They came. They saw, and they conquered – the good people at Victorious Festival have smashed it for another year. The UK’s biggest metropolitan festival which is now in its eight year is situated on the South Coast, in the picturesque seaside location of Southsea overlooking the Solent. In fact, one of the stages – the Castle stage is adjacent to Southsea Castle – a stunning historical landmark belonging to Henry VIII, built in 1544.
Kicking off Victorious 2018 were The Lightening Seeds who really got the party started with a set of the most well-known hits. Despite the heavens opening halfway through, the crowds were not put off by the weather and continued to dance (albeit in the rain)
Indie Rockers Dutch Criminal Record were playing the Beats & Swing stage to a packed-out crowd. The band who are from nearby Chichester played songs from their newly-released EP Waiting on the Weekend to a delighted crowd.
Back at the Common Stage, Shed Seven played a selection of the hits – the band along with fellow Friday night artists The Lightening Seeds played the very first Victorious Festival eight years ago.
Following Shed Seven’s zealous performance was The Kaiser Chiefs who enchanted and entertained the crowds with their energetic and exuberant set playing a selection of songs including ‘Every day I love you less and less’ ‘Ruby’ and ‘Modern Way’. Ricky Wilson and his band had the crowd in the palm of their hands – singing, dancing and jumping up and down throughout the set.
Closing Friday’s line up at Victorious was The Libertines – fronted by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, the band played a selection of songs including ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ and ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ to the Victorious festival goers who couldn’t get enough of the bands performance.
Day 2 saw sunshine, and performances from the likes of the Happy Mondays, Gabrielle Aplin, Coasts and The Pigeon Detectives in the afternoon and early evening. There were also performances from nineties band Sleeper with singer (and author) Louise enchanting the crowds with not only songs from their back catalogue but also a couple of surprising additions including Blondie’s Atomic.
Singer-songwriter and previously frontman of Supergrass, Gaz Coombes was a great addition to the line-up. The crowd went wild when he sang the bands ‘touring’ song ‘Moving which explains the tedium of touring as a band.
Also playing was Billy Bragg and The Cribs who were full of energy and played a lively set which included festival favourite ‘Men’s Needs’. Over on the Castle Stage were Art Rockers Everything Everything who played a great set to the Victorious festival goers.
Back on the main Common Stage, excitement was building for two incredible acts – Brian Wilson and Paul Weller. Both legendary artists in their own rights, first up was Brian Wilson who had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He performed many of The Beach Boys hits that means so much to people including: ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice’ ‘Good Vibrations’ ‘Surfin’ USA’ and ‘God Only Knows’. The set can only be described as magical and the crowd were thoroughly entertained by the former Beach Boys star.
Festival goers were torn between the two headline acts – the fabulous Paloma Faith and Paul Weller. As a huge Paul Weller fan, I had to opt for the Modfather who played an array of hits including ‘My Ever Changing Moods’, ‘Sunflower’, ‘Broken Stones’ and a couple of classics from The Jam and The Style Council including ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ‘Shout to the Top’.
From all accounts, Paloma Faith was amazing and she played songs from her latest album which included ‘Crybaby’, ‘The Architect’ and ‘Tonight’s Not The Only Night’. That is probably the only frustrating thing about festivals – nine times out of ten there will be a scheduling clash and you can’t see all of the amazing artists that you want to see. Having seen her live before, I know that she will have put on an inspiring and fun performance.
On the last day of the Victorious Festival; that quintessential rainy British seaside weather showed up in full force with strong winds and gales doing their worst to deter the last day of coastal merry-making — but it was definitely no match for the crowd’s unflinching determination to have a good time.
Amidst the gray skies and billowing winds festival goers were still as energetic as can be, jumping into muddy puddles and kicking along with the great acts on the last day of the Festival. On the common stage Nottingham based electronic punk music duo, Sleaford Mods got the crowd splashing about, and singing along to ‘Just Like We do’. Friendly Fires came on and rekindled the flame of this reviewer’s post-university youth with some of their greatest hits, which include Skeleton Boy, Jump in the Pool, and Paris. ( of course) And watching Ed Macfarlane vigorously swish his hips about in a pair of white denim jeans, was definitely worth the muddy trip out to the seaside. Finally, Victorious Festival ends with a literal bang — with The Prodigy taking over the Common Stage right as the sun went down. Which was perfect timing considering their set’s accompanying light-show was appropriately hardcore too. And as the flashing lights and head banging crowds frantically jumped along to the band’s mega-hits like ‘Fire Starter’ and ‘Smack my B**** up!’ — All we were thinking was how couldn’t wait to muddy up again for next year’s line-up at Victorious Festival.
Words by Emma Harrison and Hannah Tan-Gillies
Photo Credit: Tom Langford (Paloma Faith – Becca Egerstrom)