Portsmouth Universities Middle Street Recording Studios played host to local band SABRE recently. Working with friends The Boy I Used To Be they produced ‘Animals’. Have a listen, I think you’ll agree it was time well spent. Animals is a catchy tune which reminds me of modern up tempo bands like Foals and Two Door Cinema club but with Brit Pop inspired guitars.
You can download the track for free over at the bands SoundCloud page HERE.
SABRE consist of Andy Hamilton (Guitar and vocals), Lewis Hemming (Guitar), Samuel Fretwell (Bass), Sam Harper (Synth) and Brandon Squibb (Drums). Find out more about the band on Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter @SABREuk
In the last 4 years or so there has been a sharp increase in people rediscovering the joys of baking, with the success of The Great British Bakeoff being the most obvious example and inspiration…but behind the cupcakes and soggy bottoms there have been a small but growing group of passionate individuals dedicated to the ancient art of creating bread. Small bakeries have been cropping up across the UK in recent years, run by passionate amateur and professional bakers working from anything from their own small kitchen oven to pizza restaurant kitchens in the middle of the night and through to the actual return of bakeries to the high street.
Bread Addiction is one such artisan bakery & patisserie that is striving to open a new bakery and shop in Elm Grove in the heart of Southsea. Bread Addiction will sell fresh, organic, handmade food where as much as possible will be produced with local produce, carefully selected for quality. Nikola Ondroušková and her partner are passionate bakers and wish to bring the delights of sourdough bread to Portsmouth and are looking to start their business in a innovative new way, by selling their first future batches of bread by crowdfunding to pay for the major & most expensive pieces of equipment required.
If you are interested in supporting this new, local venture you can donate and receive a variety of different benefits, anything from a coffee through to bread for a year. Check the Bread Addiction page on Indiegogo for the full list of donation benefits and to also make your donation to the project:
The British Pathé company was established in 1933, an associate to French Pathé which started as a newsreel service back in 1908, and through decades and decades it captured both major and minor events on film from all over the UK and the British Empire & Commonwealth. As of last week British Pathé uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 vintage news reports and ‘cinemagazines’ to its YouTube channel, giving a vast archive of news film for future generations.
In this huge archive (over 3,500 hours of footage) are some fascinating films about Portsmouth and Southsea that are well worth a watch, including visits by royalty, the Royal Navy and Portsmouth FC. Below are are few examples, be sure to take a little time to watch more Portsmouth Pathé newsreels and also dive in to the collection as a whole on YouTube.
Navy Week in Portsmouth from 1937 with great shots of HMS Victory.
Princess Elizabeth’s visit to Portsmouth in 1951, including her visit to the Nuffield Centre (then used by the forces, now part of the University of Portsmouth).
Profile on Portsmouth FC from 1934, with incredible shots of Fratton Park.
Raw footage of Navy submarine HMS Dreadnaught out on sea trials from 1963.
Fascinating and rare footage of an air raid on Portsmouth filmed in 1941.
In the run up to Portsmouth Street Games at the end of May Strong Island Media will be producing three short teaser films focusing on different aspects of the event. This first teaser is about the street art that will be happened over the weekend of the 31st May & 1st June at the Guildhall Square and features Portsmouth and Southsea street artist MyDogSighs who is co-curating the street art side of the event.
Keep an eye on the Portsmouth Street Games page on Facebook for upcoming event information and more teasers:
The annual (in some cases very) amateur football tournament Rocker Soccer, with teams from many of the local creative and music businesses, is set to return in June. The event for some years was a regular summer highlight with not only the semi-shambolic Sunday league stylings of some teams through to the matching kit of the likes of ilovedust but also the infamous post games awards night at Little Johnny Russell’s, Albert Road.
There is no age limit but vast majority of teams will be over 18 years old. The event welcomes all abilities, this is a competitive tournament but played in good spirit. It’d be great if your team could represent something local, be that a pub, restaurant, business or charity. This year the event is encouraging teams to raise money for Feel Yourself Campaign, a local charity raising awareness on how cancer effects young people.
Check the flyer below and Facebook Group HERE for more details:
On 19th September the Kings Theatre welcomes actor, writer and comedian Michael Palin. Michael is touring the UK to celebrate the publication of volume 3 of his Diaries, ‘Travelling to Work 1988-1998′. His first ever one man stage tour, looking back at twenty-five years of exploring the world and nearly fifty years in radio, television, books and films.
