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Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #11 The Best Of The Local Talent

Over the past six weeks I have been previewing my personal highlights at this years Victorious Festival. If you have missed my previews of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and co then click HERE to find out what you have missed. I have complied a selection of the best local acts down to perform over the weekend for you to check out…

Blackfoot Circle are a band that I’ve been listening to for what must be close to fifteen years. They’ve undergone a few name and line up changes over that time, but as Blackfoot Circle they have been one of Portsmouth best, and most loved indie bands. I recommend that you venture over to the Seaside Stage on Sunday to see the awesome Jake Bezzina and the rest of the guys put on what is bound to be a great set!

It’s been a great year for The Boy I Used To Be. They have signed to Pie & Vinyl Records and played a number festivals this summer, receiving rave reviews in the process. Our Blissfields correspondent Sophie Perryer described their sounds as “a melange of folk, pop, indie, alternative, with a touch of rock, garage and psychedelia thrown in for good measure.” You can find them doing what they do best at the Pie & Vinyl Stage on Sunday.

Psychedelic rock and garage pop band Burning Beaches were one of my highlights of this years Blissfields. With Mike Bracken on drums, Dan Sayer on bass, Luke Bowman on guitar and Portsmouth lad Sam McCarthy on lead vocals, Burning Beaches are bound to please fans of good old fashioned rock music. Catch them over on the Seaside Stage this Sunday.

Local folk band Day of the Rabblement took their name from a short essay by James Joyce written in 1901 stressing the importance of free art that remains true to the artist. It is with this in mind that the Rabblement write a set of thought-provoking and contemporary songs, blended with aspects of Celtic and American folk music. They have the perfect stage to showcase their music, they can be found in the Real Ale Festival Stage on Sunday.

One of my favourite finds of the year was the Deluxe Flamingos and their track ‘Where Is My Ray?’. PJ Davy, Mike James and Canadian singer/songwriter, Aviv make up the trio. They credit a whole range of influences from Mogwai, David Bowie, M83 to the Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth and the Pixies. You will be able to check them out for ourselves in the Beats & Swing Tent on Saturday.

Matt Jarvis is a bit of a regular on Strong Island but there is a reason we like to feature him and new work, it’s because he’s flippin fantastic! One of the nicest descriptions of Matt’s live performances was from Sophie Perryer again, “Matt Jarvis wove magic through his lyrics and stunned them to silence with beautiful melodies.” You will be able to find Matt perform on Saturday on the Nevada Music Acoustic Stage and in the Pie & Vinyl Tent on Sunday.

Popobawa are one of the newest bands on the local music circuit, and definitely the most exciting. I first saw the Gosport based trio was at the Road To Blissfields competition at the Cellars in Eastney. Granted they’d brought a scattering of their own fans, however they quickly won over everybody in the audience and had them dancing. Not bad for their first ever live performance! I expect to see these guy flourish and become of the South Coasts best bands. Don’t just take my word for it, check them out in the Pie & Vinyl Tent on Sunday.

Kassassin Street consists of Rowan Bastable (vocals and guitar), Nathan Hill (drums), Ryan Hill (guitar), Andy Hurst (keys and laptop) and Tom Wells (bass). The band state that they are inspired by 60′s/70′s beat, psychedelia and more modern artists like Primal Scream, Spiritualized and Death in Vegas.

They are already one of the most popular bands in the local area, they have been playing shows and festivals far and wide this summer. They will be finishing off what has been a busy summer by playing Bestival and Southsea Fest. See them at Victorious at the Seaside Stage on Sunday.

Last but by no means least are The Southsea Alternative Choir. They are a group of Southsea’s finest gents who in 2010 joined forces to raise money for SamuelsFund, a local child with Cerbral Palsy.

Since their original formation the rabble have turned into what almost resembles an proper band. The guys behind it are all very modest but they have done a fantastic job and raised thousands for a great cause. They’ve gone from busking around Southsea to appearing at major festivals including next months Bestival and Southsea Fest.

