​​​​​​​Review: Victorious Festival 2018 – Friday

Review: by Keith Sandys

Victorious Festival 2018 got off to a wet start on Friday night, albeit nothing compared to what would follow! Those who ventured out in the initial downpour were treated to a whole afternoon of music, while the rest of us tried to hold out until the last minute.

The Lightning Seeds

Having previously played at the first ever Victorious Festival in 2012, the Lightning Seeds made their return to Portsmouth. That original festival planted the (lightning) seed for the future. Having since moved from Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard to taking over the whole of Southsea’s seafront.

Although the rain had kicked back in by the time the Liverpudlians took to the stage, they were certainly in good spirits. The Lightning Seeds played a handful of 90’s hits, while both the band and audience remained upbeat. Not only that but tracks such as “Lucky You” and “Life of Riley” were sounding great – proper festival tunes.

Shed Seven

90’s Indie/Britpop has always featured heavily on the Victorious line-up. Which, while catering to those of us of a certain age, probably keeps the festival costs down. Although unlike some of the other bands from the same era, Shed Seven have recently been promoting new album “Instant Pleasures”.

While a couple of numbers from the latest release slotted in nicely among older tracks, it was always going to be the old songs fans wanted to hear. Classic Britpop such as “Going for Gold” among the highlights.


DJ Prince Brandon

Due to its continued success, the Beats and Swing tent was much larger than in previous years. It’s location near to the 2nd main stage also made for a natural stop off between bands. As for Victorious Festival 2018, it would also prove to be an ideal umbrella, given the rainfall across the weekend.

That said, regardless of the weather, you’d have to fight for your spot undercover to start with. Especially given the number of quality acts the stage had lined up. None more so than local DJ and good friend Prince Brandon, whose set already had the tent nearing capacity.

You can never predict what combinations of tunes you will get from Brandon. Although while there may be some tunes you know, there’s always a good few obscurities thrown in for good measure.


Kaiser Chiefs

Starting off their performance with “Everyday I love you Less and Less”, it was soon obvious why the Kaiser Chiefs are so popular.

With a whole host of catchy hooks and sing-a-long choruses, Kaiser Chiefs were exactly what you want from a festival band. Frontman Ricky Wilsons’ performance may be a little contrived, but he knows how to control a crowd.

Tracks such as “Angry Mob” and “I Predict a Riot” were played back to back, while a wonderful cover of the Who would follow. The rendition of “Pinball Wizard” all the more poignant given the movie “Tommy” (in which it appears), features several scenes filmed on location, in and around Portsmouth.


The Libertines

So from a faultless act to one that was almost intentionally messy. The Libertines were never going to be the tightest of bands, but even I expected something a little more together. With the slackness between songs, it all started to drag a little.

Personally, I’m still holding out for Pete Doherty to appear on “I’m a Celebrity” or such like. Although while Doherty may have grabbed the headlines in the past, it’s Carl Barat that’s clearly the real frontman.

By the encore, the Libertines had started to fall apart even more. When Barat stepped in on drums for a brief cover of “I Say a Little Prayer”, it was soon abandoned in favour of “I Get Along”. However, presumably, in order to ensure curfews were met, it wasn’t long until the sound was cut altogether.