GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common, starring Madness, Terrorvision, Peter Hook and the Light (day 1)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: Friday 27 August 2021

It’s said you get all sorts at festivals. Whilst that is true, we found that you get all sorts en route to a festival here. Walking alongside an elderly man in a mobility scooter, who was blasting out Jim Reeves (or some other crooner) from a ghetto blaster in his basket, turned out to set the scene for our return to festival-land on the south coast.

  • Read on for reasons including reviews of Madness, Terrorvision, Feeder, Peter Hook and the Light

A year to the day that Victorious posted a photo of ‘We miss you” on social media in their now iconic white letters on what is the hill by the Castle stage, Pompey reopened its gates to the crowds and lured us back in; the promise of a sunny afternoon with sweet-but-you-know it Pompey Pornstar slushies going down far too easily drew in thousands for the busy Friday afternoon.

Kojak’s Revenge, a fantastic local covers band, kicked off proceedings just before 2pm, with a raucous Britpop-ish set, starting with The Jam, including Libertines and James, finishing with Common People by Pulp. The bar was now set high – the energy from these guys was awesome. Like all the performers, you could see they were just happy to be back doing what they love. And the crowd loved them back.

Terrorvision, formed all the way back in 1987 (in another guise), Best Newcomer at the Brits in 1994, followed by Best British Band in 1994, stormed on stage in the late afternoon. Singer Tony Wright’s energy was contagious, the band’s attire, whilst all different, was something to see (especially the silver trousers on the horn section) and the band efficiently rocked out all of their hits, increasing in intensity throughout Alice What’s the Matter?, My House, Middleman and Perserverance, up to their original version of Tequila (I’d forgotten just how grungy it was, shamefully only recalling the albeit awesome Mint Royale remix) and ending, of course, with Oblivion. It was universally agreed in our group that we wanted to see a full set from these guys. Severely impressed.

How could we better this? Of course, Hooky! Peter Hook and the Light have long been a firm favourite of ours, since being blown away hearing him play Joy Division in the pouring rain at Victorious a few years back. Our group, if we are going to take sides, always ends up preferring him to New Order, ditching them in 2019 in favour of a Basement Jaxx DJ set. Hooky’s band are tight, his vocals a match for those of Ian Curtis or Bernard Sumner, especially when joined by guitarist David Potts. (In fact I personally think Potts sounds better than Sumner.) As always, Hooky feels each lyric he’s singing, especially the Joy Division songs. True Faith, Temptation, Blue Monday, with an endearing senior moment cracking jokes with the crowd in the middle, Love Will Tear Us Apart (the extra build-ups to the main hook just make it exquisite), culminating in the spine-chilling opening bars of Joy Division’s Ceremony, with Hooky’s trademark high bass. I’m afraid nothing could beat this today. The crowd here always love Hooky, especially when he strips off his tshirt (revealing what I don’t really feel comfortable writing about!) and throwing it into the waiting revellers. I did want to shush the people standing near me who talked through Love Will Tear Us Apart, didn’t they realise the rock royalty they had paid to see? King Hooky. Emotional. As ever.

Feeder were up next. Our group have always had a soft spot for these guys. Ten albums, and 25 top 75 singles between 1992 and 2012, and winners of two Kerrang! Awards. Beset with technical issues, singer and guitarist Grant Nicholas refused to get stressed, took a small break and when his home rig (is that the right technical term?) was fixed, continued with a set that completely had the audience. Just the Way I’m Feeling and Feeling The Moment, pulling us through the wringer, then fun with Buck Rogers (we all lived in houses in Devon, so it’s a favourite of ours), saving Just A Day for last – wow, they are a great festival band. Brilliant show.

I’m afraid The Kooks happened to be on during what was my dinner time, so my review doesn’t really do them justice, but we did hear the two main singles, She Moves in Her Own Way and Naive. The sound was great and there was a lot of love from the audience for them.

Madness were this year’s Friday headliners, just as they were four years ago. Then, chilling on the hill at the Castle Stage, we were expertly taken through was the soundtrack to our lives. This year, they took to the Common Stage, which is less intimate for me. The sun had gone down, they were late on, feedback issues ensued, but that didn’t seem to frustrate hoards of the fezzed-up fans. (It was cute to see loads of fez-sporting whole families!) The Nutty Boys opened with One Step Beyond, Lee Thompson’s sax on this Prince Buster B-side original, wowing the audience. Embarrassment, Baggy Trousers, Driving in My Car, Our House, Wings of a Dove, My Girl, House of Fun, It Must Be Love, Night Boat to Cairo … Suggs did try to be political in between songs (Boris Johnson, churches) but he should leave the protesting to Beans on Toast (performing this year) or Billy Bragg. Madness are indeed a crowd puller, with a loyal fan base in Portsmouth, and with their singles spanning forty years (yes I’ve just worked that out!), shouldn’t fail to smash it in an open field, with the happy-to-be-back-at-festivals crowd reliving their youths, singing along and amazingly remembering all their lyrics!

Well that was Day One, our highlights being Hooky and Terrorvision. Rock n Roll on Day Two.

  • * Pictures via Facebook courtesy Victorious Tickets 
  • * Read more from Carron at her blog A Humdrum Mum. 
  • * Have you seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • * Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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