Road to Victorious winner Harvey Jay Dodgson gets ready for his biggest headline show so far at The Wedgewood Rooms

​With a string of well-received singles under his belt, Harvey Jay Dodgson has been one of the fast rising stars of the local music scene in the last couple of years.
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He’s won support from Radio 1 and Radio X as well as being named Clash Music’s Next Wave Artist.

And now he’s also been named as winner of this year’s Road to Victorious competition – earning him slots on festival bills across England this summer, as well as here at Victorious in August.

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​But this week he plays his biggest headline show to date when he is at The Wedgewood Rooms.

Harvey Jay Dodgson. Picture by Tom KnibbsHarvey Jay Dodgson. Picture by Tom Knibbs
Harvey Jay Dodgson. Picture by Tom Knibbs

"I've played on the main stage before, three times I think, but this is my first time as a headliner.

"The Wedgewood Rooms is such an iconic venue in Portsmouth, when you hear some of the names of people who've played there, to say you're putting on your own show there is brilliant.

“To say that you could have up to 400 people there for your music in your home town is something quite special.”

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Harvey has been getting more at home on festival stages – last year he played at very muddy Wickham (“I think I’m still finding mud from that in my room,” he jokes) and at Glastonbury on The Hive stage.

"There were some really cool acts on there and it is built in the shape of a hive, which is a bit quirky,” he recalls of his time at Pilton, “just one of the weird and wonderful things that goes on at Glastonbury!

“It was my first ever time there, so I was trying to take it all in – it was a bucket list moment to play there, but also wanted to just go and enjoy the rest of the festival.

“I was on my best behaviour before my set, let's put it that way, and then I let my hair down a little bit afterwards...

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“That was definitely the highlight of last year. I was there from Tuesday until it finished, just soaking up all of the atmosphere.”

Last May Harvey released the Alligator EP, gathering up four of his tracks. Since then he’s been busy working on new material, including his new single, Freedom, which was released last week and was recorded in Munich Germany with producer/musician Kerim Öke.

"It's about freedom of the mind,” he says of the new track. “Sometimes you've got to push through, and the main phrase is 'left, right freedom' – that sense of marching through it and that voice in the back of your mind saying ‘pick yourself up and carry on’ – eliminate the bad thoughts in a negative situation.”

He’s also got several more new songs he’s readying for release.

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"I've got a lot of new songs that I've demoed which I'm going to show the band so we can play them live and get ready to record them.”

And will we hear some of those at The Wedge gig?

"Yeah, we'll be playing a handful of them,” he confirms.

To help promote this gig, he contacted renowned Portsmouth street artist My Dog Sighs.

But Harvey didn’t just send him an email or DM him on social media, he sent the artist a good old fashioned letter.

“You can shoot people messages online all the time, but I think it's much more personal to send a letter, it's not done enough these days and it shows that you mean it.

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“I thought it would be nice if we could do some sort of collaboration, as this is my hometown and I see his amazing, vibrant artwork all over the place. It was really nice of him to offer some tags, which was brilliant.”

The artist made him a handful of tags, with Harvey’s lyrics on them, as prizes for people who proved they’d bought tickets to the show.

And he’s also got two special support acts joining him.

“Bradley Jago’s opening for me – his music's very soulful and he's got an amazing voice. Then it’s a band called Juno – a couple of them in there are my childhood best friends from school. It's really cool to have them on the bill with me, it's been a long time coming.”

He plays The Wedge on March 28. Tickets £10. Go to

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