More perfect festival weather down on Southsea Common for Victorious Festival. We never assume good weather and when we get it for these events it is beautiful. Everything sounds better and this was the case from Ziggy Marley to New Order.
What a start: Ziggy Marley. The smell of weed drifted across the crowd at the front to bring more atmosphere to this early afternoon slot. I peeled off just before the end for the 20 minute stagger across to the Castle Stage to find Fatherson.
Formed in 2010, from Kilmarnock, with three albums this lot are relative new comers to this retro feel stage today. Really good. Again, half hour is just a taster but they put a lot of life in to their 30 mins. Indie pop. I’d recommend them as they were to me – my partner SSo loves ’em.
After a leisurely drink and water bottle fill up in the oasis of the tennis club – highly recommended – I steer ed our post-Fatherson group towards the The Beat and Swing Tent for local third generation Ska band, Offbeat Offensive.
I saw them last Victorious. I do like Ska and Offbeat Offensive offer much more than danceable covers – very danceable original material with great musicians and a hugely energetic lead singer and occasional cornet player. I suppose I should declare an interest – saxophone player Jennifer is a relation – cousin’s daughter.
We all loved it. Bit more intense in tents (! 🙄). The Voltarol was out this morning to help patch up my efforts at dancing. A good dust storm kicked up by the animated crowd – who needs dry ice.
Earlier this August, Offbeat Offensive supported Bad Manners at Portsmouth Guildhall. Well worth checking out for some original third generation Ska tunes.
I had the first Starsailor album ‘Love is Here’ on pre-recorded cassette (one of those rare antiques), which included the classic ‘Alcoholic’ (..my daddy was an…), but never caught up with them live. Frontman James Walsh has also done a lot of gigs under his name and I was pleased to finally see him after nearly 30 years. Strong loud renditions, including ‘Alcoholic’, were delivered from the Common Stage.
Next it was back through the crowds to the more sparsely populated Castle Stage where Walsh appeared just in front of us to watch Idlewild with his family.
First in this run of three bands in a row on the Castle Stage were the Futureheads. I’ve never seen them and have no stuff by them but knew from bits I’d heard that I’d like ’em. I did. Some mad guitar bits like indie guitar meets heavy metal stance.
100 Broken Windows is a classic Idlewild album. I have a couple of other early ones but again this is a band I have never seen live. I wasn’t disappointed and I will be looking up some tickets for their tour later.
The crowd filled up considerably for Ash. Not sure who those streaming in had come from seeing but this was clearly of broader appeal than Idlewild and Futureheads.
A crowd pleasing short and sweet set. Power-poptastic stuff with the flying V guitar and an interesting perspex see through guitar making an appearance as well. I saw them here when they last played in 2016. It was nostalgic then and it was again.
Burn Baby Burn, Goldfinger, Girl From Mars and Shining Light included. Everyone happy.
Back to the Common Stage, via a stop for Indonesian Chickpea and Mushroom curry with fresh chillies. £8. Everything seems to be £8. At least here you can pop out to a supermarket if necessary.
Ben Drew, the man that is Plan B, is hugely talented and versatile. He is also a Hip-Hop artist. This was a Hip-Hop set. I much prefer the Dafamation of Stickland Banks. A fantastic album which I have seen performed live – She Said, I Know a Song and Darkest Place the big highlights. I missed the first couple of songs here with She Said just finishing as I returned from the Castle Stage and just got the Hip-Hop. Crowd up front were well up for it. Not me.
I saw New Order a couple of times in the 80s (Wolverhamton Civic Hall on the Low Life tour 1985 and Manchester G-Mex 1986) but can’t remember anything since (Now wondering). Always liked them. I can’t imagine a better New Order performance than this one at Victorious on Sunday. Great set list including Blue Monday, Temptation, Bizarre Love Triangle and True Faith and four Joy Division songs: Atmosphere; Transmission; She’s Lost Control and Love Will Tear Us Apart which they ended on.
Another great Victorious Festival. All booked in for 2020. I won’t say where in case it gets too popular. Then sit tight for 12 months as see who gets booked. Early Bird tickets £25 a day. Bargain.
Round up of bands watched over the three days
19 bands over the three days. I only made it to four stages – Common, Castle, Acoustic and Swing and Beat Tent. The possible options are endless but my summary is below.
Top three performances in terms of my enjoyment, knowledge of their songs, exceeding of expectations, timing and other personal intangibles were New Order, The Specials and surprisingly for me James Bay. The full list, in order for me for what it’s worth, is:
- New Order
- The Specials
- James Bay
- Ocean Colour Scene
- Offbeat Offensive
- Ziggy Marley
- The Rifles
- The Zutons
- Two Door Cinema Club
- All Saints
- Plan B