Having lived in Southsea for four years now, I feel like I should have attended Victorious Festival, one of the city’s largest tourism pulls, before now. However, circumstances have meant otherwise but this year I managed to score myself a press pass, all set to enjoy the weekend’s festivities.
Despite the city now being full of glitter-covered preppy 15 year olds who think The Hunna are the next big thing since sliced bread, the first full day of Victorious 2017 has gone off with a bang.
Kicking things off on the Castle Stage, Black Foxxes are a band I’ve only just got into but wanted to see nonetheless. Despite an unsurprisngly tiny crowd for so early in the day, they threw their all into the set and left with at least one new fan.
Frank Turner on the Common Stage was something I’d been looking forward to since his announcement and didn’t disappoint me. Playing solo without backing from The Sleeping Souls is always an interesting set to watch as the tone and pace of his music changes drastically, but the raw energy behind his songs always makes for a fantastic performance and this time was no different. Drawing in a huge crowd of all ages at 1 in the afternoon is an achievement no matter what, and really shows how his words span generations.
Frightened Rabbit are another band I’ve recently been introduced to. Playing as the evening fell upon the Castle Stage, the Scotsmen brought all the energy they had to a crowd full of fans in a city about as far south as they could go from their hometown before leaving the island. Good to see some solidarity between us and the Scots, before #Brexit screws us all, am I right?
I’ve never listened to Band Of Skulls before despite having heard of them for years, and stayed to watch them draw in a reasonably sizeable crowd. With very Jack White-esque vocals and some neat riffs, their set was enough to convert a new fan.
Headliners Stereophonics, however, played a surprisingly fun set to a 70,000-strong crowd – unexpected considering, apart from the die-hard dad-rock fans, most of the audience know approximately three songs. Also, has anyone ever noticed how vocalist Kelly Jones hasn’t aged in around 20 years? Vampires are living among us.
Despite some of the most overpriced pints I’ve ever bought and almost melting in the late August heat, day one of Victorious was pretty top – ready for round two today. Here’s a little OOTD shot by my friend Fred for y’all – holographic mermaid Dr Martens just out of shot.