The Choir will be looking after the Nevada Music Acoustic Stage and can be found performing themselves on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

So thats it from me and my previews for this weekend. Have a great time and don’t forget to come and see us in the Strong Island Tent!

The Shutka Champions win the title of best named band at Victorious, yes better than Pissy Elliot on the Pie and Vinyl Stage. The band’s name comes from an independent film entitled ‘True Stories: The Shutka Book of Records’ celebrating life in Shutka, the largest Roma community in The Balkans (Republic of Macedonia) where everyone believes in their own uniqueness and strives to be a champion in anything imaginable – fishing, sex, seeing the scariest vampire, collecting Turkish music cassettes or training fighting geese!

The guitar heavy psychedelic five piece can be found having a drink in the Real Ale Festival Stage on Saturday. Lucky that, as it is also where they are performing.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #10 Civilisation of the Rough Lost Garden

Civilisation of the Rough will be Victorious Festival‘s dirty little secret this weekend. The COR team are inviting you to join them in their Lost Garden hidden somewhere on the site. They will be joined by legendary and DJ talent over the weekend.

Saturday begins with Brighton’s Go Bang playing a selection of disco and house tunes supported by their visuals ace Matt Page. Headlining in the evening will be Diesel and Rocky aka X-Press 2.

On Sunday the COR team will be joined by Joe’s Bakery and Justin Robertson. As the COR team describes, “Justin has a CV of production credits which reads longer than most peoples record collections and a DJ history which reflects his standing at the very top of his profession Justin is guaranteed to smash yet another in a summer of headlining the very best festivals”.

Of course lets not forget that the Civilisation of the Rough residents: Leon Windsor, Mark Persaud, Ross Prior, Mick Hood and Steve Laming will be on scene to provide their usual mix of balearic beats, electro, disco and house.

COR Lost Garden

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five require a ticket however it is at no cost.

Portsmouth Batala At Notthing Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary on Monday. As part of the celebrations Portsmouth Batala will be joining forces to perform with 250 Batala drummers from around the world. Anyone who has previously seen the gang in action will know how awesome they are, I’m gutted that I won’t be up there myself as I would love to see this. If you are lucky enough to be in Notting Hill this Monday then be sure to check them out!

Find out more on their website HERE, Facebook and Twitter @PompeyBatala.

Batala Portsmouth

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. All you had to do was answer to the following questions.

Q. What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
A. Seasick Steve
Q. Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
A. Jade Spranklen
Q. Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?
A. Tom Odell

Congratulations goes to the lucky winner Jamie Horn.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE, but still require a ticket.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #9 British Sea Power

Eleven years on since their debut album, the British Sea Power are still very much one my favourite bands of all time. So you can understand how excited I was to find out that they’d be announced on the Victorious Festival line up.

The band consists of Jan Scott Wilkinson (vocals, guitar), Martin Noble (guitar), Neil Hamilton Wilkinson (bass guitar, vocals, guitar), Matthew Wood; (drums), Phil Sumner (cornet, keyboards) and Abi Fry (viola). The band were conceived in Reading where they were attending university. It is there that they released a four track demo as the British Air Powers, before moving to Brighton and becoming what we now know to be the British Sea Power. They began to gain quite a following by hosting their own club night ‘Krankenhaus’ which was most frequently hosted at the Freebutt and the Lift clubs.

The bands debut album ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’ was released in June 2003 to critical acclaim and led to a hugely successful tour. In 2004 they were recognised by Time Out as ‘Live Band of the Year’ and 2008 they were also nominated for a the prestigious Mercury Prize.

I have been lucky enough to see a lot of live music over the past decade and I have to say the British Sea Power have been one of the best. They’ve played some of the most unique venues in the UK including Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall, a River Mersey ferry in Liverpool and Jodrell Bank Observatory.

To my knowledge they are probably the only band playing at Victorious who have hosted their own music festival, ‘Sing Ye From The Hillsides!’ hosted in the Tan Hill Inn, in North Yorkshire. The Inn is the UK’s highest pub.

You can catch them for yourselves at Victorious Festival on Sunday 24th at the Seaside Stage. Find out more about the band on their website, Facebook and Twitter @BSPOfficial.

