Live Review: Icebreaker Festival 2018 – Saturday

Returning to Icebreaker Festival, Southsea for the full day on Saturday, we spent the whole day enjoying some amazing, local up and coming bands. The rain throughout the afternoon most certainly did not dampen spirits throughout the day though.

The first band that I saw in the afternoon is one of my favourite local bands of the moment, Sad Palace at the One Eyed Dog. Cheering up the atmosphere with well loved tracks such as ‘Frostbeat’, ‘Rainbow Melt’ as well as latest single ‘Melody Crux’ the band proved themselves once again to be one of the best bands in Portsmouth at the moment. Although drummer, Matt, was spluttering with a cold, they still managed to storm through their set of intense, indie-pop tunes to brighten up the afternoon.

Sunstreets live at Icebreaker Festival 2018
Sunstreets live at Icebreaker Festival 2018

Although I didn’t manage to catch a lot of Sunstreets set on the way from Sad Palace to Submariner, from what I did see their serene, partially acoustic, rock tracks came to life live. Their easy-listening tracks took on a more dynamic role through their live performance.

Submariner brought their charming indie rock with pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure to Wedgewood Rooms. Following Submariner, we saw Broken Links who were one of the first bands we discovered at Icebreaker Festival 3 years ago. Having seen them over all 3 years that we’ve been attending the festival, we can say that their loud, dramatic live sets well and truly break the ice. It was great to see the band at Wedgewood Rooms having progressed through the smaller venues in the years before.

Briefly popping down to see the Costellos at the Wine Vaults whose Britpop tinged tunes went down a storm. But after a few tracks it was straight back to Wedgewood Rooms to see Flowvers, a band I’d been hearing good things about for a while. The young, energetic but sometimes mellow, brit-pop influenced quartet definitely have potential.

Out of all of the festivals I’ve ever been to in Southsea, I’m pretty sure that I spent more time in the One Eyed Dog than any other venue across the weekend. Not that I’m complaining though, it’s a nice little space and the lineup was pretty great across the two days for that venue alone. The Dead Freights were the first of the last three bands at the venue that day and are certainly a band with enough to get everybody dancing with their lively, rock n roll tracks. Four Folds Law never fail to impress live, from the more energetic tracks down to the even slightly emotional latest single ‘Windows’.

Arcade Hearts live at Icebreaker Festival 2018
Arcade Hearts live at Icebreaker Festival 2018

Headlining the One Eyed Dog, Arcade Hearts were up next, a band who never fail to impress live. The band blasted through their indie-disco pop tracks including singles such as ‘Running’ and latest one ‘Different Place’ as well as crowd pleaser, but yet to be released ‘Darling Girl’. Finishing their set with ‘Honey’ before frontman Dan Surridge-Smith plunged straight into the crowd for what was meant to be the finale… Until the crowd demanded more. The band managed to pull one more track from the archives, ‘You and I’ to finish the set with a bang. It could possibly have been the first encore for the band, but it certainly won’t be the last. The words “best band in Portsmouth” were definitely not being thrown around unjustifiably after that performance for sure.

I spent the rest of the evening flitting between Wedgewood Rooms and the Edge of the Wedge. Veludo Planes gave a lively performance full of catchy, upbeat rock tracks with a zesty performance. I’d been meaning to catch Melt Dunes live for ages after thoroughly enjoying their previous singles, but they’ve always clashed with everyone and anyone. I managed to catch the first half of their set this time though to experience their drone-y, psychedelic goodness.

I’d wrongly forgotten how many great tracks Bel Esprit have had over the past three years. The last time I “saw” the band, I didn’t actually see them as I was stood at the back of a jam-packed Al Burrito (now Acapulco) but from what I heard, I knew they were brilliant. Bel Esprit are a band that are always give a  and also have a bassist with boundless energy (and that’s putting it lightly!) Also an impressive end to the day and Icebreaker Festival 2018 overall for me.

Icebreaker Festival has once again proved how many great, local, upcoming bands are out there, right under your nose that you may miss otherwise. Although this year I spent less time bumbling around random venues to find something new (thanks to hardly any clashes/gaps, woohoo!) I still managed to see over 15 bands that I’d been meaning to see for absolutely ages. Icebreaker Festival is a must for anyone wanting to discover new music or get more immersed in the local music scene.

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