INTERVIEW: Ms Humdrum meets Mr Beats and Swing at Victorious Festival

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: Southsea Common (press ticket)

WHEN?: 23 – 25/8/19

Ms Humdrum at monstagigz was lucky enough to catch up with Mr Beats and Swing himself, Luke Fuller, at the weekend.

  • Read on for reasons including how DJs Los Cojones hotfooted it from a wedding to play Victorious  

Beats and Swing, as well as promoting acts at many local events, including the now 60,000+ strong Victorious Festival in Portsmouth, is a south coast club night, putting on acts and DJs from around the area to play alongside bigger names from elsewhere. In the last year or so, Goldie, Mr Scruff, Huey Morgan DJ set and Dub Pistols, to name but a few, have appeared under the Beats and Swing banner. 

I asked Luke why it was important to be at Victorious Festival. “Because it’s my home town,” he answers. “I’m a bit long in the tooth for the festival scene generally now with a young family. There are so many good local acts on, whether that be on our stage or others, and it’s just really good to be involved.” 

My first experience of Beats and Swing was a few years ago at Victorious, in their older, smaller tent, watching lindyhoppers dancing and hula hooping outside in the sunshine, toe-tapping along to funky beats of Los Cojones. Forward to this year, their bigger tent hosted Henge, Tuba Libres and Jurassic 5’s Soup Presents: Fullee Love Collective, as well as Los Cojones. 

When I was in the tent bouncing to A Skillz on Saturday afternoon, I realised my young teenage son was in there with his mates, plus some people even older than us. With this in mind, I asked Luke how he picks his acts. Does he try to cover all ages and genres?

“It’s very self-indulgent,” he replies. “It’s whatever I like and hopefully other people like it as well. I don’t want this to become a job. I don’t want to sit in this tent for 15 hours a day for three days listening to stuff I’m not into. If people don’t get it, then there’s a thousand other places they can go.”

It’s clear when he claims, “It’s all about me to be honest” that this is confidence and passion and not arrogance. Look around any of his gigs, you can see that he’s got it right. He knows what he’s doing. Even when he claims, tongue in cheek, that the festival could shut as far as he’s concerned as there’s loads going on in his tent! 

His commitment to music is matched only by that of his guests – he tells us that DJs Los Cojones were at a wedding on the Friday of the Victorious Festival in local Southsea. “They literally hotfooted it here in their kilts, no pants on, tuxedos. Did their set, hung around for a drink, then went back to the wedding to do their speeches because one of them was best man!” 

You can catch Beats and Swing present Henge on 24 October at The Wedgewood Rooms, and Don Letts on 21 December 21 at the Coastguard Club, both in Southsea, and Dub Pistols are rumoured to be playing again next Spring. Ms Humdrum is looking forward to these events, and is wondering what other aural delights Luke has in store for us as we build up to Victorious 2020.

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