British Sea Power

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for Sunday. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE, however you still need to pick up a free ticket for them.

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #8 2manydjs

As well as being part of the alternative rock/electro band Soulwax, the Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele are two of the finest DJ’s on on the planet. DJing under the guise of 2manydjs the pair are one of the most exciting acts performing at Victorious this weekend.

There probably isn’t a festival worldwide that they guys haven’t played. This month alone has already seen them rack up some serious air miles. They’ve been DJing at events in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, France, Los Angeles, the UK and Spain. As well as still having upcoming shows in Holland, Germany and South Africa before the end of August.

For a taster of what music you can expect then please please take the time to check out their current project, Radio Soulwax. If you visit www.2manydjs.com you will find a continuous mix playing all day and night.

It features 24 hour-long mixes with visuals similar to those used in the 2manydjs live sets, and will include different tracks from various different decades. In the past twenty minutes I have been treated to Dolly Parton mixed into Röyksopp, as well as a bit of Destinys Child and Skee Low thrown in too. RadioSoulwax is also available as a FREE app too, get your hands on it HERE.

You will be able to catch 2manydjs doing their thing this Sunday. With Saturday tickets now sold out I encourage you to get your Sunday tickets asap!

Stay up to date all things 2manydjs on Facebook and Twitter @2manydjsTour.

2ManyDJS

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

We’ve kept a keen eye on local photographer Andrew Hayward’s work since he graduated from the University of Portsmouth including his Secret Dockyard photography project and the Secret Dockyard exhibition through to his new project focusing on petrol stages located on A roads taken after dark.

Andrew’s images within this commissioned collection capture serene and haunting visions of petrol stations, glowing like beacons of hope for the weary traveller. For those who pass through them silently in the night, they are a sanctuary amongst the isolation of the night-time drive. Every driver and passenger on road trips can connect with this vision.

Andrew’s inspiration for this project was ignited on a family holiday to Devon, where a lot of travelling through the darkness was broken up by the safe haven and goods these petrol stations have to offer. Embarking on this project he was influenced by the work of American artist Ed Rushca, who photographed petrol stations along Route 66 during the mid 20th Century.

Andrew has spent his entire life living in Portsmouth, studying photography at the city’s university where he found an even deeper love for traditional methods of photography with colour and black and white film. More specifically he works with large format 5 x 4” film and sometimes 10 x 8” finding it important to use increasingly niche and finite materials for creating his work.

aspex Guildhall will be home to this new exhibition of work by Andrew Paul Hayward with the aspex Guildhall gallery space to be opening with an artist preview on Wednesday 20th August from 6-8pm, the exhibition will then run until 19th October, open from Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.

If you were lucky you may have even picked up a print of a piece of work from the exhibition as Andrew dropped 10 prints around Portsmouth as part of Free Art Friday last week, well done if you were lucky enough to find one.

To see more of Andrew’s work and find out more about the exhibition visit Andrew’s website:

www.andrewpaulhayward.com

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Aspex Gallery: Call For Submissions

South-Central is an exciting new opportunity for artists based within 90 minutes travel time of the Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays.

South-Central is a new open submission group exhibition, which seeks to highlight the work of emerging visual artists working in any media but living within 90 minutes travel time of the gallery. There are no age restrictions, but undergraduate students must be in their final year of study. The exhibition is not themed.

The selected artists will exhibit their work in a group show in the main gallery space at Aspex. The overall winner will then work with the aspex team to produce a solo exhibition, either at the gallery or offsite within the City of Portsmouth.

Selectors:
• Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex
• Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery
• Judy Adam, Independent Curator
• Jonathan Parsons, Artist

The deadline for submissions is Monday 5 October 2014 and the exhibition dates are 21 November – 18 January 2014. Applicants can find out how to apply HERE.

SouthCentralMap

southcentral-Logo

Competition | Beats & Swing Presents… The Plump DJ’s

This Saturday one of our favourite local club nights Beats & Swing will be bringing us the Plump DJ’s, resident DJ’s and the Buddhist Punkz.

As well as the DJ’s, the Buddhist Punkz will be playing a live set. The lucky winner who will get two places on the guest list and the chance to see the Punkz soundcheck on Saturday afternoon, is Libby. She successfully answered to the following question. MC Sirreal, Dave Budgen and Rich Budgen from the Buddhist Punkz are all members of which UK breakbeat group?

a) The Freestylers

Tickets are still available for £9 on the Wedgewood Rooms website HERE or on the door on the evening. If you would like to know more then check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Beats & Swing presents The Plump DJ's

Luke Ferre ‘Bloodshot’

This week Luke Ferre released the video for his new track ‘Bloodshot’. This will be the first track taken from his upcoming EP of the same name, which is being released on 4th September.

When asked about the inspiration behind the EP, he describes it is quite simply “Girls”. Bloodshot itself was written for his friends and family. “I had a pretty intense couple of years personally, I wound up drinking quite a bit. Not loads, but probably more than I should. I wound up (feeling like I was) becoming a bit of a burden on the people I loved. So I cut back, and wrote this song as a way of showing them how much I appreciate their existence”.

You can catch him performing with a full band at the official launch party at Eastney Cellars the 4th September. For more information on how you get a ticket get in contact with Luke HERE, or the Cellars website HERE.

For info on upcoming shows, more news and more of his witty humour Luke can be found on Facebook, Twitter @lukeferre, YouTube and iTunes.

Luke Ferre 'Bloodshot'

Southsea Night Markets

Local creatives Tom West and Georgina Giles have been running through August a series of events to promote artists using the space on the prom to sell their work. These Southsea Night Markets take place every Friday in August, 4pm to 8pm and have stalls from lots of local artists, designers, crafters, photographers and more.

To find out more information visit HERE.

Poster below for the event is by Kendal James, photos from previous events are by Matt Cleveland.

Southsea Night Markets














Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #7 Seasick Steve

In todays Victorious Festival preview I’m going to be featuring one of my favourite musicians, Seasick Steve. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Bestival in 2007 when he was relatively unknown musician. I’m that much of fan that he inspired my Bestival fancy dress in 2009 for the ‘under the sea’ theme. See what I did there? Clever eh!

Seasick Steve explains that he gained his nickname simply “because it’s just true: I always get seasick”. He rose to fame playing his blues inspired songs on mostly personalized guitars and instruments. Most of his songs centre around the experiences of his early life doing casual work.

Born in California, he left home at 13 years old and travelled the US by hopping on and off freight trains, looking for work as a farm labourer or in other seasonal jobs, often living as a hobo. Paraphrasing H. L. Mencken, he described this time of his life by saying “Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don’t look for work, and bums are people who don’t move and don’t work. I’ve been all three.”

After spending time busking and working with other bands, Steve released his debut solo album ‘Dog House Music’ in 2006.

His breakthrough came in the same year after a spending the summer gaining fans at various summer festivals. He finished the year off with his first UK television appearance on Jools Holland’s annual Hootenanny. He performed a live rendition of “Dog House Boogie” on the “Three String Trance Wonder” and the “Mississippi Drum Machine”.

His signature instrument is the ‘Three-String Trance Wonder’. This is simply is a normal guitar that resembles a Fender Coronado. It has an old Harmony pickup added with duct tape, and is tuned to G, A and B using an E string in the A position, a D in the G position and a G in the B position. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but somehow it just does. Other modified instruments include his ‘One-Stringed Diddley Bow’ and the ‘Morris Minor Guitar’.

In a great little story close to home, the album cover of ‘You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ features an photo taken by Portsmouth and Strong Island’s own Claire Sambrook. Claire describes “Steve phoned me up and asked if he could use the picture I took of my dog Twm. I said yes and he used it on the album cover, mentioned us inside in the booklet, and even gave me a framed gold disc”.

You can catch Seasick Steve on the Castle Stage on Sunday 24th August.

Stay up to date with all things Seasick Steve on his Facebook, and Twitter @Seasick_Steve.

Claire Sambrook

Seasick Steve

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Avenue Q Comes To The Kings Theatre

Avenue Q, the winner of the Tony Awards ‘Triple Crown’ for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book is coming to the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth on 8th – 12th Sep 2014.

Created by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Co-creator of Book Of Mormon and writer of the songs for Disney’s Frozen), Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Where he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy The Slut and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his true purpose in life!

Following five years in the West End and sell-out runs internationally this hugely entertaining show is hitting the road on a brand new tour.

This is a great opportunity to see one of the best loved comedy shows on our own doorstep. You can purchase tickets from the the Kings Theatre website HERE.

AVENUE-Q

AvenueQNEW_large

Competition | Beats & Swing Presents… The Plump DJ’s

This Saturday one of our favourite local club nights Beats & Swing will be bringing us the Plump DJ’s, resident DJ’s and the Buddhist Punkz.

The Plump DJ’s are the DJ/Producer duo of Andy Gardner and Lee Rous. As well of playing all over the world at various events and festivals, the duo have remixed for the likes of Deadmau5, Mark Ronson, Moby and Orbital. The new single ‘Roll Dope Rhymes’ is released next month, but you can hear it for yourself below.

As well as the DJ’s, the Buddhist Punkz will be playing a live set. If you would like to win two places on the guest list and the opportunity to see the Punkz soundcheck on Saturday afternoon, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following question. MC Sirreal, Dave Budgen and Rich Budgen from the Buddhist Punkz are all members of which UK breakbeat group?

a) The Freestylers
b) The Shakya Republic
c) The Dharma Initiative

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Buddhist Punkz
MC Sirreal

Tickets are available now for £9 on the Wedgewood Rooms website HERE. If you would like to know more then check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Beats & Swing presents The Plump DJ's

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #6 Lewis Watson

Welcome to our latest Victorious Festival preview, today we are featuring Lewis Watson.

The 21 year old from Oxford is a singer-songwriter and self taught guitar player. Initially he started sharing his music on YouTube, this is where he began to gain quite a following. He then came to the attention of various record labels and was snapped up by Warner Brothers Records, the home of fellow singer-songwriters David Gray and Damien Rice. His first EP ‘It’s Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW’ was released in 2012.

Last month saw the release of his first studio album ‘The Morning’, which peaked in the national charts at number 28. For a bargain £7.99 you can get your hands on the ‘The Morning (All Of The Songs)’ on iTunes which features a staggering thirty seven tracks from his back catalogue!

You will be able to catch Lewis Watson on Sunday 24th August on the Seaside Stage.

If you would like to stay up to date on all things Lewis Watson then check out his Facebook, Twitter @levvis_ and SoundCloud.

Lewis Watson

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Laurel ‘Shells’

Regular Strong Island readers will be well aware of Laurel. I’m really excited to unveil her latest music video ‘Shells’, this is my favourite track from the ‘To The Hills EP’. The track was co-written with Portsmouth’s Shadow Child, who also produced the track.

Laurel explains that the song itself is about “feeling numb. That stage in a breakup where you no longer feel sad, you are left feeling nothing.”

You can catch Laurel live in Portsmouth next month when she plays Southsea Fest. Tickets are available on their website HERE.

For more information on Laurel you can follow her on on Facebook, Twitter @ClassicLaurel, YouTube and SoundCloud.

Laurel
Taken during the Aesthetic Magazine photo shoot

Portsmouth Film Society | Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’

On Saturday 30th August the Portsmouth Film Society invite you to join them in the Portsmouth Natural History Museum Gardens for a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’.

Considered Charles Chaplin’s last “silent” film, though Chaplin uses sound, vocal, and musical effects throughout. Chaplin is an assembly-line worker driven insane by the monotony of his job. After a long spell in an asylum, he searches for work, only to be mistakenly arrested as a union agitator. A slapstick skewering of industrialized America, Modern Times is as politically incisive as it is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

The showing begins at 9:30pm, for more information on how you can get involved, check out the PFS website HERE.

To find out about future open air screenings for August and September click HERE.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.

At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.

We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.

Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!

To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at katethesmith@gmail.com.

If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!

We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Sketch Crawl

I am genuinely pleased to see how strong and vibrant our creative community is becoming. It always seems to be shifting and growing in such a natural way. There seems to be more and more ways in which we can all participate. So when I got an invite to join ‘Sketch Crawl’ I again was reminded of how awesome our community is for its DIY and ‘all welcome’ attitude.

Sketch Crawl was created by local water colourist and urban sketcher Chris Webb.

Our first group sketch crawl. Meet at Manna Tea Rooms for a coffee or cup of tea then we shall move across the road to the Cathedral and then down to the Old Spice Island. Bring sketch/watercolour pad, pens, pencils and water for travel paints and finally refreshments and a portable seat or towel to sit on.

So come along on Saturday 16th August 2-5pm and meet at Manna Tearooms, 39 High Street, Old Portsmouth. All abilities are welcome and you can join the Facebook event for Sketch Crawl here.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos

In the six years we have been writing articles we have featured the progression of aerial photography in and around Portsmouth and Southsea, with photos from kites, planes and helicopters. Recently small, affordable remote helicopter drones have enabled people to film and photograph the city, allowing amateurs and professionals to share views of landmarks and locations like never before. We spoke to James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos who works professionally with drones to find out more:

How did you get started in aerial photography?
Photography in general has always been a passion of mine but the aerial part was inspired by my father who was a Flight Engineer on Jumbo Jet’s. He’s now retired but flew over 6000 hours in the cockpit of a 747 and captured some breath-taking photos. Following in his footsteps, about 5 years ago I got my Private Pilot’s Licence, not quite a 747 but I would use every spare penny to jump in a light aircraft armed with my Nikon SLR and shoot some really stunning photos. I’d post them on social media and get hundreds of likes. It was then that I realised there was a demand for this kind of photoghraphy but I never really had the time or the money to pursue it. I continued aerial photography in this way as a hobby until last year when I attended a conference on aviation safety and one of the hot topics was about ‘drones’. During the conference I had a light bulb moment and as soon as I got home began researching different drones, licences and the process to becoming a professional drone operator. About a week later I took the plunge and bought myself a drone, strapped a camera to it and it all took off from there really (pun intended).

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (1)
James landing at Lee-on-Solent in G-BKDH a Robin DR400 (Photo Courtesy of Ian Haskell)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James’ Dad (Paul Harvey) in April 1994 at work in the cockpit of a 747-136 before take off for the return leg to Heathrow from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Flight Engineer in the middle).

Can you detail what is involved in flying a drone? Also what sort of height, range, etc?
To fly a drone you require much of the same skills as you do to fly a manned aircraft, good hand eye coordination, good reactions and good eyesight! The one new skill that flying a drone requires is the ability to maintain orientation for a remote distant object. For example a drone flying away from you has the same left or right as you do, but when the drone is flying towards you everything is reversed and this can easily catch you out if you’re not concentrating. Luckily drones are highly sophisticated bits of kit with lots of sensors and gizmos that make things a lot easier, we use the remote control to adjust height, speed and direction just like a manned aircraft. But unlike a manned aircraft, if you get in any trouble you simply let go of the controls and the drone will hold its height and position using GPS satellites. Another nifty feature if you have any difficulty flying or perhaps you lose visual sight of it, all you have to do is hit the red switch on the remote control and the aircraft will autonomously fly back to you and land safely where it took off from.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (2)
James flying a Drone.

The use of drones is not yet fully integrated into the rest of the aviation world so current regulations prevent us from flying more than 400ft high (manned aircraft are not allowed to fly below 500ft so this ensures a safe buffer between the two). We must also remain within 0.5km from the pilot or within visual line of sight (whichever is closer).

What sort of camera equipment, lens, etc do you use?
My current camera of choice is the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. This surprises many people, especially professional ‘ground’ photographers but when you compare it to a Digital SLR (for purpose of aerial photography) the GoPro comes out on top, everytime! The video quality is amazing, it shoots anything from 1080p HD all the way up to 4K (cinema quality), it can shoot video and take photos simultaneously and most importantly it’s small and light. Connected to the camera I have a 5.8GHz Video Transmitter which streams live footage from the aircraft down to me on the ground through an HD screen, this allows me to frame up shots and allows the customer to preview the footage.

