In the year Glastonbury struggled to sell out and various other festivals didn’t even make the first day, Latitude Festival entered it’s third year and was a roaring success. Ok, it did have it’s problems. Robberies in the campsites (which Is to be expected at a festival), mixed weather and more importantly Melvin Benn’s refusal to expand certain areas of the arena while happily expanding the amount of visitors.  But hey! Let’s not get bogged down in the negatives but rather revel in the joyous moments of the weekend. Well…my joyous moments really. Here's part one! Thursday Having spent a good portion of the day waiting around in cars or putting up tents/gazebos in the pouring rain I think everyone was in need of some sort of a getaway and The Irrepressibles certainly provided us with that fix. Sitting somewhere between Jeff Buckley (on the vocals side) and pretty much every genre of music they could possibly play (Yes the spectrum is that wide!) on the other, The Irrespresibles are a twelve piece orchestra fronted by the spooky but can’t-take-your-eyes-off-him singer Jamie McDermott. Playing in the middle of a forest is always going to be a predicament, such a beautiful setting requires equally beautiful music but thankfully The Irrespresibles have beauty in abundance. Haunting, stunning, scary and epic are all words that I will happily use when describing their performance but to be honest those words seem worthless in comparison to the feeling of joy when seeing a band so other-worldly that life on other planets seems almost a certainty. Mix that feeling with the engulfing sensation of an entire forest acting like a crowd of millions surrounding you and you’ll soon start to understand how overwhelming this performance was.  The rest of the day/night was spent making new friends and finding out all the new things 2008 had brought to the festival. Personal highlights in that department was the light show over the lake at night, the mixing table at the digital fun-fair, the Pimms man and his posh ramblings, the piano by the lake and the cider barn. Shamefully the multi-coloured sheep of previous years were replaced with just one colour kind! When describing this festival to latitude virgins the usual suspects come up, the amazing setting/the relaxed vibe/the mix of things to do etc but now I feel the incredible lights at night will be another thing I’ll add to the list. The place is already stunning during the day but at night it turns into a completely different environment with colours filling every nook and cranny. Friday Acting as the weakest day of music (in my opinion) I used this day to see a few bands I haven’t heard of before and my god was it worth it. The Joy Formidable at the Sunrise Arena kicked off my day and what a kick up the ass that was. Compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this trio from London certainly carried the YYY’s attack but with far more of pop edge than Karen O’s collective. A thoroughly confident set from a band that could easily get a lot bigger in the not too near future. Good Johnny Cash cover too (4/5). Straight after that I crossed over the bridge to see Heloise & The Savoir Faire in the Uncut Arena. On paper they sound like the kind of band I would hate but sometimes it’s good to push your musical boundaries a bit to see where they sit. Thankfully Heloise & The Savoir Faire didn’t punish me for my forward thinking outlook; instead they gave me a disco ball high five! Hailing from New York they certainly have a lot in common with the Scissor Sisters (both musically and visually) but this is the band you would feel happy telling people you’re a fan of. A mash of disco/funk/and the occasional heavy riff, this band was pure, unadulterated fun (3/5). In terms of stars my favourite is easily the sun and occasionally that big ball of fire in the sky helps when choosing what bands to see. The equation I like to use for these occasions is sunshine + bands = Lake/Obelisk stage. This equation lead me to a hotdog stand first but then on to the lake stage to see Leicestershire shoegazers Kyte. From start to finish they made the art of eating a hotdog stupidly hard as the chewing process was hindered by my mouth being wide open with amazement. Not only the perfect partner to the sunny weather but also the perfect soundtrack to a good nights sleep. Think Mew if they slept with all the members of Sigur Ros and created a wonder child (4/5).  So three new bands down and none of them have disappointed. Maybe this will carry on all day? Nope. Gravenhurst were next. Ouch, what a let down. According to the book they were considered a mix between My Bloody Valentine and Nick Drake. Who came up with that conclusion? All I heard was a lot of bland music followed by the finale which was built on a foundation of poorly constructed guitar loops, both musically and rhythmically. Ok, MBV might not have tuned their guitars a lot of the time but at least what they created was good (2/5). After that I made way over to see the first band of the day I was genuinely excited about, Murder by Death. Sounding a lot like Johnny Cash and a night spent drinking whiskey in a middle American bar, Murder by Death made me smile from ear to ear. For a band that is relatively unknown in this country, they certainly gave it their all and filled that main stage with ease. Personal highlight of the set was 'Ash' (4/5). Johnny Foreigner was the next band on my list and damn they were good. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs since I saw them support Idlewild last year and I was interested to see if that amazing performance was a fluke or not. It wasn’t. Playing songs from the superb Waited Up Til It Was Light, JF got everyone singing and dancing, despite the rain. Singer/Guitarist Alexei was on top form, attacking his guitar as if it just slept with his girlfriend and giving everything he had in him. It was an outstanding set, which saw the crowd feed off the pure energy of the band and vice versa. I’m not sure why they seemed shocked by the amount of people that turned up to see them; they truly deserve all the praise they’ve received in the last few months. Personal highlight was the unrehearsed version of 'Eyes Wide Terrified' (5/5).  The next and final band of my evening was Death Cab For Cutie. The general consensus after they finished was that of disappointment. Being the huge DCFC fan that I am I would disagree. I definitely would agree it wasn't their best performance, especially on the choice of songs, but they were let down by the appalling sound. Not amazing but still good. Personal highlight was 'I Will Possess Your Heart' (3.5/5) I’ll try and stay clear of any sort of night time activities I got up to in this review as it would be boring but I feel it’s my duty to mention the amazing night I had at guilty pleasures, namely the dance off. We were all having a fun time singing and dancing to some of the cheesiest songs imaginable when a Michael Jackson song pummelled out of the speakers. After a minute of dancing to the Jackson classic I hear someone shout out “dance off, there’s a dance off!” Everyone ran into the middle and formed a circle and a few people started to break dance! It was truly one of those spontaneous, magical, out-of-the-movies moments. I was in tears of laughter and so was everyone else. Not sure what the DJ’s and dancers on stage made of it though! So day one and two over! Come back tomorrow for day three and make sure you get back here on sunday for the Latitude Mixtape! Oliver