Victorious Festival Day 2
The second day of a festival is usually a bit of a struggle early on. Victorious Festival is a little more cosmopolitan in the centre of Southsea and with not a tent in site, we’ve mostly all had a decent night’s sleep and ready to tackle another few hours round the stages and stalls.
There’s a bit of a girl thing going on round the coast today with young guitar-wielding ladies kicking round the smaller stages with great vocals, sass, charm, some great songwriting of their own and covers ranging from the sublime to the thoroughly ridiculous. As much as we could watch and listen to Just Millie, Megan Linford, Jerry Williams and Kayleigh Middleton all day, there’s stacks left to discover around Victorious and a second top five to compile. Ready? Let’s go.
Having caught The Cadbury Sisters in a small tent at Blissfields earlier in the summer, we’re keen to see how they make the transition to main stage at Victorious. Elegant in black, although worryingly like the villains of ‘Superman II’, they command the early afternoon crowd’s attention. There are a few talkers and shouters out there but for the most part we’re all enthralled by the three part harmonies and beautifully crafted songs.
The Seaside Stage
There’s an old song proclaiming how we do like to be beside the seaside and it’s never rang truer than today. It’s a good trek around to the Seaside Stage which hugs the very edge of England and gazes out over The Channel and so with stunning views and great tunes we decide to set up here for the early evening. Lewis Watson is belting out folk-pop for the kids, Ocean Colour Scene bring that bank holiday vibe Britpop for the dads as we all join in with every chorus. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip spit witty rhetoric and razor sharp poetry over some huge beats and British Sea Power, well, they’re British Sea Power. Branches are waved in time to the gloriously anthemic indie tunes. Lights are still well and truly on for the darker skies.
Beans on Toast
Avid readers of Folk and Tumble will be no strangers to the work of Beans on Toast. He describes himself as a drunk-folk artist but tonight he’s a folk-punk-poet and god. The Nevada sponsored acoustic stage is crammed to capacity, every song is sang along to even though the crowd and sometimes Jay Beans himself doesn’t know the right next line. He grows a little weary of ‘MDM-Amazing’ so tears through it in under two minutes, dwelling more on newer tracks and taking to the crowd to “destroy” some mobile phones during ‘Angry Birds’. Silly, surreal, splendid.
By the time Beans on Toast is done with us on the acoustic stage, Seasick Steve is in full flow over on the main Castle Stage. That old diddley-bo might only have one or two strings but it echos out across a surprisingly huge crowd who clap, stomp and cheer along. While Ocean Colour Scene were probably in first class carriages the day they took the train, Steve was riding hobo style in boxcars and musically anyway he stays close to his roots. It’s just Steve and a drummer tonight but the sound is full and booming out into the Southsea sky. Normally just how we’d like to wrap up a festival.
It’s been a beardy old festival with Beans on Toast, Seasick Steve and even last night’s acoustic stars Mark Morriss and John Bramwell all sporting some excellent facial hair but Victorious has saved the best ’til last as Slow Club take the stage; Charles resplendent in thick dark beard and Rebecca sporting a full (and all too realistic) handlebar moustache. It’s an odd sort of bluesy late-night set from the duo who have no percussion and therefore no hits from their older albums. They draw heavily on this year’s ‘Complete Surrender’ and even fill out the set with a few tender heartbreak moments and a B-Side or two. A lack of big recognisable tunes doesn’t necessarily make for a bad set and while lots of people are still thumping their feet to Seasick Steve, it’s deep, meaningful and vocally supercharged in the little acoustic tent. Red wine in a paper cup for us and powerfully performed tracks from one of the albums of the year will tie things up here just fine.