Latitude Festival 2011: My Morning Jacket

It was an odd start to the festival with noticeably fewer punters than in previous years and a mutual feeling of misery throughout the site as the torrential rain in stark contrast to the blazing Friday heat took the vest wearing optimists by surprise.

But My Morning Jacket reminded me what Latitude was supposed to feel like and gave me the rush I'd felt in previous years. Getting front and centre with ease was strangely disappointing rather than gratifying, it felt like someone was throwing a party and no one had turned up. But what a party it was, as the band walked on stage looking like a Lynard Skynard tribute act, and delivered the most powerful set of the weekend. The timing of the performance couldn't have been better with their 2011 album "Circuital" freshly released.

I'm not the kind of person who really appreciates guitar shredding, head banging or knee sliding like your average lip pursing, devil's horn signalling Jack Black fan. But My Morning Jacket are possibly the only band I consider to be incredibly cool when doing these things with their unusual brand of folk combined with classic-rock. The band's lead guitarist delivered guitar solos worthy of the likes of J. Mascis, pouting all the while. The songs echoed over the ever-growing crowd of gawkers who gazed in awe at the confident performers.

Despite a considerable discography and a much respected musical career, My Morning Jacket are still viewed as a cult favourite with many people more familiar with the works of Jim James as part of supergroup Monsters Of Folk alongside Bright Eye's Conor Oberst and M. Ward. But the group were able to completely command the main stage and were quite clearly living the stereotypical rocker dream, rocking out and swirling their long hair to screaming fans, old and new.