Southsea's got the Golden Touch as new music festival hits The Wedgewood Rooms

Ulysses Wells playing live at the Brixton Academy when supporting Bastille. Picture by Rachel PrewUlysses Wells playing live at the Brixton Academy when supporting Bastille. Picture by Rachel Prew
Ulysses Wells playing live at the Brixton Academy when supporting Bastille. Picture by Rachel Prew
Fitz Promotions is celebrating a successful first year with a new one-day event showcasing 16 of their favourite local and touring acts.

They will be taking over the Wedge and The Edge of The Wedge for the day with Golden Touch Fest, which includes a bill topped by the ‘calypso-flavoured rock' of Cassia in the former and the guitar-driven mayhem of Ulysses Wells in the latter.

Since bursting on to the scene with explosive single Taste It in early 2017, Oxfordshire-based musician Ulysses has been fast winning fans over with his energetic live shows. Earlier this year he was opening for Bastille and man-of-the-moment Lewis Capaldi as they toured the UK and Europe.

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‘It was pretty terrifying,’ admits Ulysses. ‘I had never done anything like that before. It was a bit of a thing to tick off the bucket list, playing places like Brixton Academy – it was incredible.’

But he admits he still gets a kick out of playing the smaller venues.

‘The intimate ones are almost more fun, they’re certainly more nerve-racking when you can see all the faces, and our bass player (Jason Gale), all his family are based down there, so there’s going to be a few people we know in the crowd.’

Ulysses has been busy writing and claims to have more than 300 songs squirrelled away. ‘It’s been a madness, I’ve been writing for three-and-a-half/four years straight. I got sober and decided to hide away in this little cabin out in the middle of nowhere.

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‘We’re going to sort of assess things in July and have a look at what we’ve got and decide what we want to put out next and whether to put it out as a single or an EP – there’s plenty of stuff to be going on with, and it’s sounding exciting.’

He's previously mentioned in interviews how ‘rage’ has been a driving force in his writing, inspired in no small part by his then girlfriend leaving him for his supposed best mate – as you can hear in the chorus of Taste It: ‘You bled me like a pig, And then you ran, Straight into the arms of my best man.’

‘Yeah, that was a while back, so it’s all ok now and the rage has subsided,’ he admits, ‘and there are a couple of songs now where I’ve moved on from that.

‘I’ve got a lot of angry songs, so I’m trying to do something a bit different. I’m inspired by a new problematic relationship,’ he laughs before quickly adding, ‘No not really!’

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With a family full of thespians, it’s no surprise to hear Ulysses has also dabbled in that world.

‘I did acting –  my family are all in the acting world, so I know how hard it is, but it’s something I love doing, and something I would definitely do again,but my main passion is and always has been music. 

‘I tried it after the break-up – I thought let’s give it a go, I went on tour and did six month with a play, did a short film and some other bits and bobs. But I kind of missed music too much for it to be something I wanted to pursue as a career.'

Although they play under his name, Ulysses wants the current live set-up to ultimately become more of a band project.

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‘It’s mainly me, but then the guys are such brilliant musicians, they come in and do their thing. They’re all busy with other projects, but if they’ve got a spare day, they’ll come and join me, tell me what they think, and we’ll have a bit of play about and a jig about with it.

‘Hopefully if we get one album out of the way, and get some money in the bank, then I can get the other guys more involved, as they’re such brilliant musicians, it seems a bit of a waste.

‘Eventually I would love it to be more of a band thing, but at the moment it’s mostly me, myself and I.’

Also playing throughout the day are Neverman, The White Lakes, Beach For Tiger, High On Neon, Casey Lowry, Oddity Road, Submariner, Blithe, Crystal Tides, Cascade, Calum Lintott, Tom Lumley & The Brave Liaison, Brother Deep, and Kings and Castles.


The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Saturday, June 29