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| Victorious Festival 2014 – Day 1
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Victorious Festival 2014 – Day 1

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The Venue

Southsea Seafront


The Lineup

Dizzee Rascal


The Details

23rd August 2014


Southsea goes 'Bonkers' on day one of Victorious.

On my last visit to Southsea I was subjected to an invasion, albeit a mock invasion of the historic seafront by marines and commandos commemorating the events of D-Day in 1944. This time around, from the beach to the esplanade is gone, taken, invaded by hordes of bands, vans, music lovers, fairground attractions and people generally just having the time of their lives. Watch out Southsea, Victorious Festival likes your city and it’s taking it.

Folk and Tumble arrive mid-afternoon, a little later than planned. Rushed, flushed and overawed at the sheer scale of everything we manage to locate the main stage by following the Scouse schtick of The Counterfeit Beatles. They’re the type of band that suits early afternoons at a festival but having heard the Lennon and Macca patter many times before it was time to set off in search of adventures new. Victorious isn’t just just about the music. In the first half an hour we’ve found a ferris wheel, a Real Ale Festival, some cool urban art and a Lindy Hop Workshop that’s just way too much energetic fun for this time of the day.

Well organised, mostly well laid out apart from the lengthy one-way hike around to the Seaside Stage and with bars and toilets aplenty, Victorious is a festival run by people who know the score. A music festival run by fans for fans and it’s clear there’s a healthy love of all things 90s and Britpop amongst the running committee with appearances from Ocean Colour Scene, Shed Seven, Menswear and the front men of I Am Kloot and The Bluetones.

As the 90s crossed to the new millennium, John Cusack was making mixtapes and listing all time top fives in the movie adaptation of Nick Hornby’s ‘High Fidelity’ and so with no further awkward segues here’s the Folk and Tumble top five moments from day one.

Foy Vance

Having successfully avoided Johnny Borrell, our first main stage act of the day is fellow countryman Foy Vance. He’s playing a set that to us is well-worn but to a fairly impressive and impressed Southsea crowd it’s new, fresh and there are comparisons being drawn to Ed Sheeran from the younger onlookers. Tracks like ‘Guiding Light’ sound huge and this one in particular could easily become Foy’s ‘One Day Like This’.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Having once adorned the record collections of teenage girls and probably the bedroom walls of teenage boys, Sophie Ellis-Bextor has come a long way. There’s a darker edge to the songwriting these days although it’s still performed with the same energetic verve. It’s pop for the thinking crowd, laden with obscure references to Russia and witches in places and yet allowing time for an on-stage change of dress. “If this ain’t love, why does it feel so good?”

Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting’s J. Willgoose Esq. is playing with the Portsmouth/Southsea rivalries, letting the clipped English tones of the Public Service Broadcaster wax lyrical and dropping references to “the south coast”, keeping the good natured city rivals on their toes. The duo drop beats and banjo riffs rather than bombs but yet, as tracks from ‘The War Room EP’ boom out towards the war memorial ‘Spitfire’ and ‘London Can Take It’ take on a whole new level of gravitas. Time for a contemplative pint. The Portsmouth Beer Festival’s real ale tent is much bigger than I anticipated any chances of working my way through several ales are scuppered by the sheer amount on offer and the queues of thirsty punters waiting to buy beer tokens. Still, the music in the tent is keeping everyone more than entertained. Local acts like The Courtiers have the slightly more inebriated ladies jigging and reeling across the floor and The Pompey Pluckers are one of those beautifully ridiculous ukulele ensembles that are quirkily entertaining but just wouldn’t work anywhere else.

Mark Morriss

Perhaps best known for his work with 90s Britpop act The Bluetones, Mark Morriss is a fairly stellar solo player with a laid back acoustic vibe. It’s perfect listening for a late night session for the older crowd members who’ve been frazzled by sun and sundry drinks. There are a couple of familiar old tunes in the set and a healthy dose from his latest record ‘A Flash of Darkness’. They say always leave your crowd wanting more and for Morriss there’s no ‘Slight Return’; for Folk and Tumble it’s a short return to the Castle Stage.

Dizzee Rascal

And yes, we love our folk music here at Folk and Tumble and nine times out of ten we’ll be reviewing earnest, acoustic troubadours or footstomping old-time string bands, but sometimes you just hear the bass drop and feel like rushing over to the main stage to see what the hype is about. Dizzee Rascal’s bounding about the stage. He’s singing and the crowd are going ‘Bonkers’. Energetic, pounding beats out across the English channel. Thirty five thousand people through the gates, almost every one of them bouncing along. Fix up, look sharp Victorious.