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Latitude Festival 2017 – Ida Barr

Reviewer: Nicole Evans

While the majority of the Latitude world flocks to Saturday night headliners, Mumford and Sons, on the main stage, those few of us who aren’t fans pile into the Cabaret tent to see the only other act on the line-up that sounds like it will be far enough away to drown out the guitar strums.

Latitude and fringe regular Ida Barr takes the competing slot and although the tent is bare in comparison to previous evenings, she attracts a fair-sized crowd.

Incorrectly billed as The Lost Pubs of England, she arrives on stage in her trademark music hall garb and proceeds to lead the audience in a unique rendition of If You Were the Only Girl in the World, set to the tune of Rihanna, of course. Confusion sets in slightly with the pub theme clearly not present although the show is subsequently introduced as Artificial hip-hop.

Although Chris Green, the man behind the stockings, makes for a convincing gangster granny, the gags, unfortunately, run a little dry and there is a distinct lack of funny, original material on offer. The audience does their best to enjoy it with those that have had the most to drink getting well involved in the sing-a-longs and those left just swaying gently to keep up – and shouting “Oi” in response to the call of Doing the Lambeth Walk.

A crowd rendition of Jerusalem, complete with waving improvised flags, is surprisingly tuneful and the lesser-known, original, songs do at least get people dancing when instructed to do so, but that’s about all this show has to offer and the instinct to leave before the promised finale of a Hokey Cokey prevails.

The lyrical aspects are occasionally humorous and Green does well to put them to the various hip-hop beats, although it would take far more thought to make them fantastic. Maybe it is the disappointment of the show not being centred on pubs that reduces the enjoyment, or the realisation that Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer just can’t be rivalled (and this really doesn’t come close), but the number of unimpressed faces and people making their escape suggests Green really needs to work on his act.

Reviewed on 15 July 2017 | Image: Contributed

Latitude Festival runs from 13 – 16 July 2017 at Henham Park, Suffolk

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