In Recent times, Albert Road in Portsmouth has grown to become the go to place for one of the best nights out on the south coast. As we wander down it in anticipation of the day ahead, the atmosphere is buzzing because Southsea Fest 2014 has well and truly landed, and Mrs Biscuit and I can’t wait to get stuck in.
The set up of the festival is reminiscent of the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, but unlike the Great Escape it’s confined to a single road, building the ambience and community feeling.
Spread over a number of pubs, cafes, music venues, and a theatre, you immerse yourself into a magical mystery tour, discovering some amazing bands on the way.
One thing we noted about the day, is the laid back friendly atmosphere, and the organisers had clearly worked hard to create what seemed like an effortless event.
Mrs Biscuit and I had a rough list of some bands we wished to see, but also kept our schedule open enough to stumble across some hidden gems too.
Some personal favourites of ours were Phoria and Hunter and the Bear, who both played at the amazingly beautiful Kings Theatre. I had never really absorbed what an amazing venue for bands it could be. In contrast to the big and beautiful settings, Southsea Fest also had some great smaller stages . One of these was hidden away upstairs at the Atrium cocktail bar, and was a perfect little stripped down acoustic area, with another tucked away in the Magick Bean Coffee Shop. Both were totally chilled out and great additions to the day.
Then of course there was the Wedgewood Rooms, a Portsmouth institution, affectionately known as the “Wedgies” by locals, and hosted to the festival’s headline acts. DZ Deathrays absolutely smashed it with their set. So much so that I turned all fan boy when we went past them outside, pointing and nudging Mrs Biscuit saying “look it’s them”.
Our band of the festival, playing at the One Eyed Dog to a completely packed crowd (so much so people were queued out of the door hoping to be lucky enough to squeeze in) were Attack Vipers, who gave their final performance after over an illustrious eight years together. They gave, the audience an intense, furious, fun, and energetic set, crowd-surfing and moshing their way into the evening, seriously making Mrs Biscuit wish she hadn’t worn flip-flops.
All in all, we had an awesome day from start to finish, and we encourage all our readers to support and encourage this, and other independent festivals/events.