Victorious Festival 26 27 28 August 2022 at Southsea Common, Portsmouth UK: Day 2
With the Friday here being an introductory day with a main stage and two small ones, today it cranks up to the full capacity with 13 stages – I only manage three of them.
An early start and in before noon. I cannot miss The K’s who open the main stage (Common Stage) here on Southsea Common. Bright sun and hotting up. I grab a place on the central barrier between the stage and mixing desk.
The K’s seem to have boomed this Summer, with the help of a range of festivals. I first saw them support The Rifles at The Roundhouse three years ago and instantly took a like to their fast guitar power pop rock.
A short half-hour set but an excellent showcase for what they do, including their classics Glass Towns and Sarajevo. Still time for lead singer Jamie to jump down to sing from the security barrier. One of the top performances of the day.
It’s over to the Castle Stage now (the second largest stage) to see Coach Party. I’d not heard of them until a few weeks ago, when I started listing to some bands on the line-up. These were the best of the ones I hadn’t heard before. They are from just over the water, on the Isle of Wight.
Great lyrics of modern life with indie pop guitars. Their latest Nothing is Real EP is good listen. I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again.
Then it’s a wander back over to the main, Common Stage to see We Are Scientists. They have been around for about 20 years but I’d not seen them or listened much to this New York based indie rock outfit before this Summer. Enjoyed them but I was waiting for Inhaler – one of the main attractions of the festival for me.
Inhaler bought out their first album, It Won’t Always Be Like This, in Lockdown and I pre-ordered the vinyl having earlier bought their Honest Face single. Yes, I’m sure I was intrigued to listen as it’s Bono’s son fronting the band. I went to see U2 in their early days – first three album era but they lost me after that. Elijah Hewson looks and sounds like his dad – unmistakable. As they start I get a real neck bristle of excitement – brilliant. I love it that I can get that of a new band in 2022.
There’s a keen crowd that’s filtered in especially and it’s busy. I find a spot near the mixing desk fencing with a good central view. Great sound. Tight clear guitars. It’s a clean sound.
What next? Bastille headlining on the Castle Stage or Paolo Nutini on the Common Stage? …. I sneak off to see The Bog Rolling Stones in the Comedy Tent, bumping into friend Al, Steve and Dawn on the way – more appeared later. It felt like a guilty pleasure – I did enjoy the Stones hugely earlier this year. Let’s just go and enjoy ourselves. A tribute band with wigs and a few gags but a greatest hits set to crown the day.
Hewson is not that exuberant today – it is a festival and consequently a short set. The single Honest Face is the best known and best received still. I got a clip of Who’s Your Money On (Plastic House) (link goes to my YouTube Channel).
No rushing around after that to grab a glimpse of more at another stage. Just a re-group near our air-filled seat thing and blankets.
Ocean Colour Scene on next. I must have seen them ten times over the years, third time here – always good – I love all their albums so they can’t fail. They don’t. Performance of the day.
Simon Fowler’s voice is still beautiful and wide ranging. Looking at him you might wonder. It’s a ‘best of’ set – short and very sweet. The Circle (about the 11c bus route round Birmingham that goes through Moseley, where I once lived, as did OCS) early on and belting run to finish: Blown Away; Travellers Tune; Riverboat Song and the Day We Caught the Train.
After that I could have walked off happy with the day. I wander back over to the Castle Stage feeling a bit weary and another infected insect bitten leg hampering me. I go up the back of the arena and find a spot on the steps below the illuminated VICTORIOUS sign to watch White Lies, and wait for Kula Shaker.
I enjoyed White Lies, albeit from quite a distance. Nothing too gripping but I had done some pre-fest revision. Pleasant indie pop-rock.
After that – well I can’t sit here forever. I used to like Kula Shaker – seen them before and The Jeevas a few times, lead singer Crispian Mills’ follow up band – but I hadn’t listened to them for ages until recent weeks.
I went right down the front – sat on the ground and waited, rising to the first bars of Hey Dude that they started with.
The Peasant and Pigs album is my pick but they only play one track from it tonight: Shower Your Love, and no Mystical Machine Gun. It is an intense performance, by Mills in particular – he says little but works his guitar hard. Another band I’d like to see a full tour set of again.
They end with the trademark spiritual sounds of Govinda – the sound is Indian with synthed sitar. All the more absorbing being right down the front in the squash and pushing zone.
I wandered back to my hotel, fit to drop. Another great day at Victorious Festival. As I walked back, behind Bastille playing their last unremarkable effort and up through the Common Stage with a few Paolo Nutini offerings – no thanks – pleased with my choice of The Bog Rolling Stones. Goodnight. See you again tomorrow.