Latitude 2015: SOAK: “It’s nice to come back to Latitude with a full band, on a bigger stage”

Ahead of her slot, Bridie Monds-Watson drops by to chat skateboarding, indie gossip, and jet-lag.

After a manic tour performing solo in the US, a slightly jet-lagged but chipper SOAK has flown straight back to Latitude to open proceedings for the weekend on the 6 Music stage. She’s got a full band in tow, a treasure-trove of a debut - ‘Before We Forgot How To Dream’ - ready to deploy, and some top secret gossip about the rest of the weekend.

“Last night the intention was to try and sleep, but it just didn’t happen,” SOAK tells us. “I haven’t had any sleep but I get super hyper, so now I feel agitated,” she laughs. “but also not.”

She’s relishing the prospect of playing a bigger stage at Latitude this year, and the strange brew of eager punters and hungover souls that come hand in hand with an opening slot. “It’s all the people who got too fucked up the night before!” she laughs. “We just did a full American tour, and it was solo, so its nice to come back and be with the band. It’s a lot of fun - its fun when it’s solo as well - but its a lot more energetic. People sing along really loudly, and let loose.”

Since her nod in BBC’s Sound of 2015 poll last year, things have happened very quickly for the Derry local, though SOAK’s pretty used to the swing of things by now. “It was weird at first,” she nods, “but now it just feels normal cos I’ve done it so much. Every time I talk to my friends I’m somewhere really weird and in a different time zone! It’s nice to come back to festivals and do a bigger stage, definitely. We did the Lake Stage last year, and now we’re doing the 6Music. Last year I brought quite a few of my friends,” she says, looking back, “and we camped all weekend. I got really sunburnt, but it was really good.”

Sadly, though, Latitude isn’t the right terrain for skateboarding, and SOAK doesn’t have room for her board on tour. Her best trick is a “50:50 grind, which is bullshit,” she says with a sigh, and she’s gutted she missed out on the chance to cruise the flat roads of L.A. “ I wish I could play Tony Hawks Pro Skater on the road, but when I was in LA I just wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V,” she laughs. “I drive really safely on GTA. You can’t indicate, which sucks. It would be good if you could. Even when I steal a car from someone I wait till they’ve stopped.”

SOAK: "It’s nice to come back to Latitude with a full band, on a bigger stage" SOAK: "It’s nice to come back to Latitude with a full band, on a bigger stage" SOAK: "It’s nice to come back to Latitude with a full band, on a bigger stage"

Contrary to an exclusive scoop from Shura - who plays the festival on Sunday - SOAK isn’t planning on diving into the newly opened lake, though she’s heard whispers about the fanfare Shura has planned for her own slot. “She’s got an interesting costume for her show ,” confides SOAK in hushed tones, with a knowing grin. “It’s actually a Soakasoarus costume. She’s planning to destroy her guitar, too.”

Looking ahead, SOAK’s been working on a tonne of demoes, which she records each time she pops back to Derry. “I fill notebooks in a lot and write bits of guitar, but when I go home I demo loads, and do a lot of songs. I have a lot to say at that point,” she says. On the actual road though - I sleep, see things,” she laughs. “Unless there’s a strong storyline going.”

Photos: Sarah-Louise Bennett

SOAK plays at 12.15pm on the 6Music Stage at Latitude (16th - 19th July), where DIY is an official media partner. Visit diymag.com/presents for more information.


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