26 August 2018 (gig)
30 August 2018
Hosting it’s seventh year, Victorious Festival 2018 welcomes an impressive array of musical talent to the South coast. Friday to Sunday sees over one hundred and twenty thousand avid music fans attend the festival in Southsea, Portsmouth. Plans for Bank Holiday Monday are on hold.
Indie icons The Libertines, songwriting legend Paul Weller and Essex’s finest The Prodigy make up this years headline acts. There’s something for everyone.
Upon arrival, slightly later then planned, entry is easy and efficient. On first impressions, The Common Stage appears to be a short Uber ride away from The Castle Stage. In reality, a mere ten minute stroll and I am at my destination. Heineken in hand and sun on my face. It’s an enjoyable stroll.
The Libertines perform a blistering ninety minute set packed with all their hits. Any plugging of new material is absent. And rightly so. Taken from 2002’s debut LP, ‘Up the Bracket’ gets Victorious bouncing. Pete Doherty and Co have arrived. And bang on time.
The setlist treats the crowd to indie classics such as ‘Time For Heroes’, ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ and Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’. All of which are delivered with a certain energy and rawness. A few hiccups along the way are short lived and promptly forgiven.
The encore includes a nod to Soul legend Aretha Franklin as ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ sounds. A lovely touch. The clock reads 10:45pm and The Castle Stage vacates for the evening as The Libertines disappear into darkness.
Upon entry on Saturday afternoon, Manchester’s Happy Monday’s take Portsmouth back to the late 80’s with tracks such as ‘Kinky Afro’ and ‘Step On’. Bez and his maracas are in full flow.
Noticeably, Saturday’s crowd is largely family orientated as I halt to let several buggies past. Teach them young.
Brian Wilson takes to the stage and appears to have brought the Californian Sun with him as jackets are removed and sunglasses applied.
1966’s Pet Sounds completes the lion’s share of his set as hits such as ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and ‘God Only Knows’ achieve mass sing alongs.
As night falls over Southsea, the prospect of The Modfather combined with an abundance of lagers and ciders, makes for a frantic and energetic crowd. Anticipation heightens as many weave closer to the stage. I think I’ll join them.
Just behind the pit, my view as Paul Weller swaggers to his microphone is sublime. The riff of ‘White Sky’ bellows through his amp as he kicks off his set. Three songs in and Weller is back in The Style Council for ‘My Ever Changing Moods’.
Condensing a career spanning forty years into a ninety minute set may be one of his most strenuous tasks to date. But seemingly not.
The Modfather perfectly encapsulates his encyclopaedia of hits with classics from The Jam, The Style Council and his illustrious solo career. ‘A Town Called Malice’ concludes a flawless set as the Mods are sent home happy.
Sunday sees festival goers trade trainers for wellies and t-shirts for ponchos as the wind and rain is relentlessly unbearable.
As a result, crowds are few throughout the day. However, Embrace’s 7pm slot attracts a respectable number as they perform on The Common Stage. Despite treacherous conditions, Embrace’s set draws many smiles. Primarily for ‘Come Back to What You Know’
The early evening is generous as the rain eventually subsides. The Prodigy lure the largest crowd thus far as their performance wraps up Victorious 2018.
It’s an astonishing set compiled with hits such as ‘Breathe’, ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Omen’. The bass vibrates through the wellies as the volume goes only one way. What a sound.
Visually the stage lighting is breathtaking for the duration. It’s a wave of rapidly flashing colours appreciated by everyone. Everyone other than whoever’s paying the electricity bill.
It’s a fitting name for the festival as the three days prove to be triumphant and victorious.
A great time had by all.