REVIEW: Icebreaker, Albert Road, Portsmouth

Marley Blandford at Icebreaker in Portsmouth on Friday, February 2 in Portsmouth
Marley Blandford at Icebreaker in Portsmouth on Friday, February 2 in Portsmouth
The Good Vibrations sign at Castle Field in Southsea. Picture: Shaun Roster

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Icebreaker was the hottest night of the year for Albert Road.

A festival celebrating Portsmouth’s finest self-made music, and with the support of BBC Introducing Music, it was a night to remember.

Pubs replaced tents – creating a brilliant festival-pub crawl hybrid.

With a promise of good music, the evening kicked off in The Loft at 6.55pm with Aviv and the Eunuch Horn.

The atmosphere was slow and sober but it didn’t take long to realise that why this band was chosen to open.

The music was rhythmic, pulsating through your bones.

They were reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers, with that rock-American twang, but the singer’s voice worked well as a contrast in the sound.

Wandering down the road, the Fat Fox was hosting The High Wire Act, a band of older gentleman with a very interesting sound.

The music was incredible, a class rock edge – a definite nod to 1960s protest rock.

The guitarist had wonderful solos that were only dimmed by his dual role of also being lead singer – a tough task not quite pulled off to perfection.

Venturing to The One Eyed Dog, the place was buzzing, with everyone waiting for the headline act Minque.

For the first time that evening, everyone was up on their feet dancing to the melodic tones of the synth, the beat of the drum and bass, and the beautifully soft tones of the singer, whose graceful overtones won the audience.

A mass cheer roared up after each song and at the end of the set, the scream of ‘more, more more’ erupted.

But really, the evening had just begun.

Wandering up and down Albert Road, it was clear young and old had been drawn to Portsmouth’s musical offering.

And performing in the Royal Albert, Jamin’s lead singer – a clear Portsmouth lad – won the crowd’s appreciation with the lyric: ‘I fell in love with Cruella De Vil of Waterlooville.’

The music was incredible, a real home-grown rendition of Mumford and Sons with Madness vocals and witty lyrics – providing great sound and entertainment.

Finally, as the acts drew to a close, the audiences traipsed down to the Wedgewood Rooms for the Wolf Cub Club after party, hosted by one of the city’s heroes, Scandals’ man himself, Pete Warren.

The evening played out to the tunes of The Jam, The Killers and all the other favourites, closing the evening perfectly.

Icebreaker is on again tonight. Click here for full listings.