My aircraft of choice is a DJI Phantom 2, this is the go to drone for many operators as it works straight out the box and only takes a few modifications and some soldering to get it photography ready.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (3)
James’ DJI Phantom 2 enjoying the sunset on the River Hamble.

Working commercially, what projects have you been involved with?
Using drones for aerial photography is a fairly new concept to the general public, we’ve been getting on fine without them for so many years so it’s not easy to convince people this is the future. Sometimes the word ‘drone’ doesn’t help because this often conjures up images of military drones with weapons but this is just something that will take time to get used to. Despite this I’ve been quite busy, mostly from home owners and estate agents. An aerial photo of a large property in all its surrounding is a real eye grabber. One of my first customers was for a lady in Brockenhurst who had an old aerial photo from years ago taken from a helicopter and she wanted an updated one. Back then the aerial photo would have cost hundreds but today we can use a UAV with the same results (if not better) for a fraction of the cost.

Other projects I’ve got coming up include an aerial survey of some flood attenuation in Newbury for a well-known infrastructure and construction company and I will also be providing aerial photos and videos of Wickham Festival.

Do you use the drone for fun too? What locations do you like to shoot?
Oh yes, I take every opportunity to fly! If I’m going somewhere I think might have some aerial potential I’ll always pack my equipment. My favourite locations for aerial work are the English heritage and historical sites dotted around the country. They are such great landmarks to view from the air.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (4)
Titchfield Abbey.

What is your favourite local location?
My all-time favourite location so far has to be Southsea Castle, it was one of the first aerial videos I took and I loved every minute, despite getting up at 4:30am to get the sun rise! I remember I had a massive smile on my face the whole time I was chopping and shaping it into a video. The site is truly wonderful from the air and has so much character. I also run a social group (Portsmouth Happy Hour) and recently 70 of us went to the Southsea Castle for their weekly summer champagne night and it was such a great night, if you haven’t experienced it I thoroughly recommend it.

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (5)
Southsea Castle.

How do you see this type of photography developing in the future?
The future for aerial photography is very bright! Drones are getting cheaper and the technology is advancing at a scary rate, there is already technology on the market that can make your drone completely autonomous and hands off, i.e. you can plan a flight program on your laptop hit enter and the drone will takeoff, fly the route, circle and photograph landmarks and land autonomously. This has great potential for aerial photography but also opens up other uses such as aerial surveillance for security purposes. I have no doubt that aerial photography using drones will increase significantly over the coming years (the House of Lords has even recognised it’s increasing popularity and begun an inquiry into them). I do see them being a common sight in some key areas though; Fire Brigades will use aerial drones armed with thermal imaging cameras to help assist firefighters to efficiently and safely fight fires, Power Companies will use drones to perform regular safety inspection of pylons and electricity cables, News Reporters will use drones to obtain footage of natural disasters or other hazardous scenarios, Police will use them track criminals or find missing persons…the list is endless and it’s a really exciting time to be a Drone pilot.

See the photos from Southsea and Southsea Common (including the set up of the Southsea Show) below and to find out more about Hampshire Aerial Photos and see more of James’ work visit: www.hampshireaerialphotos.co.uk

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (7)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (8)

Aerial Photography with James Harvey of Hampshire Aerial Photos (9)

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #5 Public Service Broadcasting

In our latest Victorious Festival preview we are featuring Public Service Broadcasting. By using samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material the London-based duo have created the catchiest songs you’ll hear all weekend.

Their debut album ‘Inform – Educate – Entertain’ was released in May last year and received widespread critical acclaim and was also selected by BBC 6Music as in the top ten albums of 2013.

You will be able to catch Public Service Broadcasting on the Seaside Stage on Saturday 23rd August. If you like what you see then you can also check them out at this years Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

For more information check out the duo’s Facebook, Twitter @PSB_HQ, SoundCloud and YouTube.

PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Matt O’Donovan Exhibition

This evening Matt O’Donovan will be exhibiting his latest body of work “Aesthetics and Variable Systems” at White Elephant, 48 Cromwell Road, Southsea. Matt describes the “the work features a series of evolving and process driven abstract compositions that use the 1930′s concrete art manifesto as a conceptual point of departure.”

You can find out more about Matt on his website www.mattodonovan.com.

Matt O'Donovan Exhibition

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers

Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.

Check some of Matt’s photos below and over on our Facebook page for more plus be sure to take a few moments to check out Matt’s awesome photography over on his website: Matt Ankers.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (1)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (2)
Adam Hills
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (3)
Russell Kane
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (4)
Russell Kane
Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (5)
Dana Alexander
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (6)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (7)
Russell Kane

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Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.

At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.

We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.

Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!

To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at katethesmith@gmail.com.

If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!

We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

The Southsea Show Competition

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you have to do to win this prize is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The deadline for entries will be midnight Wednesday 30th July with the winners being announced on Thursday morning.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

Southsea Comedy Festival Competition Winner

The first ever Southsea Comedy Festival opens with Eddie Izzard performing his most recent show ‘Force Majeure’ on 31st July and 1st August. Last week we gave you the chance to win two tickets to see Eddie Izzard on Thursday 31st July. The lucky winner is Si Bunting, he correctly answered the three following questions…

1) What is the name of the character voiced by Eddie in Cars 2?
Sir Miles Axlerod
2) In which American city did Eddie begin his 2014 tour Force Majeure?
Washington DC, America
3) For which charity did Eddie run an incredible 43 marathons in 51 days?!
Sports Relief

If you aren’t lucky enough to be Si’s plus one, then you can still get your Southsea Comedy Festival tickets by calling 0844 847 2362 and online at www.southseacomedyfestival.co.uk. You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy.

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

Southsea Comedy Festival

Photos from Head Jam 2014

For the second year running Head Mens Hairdressing, Strong Island and My Dog Sighs (this year with Lex Luthor) put on the Head Jam street art event on Albert Road in Southsea. The yard out the back of Head and the Strong Island HQ had last year’s artwork covered during last week and Saturday saw local artists My Dog Sighs, Los Dave, M-One, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Stu Linfield, I am Posy, freakSTATIC, Midge and Samo get involved with new artwork on all of the walls plus the new sculpture too. Extra artwork is also being added today by My Name is Leila. A huge thank you to all the artists and to everyone who popped by throughout the day.

Check some of the photos from the day below, you can see a load more on our Flickr (which is a growing archive of our photography over the last 6 years) or on our Facebook page and if you want to pop in and have a look visit Head at 53 Albert Road.


































Archives

Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth

There’s more than ‘meats’ the eye to Portsmouth. A city where everyone in the know goes. Classic stuff. Kojak takes time between sucking lollipops and fighting crime to give us the 411 on Portsmouth city through the ages. Love the eclectic soundtrack. Thanks to Harry for posting this up for us in a previous article. Here’s looking at you Portsmouth…

Vintage Photos

Adam Wintle recently uploaded to his blog loads of photos from an old book about Portsmouth passed down to him by his dad. Some of the photos in the book are incredible, be sure to spend some time having a good look through, below are a few examples:

Created Local – Caleigh Illerbrun

Old University friend Tom Hall sent me over a link to his extremely talented and prolific girlfriend Caleigh Illerbrun’s online portfolio www.caleigh-ill.com. With illustration, painting and 3 dimensional work firmly tucked under her belt Caleigh has an impressive amount of work on her site, some of which is up for grabs. Currently selling coasters over in her SHOP, Caleigh needs a little help identifying the favourites as she has an advert coming out soon in a magazine.

I’m loving the ‘Wood Tree’ coaster set below, and very much so the ‘Bearlamb’ acrylic & pen at the bottom. You can also follow Caleigh on Facebook and also her blog.

Old Southsea Skate Photos

Check the Skate Library for the first of a growing list of old Southsea photos including this one of Lance Mountain grinding the Law Courts back in 1988 (photo by Tim Leighton-Boyce).

Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.