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Dials Festival Line- Up Additions

Dials Festival the collaborative, new multi-venue music festival ran by Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Pie & Vinyl has announced additions to the line-up already consisting of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Black Honey, Chloe Black, Curxes, Broken Hands, Rickyfitts and loads more.  The festival will be in place of Southsea Fest for 2015 to ensure a multi-venue, new music festival across various venues and pubs can still take place.

Leading the latest additions is the super fun Dingus Khan who headline the Little Johnny Russells stage and BBC 6 Music favourites, scuzzy, infectious, fuzzy, indie-pop London outfit Crushed Beaks who will headline The Loft.  Other additions to the bill include doom laden psychedelic meets raw punk outfit Crows who were recently handpicked to support Wolf Alice and are also set to support Metz on their UK tour plus Strong Island Recordings label family and one of the best new live bands in the country, primal, doom grunge pop trio Gang who return to Portsmouth and are no doubt going to bring the house down as well  snotty, garage punk trio Skinny Girl Diet (who if you dig Ty Segall and Coachwips, you will love) psych meets slacker pop Londoners, Honey Moon who are are like a cross between Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile, self proclaimed “poolside pop”  Icelandic by the way of Brighton outfit Dream Wife, electro – hip hop influenced-pop artist Frankie Knight,  indie outfit Fever plus local favourites Damn Beats, Number 9 and Sam McCarthy.

Dials Festival will take place on the 3rd October across five venues in Albert Road being Wedgewood and Edge of the Wedge (all ages), Little Johnny Russells (18 + after 7pm), Al Burrito (18 + after 8pm) and The Loft (18+ only) and features 40 plus acts playing across the entire day to the late evening plus a  Dials after party that will be taking place at The Wedgewood Rooms with Dials deejays.  Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate until Monday when they go up to £18. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl. Dress Code and Wedgewood Room.It will no doubt be a great festival and if you loved Southsea Fest then Dials Festival will be for you and perfect for any potential post Victorious blues.

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Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 32

Charlie is back with the 32nd episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This is a show that’s been sat on the back-burner since the end of last year. The year started winding up and I wanted to do my usual ‘Live’ & ‘New Music’ round-ups so this fell by the wayside, it’s got some great stuff in it though so I always intended for it to get an airing. Just ignore anything that relates to a date/current event cause it was recorded ages ago and that moment will almost certainly have passed…

The episode’s kind of got two themes running through it, one of which is ‘Vices'; Whether you partake, approve, condemn or don’t give it much thought, there’s no denying that narcotics have played a significant role in all forms of music, from Berlioz’s opium indebted Symphonie Fantastique, through Jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker’s heroin addiction all the way to the Beatles tripping and Snoop’s chronic tales, The saying isn’t “Sex, Candy and Rock and Roll”… This began life as a Pet Sounds Playlist that I compiled on Spotify a couple of years ago for Strong Island. You can find that HERE.

The other aspect of today’s show was borne purely out of a lack of preparation. I got sidetracked at the pub before recording it and so asked a bunch of mates for requests/suggestions. These made up most of the show and I grabbed a few of my own choices to top it up. Altogether a success, albeit an appropriately lubricated one!

Charlie x

01) Lost In The K Hole – The Chemical Brothers
02) Oops (Oh My) – Tweet feat. Missy Elliott
03) Baby, I Love You – Aretha Franklin
04) Modern Love – David Bowie
05) You’re A Viper (The Reefer Song) – Fats Waller
06) Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee – Canibus with Biz Markie
07) Fanfare – Eric Matthews
08) Sweet Cocaine – Fred Neil
09) Crying – D.D Dumbo
10) The Power – Fryars
11) Coffee In The Pot – Supergrass
12) One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – John Lee Hooker
13) Silence In The Sand – Neville Skelly
14) Sweet Harmony – The Beloved
15) Steppin’ Out – AM & Shawn Lee
16) Book Of Slim – Gene Harris & The Three Sounds

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 32

Victorious Festival Preview #10 Keeping It Local

Victorious Festival is nearly upon us and with so much talent available I wanted to pass on some of my tips for the best local talent performing at the festival.

1. The Mighty Bern
In January this year songwriter Ben Kelly set about forming The Mighty Bern. After a bit of networking with local musicians the seven piece band were formed. The band consist of guitarists Tom Eassey and Frankie Pugliano, bassist Tom Clements, piano/keys Edward Anderson, drummer Stuart Hunt and violinist Owen Hughes. The band have been working hard recording their debut album Sunny Side Down which is set for release later this year and will be followed by even more live shows. You can catch them this weekend at the Mayfield Studios Real Ale Stage on Sunday.

2. The Day Of The Rabblement
Their name The Day Of The Rabblement is taken 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 TDOTR write thought-provoking and contemporary songs, blended with aspects of Celtic and American folk music. The band are no strangers to the festival, last year performing The Pie & Vinyl and Real Ale Festival Stages. This year you can find them on the Mayfield Studios Real Ale Stage on Sunday.

