Music acts hail Southsea’s Icebreaker Festival a stunning success

MUSICIANS and punters have hailed a city music festival as a stunning success after hundreds of people joined in with the action.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 9:34 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:22 pm
The FreeDub Press performing inside the Emporium Bar on Saturday night. Photo: Paul Windsor

Scores of music fans lapped up this year's Icebreaker Festival, which saw bands from across the UK performing at 12 venues from Elm Grove to Albert Road. 

The festival is one of the country’s biggest, giving a stage purely to unsigned artists and groups looking to break through into the industry.

People packed into pubs to watch the show, which began of Friday and concluded late on Saturday night.

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Heir of the Dog taking centre stage at the Emporium Bar for the Icebreaker Festival in Southsea on Saturday. Photo: Paul Windsor

Among those performing was Jack Hardwick, who is the lead singer of up-and-coming rock band, Cora Pearl – which has recently had its first tune aired on BBC Radio One.

The Sheffield-based quartet travelled from a gig in Oxford for their 30-minute set in Albert Road’s Lord John Russell and said events like Icebreaker were vital for fledgling musicians looking to make a name for themselves.

Jack, 21, said: ‘Festivals like this are integral. People need places like this and events like this.

‘In an age where arts funding is being cut and small music venues are being shut down, events like Icebreaker give people a place to learn their craft, overcome hostile crowds and technical difficulties.’

Bandmate Will McMahon, 22, added: ‘It’s great for us to be able to play new cities like this and show our fans back home we’re out there doing things. Southsea has been great.’

Patrick Grant, 21, was with his friends Michael Smith, 22, and David Casey, at the One Eyed Dog.

Patrick, of Fratton, said: ‘This is the first time we’ve been Icebreaker and its been a blast. I think it’s great there are events like this giving a platform to unsigned acts.’

Delivery driver Michael, of Chichester, was glad he attended and added: ‘I was seriously impressed by the quality of some of the acts performing. They were top-class.’

Mark Lawrence is the frontman of three-piece rock band Broken Links, from Eastleigh, and was performing at the Wine Vaults on Saturday.

The 35-year-old said: ‘We love coming back to Icebreaker and performing at different venues. It’s a well of opportunity for bands to get their music out.’