Southsea Fest Posted on September 25, 2011 by The Music Team So much to do and so little time is South Sea fest in a nutshell. With 14 familiar venues and a very reasonable price of £20 for adults, there is an indescribable joy of seeing a host of new-name acts playing in a festival environment that is also home for many attendees. For an account on all the acts I’d had time to cram in the day read on, the names of each are all linked to their websites in case you wish to hear them yourselves. Since I couldn’t physically see everyone on stage I thought I’d see at least one act per venue, so first then to The One Eyed Dog where second band to play Muncie Girl’s took off. An Exeter three piece band with garage and punk roots, their female front lady/bassist commanded a skilfully played yet messy guitarist and a drummer who liked to start songs ahead of schedule. The closest you’ll ever get to seeing a real life Sex Bomb-omb (perhaps better too) their set was short but successfully got the crowd’s attention. After a wander to the Fat Fox SORRY The Globe Inn I caught Irish singer songwriter and current support for Ed Sheeran, Kal Lavelle. Her thought provoking song writing and excellent commanding of the acoustic guitar’s range have already garnered much achievement, including her album’s title track ‘Shivers’ being featured on Itunes singer/songwriter section and providing vocals for the Artful Dodger’s upcoming album. Her crowd friendly demeanour helped emphasize the seriousness of her songs, all of which are worth checking out. Within the boiling interior of the Edge of Wedge were indie folk band My First Tooth. Signified by their range of male/female vocalists, practical use of multi-instruments and a scary love of the 90′s, the band unveiled a brand new song which definitely hasn’t been played anywhere else before. Having spoken with them at a festival this summer I can assure you they are as lovely as their music, and if you ever come across them playing please dance for crying out loud! Throughout the day I kept freaking out customers at the Magick Bean by poking my head in to see if any music was playing, as just the thought of a local band doing an acoustic set in that delightful cafe got me excited. When I finally caught an act, I wasn’t disappointed: Hobo Saphire, from Southsea, are a (normally) six piece band, three of whom displayed a selection of original material and covers. Their lead man’s voice is almost identical to Mat Weddle, and their track ‘Meet Me on a Monday’ made them winners of the Make It or Break it Awards 2010, so check them out and support however you can. SouthSea fest has more to offer than just tunes however. At the Wine Vault throughout the day there were a range of comedians, and when I checked out the later line up… I got admittiedly the most awkward comedy gig ever. John Newton had some good jokes but they were marred by uneven delivery, and when one crowd member made light of this she got a verbal abuse that slowly turned grim. When the compere joked about this afterwards he also got a threatening… which just killed the mood. Being someone who’s done stand-up before I can say this: learn to take a joke or don’t be a comedian. Shame too because he was amazing, possibly the best compere I’ve ever seen; the way he could take every put down and heckle and turn it into laughter is a skill of its own. Other acts of the eve included Rosie Wilby who drew humour from her experiences of living as a London lesbian, whilst Wayne the Weirdo excelled as a magician/stand-up, with painfully funny one liners and deceitful slight of hand. Back at the Globe Inn one of the most unique, attention grabbing and dynamic bands in the industry, The Joker and the Thief, excelled in stage presence and musical prowess. From the first note of the saxophone they’re combination of rock, rhythm and blues and psychedilica crossed paths with lead singer and percussionist Dan Grabiner’s unruly voice and afro. I could only stand in anticipation for the accordion to get its usage, alongside a host of other instruments. Coming back to the Edge of Wedge where rising Aberdeen favourites the Xcerts played to a packed and expectant crowd. Mixing a set list of material from their debut and sophomore albums, die hards lined the front of the room, with requests screamed at such intensity they drowned each other out. Leading up to their final song they put forth a successful request for crowd surfing. You’ve been the Edge of Wedge right? It’s a small room, half of which is made up of the bar and stage… and yet a group of people actually managed to crowd surf in there: I salute you crazy eejits. For their final song, ‘Hurt With Me’, lead singer/guitarist Murray dragged it out with wails of the chorus, only ending with a massive group hug by the pre-mentioned crazy fans salivating at the front. Come back to PureFM in mid-October for a review and interview with the band from their upcoming London show supporting Manchester Orchestra. The final act of my evening was ‘ambitionless office disco’ band Trophy Wife, from Oxford. First discovering them on their tour supporting Foals, alongside Crystal Fighters, I’ve admittedly come to prefer their studio recordings more than the live tracks. The constant techno drumming disables songs from sounding separate to each other, and drowns out the stellar guitar work and vocals. Yet it’s still original sounding electronic music, and a perfectly adequate way to bid adieu to six hours of live music. If only The Southsea Fest could go on as long as it’s better known contemporaries, there would be more chance to get a grasp of everything. But as with many of the underground fests the high quality of acts is what separates it; pick one out of a hat and you’ll draw a winner.