The sunshine has returned just in time for the summer festival season. In two weeks time Rob Da Bank‘s Common People will be returning to Southampton Common. With so much going on I wanted to pick out some of my highlights as to what to see and do during the event.
Where else would you start but with Lily Allen. It has been billed as co-headlining slot with James but for me, Lily is a bigger draw. Maybe that is due to my age? The 33 year old Londoner sold over four million records after initially finding fame on MySpace, we are all old enough to remember MySpace right?
Her first mainstream single, “Smile”, reached number one in 2006 and her debut album, Alright, Still, shifted over 2.6 million copies worldwide and resulted in Lily receiving Grammy, Brit and MTV Video Music Awards nominations. After taking a break from music to start a family Lily released a cover of ‘Somewhere Only We Know‘ for the John Lewis Christmas ad campaign. This year Lily is back with a new album No Shame which is due for release on the 8th of June.
Lily has already teased fans with a glimpse of what they can expect on the new album with ‘Three,’ ‘Higher‘ and her collaborations with Giggs ‘Trigger Bang.’ All three very diverse in styles so I am looking forward to seeing what the whole album has to offer. During her set I am expecting new songs, mixed in with better known tracks like ‘Smile,’ ‘LDN,’ ‘The Fear.’
Plastic Mermaids are a five piece band from the Isle of Wight and have recently been spending their time hidden away in their home studio constructing a unique style of folkedelic dream pop, escaping only for the occasional surf. Weaving together vocal harmonies and a diverse selection of instruments they create folky melodies with experimental electronic textures, that occasionally build to an epic cinematic crescendo or just as likely drift away into the soundscape.
I first discovered Plastic Mermaids back in 2016 when they released their EP ‘Everything Is Yellow and Yellow Is My Least Favourite Colour.’ It was when I discovered their music videos that they became one of my favourite bands from the south coast.
If you are thinking of searching to see what I am on about then just begin with ‘Saturn.’ You’ll be surprised how long you can actually watch a man dancing in a field at night with only the spotlight trained on him. If you liked that then you have to check out their Sofar Session where they collaborated with Rhain.
Batala Portsmouth are as synonymous with Rob Da Bank’s events as the Cuban Brothers and Rob himself. Batala plays Bahian style Samba-Reggae which, unlike the ubiquitous Rio style groups, they use no percussion instruments and uses only drums. The band are part of Grupo Batala, a global drumming family that now has 25 bands in 15 countries and has over 800 members worldwide.
Their intense sound along with the highly energetic dynamic dancing and costumes create an audiovisual feast that is hard to forget. Batala Portsmouth marked their place in history in 2001 as the first Batala band to establish itself in the UK and are in high demand having captivated audiences at festivals ever since.
They will be popping up with performances across the weekend. For information when exactly you’ll be able to catch them then go and give them a follow on their social media.
Serving up some winning Mac ‘n’ Cheese combos for festival goers will be the team behind The Tenth Hole and The Canteen. I am hoping that there will be a return of the Southampton Sizzler (with jalapeños, sour cream and chipotle) seemed to be going down well along with the Veggie Tastic (drizzled with basil oil and garlicky sunblushed tomatoes).
The Great Solent Gin Festival is a new addition to Common People and will feature over fifty gins of diverse flavours. These will include offerings from local distilleries, the Isle of Wight Distillery and the Winchester Distillery.
Occupying its own special area within Common People, featuring a luxuriantly dressed traditional pole tent with ample seating and dedicated garden area, for an additional £15 on your ticket, gin festival attendees will receive a gin flight of three expertly matched gin & tonics and full access to Common People festival including three stages of music, a new and improved kids garden, and a host of attractions.
The Great Solent Gin Festival will also feature masterclasses including a World Gin Day tasting with World Gin Day ambassador Emma Stokes aka Gin Monkey, a discussion and gin tasting with Xavier Baker from the Isle of Wight Distillery, and a masterclass from Sian Jones from the Winchester Distillery, giving you the fantastic opportunity to learn the history of the UK’s favourite tipple from the real experts.
Plus, there will be an artisan food market featuring the most flavoursome locally sourced goods and entertainment from the Saints Brass and Rob da Bank, all located within the gin festival’s own garden setting.
We have pop royalty visiting the south coast, it’d be rude not to be there to greet them right? The Jacksons began their journey in 1969 with the release of their first Motown album, ‘Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.’ Singles ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘Who’s Loving You’ went on to sell two million copies in just six weeks. By the time ‘I Want You Back’ reaches number one the group were well and truly established as global superstars.
Nowadays, original members, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon will be putting on a show that includes all of their hits, which include five number one albums and seventeen number one singles under their belts including the likes of ‘ABC,’ ‘I’ll Be There,’ ‘Blame It On The Boogie‘ and many, many more.
If you’d like to be there then you can pick up your tickets online now at commonpeoplesouthampton.ticketline.co.uk.