Grimes at Latitude BBC 6Music Stage

Fine. I’ll do it. This line-up offers me nothing, the organisers never having heard of counter-programming. True story: I know a prostitute who once sucked off a prominent member of the Maccabees and said she wasn’t impressed. They also leave a bitter taste in my mouth, so after trying everything else (not much), I decided to try to be open-minded about this super-sweet pop confection.

People, after all, like different things, and that’s great. We woolly liberals love diversity, don’t we? Soon, you will doubt how open my mind was going in, but I want you to understand that I honestly had good intentions here.

So, who is this for? Well, it sounds like the Teletubbies grew up and discovered amphetamines. I reckon quite a lot of drugs might improve it, but I only have strong gin and tonic. Not strong enough though! I suppose everyone here could be high. It’s Friday night at a festival; they’ve every right to be.

This is like cutting into a cake and discovering that it’s icing all the way through. Grimes does a funny chirruping noise after introducing every track, like she’s a tiny alien creature. Every. Single. Track. When she speaks she sounds like a pet in a Japanese video-game. A tragic pokemon bleatingly beseeching us to love it.

I suppose if she were an alien one could almost understand all this, and see it for the damning indictment on our culture that it is. But she isn’t, is she? She’s a grown woman who’s found that bread and circuses don’t seem to be enough any more, so has boiled both down until there’s nothing left. Let them eat cake! More icing!

In front of me borderline-legal girls grin their rictus grins and twerk inexpertly. When Satre said that Hell is other people, these are the people he was thinking of.

The noises from the stage trill and chime. The dancers are genuinely great, like the lifeless but talented zombies in Thriller. But they’re basically propping up Mickey’s Fun-House of Inane Distraction for Toddlers. Their glazed, vapid smiles haunt us through the dry ice, like photoshopped adverts for some terrifying dystopia come to life.

At one point someone screams through an ordinary distortion pedal, and my brain briefly engages, echoing the existential pain in the sound. But it turns out to be only a brief moment of shadow in this parade of empty levity. Just costume jewellery on a lifeless dummy; all there only to dress the bulimic silhouettes on stage.

How has this been allowed to happen? If Brexit taught us anything, it’s that there is precisely zero wisdom in crowds. Grimes is the metaphorical wizened cherry on that appalling, insubstantial sugary cake.

Irredeemably horrifying.


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