Palin says, “The Travelling to Work Diaries cover an extraordinarily busy time of my life. I was trying things I’d never done before, pushing myself beyond the predictable to novels and plays and a whole new career as a television traveller. I like to think that the Travelling to Work tour is in the same spirit of adventure and experiment. It will be my first solo tour and I see it as a chance to meet audiences all over the country and talk about the only consistent thread in my working life – the irresistible urge to do something completely different.”
This is a great opportunity to see on of the most interesting and beloved entertainers. You can book yourself a ticket on the Kings Theatre website HERE.
Travelling to Work – Diaries 1988 – 1998 will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 11th September, price: £25 hardback and £12.99 e-book.
The BBC’s weekly technology programme Click last week had a feature on a piece of software that converts voice into the sounds of music instruments. The segment, recorded at the BBC’s Live Lounge included four singers from different genres, including Southsea’s very own Joe Watson from Attack! Vipers!. The segment is about 13 minutes in and can be watched on BBC’s iPlayer HERE, well worth a watch (just to see Joe getting his scream on). Good work Joe!
Friday 3rd May the Wedgewood Rooms will be hosting a great night of music featuring Kassassin Street, Curxes and Juice. The guys at Kassassin Street have been generous enough to donate a pair of tickets for you, the Strong Island readers.
All you have to do to win these tickets are to email your answer to the question below to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Sunday 27th. The winner will be announced here on Monday 28th.
Q – The band are named after the road in Eastney, name one of the three roads which junction with it?
Find out more about the event on the Facebook HERE.
Juice ‘Numbskull’ from Butchy Davy on Vimeo.
Last November saw the launch of our 2014 Calendar at an Exhibition at the Wine Vaults. You can read an article from Becki Partridge about the event HERE.
We cannot take all of the credit for the exhibition, the content was all provided by you, the Strong Island readers. Not to forget the exhibition was made possible by the team at Southsea Gallery who printed and framed the photographs. If you see a photo that you like you can purchase it in Southsea Gallery located at 51 Albert Road.
The exhibition can be found in ‘snug’ on the far right hand side of the Wine Vaults.
If you would like to know how to get involved in next years calendar then click HERE to find out more information.
Photos are by the awesome Phil Tickner, be sure to give him a follow on Flickr and on Twitter @HoldYourColour.
On Friday 18th April Strong Island Recordings presents ‘Drunken Sailor’ at Edge of the Wedge and we bring you a handful of some of our favourite up and coming acts today plus Champagne Justice deejays all for a mere £4.00 entry.
Arrows of Love
London grunge/art punk outfit Arrows of Love whirl up an absolute riot during every one of their live sets. The 5 piece are a total adrenaline rush where the entire venue is the stage and the show is an interactive experience and one you never know what’s going to happen except from utter chaos and absolute brilliance. Kerrang labelled them as one of the most engaging new bands plus NME, Front, Fake DIY, Artrocker, John Kennedy of XFM,Fake DIY, Lauren Laverne and many many more have also shown their support for AOL and now they return to Portsmouth with their debut album set to be unleashed around the same time too on 1234 Records.
Rickyfitts as a band are still very much in their infancy, forming just a few months ago yet they could well be one of the best new live bands you will see today. The duo bring blistering, sludge filled thrash punk, heavy psych, grunge rock . Despite being the nicest guys you could meet, they play with much ferociousness & are absolute merciless to their instruments, brutally pummelling them into near mush. Check out ‘Slouching Toward Nirvana‘ we released on our ‘Treacherous Tides’ compilation.
The Hundredth Anniversary
Brighton’s The Hundredth Anniversary cross the boundaries of ethereal, indie, dreampop & shoegaze. Wrapped in intense, whirling guitars & saturated in enchanting, reverberated vocals from Eleanor Rudge, 100th anniversary sound is beautifully atmospheric, mesmerising and frankly utter brilliant. Defiantly one’s to watch in which the likes of NME are also agreeing. Check them out for yourself plus their Daytrotter session they did very recently.
Grand choruses, tortured vocals, dark atmospheric guitars shadowing and full on fuzz, this quartet distort the lines of doom psychedelia, post punk, surf & grunge. Whilst its’ tough to liken a new outfit, so far Fever remind us of a mix of The Horrors, Arctic Monkeys and Eagulls. With Chris Pedan of Wild Smiles producing them and also being touted as one’s to watch by the NME your immune system will soon too give into Fever.
