Gig Review by Nathan Westley with Photography by Mike Burnell

It feels like it’s almost a given that each British Bank holiday is almost guaranteed to be cursed by bad weather; so it was little surprise to see a good portion of this festival’s attendees arrive fully armed with wellies and water proof jackets.

Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8655

Taking place on Portsmouth historic waterfront, Victorious Festival is a 3 day event that mixes established worldwide known names, with hotly tipped talent and a good sized addition of artists from the local area to help create a community spirit.

Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8954

For most the focus on the opening day of the festival was concentrated upon the Common stage. With a heavy leaning indie focus it saw The Lighting Seeds play a late-afternoon set some of the their best known songs including ‘Lucky You’ and ‘The Life Of Riley’ to a rain soaked audience.

Lightning Seeds at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8240

It was a day that was heavily Brit-pop focused and saw their Nineties contemporaries Shed Seven play an as equally impressive set that included such crowd pleasers as ‘Going For Gold’ and ‘Chasing Rainbows’.

Shed Seven at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8316

But it was the Kaiser Chiefs who really picked the audience up. Ricky Wilson is a natural front man that is armed with charisma. Delivering a high spirited performance it was a show that saw this much loved noughties band deliver a set that saw them navigate through their back catalogue. From opening song ‘Every day I love You, Less and Less’ from their debut album ‘Employment’ through to other much loved indie-disco anthems such as ‘Ruby’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’ it was a performance that often saw the majority of the audience singing-along to these mighty modern day anthems.

Kaiser Chiefs at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8424

Headliners The Libertines have already cast themselves into rock ‘n’ roll folklore and you’d be hard forced to find a more iconic duo from this century then Carl Barat and Pete Doherty. Their Friday night headline performance was one that saw the quartet deliver a set that took in such classics as ‘What A Waster’ and ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ to an audience who were by now thoroughly drenched.

The Libertines at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8620

The Happy Mondays at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8760

There would have been very many who would have been glad that the weather improved on the Saturday. The Happy Mondays may have been only the second the second band on to grace the main stage today but they drew one of biggest crowds of the weekend. The Eighties baggy mancunians are legends in their own right and it saw Bez shake his maracas along to such classics as ‘Step on’ and ‘Kinky Afro’.But with sets by Sleeper, former Supergrass front man Gaz Coombes, The Cribs and The Pigeon Detectives all taking place it would be easy to assume that this festival knows who its core audience is.

Gaz Coombes at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-0293

The Cribs at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-0367

Brian Wilson despite taking more of a withdrawn role then he would have delivered a set that took in some of The Beach Boys best known songs before the night was closed by the mod father Paul Weller. It was a solid headline performance that took in his best known solo work such as ‘Wild Wood’ and ‘The Changingman’ through to such Jam classics as ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ‘Town Called Malice’ and demonstrated to us why he is such a much loved figure.

Brian Wilson at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-9025

Paul Weller at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-0422

That Sunday saw a return to the opening days dramatic weather conditions and saw many bands including Mercury Prize Gomez perform under a gazebo on the main stage, but it was also a day that saw many of the smaller stages temporarily close due to health and safety fears.

Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-8661

Both The Bluetones and Embrace helped cater for those looking for nineties nostalgia, but it was a more recent band that stood out today. Sleaford Mods may only consist of a person with a lap top and a man with a microphone but they are much more than just the sum of their parts and it saw them deliver one of the performances of the festival as a mixture of vitriolic words delivered with a sarcastic wit are spurted out across repetitive loops.

Everything Everything at Victorious Festival 2018 pic by Mike Burnell-9104

You would be hard pushed to find a band more suited to close a festival then Sunday night headliners The Prodigy. With songs such as ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ they have a list of heavy weight songs that many other legendary bands would struggle to equal. Despite the hazardous weather conditions they delivered a full energy, high throttle performance that would not have disappointed anybody in the audience and once again confirmed their place as being one of the best live bands in the country.

This years Victorious festival might have been cursed by bad weather but for many locals they will already be looking forwards to next years festival.

See the full photoset from Victorious Festival 2018 here.

Leave a Reply