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Latitude 2013


Texas (The Band)

Genre: Music

Venue: Latitude Festival, Suffolk


Low Down

"2013 marks the 25th anniversary of a certain young band from Glasgow’s first public concert. That night in March 1988, nobody looking towards the stage of Dundee University students’ union would have been any the wiser about the unknown and unsigned vision before them. A female-fronted quartet with a twangy, gang-like swagger harking back to the pout and punch of Blondie and The Pretenders a decade earlier. The singer, a sultry, scarlet-lipped 20-year-old tomboy with an ink-black shake of hair, a telecaster at her hip like a gunslinger poised to draw. And the music itself. A modern sound sequined with vintage flashes of soul, country and 50s jukebox pop, as if blasted from some self-constructed fantasy city neither Glasgow nor Memphis but a rock’n’roll town planner’s daydream in between. A sound which the world duly came to know as Texas."


Though not strictly theatre, and therefore slightly outside the remit of this publication, I thought the excellent performance I witnessed by Texas last night was well worth a mention. Ok, so they are not the coolest band playing at Latitude this year, a fact reflected by the general audience demographic of middle-aged people in polar fleeces and luminous cycling jackets. However who cares about cool. Certainly not this reviewer. I mainly care about being able to bellow out all the words to the songs, and jumping around like a lunatic, which was certainly possible with the delightful Texas. (And which would be impossible with pretty much every other band at this festival, which is why you should all be glad I am here mainly to review theatre!)

Charlene Spiteri with her trademark glossy bob was excellent. A fantastic live performer, her voice was crisp and clear as she graced us with many of Texas’ greatest hits, such as ‘I don’t want a lover’ and ‘Halo’. She even sang a couple of new songs, which weren’t half bad, especially ‘Detroit City’. Her band supported her very well, and at times she seemed a little disappointed that Latitude was such a ‘chilled festival’, and kept encouraging the audience to jump around and liven up. Perhaps ten years ago, but most of these Texas fans seemed more content to keep their feet on the ground!

I am thrilled that there was at least one band that I could come and see and thoroughly enjoy at Latitude, and it was a surprise, as Texas didn’t feature heavily on the pre-published line up, so it was not until I got my festival programme (just in time!) that I knew they were on. I might give one more band a try, but in the meantime, back to the theatre…


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