This year’s Victorious Festival promises to once again be a weekend full of big-name artists and established acts playing both the Common and Castle Stages. With Sam Fender, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini providing the headline names it’s great to see the festival continue to present a strong and diverse range of acts playing across the site. So, away from the big name headliners, here are my top artist picks making up the undercard across the weekend…
Self Esteem – once part of the Sheffield duo Slow Club, Rebecca Lucy-Taylor has swapped the folk pop sound for something much more electric and eclectic. Under the moniker Self Esteem, Lucy-Taylor’s Mercury Prize nominated second solo album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ is a record filled to the brim with self-assured hard-edged pop melodies mixed with danceable beats – ‘You Forever’ being an absolute case-in-point banger. Her songs are deeply personal yet resonate almost universally whilst her live shows have also received rave reviews; her Glastonbury set this year in particular being described as ‘iconic’ by the NME. Self Esteem plays the Common Stage on Friday evening.
Coach Party – Hot on the heels of fellow Isle of Wight indie pop purveyors Wet Leg, Coach Party are starting to gain a bit of following thanks in no small part to a series of riotous live shows (including one at the Wedge in May this year) as well as their immense single FLAG (Feel Like a Girl) being playlisted recently on 6music. This track’s pop punk riffs and emotionally charged lyrics will no doubt be a highlight of their set when they play the Castle Stage on Saturday afternoon.
Alfie Templeman – emerging in 2019 with the fantastic slacker pop of ‘Like an Animal’, the then 16 year old’s home recorded effort sounded like a mix between Mac DeMarco and MGMT. Since then, his sound has developed and the pop sensibilities have been fully embraced. Latest album ‘Mellow Moon’ was written just as lockdown was lifting and the feeling of release and euphoria – of just being with people again – is evident throughout the record. Expect to witness a whole range of joyous indie pop goodness on the Castle Stage on Sunday afternoon.
Photo: Strong Island Media, Chuff Media, Phoebe Fox