ROCKSTARS Kasabian provided shock and awe on the second day of Victorious Festival after sets by Kaiser Chiefs, Alt J, Natalie Imbruglia and McFly.
The Leicester outfit, now reinvented with lead guitarist and songwriter Serge fronting the band, brought hits from seven albums with tunes like Club Foot, You’re in Love With A Pyscho and L.S.F.
And they showed that while they may now be playing one man upfront instead of two, after original lead singer Tom left the band, it’s still the same club, same fans and same music.
“Saturday night, let’s go, this is where it’s at right now,” said Serge, before revealing that this was the band’s last gig in the UK this year and wrapping up their set with Bless This Acid House and Fire.
The second day of Victorious was at least as busy as Friday despite national rail strikes. Second stage headliners and Mercury Music Prize winners Alt J, including Southampton-born frontman Joe Newman, also drew a big crowd.
Yorkshire stars Kaiser Chiefs confirmed themselves as future potential headliners with a stunning set of hits including Angry Mob, I Predict a Riot and Never Miss a Beat. Frontman Ricky Wilson is one of the great showmen in music and the band have the music to match.
Earlier, festival goers had a tough decision on arrival with singer songwriter Natalie Imbruglia’s main stage set overlapping with Victorious’ first ever surprise set, this time by pop-stars McFly, who are celebrating 20 years together as a band.
While some were torn between the two, for many it was all about McFly’s energetic set on the Castle Stage with hits such as Obviously, Star Girl and Room on the Third Floor, the first song they ever wrote together.
Special afternoon guest Imbruglia told a big main stage crowd how she and her band had been “chomping at the bit” to play a full set at Victorious after their equipment had failed to arrive at an event the day before.
As well as famous hits Torn, Shiver, she also sang songs from her latest top ten album Fire Bird including a dance number called Maybe Its Great written with The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.
Victorious Festival hat-trick heroes and local band Crystal Tides opened the second Castle Stage for the second day in a row before playing on front of another huge crowd on the Beats and Swing Stage in the D Day museum car park, to complete their weekend of performances.
Frontman Billy Gregory, guitarists Harry Knowles and Neil Cripps, bassist George Reagan and drummer Joe Knight told The Echo that they planned to build on this summer’s success and will release a new single called Detonate before the end of 2023 and support The Sherlocks in Southampton in October.
Elsewhere, local songwriter Jerry Williams thrilled hundreds of fans on the acoustic stage, and Portsmouth’s popular Batala samba-reggae percussion group, which seems to get bigger in number every year, was on hand to welcome Saturday attendees as they arrived on site, before performing again later in the day.
The Divine Comedy, fronted by songwriter Neil Hannon, entertained fans back to the summer of 1996 with hit song Something for the Weekend and their top ten National Express, as well as newer numbers.
And Liverpool’s rising punk-rock stars Stone continued their storming summer, which has also seen frontman Fin Power, bassist Sarah Surrage, lead guitarist Elliott Gill and drummer Alex Smith support Bruce Springsteen in Hyde Park, ahead of their own tour in the autumn.
Other acts appearing on day two included Kate Nash, Belle and Sebastian, Pale Waves, The Cribs, South Coast Ghosts, Badly Drawn Boy Connie Constance, and Amyl and the Sniffers.
Victorious Festival continues into its final day with headliners Mumford and Sons and Johnny Marr, plus Ellie Goulding, Sigrid, The Vaccines, Ben Howard, Sea Girls, Dylan, The Enemy, Heather Small, Hard-Fi, The Blinders, Crawlers and Southampton’s Pioneers.