With a hectic schedule of appearances lined up at Victorious Festival, The Southsea Alternative Choir slotted in a warm-up show at The Southsea Beach Cafe.
Starting life singing in pubs for charity, the close harmony eight-piece band has developed into one of the most entertaining groups I have seen in years, playing a mixture of indie hits old and new as well as pop classics from the past.
Kicking off with a sublime California Dreaming, for a moment we are thinking of surfing in the sunshine rather than sitting on a blustery Southsea beach.
Part of their appeal is that several of the band take on lead vocals, most notably Charlie Waddington and Jim Lines and tonight they are joined by Khaleda from support band Day Of The Rabblement.
Just like The Millennium Stadium, the venue has a retractable roof which goes back and forth all night with aplomb, much to the audience’s delight until the sea breeze becomes too much.
Highlight for me is the Oasis classic Cigarettes and Alcohol, with Sam Richards’ haunting trumpet-playing. Perhaps Noel and Liam should try it one day.
The night ends with a tray of Jagerbombs being delivered to the stage for the band and a signed poster auctioned for their chosen charity, Enable Ability, and finally a multi-song encore including Prince’s Raspberry Beret.
If you can’t catch them at Victorious, they’re back at the Wedge in December.