It may seem a bit early in the year to start previewing festivals in the UK, but ‘festival season’ doesn’t only apply to the summer anymore. Kicking off things in January is Portsmouth and Southsea’s appropriately named Icebreaker, a one day multi-venue affair that showcases local south coast talent for a bargain ticket price of just £12 in advance or £15 on the door. Using many of the same venues as the longer established Southsea Fest (such as The Wedgewood Rooms, Edge of the Wedge and the tiny sweatbox of Al Burrito’s) Icebreaker has a very D-I-Y flavour to it. This seems to be a festival run for the sake of doing it and helping to promote the local scene, rather than big bucks.
With over 100 artists playing on 12 stages, all located extremely close to each other, Icebreaker is a very easy festival to negotiate. The difficulty of course is knowing what acts to see, especially if you don’t live in the surrounding area. For this reason I’ve picked 5 artists playing the festival that I think are worth a shot.
Breaking More Waves Tips
15.00 Percival Elliott – Wedgewood Rooms
I featured Percival Elliott on the blog back in 2015, comparing the romantic wide eyed honesty of their song Meant To Be to Stornoway. For Icebreaker the duo are promising a string quartet and their full studio band, so this one should be a little bit special. They are on early, so don’t be late and regret it after.
15.50 Minque – Little Johnny Russell’s
Another act that has featured on the blog in the past, Dani Uziel is Minque. Having played just a handful of shows and having released a few low-key singles I was quite surprised to find Minque pushing out an album so early, but she clearly had the material ready to go and wasn’t prepared to hold back a little and see if things grew. The record, Opia, is a collection of 9 electronic pop songs with a spacious mellow edge and the occasional banger, in particular So Precious, So Small which featured on Breaking More Waves here.
17.45 House Points – The Loft
This Brighton based group have only been together for around a year, but have already released an EP, and played a number of festivals including Y-Not and Together The People. They’re getting a reputation for playing highly energetic fuzzy indie pop shows, and as the video for I Don’t Like You below will demonstrate, they pack of lo-fi punch or two. Get ready for House Points.
19.30 Temples of Youth – Edge Of The Wedge
Mixing electronic and organic instrumentation, Temples of Youth write melancholy and thoughtful songs that provide a fine antidote to some of the noisier stuff on display at Icebreaker. Having already played at the likes of Record Store Day with Portsmouth's Pie & Vinyl Store, Southsea Fest and the part Breaking More Waves curated Dials Festival this Winchester based girl-boy duo are no strangers to the Portsmouth scene and are slowly edging their way up the bills.
22.45 Signals – Wedgewood Rooms
Closing the festival and headlining the Wedgewood Rooms is math rock four-piece Signals, who have the arty angular tunes to match their haircuts. Bands take note – this is important. Your haircut needs to represent your music. Changing your musical style? Then make sure you change your haircut. Their single Paraesthesia is a jerky piece of fun that will probably make you want to throw half your body in one direction whilst the other half goes in another.
You can grab a ticket for Icebreaker, which takes place on the 28th January, by clicking on this link here. You can see some action from the 2016 event below which contains a lot of men with guitars and beards. You have been warned.