The Boy I Used To Be
Sun drenched, joyous garage pop with elements of psychedelia and folk, The Boy I Used To Be is like sipping a musical cocktail of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cloud Nothings, Splashh & Kurt Vile. The revamped sound of The Boy I Used To Be started out as a bedroom project of Edward Perry’s & the recordings very quickly headed to our label where we signed ‘I Can’t Stand’ for our compilation 30 minutes after it was recorded. Certainly one Portsmouth’s finest musical talents.
It’s a bank holiday so come down and enjoy Easter the way it’s supposed to be, partying with some of the raddest new bands in the U.K all for a paltry four pound entry.
The gallery space in the Kings Theatre is currently featuring the work of Jayson Scott Adams. The collection of images features familiar locations around the city, however not quite as you will have seen them. Jayson’s works are based on social decay, economic crises and hopefully raising awareness of solutions.
If you would like to see more of Jayson’s work then check out his blog HERE.
The exhibition is open until the 21st April. Check the Kings Theatre website for opening times HERE.
It is Friday lunchtime and Charlie is back with a new Strong Island Sounds podcast episode with Longlive Radio episode 14, this time focusing on a particularly awesome year:
This week I took inspiration from an old tune that I revisited on an evening run. I’d just turned 14 when ‘Know Your Enemy’ by Rage Against The Machine was released as a single, and up until then I’d grown up on a diet of my brother’s and sister’s music. The Jam, Bowie and The Smiths from my sisters and NWA, Big Audio Dynamite and Italian House from my brother. It was around this time that I was ready to find my own music, and something a bit weightier than Star Trekkin’ and Snow. Suddenly I was listening to stuff my siblings had never heard, let alone liked, and from there it snowballed (Informer). I decided to pick a few tunes from that same year and play them on today’s show.
As well as that there’s tunes from The Kinks, 2 Bears, Blackalicious and Rodriguez. This weeks cut from Sam’s Selection Box is 1992 flavoured too, as is the intro…name that film?
Hope you enjoy it, best listened to in Troop trainers, Joe Bloggs jeans and a Naff Co 54 jacket.
01) Know Your Enemy – Rage Against The Machine
02) Breakaway – Irma Thomas
03) 7 – Prince & The New Power Generation
04) Uptown Top Ranking – Althea & Donna
05) This Time (I’m Gonna Try It My Way) – DJ Shadow
06) Bear Hug – The 2 Bears
07) This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
08) Twistarella – Ride
09) The Drowners – Suede
from Sam’s Selection Box…
10) Molly’s Lips – The Vaselines
11) Lord Of The Dance – Chris Clark
12) Deception – Blackalicious
13) I Wonder – Rodriguez
14) It Was A Good Day – Ice Cube
15) My Drug Buddy – The Lemonheads
STAND CLEAR is a new non-profit pop up artist led space situated in the heart of Portsmouth, dedicated to creative investigation. It functions with a specific focus on the immediate demographic; providing the community with project space for students to generate ideas and platform for artists to exhibit.
The team are putting out an open call for anyone who would like to exhibit there to get in contact with them. Details can be found below.
Website – www.standcleargallery.org
Wordpress – standcleargallery.wordpress.com
Facebook – facebook.com/standcleargallery
Twitter – @STAND_CLEAR
There seems to be a very limited number of venues available to exhibit art work so this is very exciting news!
You would think witch trails a thing of the distant past. However, during the second world war a woman was tried and convicted under the ancient Witchcraft Act.
A play about the trial was performed at The Cellars at Eastney last week. Local theatre companies New Apollo and Cop The Needle brought audiences A Kind of Conjuration. This hour-long theatre piece, directed by Steve Pitt, featured a group of five actors, and was based on the real-life trial of Scottish medium Helen Duncan in 1944, for events that took place in Portsmouth.
The intimacy of the venue worked well for the subject matter, and enabled the performers and audience to connect in a way that isn’t possible in larger venues. When the judge, played by Christopher Marlowe, addressed the jury during the court scene, he spoke to the audience as if they were the jury, making them feel involved in the action.
Angie Lily was fantastic in the court scene, nipping backstage to change elements of costume in-between each character, resulting in a highly entertaining whirlwind of at least five different characters (and accents) testifying in quick succession. Henry Oastler was on comedic top form for his appearance in the court scene, displaying subtle character traits such as a tuck of the chin, transforming him completely from his other role in the play as a newspaper journalist. James Kirby and Tim Lowe also gave entertaining performances.
Writers Stuart Olesker and John Stanton incorporated excerpts from the original court transcript, adding authenticity to this brilliant piece. A highly refreshing and thought provoking performance.
