GIG REVIEW: Victorious Festival at Southsea Common starring Katherine Ryan, Metronomy and Sophie Ellis Bextor (day 3)

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: Sunday 28 August 2022

So this year, the line up wasn’t totally to my liking but the introduction of the huge names to the comedy tent really piqued my interest.

  • Read on for reasons including Metronomy, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Suede

Yesterday we had Joel Dommett and Milton Jones, and today we had Russell Kane and Katherine Ryan, compèred by the inimitable Rosie Jones. Rosie has you laughing in the same way as Adam Hills does (funnily enough she’s written for The Last Leg too) and is, as Mr Humdrum says, “pure filth”.

A great introduction to the ‘whirlwind chav made good” that is Russell Kane. He started off saying, “Good luck,” to the signing lady – his physical energy on stage added to his quick dialogue, well you just get worn out watching him.

I cried throughout, especially at the “I’m not racist but” and then the “Get in the van” joke. I’m not repeating that joke for fear of triggering and not including triangular paving slabs (you had to be there). I’m not saying I am totally on board with Russell’s ethos of let’s love everyone and if someone has a differing point of view, give them a hug.

But in the huge comedy tent, all seated on straw and grass in the sun on a Sunday afternoon, I believed him. He’s a good guy and he did really make us all laugh.

Katherine’s set was railroaded by the discovery that one of the audience (KELLY!) had Katherine’s book signed by none other than Katherine’s husband! As her husband Barbie (you had to be there) is so hot, Katherine accused Kelly and her friend Nicola of not only having her book signed outside a private members’ club, but also going on from there to another location, possibly the casino from where Barbie returned at 4am.

She phoned her husband live on stage, well she asked an audience member to keep on FaceTiming him until he got through and the issue was (thankfully) sorted. Kelly and Nicola were great sports and it really made the gig special to us. She is amazing and again, along with Russell, I felt like I’d seen two of my top bands. Well done Victorious, great shouts on all counts.

Two new reviewers for monstagigz arrived today: Dr C and her son Alfie (separate review to follow). As soon as they arrived, we held a press meeting which was nicely interrupted by a magician doing table tricks. El Roberto has been working Victorious since it started but it was our first encounter with him. He started off trying to get 13 year old Alfie to choose from two envelopes, one of which had £50 inside. You can guess who won. Card tricks a plenty, guessing numbers, you know the spiel. He was brilliant and made us laugh throughout. I especially loved his life drawing class work!

Sophie Ellis-Bextor was next up on our list (yes, organised festival goer, thanks Russell). the Castle Field was absolutely rammed thanks to Ms E-B and Becky Hill who was following her. We managed to dive in halfway back and danced through her sadly short set.

The kitchen disco-er opened with Take Me Home, then Hypnotized (her new single – “Think Abba on crack” she said correctly) and Get Over You before covering Mojo’s Lady and Moloko’s Sing It Back, the latter squished inside the ever-awesome Groovejet (“Happy 22nd birthday,” she said).

The surprise of the set for me was that she didn’t include Crying at the Discothèque, but for the crowd was her cover of Madonna’s Like a Prayer. This was a festival kitchen disco. Finishing with Murder on the Dancefloor topped off a brilliant disco set. She is amazing in every way: voice, personality, fitness and those legs! She still looks 21, the age she was when Groovejet was released.

The Humdrums didn’t watch Becky Hill but fellow reviewer Miss H reported that she had great dancers, a good DJ and she engaged with the audience well, in spite of shaming someone for wanting their shirt signed! There was a slight crush to exit, to say the least. Victorious Festival, through early planning and lack of Seaside Stage, and with the benefit of hindsight, should’ve implemented a one-way system.

Enough of that; I’m sure they will improve on this for next year. While it took ages to move anywhere, everyone was in great spirits and helped each other along. We managed to get into the VIP area to listen to Metronomy (sorry for not watching) and I enjoyed listening to them, especially The Look, Everything Goes My Way and Love Letters but I think I missed Salted Caramel Ice Cream, my favourite.

Suede up next. The crowds were quite unbearable at this point and I chose to enjoy the music whilst not watching directly. I have only ever seen Suede live in 1995 in Exeter and it’s clear that in the intervening 27 years, Brett Anderson’s voice has not changed at all. At 55, he hasn’t even changed much. I could write ten paragraphs about how much I adore him but that won’t be of interest to you so I’ll stick with the music.

We had a triple booking – Suede on main stage – soundtrack to my indie days and uni; Utah Saints – wow in the rave tent; Barbudo – south coast funky band who we’ve seen before but not enough of.

We are seeing Utah Saints in November at Shiiine Weekender in Butlins, and after extensive research into Suede’s set lists this year, we worked out we could do the first half of the Suede set (to include Trash, Filmstar and The Drowners – my favourite) and get over to the World Music Stage to catch Barbudo.

I ended up catching Beautiful Ones too as I traversed the Common Stage field AND got to hear four or five funky tracks by Barbudo. Suede were excellent and my friend DD awarded them the best set ever at Victorious, and he doesn’t give out awards lightly (and that was in huge competition with The Hives, Hooky and Franz Ferdinand!).

Barbudo was the last live act we saw and they just had everyone dancing, hands in the air; a relaxed, happy way to end a wonderful weekend. But it didn’t end there – we needed a trip to the rave tent, which isn’t a tent anymore but used to be and so is always referred to as such.

Beats and Swing always put on a great dance area and the headliner was a Hot Chip Megamix. It’s the only arena where 80 year olds dance along with 50 year olds and 15 year olds. Highlights were Marie Davidson’s Work It and Madonna’s Hung Up, getting everyone singing and throwing various albeit tired shapes.

Victorious Festival worked on the areas of issue from last year but as with most festivals, there are always things that don’t work on the night. When the line up is just to my liking, I usually don’t get to see everything and I miss those new bands that you just happen to come across.

This year’s line up wasn’t my best, but the comedy was a fabulous call from the organisers and we would never have discovered Welly if we had wanted to watch the headliners. Such is life at a festival. I can’t wait for 2023.

  • 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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