3. Deluxe Flamingos
Returning to the Beats & Swing Tent on Saturday are the awesome The Deluxe Flamingos. The trio made up of PJ Davy, Mike James and Hatt Morn credit a whole range of influences from Mogwai, David Bowie, M83 to the Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth and the Pixies.

4. Blackfoot Circle
Arguably the most dedicated fanbase of any local band belong to Blackfoot Circle. There may have been a couple of name changes but I’ve been a huge a big fan of the band for over fifteen years now. After knowing them from the early days of playing small venues in the area it was awesome to see them put on such a great show to such a huge crowd on the Seaside Stage last year. I’m expecting more of the same this year at the Seaside Stage this Saturday.

5. Kassassin Street
Unless you are new to Strong Island then I’m sure that you will be well aware of Kassassin Street. The band have had a whirlwind few years and continue to go from strength to strength. This year the band have sold out shows at venues including the Wedgewood Rooms as well as performing at Blissfields, Y Not Festival and Secret Garden Party. Football fans among us will have also heard the band featured on Sky Sports football coverage over last season. Kassassin Street can be found playing the Castle Stage and the Seaside Stage this Sunday. With two opportunities to see them there is no excuse not to treat yourself!

6. El Morgan
Local singer songwriter El Morgan is another example of the awesome and diverse musical talent based in the city. The description singer songwriter doesn’t really do El justice as you won’t always find her performing the typical acoustic folk inspired songs. Check out ‘Blah Blah Blah‘ to see what I mean and enjoy her punk side. You’ll be able to see her slightly softer side this weekend when she performs at the Casemates Showcase Stage on Saturday.

7. Just Millie
Millie first came to my attention earlier this year at the Road to Blissfields event at the Wedgewood Rooms. Millie describes herself as some what of a one woman band with her acoustic guitar, harmony looping pedals and an electronic kick drum to accompany her on stage. Millie can be found at the Nevada Music Acoustic Stage early on Saturday afternoon and she is definitely a reason why you should arrive at the festival nice and early.

8. Electric Arms
The Southsea four piece indie-folk band Electric Arms return to the Casemates Showcase Stage this year as headliners. The boys are one of the most prolific live performers in the city and can regularly be found playing the likes of Eastney Cellars, Al’s Burrito, The Fat Fox and the Wedgewood Rooms. Those of you who attended Wickham Festival might have even been fortunate enough to catch them on the acoustic stage.

9. Curxes
Strong Island Recordings own Curxes have the honour of headlining the Seaside Stage on Sunday evening. The trio Roberta Fidora, (vocals) Camille Phillips (drums) and Macaulay Hopwood (guitar) have enjoyed a great 2015 so far, May saw the release of their album Verxes and this summer they have performed at the Great Escape and Blissfields amongst other live shows all over the UK. Curxes are as infectiously catchy and are a real treat live.

10. Southsea Alternative Choir
If you are not already aware the Southsea Alternative Choir are a group of friends who all share a love of music and get to together to sing some classic songs that we all love. This is all with a view to raise money for SamuelsFund, supporting a local child with Cerebral Palsy. There is no excuse for not checking the choir perform this weekend because they are performing a whopping six occasions over Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find them the Seaside Stage, the Nevada Music stage and the Mayfield Studios Real Ale Stage.

The festival is being held on Southsea Common this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are still available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel, Little Johnny Russell‘s and Cosham Library.

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

ARTches Project Showcase Event at the Round Tower on Sunday 13 September

With the summer on its way out, progress will become more apparent with the ARTches Project in Old Portsmouth. Despite it seeming quiet, a lot has been going on behind the scenes. On Sunday 13th September there will be a great event at the Round Tower that will showcase these developments, from 10.30am to 3pm.

The open day will provide an update on the development in Old Portsmouth to transform the former barracks into exciting creative studios. A new name and branding for the project will be unveiled, and project officers will be on hand to answer questions about the creative development, the studios and the opportunities for a brasserie and café.

There will also be local artists exhibiting their work (Southsea Night Markets) and refreshments provided by the Square Tower.

Work is scheduled to start in September and the studios will open next year, thanks to £1.75m of government funding. Heritage England has backed the project, which will secure the future of this historic monument in a creative way.

The event is open to all, simply RSVP to: Beverley.Lucas@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

ARTches Project Showcase Event at the Round Tower on Sunday 13 September

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 19-20 Winner and Runners Up

We have a huge selection of photos for this week (weeks 19 to 20). We had a fair few different locations and events represented plus some favourite Portsmouth places. To submit photos yourself via Instagram & Twitter for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition use the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 and you can always email photos in too to contact@strong-island.co.uk.

