Where to begin! It’s been amazing seeing Victorious grow from the Dockyard to now a three day festival on the common. This year was by far their biggest yet, now with camping and the introduction of the Friday night we were set for one epic weekend of live music, and lucky for us the sun shone high in the sky all weekend!
In previous years Victorious has only been a two day festival but this year they added the Friday night with headliners Madness! As you would expect from a band that have been around as long as Madness they provided a flawless set filled with some of their biggest hits, and I have to be honest my dad played these guys to me a lot when I was growing up so it was a great nostalgic trip. Sundara Karma also graced the stage and I think from the crowds response they won some new fans! Which we always like to see!
Fast forward to Saturday, and I have to say this was the day I was most excited for, not only was local legend Frank Turner giving us a special solo performance on the main stage but Southampton’s very own Band of Skulls were on the line up alongside some of our favourite new artists from the last few years from The Hunna to Will Joseph Cook.
So Frank Turner smashed it as he always does, highlighting the importance of Safe gigs for women (http://sgfw.org.uk) which if you have 5 minutes, check them out. Frank provide a blinding acoustic set, maybe one day he could be back with The Sleeping Souls to headline? Saturday did become the day where I wanted to split myself in half as there were so many good acts on and as with every festival there were clashes that made me cry. However I still managed to squeeze in Will Joseph Cook, who has been wonderful over the last few years seeing him grow with confidence on stage, The Hunna Frightened Rabbit Tom Grennan and Band of Skulls. Hands down every act gave it their all and I couldn’t flaw anyone’s performances.
As the night closed in we were left with Stereophonics. From the outset I was extremely excited to see these guys live again and they seriously didn’t disappoint. For me they provided one of the best ever festival headline shows, I would quite happily place their performance up there with the likes of ACDC and Muse, just outstanding. Set highlight – Mr Writer the extended ending was bliss, well that and Victorious’ first ever firework display to call an end to Dakota and the Saturday night!
Moving on as quick as it started to the Sunday, how did we get here already! The first act for me were Rhythm of the 90’s and if you’ve never seen them the best way to explain them is Popworld live. They manage to bring life into 90’s classic from Faithless to 2 Unlimited, with so much energy they had the whole crowd going. I think these guys will always be a huge highlight each year they play, if you can see them live do it! do it now!
The next act on my hit list was Rationale having seen him a few times now, I am still blown away by his voice each and every time. The act I enjoyed the most on Sunday had to be Slaves, now I have so much love for this band and they came out swinging, just don’t ask Isaac where his high-hat is! Not only did they give us a kick ass set but they were hugely entertaining as well.
Closing the festival, who do you choose Elbow or Olly Murs? This was a tough choice but I opted for Mr Murs and his cheeky pop, with the showman skills on a level with Robbie Williams. Olly Murs had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Not only did he give us his hits but he chucked in a few old school party anthems as well which left everyone with a huge smile.
That’s it for another year, Victorious we salute you! Growing from strength to strength this is one festival that should be firmly put in your diary for next year right now!