TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB wrapped up the first night of this year’s Victorious Festival with a bang ahead of tonight’s headline set by drum and bass superstars Rudimental, writes Richard Derbyshire.

The Northern Irish indie-pop trio of frontman Alex Trimble, lead guitarist Sam Halliday and bassist Kevin Baird played all the hits from their four albums, including What You Know, Bad Decisions and Something Good Can Work.

They showed why they are now filling huge arenas like The O2 in London.

Their rise to big stages is even more astonishing as it was only nine years ago that  they were playing to a handful of fans at intimate venues like The Joiners in Southampton.

But even they were in awe of another band on Friday’s line-up. Sam told the Southsea crowd that they were “honoured” to be sharing a stage with 2 Tone and Ska legends The Specials.

And the Coventry supergroup lived up to expectations with boundless energy and infectious tunes like A Message to You Rudy, Rat Race, Too Much Too Young and the ominous Man at C&A with its haunting nuclear siren soundtrack.

Even if you were around at the time, the early 1980s were a different world to today. Original members,  frontman Terry Hall, guitarist Lynval Golding and bassist Horace Panter, captured  the soundtrack to those days,  both good and bad, and it still stands the test of time.

This could have been a headline set at Victorious in its own right, 40 years after the band’s first hit single.

Few acts play a main stage two years running or twice in the same weekend, but  then few musicians are like Steve Craddock, guitarist with The Specials since 2014, original member of Ocean Colour Scene, who play Victorious today, and part of Paul Weller’s band, who  headlined last year. He must like it here!

Friday  also saw Manchester-born band Doves on the main stage and what could be the start of the last heatwave of summer.

After last year’s final day deluge at Victorious, which saw several sets cancelled, temperatures are forecast to hit 25 degrees today (Saturday), rising to 26 degrees tomorrow (Sunday).

Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin was momentarily overwhelmed with their reception at Victorious. “My cup overflows with love for you,” he joked after taking a second look at the huge Southsea Common crowd.

But perhaps he should not have been surprised. This band, with twin brothers Jez and Andy Williams on guitar and drums respectively, were huge in the first decade of this century, clocking up two number one albums, The Last Broadcast and Lost Souls, and supporting Oasis at Wembley.

Even now, their hit singles Black and White Town, Pounding and Here Comes The Fear are still on regular rotation on Radio X.  

The Zutons played their biggest hit Valerie, which was made even more famous after being covered by Mark Ronson and Amy Whitehouse in 2007, but their set at Victorious also reminded fans that there  is so much more to this Liverpool band than their most famous song.

Frontman Dave McCabe, drummer Sean Payne, Abi Harding on saxophone, guitarist Boyan Chowdhury and bassist Joey Lewis, tore through banging hits like You Will You Won’t and Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?

Their summer of festival appearances, plus a recent tour, should confirm a long-term reformation for the band after a nine year break. Their performance here at Victorious is more evidence that they should keep going.

Britpop stars Dodgy returned to Southsea almost 25 years to the day after they first played at The Wedgewood Rooms, just up the road.

Then they were breaking through as one of the big acts of the 1990s with singles like So Let Me Go Far and Staying Out For The Summer.

And it was these tunes, along with Good Enough and In A Room from their top 10 album Free Peace Sweet, that had Southsea Common bouncing.

For a few minutes, those who could remember were taken back to the heady times of the mid-Nineties when this band was rarely off the airwaves and sold out venues like Southampton Guildhall.

Frontman and songwriter Nigel Priest, lead guitarist Andy Miller and drummer Matthew Clark are back in the South at The Wedgewood Rooms on November 23 to celebrate the anniversary of their album Homegrown. They also take in The London Palladium on October 12.

Victorious Festival continues today and Sunday. Tickets available  at

TODAY – The whole festival site opens with more than 20 stages and tents of music.  

Drum and bass superstars Rudimental headline with James Bay, Ocean Colour Scene, Fun Lovin’ Criminals on the main stage. The second Castle stage sees  Bloc Party headline, with The Hives,  Lewis Capaldi and The Snuts.

South coast rising stars Crystal Tides top the bill on The Seaside stage, alongside Portsmouth’s Flowvers. Steph Newenhouse from BBC Introducing broadcasts from the festival tonight 8pm on Radio Solent.

SUNDAY - Manchester legends New Order headline with Plan B, The Vaccines, Razorlight, Starsailor and Southampton’s Band of Skulls on the main stage.

Clean Bandit, Tom Grennan, Ash, Idlewild, The Futureheads and The Sherlocks, fresh from two secret sets at Reading & Leeds festival, are on The Castle Stage.

Early bird tickets for Victorious Festival 2020 also now on sale.