Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Neighbourhood Weekender gives festival goers a weekend to remember

Neighbourhood Weekender returned to Victoria Park, Warrington this Spring Bank Holiday for another weekend of unforgettable musical moments. 

The festival saw everything from vibrant energy to remarkable comebacks and everything in between! 

The Viola Beach Stage had a schedule packed full of upcoming artists/bands for you to discover your new favourite musicians. One of the highlights from this stage was duo Dolores Forever. A female fronted indie pop group with tracks to get you dancing to. Later in the day, the stage filled with plants and iconic Viola Beach rainbow umbrellas saw the cute quartet modernlove. from Drogheda, Ireland perform groovy yet alternative rocks tunes which seemed to go down well with the audience. Their track ‘2 Missed Calls’ had a wonderful reception from festival goers and fitted the festival atmosphere immaculately. 

Over in The Big Top stage, Mancunian based 4 piece The Lottery Winners gave fans an obscene amount of fun and love during their set. The band explained how lucky they felt to have achieved their dream of playing this festival and playing to fellow music lovers in the crowd. The indie pop group’s performance of ‘Burning House’ was easily one of the most special moments of the day and the crowd went crazy for them! The Lottery Winners are certainly a band to look out for as they are certainly on their way to bigger and better achievements with their musical talent.  

On Sunday afternoon, The Main Stage saw the return of Australian alternative rockers Gang of Youths. Their debut album ‘Go Farther in Lightness’ is one of the most inspiring and influential albums of the past 10 years and hearing tracks from this record being played live with such heartfelt energy from frontman Dave Le’aupepe was a really special moment. The quintet played the biggest stage at the festival but somehow made the setting feel intimate, especially during ‘Don’t Let Your Spirit Wane’. The crowd listened to Dave sing every beautiful lyric of every song and he showed his appreciation by jumping off stage and into the crowd during ‘Magnolia’ to hug and love the fans. Their whole set was perfectly sound and perfectly thought through. 

As the sun was setting above the Big Top, one of the most unbelievable live acts around hit the stage. Reggie Goodchild, Clarence McGuffie, Sugar Bones and Janet Planet otherwise known as Confidence Man dazzled the stage in the sexiest way possible. Reggie and Clarence wore their iconic black suits and veils as they warmed the crowed up with their incredible Con Man sounds. Sugar and Janet strutted on stage in their updated black suits with huge shoulders before they showcased their insane moves and vocals during ‘Toy Boy’. Confidence Man really got the ‘C.O.O.L Party’ started with their frequent outfit changes ridiculous choreography throughout their whole set. Confidence Man added their latest release ‘On & On (again)’ featuring Daniel Avery to their setlist and every single person in that crowd was jumping with Con Man! For such a recent single, the reception the track received was unforgettable! The Confidence Man DJs also dropped some fresh sounds during the instrumental sections of the show which felt amazing to hear some unreleased Confidence Man music. And let me tell you, album 3 will sound like an ultimate rave if Sunday’s set was anything to go by! Confidence Man, as always, were one of the most striking and joyous bands of the festival! 

As Confidence Man ended in The Big Top, the crowd at the Main Stage was bubbling ready for one of the most talked about comebacks in recent years. Pulp returned to Victoria Park 26 years after they headlined V96 they performed with as much vivacity as they did back in their day. The Britpop legends made their almighty comeback 11 years after their last tour and their energy and charisma is just as odd and intriguing as before. Frontman Jarvis Cocker made his appearance by rising through the floor and opening with ‘I Spy’ before performing the English dancefloor hit ‘Disco 2000’ where every single festival goer was singing along. The stage production was thought out to perfection which made their almighty comeback even more memorable for hardcore Pulp fans. Of course, the British icons ended their set and the whole festival with one of the most recognisable songs in music history, ‘Common People’ the whole site was dancing and shouting along as the band performed to their absolute highest standard in front of stage fireworks. It’s hard to think of a better way to end an incredible 2 days of pure musical bliss.  

Alice Mason 

Instagram: @alicemxson / @alicegoestogigs 

Image: Pulp @ Neighbourhood Weekender 2023 by Tom Martin 

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