A Kind of Conjuration will next be performed at the Square Tower on 25th June as part of Portsmouth Festivities. (Doors open at 7pm, performance starts at 8pm). On this occasion the play will be preceded by a monologue from the late Harry Price, ghostbuster extraordinary. Tickets from 023 9282 6249 or 023 9273 6288 or online: www.thecellars.co.uk.
Ashley Harley in Portsmouth News:
“a little gem”
“not to be missed”
Heather James in Portsmouth News:
“I was riveted”
“very witty and entertaining”
David Richards of Remote Goat:
“a joy to watch”
“a very high degree of professionalism”
“a very effective mix of the serious and the comedic”
“another triumph and a thoroughly enjoyable evening”
The original flyer for the show at The Cellars
This week saw a new remix of Kassassin Street’s anthemic ‘Talk in Riddles’ get dropped on YouTube, giving the song a different direction with a loose, baggy feel. The remix is by Charlie at Longlive (whose new Strong Island x Longlive podcast episode 15 drops tomorrow, by the way) and can be listened to below, with motion graphics by Tom & Henry at the always awesome Golden Wolf.
Always love it when local talent collaborate and this is a fine example of how good it can be.
Longlive DJs Charlie and Morgan will be supporting Kassassin Street plus Curxes and Juice on the 3rd May at The Wedgewood Rooms, find out more at the Facebook event.
Our friends at Superrb over on Hayling Island are working on the new Benny Gold website and got a strong mention on the existing website recently. Benny Gold is a San Francisco based designer who has a pretty special streetwear label of his own. Serious props to the boys on working with a heavyweight, worldwide brand…yet another example of local creative talent killing it on an national & international stage.
Local Portsmouth lad Matthew Pickles has produced a nice illustration inspired by our beloved city. the design is available as a print and a t-shirt which comes in two colours (black and white). If you are interested in a print or a tee then you can contact Matthew via email email@example.com.
You can follow Matt on Instagram @mattwpickles to see his latest illustrations.
Those of you passing through Albert Road this weekend would have noticed the latest painting on the wall of Chilli Tattoo. This painting is a collaboration between local favourite My Dog Sighs and visiting all the way from Chicago JCRivera. If you’ve not seen it make sure you take the time to check it out.
You can follow both artist on Twitter @MyDogSighs and @JcRivera.
Photograph by Diana Goss
Photograph by Matt Maber
Photograph by My Dog Sighs
Local band Breakers are looking for a young female vocalist. The band is made up of Simon Brookes and Les Black, who are no strangers to the music scene, Simon previously being in both Bonemachine and Music to Drive Tanks To, and Les in Islander.
Though a good voice is essential, look and presence are equally as important as vocal talent for this project.
Music will be guitar, keyboard (synth), bass and drums-based.
Simon says: “In old money we are looking for an indie sound but I guess you might even call it post-indie nowadays.”
Email Simon Brookes for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
With the increasing decline and surrounding speculation of South Parade Piers future it’s extremely encouraging to see anything positive happening with regard to our extensive seafront. Despite always being under scrutiny for one reason or another the seafront remains a very popular destination throughout the year and with continuous progress on the Southsea Seafront Strategy, the PCC backed Victorious Festival and the Seafront Masterplan, to name but a few, it really feels like things are starting to change for the better…
Southsea Beach Cafe most certainly suits the progressive nature we are all dying to see take place and is a welcome addition to what is currently a very run down area of the seafront. The new proprietors of the old toilet block and cafe opposite Canoe Lake and East of the pier have taken on something that will really bring a new lease of life to the area. Not to be overshadowed by movements of the once iconic South Parade Pier, SBC is set to become a very popular destination for both locals and passing visitors.
Today saw the real beginning as work on site began and progress became a reality in physical form. Once completed, SBC will be a well considered and contemporary cafe destination offering good quality food throughout the day and evening. Set in an very accessible area with the perfect vista the plans for SBC include both inside and outside areas for dining in a very relaxed and family friendly environment.
Offering a unique experience to Southsea is the addition of having a seasonally adaptable awning that can be retracted to reveal the delights of Summer sunshine, whilst also keeping off those chilly British winds, and equally in the Winter months shield you from the elements but still offer the feeling of being outside as you are protected by the awnings structural weatherproof glass. As awesome as it will be to visit in the summertime I’m certainly looking forward to some comfort food in the Winter with the sea crashing outside in the knowledge that I’m safe and sound from the elements!
We will be following SBC very closely over the next few months before their planned opening in early June and have a more in depth article with the owners coming soon to talk about the years of negotiation up to their final plans and down to what will be on the menu. For the time being you can follow Southsea Beach Cafe over at their Facebook page HERE.
Strong Island have the privilege to be working with Southsea Beach Cafe on both the brand identity and creative consultancy and we are extremely proud to be part of the journey with them and the people they are working with. We will be keeping you up to date with all the developments of this exciting new venture right up till the opening night, and beyond…
Following the success of last year’s all-female performance of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, the New Theatre Royal and Shakespeare’s Globe present King Lear between 3rd-5th July. The production itself will be an open air showing in the City Museum Gardens.
Playing the eponymous King will be Joseph Marcell, best known to UK audiences as ‘Geoffrey’, the acerbic and witty butler in the hit show, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’. Joseph has since gone on to become one of the most respected stage actors in the country.
Early bird discounted tickets are available until 23rd April although don’t hesitate as these are likely to sell quickly! To book your ticket, visit online box office at www.newtheatreroyal.com, or call the New Theatre Royal on 02392 649 000.
Celebrating Camp Bestival 2014’s Circus theme, Rob and Josie Da Bank will be beginning their Camp Bestival Travelling Circus Tour in Portsmouth.
Starting in our fair city of Portsmouth, each event will feature the Camp Bestival DJ crew, special guest DJs and a whole host of different amazing circus-themed activities, competitions, face painting and arts & crafts guaranteed to entertain all the family. There’s no excuse not to round up the kids and come along to check them out!
The tour will kick off in at the Aspex Gallery with Camp Bestival Ringmaster Rob da Bank behind the wheels of steel with cool music for cool kids, a supersized ghetto-blaster, art workshops, face-painting, food & drinks, fancy dress, candyfloss and other surprises! This will be a party for the whole family.
Anyone attending the events will also have the special opportunity to purchase Camp Bestival 2014 tickets at face value without any booking fees or postage.
Photos from campbestival.net
The amazing Rowans Hospice invite you to help them raise money to help them improve the lives of people with suffering with cancer and other life-shortening illnesses.
The event will be on 17th and 18th May. There are eighty places available over the weekend. To take part it will costs £45 to register and they ask that participants raise a target of £200 in aid of The Rowans Hospice.
At 1:30pm on the Sunday Doris Long is again attempting the record for the world’s oldest abseiler on her 100th birthday! Doris, is the current record holder but will be going to break her own record, going down the tower with ITV South Todays Fred Dinenage. If Doris can do it then so can you! You can sponsor Doris yourself HERE.
Maybe between us we can raise enough money to send up Strong Island’s own Paul Gonella?
It would be great if you could help us promote the event and if you are free on the Sunday come along and cheer Doris on! She will be abseiling at 1.30pm.
Photograph by Lewis Hay
Over the past couple of weeks quiet rumours about South Parade Pier being sold to a mysterious new owner/s have become more and more audible. So what truth is there to these whispers? The notion that Fred Nash and Dawn Randall are merely buying extra time in order to fend off any legal action from the council is perfectly plausible. However, it does appear that the structure is in the process of being sold to a group of local business men, with finalised contracts pending an ongoing survey. This group is believed to include local property and car dealer Tommy Ware, former owner of the Cambridge pub site before it’s bankruptcy. The group state that they are committed to reopening the entire pier and, incredibly, have been offered a grant of £100,000 by Portsmouth City Council who at this point are still shrouding the deal in secrecy. Malcolm Belcher of Vivid Surveyors has been retained by the prospective new owners of the pier to draw up a survey of what is required to restore the attraction. At the East Neighbourhood Forum held last night in the Royal Beach Hotel, Councillor Gerald Vernon Jackson (head of the city council) was severely criticised by local residents who doubted the good intentions of the secretive new owners. A real fear is that only the landward end of the pier will be restored in order to generate quick revenue, whilst leaving the rest to carry on slowly crumbling away into the sea.
As expected, this current outcome raises some serious concerns; have PCC carried out the appropriate company background checks on this group? If so, what financial assurances can they give regarding their intentions? How do we know this “consortium” are not acting as a pressure alleviating patsy for Fred and Dawn? And is it really wise to offer this grant to a non-charitable organisation? The next couple of weeks will be crucial for our pier’s survival: whilst the surveyors are outlining a repairs programme and the local elections are looming, the west side hole on the decking is slowly making its way towards the east side hole (see first photo below, courtesy of Howard Thompson). Should the two meet there could be catastrophic consequences.
Second and third photo my own.