Victorious Festival - Sunday - Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
Victorious Festival takes place in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard. The two day event sees acts playing over half a dozen stages, with Saturday headlined by Level 42 on the Starboard Arena, with Sunday's "top draw" Maximo Park.
The Newcastle noisemakers may have topped Sunday's bill but the only reason I jumped on a train from London was to take in an early evening stint from Welsh wonder Charlotte Church.
I attend Austin's SXSW event every March and my highlight of 2013 were the three sets from Charlotte that I managed to view, as she's found a way to really showcase her vocal abilities, accompanied by a rich atmospheric rock backing that brings to mind the likes of Cocteau Twins, Bjork and Florence And The Machine.
I arrived in Portsmouth with plenty time to spare so flitted between the Starboard Arena and the Little Johnny Russells Stage, watching performances from a variety of acts including the Andrews Sisters inspired trio The Three Belles, slightly amusing tribute band Bog Rolling Stones and local lass Jerry Williams.
The Three Belles
The History Of Apple Pie
Bog Rolling Stones
Charlotte has set herself the task of releasing five EPs , with the third arriving just before her Victorious show. I'd devoured the contents of One and Two over the last few months, picking up Three on its arrival, so was happy to see her opening her set with 'Water Tower' from the new collection.
A lot of the tracks on each EP are less instantly accessible as the singer's previous pop-based work but from the moment 'Water Tower' kicked into gear about halfway through she had the audience's full attention.
There may have been introspective moments during the set but there was still opportunities for the folk down the front to let loose, especially during second song, the thundering 'Say It's True', with the crowd jumping as requested and a set curveball that came in the shape of a cover of Ultra Nate's 90's dance classic 'Free'.
Charlotte's set ended with a rip roaring run through of EP Two's 'Glitterbombed', proving once again the high standard of her vocals as the song drew to a close, hopefully leading to a large section of those attending seeking out her new material. It's certainly worth a listen.
I hung around for another couple of hours after Miss Church's set finished, sampling a couple of songs from friends of the Fix The Joy Formidable and taking in a bit of dance diva Katy B's set but needed to get back to London, so missed headliners Maximo Park. I was impressed with my first visit to Victorious, as there was a very friendly atmosphere and it was also in a great setting, so will hopefully head back there again at some point.
The Joy Formidable