If there were any lingering cobwebs after Dizzee Rascal’s headlining set on Saturday, then The Underground Pilots blew them away.
The Portsmouth five-piece’s hard rocking sound drew a decent early crowd to the Seaside stage, and set things up nicely for what was to come.
The Southsea Alternative Choir ventured away from the Nevada Music acoustic stage, where they were compering for the weekend, to an early-afternoon slot on the Castle stage. One or two of the voices may have been shot, but they showed why they have become such a popular mainstay of numerous local events in recent years with a well chosen set of covers from down the decades. Their closing cover of Elbow’s One Day Like This had the audience singing along and, given the occasion was particularly apt.
Back on the Seaside stage the Goodtime Charlies made a decent fist of trying to get people on their feet - their garage rock is always welcome, even if it is weird seeing them in broad daylight and not in the scuzzy bars they typically inhabit.
By the time Kassassin Street took to the Seaside stage the crowd had noticeably swelled. Kicking off with their single Royal Handkerchief Ballet, Southsea’s finest looked well at home on the big stage. They have pretty much conquered their home town - now the rest of the UK needs to pay attention.
Over on the acoustic stage, Eloise Keating demonstrated why she deserved to win our recent Singer and the Song contest. Her glacial pop had the crowd rapt, and a cover of the Arctic Monkey’s Why’d You Only Call me When You’re High? gave me goosebumps.
Indie-rockers Shed Seven knew what the people wanted from their dinner-time set on the Castle stage, and duly delivered. In a set jam-packed with hits from their ‘90s heyday, from Going for Gold to Chasing Rainbows and a bongo-tastic Dolphin, the York band were a lot of fun. And with a cheeky cover of Springsteen’s Born to Run they proved they’re still a great act. Rick Witter recently told The Guide he reckons they’re a better band now than they were back then - on this evidence it’s hard to argue.
British Sea Power played on the Seaside stage as the sun went down and their quirky indie rock was an odd fit for the day, but still drew a good-sized crowd of those who appreciated something a little bit off the beaten track.
Castle stage headliner Seasick Steve has been one of the last decade’s more endearing success stories. This former hobo can now command huge audiences with his frazzled blues. Accompanied just by his drummer, Steve may be short on well-known hits, but he still kept the crowd rapt for his 90-minute set, and was a perfect end to what has been a great weekend of music right here on our doorsteps.