Well I never thought I’d see All Saints. I never thought I’d enjoy James Bay as much as that and I never thought I’d be eating a vegan paella watching the Fun Loving Criminals playing Scooby Snacks in 2019. This was Saturday by the sea on day two of Victorious Festival in Southsea.
A bit of background music to start with – the Silver Beatles.
Next on my Saturday weave through 80s and 90s pop, rock, britpop, indie rock were All Saints. Lots of arm waving. I recognised a couple of hits and a Police cover but wasn’t sure what I was doing there.
Republica brought a bit more punch. Not a band I know much about. When they came on I realised I’d got them mixed up with Elastica.
Popped down the front and cheery atmosphere. It felt like a proper gig, despite the early afternoon sun.
Next I just watched a few songs by Badly Drawn Boy and went off to the Castle Stage to catch a 30 minute set by The Rifles. Flitting between stages at a festival can be a fruitless chase sometimes. It takes a good 20 mins to wrestle through the crowds between the big stages here.
The Rifles played a short greatest hits set. Half an hour isn’t really enough to get going for a band you like. A good taster for the unfamiliar.
Back to the main, ‘Common’ Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, the pride of Moseley. I’ve seen them a fair few times over the years, including over the water at Ryde Ice Rink, and here at Victorious on the Seaside Stage in 2014. When Simon Fowler came on stage I barely recognised him. I feared the worst….
…needn’t have worried though. Despite some technical problems Fowler fronted up beautifully, with a few solo numbers to paper over the gap while road crew scurried around plugging and unplugging.
Opening with Riverboat Song the set included Profit in Peace, Travellers Tune, Blown Away, The Day we Caught the Train and the only song I know about a bus route in Birmingham: The Circle, written about the 11C route that goes through Moseley on its lap of the city.
I was going wander off to see The Hives – always entertaining – but I thought I’ve seen them several times at festivals/ Hyde Park so I would stick with friends who were eagerly awaiting James Bay.
First song and I thought this is worth sticking around for. Best act of the day and something new amid the retro. Rocky all action performance rather than the mournful shoe gazing singer songwriter stance I was anticipating. So pleased I stayed and went up closer for some pics.
Nearly done. The headliners left. Rudimental on the Common Stage and Bloc Party on Castle Stage….. so I headed with my partner (SSo) to the Acoustic Stage to see Space and a sit down on the hay bales.
Female of the Species and Neighbourhood were among the enthusiastically received numbers in the short acoustic-ish set. Excellent.
A big turn out had swamped the usually placid Acoustic Stage which was a surprise to everyone including a grateful Tommy Scott who we said cheers to afterwards and grabbed a pic as he emerged from the stage to get the golf buggy out.
That was Saturday for me at Victorious Festival. So many options. Today’s winner James Bay with a big hand to Ocean Colour Scene, The Rifles, Tommy Scott and Republica.