Festival Review: Portsmouth Summer Show 2016

Returning to the King George V Playing Field, in Cosham, the Portsmouth Summer Show now marks the start of the summer festival season for revellers on the south coast. Although technically taking place in spring, the Summer Show managed to fend off most of the rain, whilst fans were treated to performances from chart-toppers and a host of TV talent.

Arriving on the site to the distinct sounds of the Southsea Alternative Choir, it was clear to see that the field would be very easy to negotiate, as the ground seemed to be quite firm and most of the infrastructure was visible no matter where you were. The first band I checked out on the Main Stage was The Silver Beatles, a band I had seen before back at the Victorious Festival in 2013. The guys got into character very well and seemed to have the crowd on their side throughout.

The crowds then started to gather at the front of the stage for former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan. Arguably the first major act of the day, Lucy performed her popular original songs from the show, including Tea and Toast and Last Night (Beer Fear). Her infectious voice went down an absolute treat with fans and she really set the bar for the acts following her. Next up were fellow X Factor contestants Union J, well, three quarters of them after the recent departure of George Shelley, but the lads put on a great performance, as well as hinting details of their next album.

Lucy Spraggan performing at Portsmouth Summer Show

They were followed by record-breaking UK country act The Shires, who performed a 45-minute set featuring songs from their top 10 album Brave, as well as some covers of country classics. The penultimate act on the night was Scouting For Girls, who enjoyed chart success in the late 00’s with mega hits like Elvis Ain’t Dead and This Ain’t A Love Song. The trio even performed a cover of Bon Jovi’s rock anthem Livin’ On A Prayer, which proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend. Headlining the night was TV personality Peter André, whose performance featured some of his greatest hits, as well as a tribute to the late legendary musician Prince.

My Sunday was kicked off by a set from Fleetingwood Mac and, having seen the real thing themselves, was quite impressed by their convincing performance. Fellow tribute act The Bog Rolling Stones were next up, who gave quite a humourous performance and lead singer ‘Mick Slacker’ seemed to have the crowd in the palm of his hand.

As it did the previous day, the crowd got up on their feet for another X Factor star, this time 2013 winner Sam Bailey. Despite at times sounding a bit ‘karaoke’, Sam’s hits got the crowd in the mood for the rest of the day’s proceedings. She was followed by X Factor 2015 runners-up Reggie N Bollie, a rap duo from Hampshire, who, arguably, gave the most energetic performance of the weekend. The crowd enjoyed dancing to covers of popular songs like Dynamite and Shut Up And Dance. In what was a strange booking for a predominantly music festival, former Britain’s Got Talent winners dance troupe Diversity were a strange one on the lineup, but proved to be one of the most popular acts over the weekend.

Sam Bailey performing at Portsmouth Summer Show

The crowd size got a little smaller for 00’s favourites The Hoosiers, but they still put on a solid set, featuring the hits Worried About Ray and Goodbye Mr. A. Three-fifths of 90’s boy-band 5ive were next to perform, who, following their appearance on reality TV show The Big Reunion, put on a good show to a willing crowd. 5ive preceded headliners Fun Lovin’ Criminals, featuring DJ Huey Morgan on vocals, who brought the event to a spectacular close.

The Hoosiers performing at Portsmouth Summer Show

It being my first time at Portsmouth Summer Show, I can safely say I was very impressed by the organisation and the plethora of acts on offer for such a small ticket price. Unusually for a festival nowadays, bar Peter André, all the artists appeared on-stage at the advertised time and the small site meant that it was very easy to get around. Fingers crossed for another event next year!

Check out our highlights video of Portsmouth Summer Show below: