GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival at Southsea Common starring Sports Team, Sugababes and Kula Shaker (day 2)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: Saturday 27 August 2022

How to fill a field with an atypical festival band and get everyone down really early? Book Sugababes!

  • Read on for reasons including Sports Team, Milton Jones and Joel Dommett

I’m not a really poppy fan but I do like their band ethos (from whatever format) – they just seem a little more “real” than their peers. This format from 2019 is the original line up of Mutya Buena, Siobhán Donaghy and Keisha Buchanan, although they did perform as their names from 2011 to 2019.

The crowd absolutely loved them and I don’t think I’ve seen an audience so big so early at Victorious. It was well deserved though; a slick, beautifully sung show with no gimmicks, just the girls singing. Starting off with Push the Button, Overload, Hole in the Head, Ugly, Round Round and finishing with, of course, my favourite, Freak Like Me with a few ballads in between. They also sang a version of Flowers which they’d recorded with DJ Spoony. Far from 90s nostalgia, the Sugababes really wowed the audience with their voices and performance. Everywhere you looked, everyone was singing their hearts out. An absolute smasher of a set. 

Victorious upped its comedy this year with Milton Jones and Joel Dommett (pictured above), compèred by the really funny local girl Suzi Raffell who opened with amusing memories of her favourite (not) teachers at the local catholic secondary. Milton Jones was just – well Milton Jones! Those zany one liners that you just can’t help crying with laughter at. He’s way out of the Tim Vine one liner box. You have to think with these! Recurring jokes are great too: “Some people ask me where I get my trousers from.” You just have to be there. We really loved him. 

Following Milton was Joel Dommett who, I have to admit, is a newcomer for me. His delivery is somewhat “I can’t believe I’m being paid up here to speak” and at times, I was with him on that! His spiel mostly concerned The Masked Singer, which we never watched, so was a little bit out of our reach. However, the crowd loved him and you can’t knock him for enthusiasm. He obviously loves what he does. 

Along with Self Esteem yesterday, the other really current band we wanted to see was Sports Team (pictured above and main image). In our own little Humdrum world, we thought we’d be the only ones who listened to them on BBC 6 Music in Portsmouth. Well no. How wrong were we?

The huge audience were obviously mostly huge fans who knew all the words and sung loudly, jabbing their hands in the air at all the pertinent points. I have read of their alleged entitlement from their Cambridge education, but I’m going to leave that out of here.

Portsmouth is not a hugely snobby area and their fans certainly didn’t seem to feel they were entitled. Detailed analysis of their lyrics notwithstanding, I felt most of their songs were leaning towards having fun. The connection with the audience was key, seen in the past with The Smiths, The Libertines and The Fratellis (minus that rowdy crowd edge). This is what endeared me to them yesterday.

Singer Alex Rice stands mesmerised by us, directing the crowd to make way for a mosh pit (which had no violent vibe at all) before crowd surfing (pictured above) and standing on the highest speaker stack just staring. He performs with the foppishness and floppishness of Mick Jagger, the boyish good looks of Damon Albarn and the stage presence of Jim Morrison. Certainly a group to see again and our highlight musically of the day.

To continue the 90s vibe, Kula Shaker were our next band. Crispian Mills in a gorgeous gold sequinned jacket started off strong with Hey Dude and a few other hits showing off their Indian culture vibe. I hadn’t realised how bluesy they were, ending with Tattva, Hush and Govinda, which had the audience’s hands in the air. Of course it’s nostalgic and fun to hear these songs again, but actually Kula Shaker were great performers and Crispian has a great stage presence. Definitely one of my highlights of the weekend. 

The Comedy Tent doubled as a tribute band arena after the comedy and we rounded off day two with Bog Rolling Stones, having caught just the last few tracks by the brilliant Fleetingwood Mac. We’ve seen Bog Rolling Stones before and they are truly great fun, and very good musically. Dancing and singing to all those hits was the perfect way to end the day. 

Katherine Ryan, Russell Kane, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Suede await us on Day Three.

  • 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 neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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