit tweeted “How awesome was our sign-language lady? New band member?”
*Proud* Obviously I’ll be in the queue for flight tickets to Stockholm as soon as that paperwork comes through…..
It was interesting, though, to make this connection with performance, song lyrics, and sign poetry. And like all good memes, it replicated. Simon Armitage riffed on the relationship between writing poetry and writing lyrics in response to a question from the floor (in a discussion chaired by Stuart Maconie), Benjamin Zephaniah warned of the consequences of taking the comparison too far, Scroobius Pip re-formed it via a full-length piece, and Don’t Flop played it out gangster-stylee.
I’ll be moving my coloured sheep around on this one for a while…..
In the meantime, here’s my Latitude gratitude for 2012:
Thanks to Carole and Rob for their constant generosity (and great to meet their Jamie this time). Thanks of course to Caz for being the Slash to my Lemmy, and for rocking the Alabama Shakes set, and to Emma for bringing her cool brand of elegant, witty control (and the zombie apocalypse action plan) to the terp team. Thanks to Deaf Jesus and all his disciples. Thanks to First Aid Kit and Scott, and all the backstage crews for being so lovely, professional and accommodating and for remembering us. Thanks to Alabama Shakes not only because they smashed it, but because Brittany and Heath were so lovely to hang with for that little while. Thanks to Simon Armitage for his flattering recall. Thanks to the silent but eloquently lined member of Paul Weller’s entourage for the beautiful, impromptu blue paper camellia. Thanks to Mark Lamarr for the best booty-shaking, bone-rattling, skip-to-my-lou of the year and to the unknown DJ on the Lake Stage who chilled it all down with a vintage cut of ‘Bare Neccessities’. A huge fashion thanks to Ottilie and Clover for the baby blue recycled cashmere Amish bear bonnet (I love you ladies). Thanks to Oxfam for this year’s funky wardrobe addition. Thanks to the hugely talented and indefatigable Amy of Keep and Share. Thanks to all the performers and creatives whose work I so enjoyed. Thanks to John, the lovely dad-next-door whose solid wall of family shielded me from the frankly terrifying beyond (I hope you got your coffee). Thanks to Lovely Mirror Lady (I still don’t know your name) for her fine vibe and for remembering the bunting – until next time. Thanks to Frosty, obviously, and all of Festival Republic for their smooth operating. Ditto all the campsite angels and especially the brave, stoic and efficient toilet cleaning crew.
Thanks to my beautiful son for being cool enough to not mind hanging out with his mother every now and again, and for his bars.
Thank you L…A…T…I…T…U….D…E !
I hope you’ll invite me back.