Gig Review: VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL, Southsea Sea Front – 29/08/2015 – Day One

CA - Victorious Festival 2015 It may have been a late announcement to Mark K but the mere mention of Ray Davies was enough to get him along to the Victorious Festival two-dayer without delay – here are the delights he experienced on day one…

Until a couple of months ago I was completely ignorant of this festival’s existence, but then an email popped into my inbox advising me that I could see Ray Davies here (on Sunday) for the princely sum of £25, and my life changed forever. Okay, so maybe that’s over-egging the omelette a bit, but prior to the arrival of the aforementioned email, promotion of this festival must have pretty scant!

CA - VF - Kill It Kid So having parted company with fifty quid for two days’ musical entertainment I arrive on site in time to catch Kill It Kid. Their impressive Les Paul powered blues rock is a joy to behold. With both male and female lead vocals they’re a bit reminiscent of Vinegar Joe (early 1970s rock band featuring the vocals of Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer) but heavier. They do come over as a bit ‘Isle of Wight Festival 1970’,but that’s by no means a bad thing.
They do a rocked up cover of Bruce Springsteen’s State Trooper complete with the most fabulously distorted bass. Kill It Kid have great tunes and look as if they were born to inhabit big stages. They’re an excellent live band, and if you can stay still while watching them, be worried – you may be dead!

Next up are Scottish alleged has-beens The Fratellis. It might be wise to hold the obituaries for now however. Whilst their first album Costello Music was well received, the critics ripped apart their most recent effort Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied. However, they’re a superb live band and the material from the current album comes across really well, despite the set being largely based around Costello Music. In fact as they leave the stage I’m starting to wonder whether The Fratellis are one of the UK’s most underrated bands. Give them another listen and see what you think.

Primal Scream offer no surprises and do exactly what is expected of them, which is to deliver a set of frazzled and fried rock in a way that only they can. The Scream Team remain the closest you can get to legally having a trip. Perhaps they should re-market themselves as a legal high!!! Jailbird and Swastika Eyes particularly hit the spot, whilst Country Girl with its Rolling Stones riffology and lightning on the back projection takes things up a further gear. Loaded comes across as a mission statement, despite its cut-down spoken word intro. Rocks closes the set, the Scream having taken the good people of Southsea to places of which they’d previously not even dreamed.

Essentially the role of Primal Scream was to leave the assembled (and by now utterly soaked, thank you rain gods) masses psychologically prepared to encounter The Flaming Lips. This is a role that they filled admirably, and necessarily so, as The Flaming Lips are not so much a band as a state of mind.

Tonight they are as surreal as always. So, for most of the gig the stage is inhabited by loads of weird beings (and I don’t mean Wayne Coyne). That’s normal isn’t it? Coyne holds up an inflatable sign saying “Fuck yeah Portsmouth!” Where does Portsmouth end and Southsea begin? Nobody seems to be quite sure. Indeed, there are many things about which people are not quite sure. CA - VF - Flaming Lips
What we are sure about though is that The Flaming Lips have some damn fine tunes. Some of the finest damn tunes that you’ll find this side of anywhere. ‘Awesome’ doesn’t quite cover it. A general sense of ‘feelgoodness’ exudes from the stage. You want tunes too? We get The Yeah YeahYeah Song! Psychedelic rock baby!! With balloons!!!

During Yoshimi Battlles The Pink Robots Wayne Coyne crowd-surfs in his bubble. A Spoonful Weighs a Ton is accompanied by tickertape. Lots and lots of it. After the very briefest of breaks the Lips return for Do You Realize? A 21st Century funeral favourite apparently. However, the immediate post-gig atmosphere is anything but funereal. Everyone seems to be looking at each other with dazed smiles and a general air of ‘what the hell just happened?’ As hours go that was a pretty good one. If only we could replay it…

Mark Kelly


That’s the Saturday – check out Mark K’s Sunday at the Victorious Festival here…