JAMIROQUAI, Pete Tong Ibiza Classics, The Charlatans and Jake Bugg rocked day one of this year’s Victorious Festival.
Up to 70,000 fans were on Southsea common, and, for the first time, the whole festival site and all stages were open on the first day.
Today, thousands of people will try to beat national rail strikes to see headliners Kasabian and Alt J, plus Kaiser Chiefs, Natalie Imbruglia, The Coral and local acts Crystal Tides and Pioneers.
Last night, funk and acid jazz kings Jamiroquai celebrated 30 years since their debut number one album Emergency on Planet Earth with a showcase of hits.
In a rare UK performance, big-hatted frontman Jay Kay wore an Indian head dress and showed why his band were the third top selling act of the Nineties after The Spice Girls and Oasis.
Nottingham kingpin Jake Bugg returned to the south coast for the first time since last year’s headline set at Southampton Guildhall, and drew a huge evening audience to the Castle Stage with a mix of acoustic and full band tracks, and fingerprints on almost every music genre.
Songs such as Seen It All, Slumville Sunrise, All I Need and the magical Broken wowed fans. With rock and roll, indie-dance and Nashville-inspired country, few other acts can produce a festival set as varied as this, and yet Bugg is still only 29 years old.
Earlier, rising local stars Crystal Tides opened the Castle Stage after a summer at some of the country’s other big festivals and two months after their biggest indoor gig at The Engine Rooms in Southampton.
Lead singer Billy Gregory, guitarists Harry Knowles and Neil Cripps, bassist George Reagan and drummer Joe Knight had seen off other local acts from a postcode radius of the Victorious site to win slots at Tramlines, Truck and Kendall Calling festivals before this homecoming in Southsea.
Afterwards, frontman Billy told The Echo that playing their biggest festival stage had been “amazing” and that the band’s story so far had been ‘a Victorious Festival story’ too, after the band had worked their way up from the event’s smaller stages.
Crystal Tides play again this afternoon (Saturday) on the Beats and Swing stage after another opening set on the Castle Stage at 12.20pm..
Stockport’s indie-synth stars Blossoms were special afternoon guests on the main stage where frontman Tom Ogden revealed a surprise connection to the festival site.
The Charlemagne and There’s a Reason Why singer told fans that before any thoughts of music, 20 years ago he had once “kicked a football about” on Southsea Common as a child when his father had been in the Royal Navy.
Indie Legends The Charlatans reconfirmed their status as one of the most important guitar bands of the last 30 years with tracks such as North Country Boy, One to Another and The Only One I Know, their breakthrough song whose popularity saw hundreds of fans to queue outside The Joiners in Southampton to see them in 1990.
Southampton’s Calum Lintott and his band played songs from his forthcoming debut album Sunshine Moonlight on the Casemates stage, while another hotly-tipped new singer songwriter, Callum Bowie, from Scotland was popular on the acoustic stage with tunes Anthem and Call Me Back.
The first day also saw big sets from newly reunited The View, Eurovision entrant Mae Muller, Raye, Billy Nomates, Katy B, Newton Faulkner, Irish songwriter Cain Ducrot, who had a number one debut album earlier this month, and an entertaining comedy tent performance from Mexican band Vote Pedro, and their interpretation of classic indie and pop tunes.
TODAY: Victorious Festival continues on Saturday with acts including headliners Kasabian, plus Alt-J, Kaiser Chiefs, Belle and Sebastian, Kate Nash, The Divine Comedy, Pale Waves, Natalie Imbruglia, The Coral, Badly Drawn Boy, Shame, Inspiral Carpets, Stone, Crystal Tides, Pioneers, Jerry Williams and James Walsh. Tickets at victoriousfestival.co.uk