THE line-up for this year’s Victorious Festival is starting to shape up rather nicely.
This Friday Elbow will release their seventh album Little Fictions, so their announcement as the act to close this year’s Victorious is timely.
Fronted by Guy Garvey, the moody Mancunians belie their everyman image with songs that typically pack catchy tunes with some serious emotional heft.
And they have a proven track record as festival headliners.
If you’re in the crowd when they play One Day Like This and you’re not moved by the experience, you’re made of sterner stuff than I. I was lucky enough to see them headline Bestival in 2009, and it was spine-tingling stuff.
Originally only charting at number 39 on its release, the song has gone on to become a bona fide anthem. But they are more than one trick ponies, if you’re not familiar with their back catalogue, there are plenty of gems to discover. Leaders of The Free World, their third album, and the last before the mega-selling, Mercury Prize winning, Seldom Seen Kid, is a good place to start.
Stereophonics are also no strangers to festival headlining – with top slots at Reading and Leeds, The Isle of Wight (twice!) and the daddy of them all – Glastonbury, under their belts.
The Welsh rockers have racked up an impressive number of chart hits – and more than 10m album sales – since their debut album Word Gets Around was released 20 years ago. Have a Nice Day, Dakota, The Bartender and The Thief – not to mention their cover of Handbags and Gladrags – are guaranteed to get the crowd going.
The festival scene is home-from-home for Feeder. Following a three-year hiatus during which frontman Grant Nicholas launched a solo career, they chose to break cover with an all-singles set headlining The Big Top at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival. Clearly re-energised by the break, subsequent album All Bright Electric has been their best-performing in a decade.
Among the newer acts that have been added punk duo Slaves mix humour with social commentary, and as one friend memorably said of their live set on an NME-sponsored show at The Pyramids: ‘It was like being shouted at for half an hour by Danny Dyer,’ proves they’re not for everyone. But their potent performances have seen them win over a growing army of fans.
Sundara Karma are also rising fast – many of the dates on the indie rockers’ tour later this month have sold out, including a date at our own Wedgewood Rooms.
And of course there’s Madness. They may be four decades into their career, but recent years have proved that age has not diminished the ska band’s powers, as anyone who saw them at Fratton Park will testify.
With a huge supply of massive singles, from It Must Be Love to Our House, My Girl and Driving In My Car, they are the people you can reliably call on to get any party started.