Icebreaker Festival, Southsea, 25th January 2020
Drawing a long, cold January towards its conclusion, Icebreaker Festival was back with a bang at the weekend, offering up another huge variety of live music from the freshest faces on the local and national scenes. Filling up The Wedgewood Rooms and a fine selection of pubs along Southsea’s Albert Road and Elm Grove, this year’s event certainly seemed to be the busiest so far with crowded rooms from early till late – brilliant to see so much support for new artists and independent venues as always.
Icebreaker is a great place to discover bands and singers who you haven’t seen before; this year starting with some sunny sax-filled pop tunes from Yasmin Natasha at the Edge of the Wedge while next door, Bella Estelle opened up the Wedgewood Rooms’ stage with a confident set full of big pop-rock songs, setting the tone for some huge performances over the day.
Along the road at the Wine Vaults, it was a pleasure to catch the chilled, soulful sounds of The Isle of CC – definitely one to watch.
Doing Littlehampton proud (and it’s usually only the cafe on the beach that can say that), Gloo took the volume up a level or five with their crashing punk antidote to traditional seaside living, making a big impact on the main stage audience.
A scoop for Icebreaker as Fast Trains played their debut at the festival – lots of local support on display for the already award winning project from Tom Wells, ex of Kassassin Street, bringing along some familiar faces to play with him on the day. An accomplished first performance boding well for the future.
Every time LibraLibra play they seem to up their game and another stand out set left the crowd in awe once again. Fabulous to see them on a bigger stage, their heartfelt punk-glam hybrid is just captivating. A very smart booking for any festival – can’t really recommend them highly enough.
Another two bands who are both firm favourites on the local festival scene, Drusila gave their usual energy filled performance and The Howlers never disappoint live – check them both out if you have the chance.
Locals The Stone Birds’ reputation is steadily building and they definitely squeezed one of the biggest crowds of the day into the Wine Vaults. Their blend of 60s’ tinged blues and rock sets them apart from a lot of other new bands and, with new music and live dates pending, it will be interesting to see how things develop for them. Certainly on this occasion the big crowd was well deserved.
Closing the Edge of the Wedge stage, Currls brought some solid indie grunge tracks and a fitting party atmosphere to end the night on a high note.
Hot on the heels of this weekend’s success, Icebreaker have announced that there will be a new summer event – stick a star on 18th July in your diary and keep an eye on the website for updates…
Words and photos by Siobhan
28th January 2020