This week’s winning image is a great view of the new BAR HQ in the background with some of the oldest buildings in Old Portsmouth (Spice Island) in the foreground, photo taken by David Ellis.

Old Portsmouth by David Ellis
Old Portsmouth by David Ellis.

This weekly winner will now be entered into the finals of the competition which will happen in December where everyone can vote for their favourite weekly winning photos. This image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7(ish) days until next week’s winner.

Below are some of the runners up for this week. A huge thanks to everyone who submitted a photograph. Don’t worry if your photo didn’t win or make the shortlist… you can enter photos every week until the finals in December! You can now submit photos for this week’s weekly winner selection which will be chosen and shown next week. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.

Photo by luckym_27
Photo by luckym_27.

Photo by g3rzegorz
Photo by g3rzegorz.

Photo by Johnny Black
Photo by Johnny Black.

Photo by Dave Fletcher
Photo by Dave Fletcher.

Photo by luckym_27
Photo by luckym_27.

Photo by Meg McCarthy
Photo by Meg McCarthy.

Photo by Ailsa ‏(AilsaB12)
Photo by Ailsa ‏(AilsaB12).

Photo by g3rzegorz
Photo by g3rzegorz.

Photo by Meg McCarthy
Photo by Meg McCarthy.

Photo by Johnny Black
Photo by Johnny Black.

Photo by Sarah Holiday
Photo by Sarah Holiday.

Photo by vicaringroo
Photo by vicaringroo.

Photo by Sarah Holiday
Photo by Sarah Holiday.

Photo by sea_tea
Photo by Catherine Taylor.

Photo by Howard Hurd
Photo by Howard Hurd.

‘I Wonder What it’s Like To Be Dyslexic’ Kickstarter Campaign

After the success of his first book Portsmouth University graduate and Graphic Designer, Sam Barclay is returning with a beautifully remastered version of ‘I Wonder What it’s Like to be Dyslexic’. The book aims to provide readers with a beautiful, design-led experience of what it feels like to struggle with reading.

Sam took to Kickstarter in order to raise the funds to publish his first book and he is returning to the website to help raise the money for revised version. If you are not aware of what Kickstarter is, it is a global crowdfunding platform which launched in 2009. The aim of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for a project which could be anything from a film, games, music, art, design and technology. The project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.

The first version of the book attracted total funding of £55,000 in thirty days, surpassing the initial target of £14,500, and continued to sell over 3,000 copies in over thirty countries. Now with this new version Sam wants to build on that success and continue to help and inspire others who suffer with learning difficulties.

Sam has delved deeper into the struggles of reading with a number of typographic experiments and has acted on feedback to include the story of his childhood growing up with Dyslexia, as told by his parents Karen and Ray, in the hope that this will give others the courage to see passed their difficulties with reading.

With studying Graphic Design, typography has always been at the forefront of the project, however Sam hopes that the message you take away from the book will help others: “Feeling stupid because I couldn’t understand things that came so clearly to others used to be all I knew. Having people around me, including my teachers, family and friends that could even slightly understand how that felt has helped me to communicate my frustration and has given me the confidence to succeed in life.”

Check out the link HERE to find out more about the the project and the full range of rewards available for anyone who wants to get involved. With donation rewards starting at just £5 please get involved and help make this original project happen!

If you would like to know more then check out the website www.reedeeng.com and you can follow the project on Facebook, Twitter @reedeeng and Instagram @reedeeng.

Reedeeng – Kickstarter from Sam Barclay on Vimeo.

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Victorious Festival Preview #9 Tinie Tempah by Liv Woodward

Victorious Festival is nearly upon us and despite the rain the crew are working hard to create an amazing festival for us. In the penultimate preview it would be rude not to mention the Castle Stage headliner Tinie Tempah.

If you haven’t heard of Tinie Tempah, you have clearly been living under a rock for the past six years! Tinie’s first album, Disc-Overy in 2010 was and still is a brilliant listen. Personally I love ‘Frisky’ and ‘Pass out’! In 2011 he won two Brit Awards, one for Best British Breakthrough Act and also Best British Single. So clearly he’s doing something right?! I mean he even supported Rihanna on tour!

Tinie worked hard on his 2014 album Demonstration and he definitely upped his game. Although clearly sticking to R’n’B, he put more of an electronic edge to it. Whilst working on his second album, Tinie said ‘I always like to work with different people on each project I do’ and so far he has worked with Jessie J, Ellie Goulding and Dizzee Rascal and many more. Lets hope we’re lucky enough to get a special guest on Castle stage on Saturday! Well there is nothing wrong with wishful thinking right?

Whilst looking through the previous festivals Tinie Tempah has performed at, he certainly puts on a good show! And I’m sure he’ll do the same for Portsmouth. So if you hear Tinie Tempah’s unique and distinctive voice from across the common, make sure you have a sing and dance! (Until you pass out) Sorry I couldn’t resist that.

You can find out more about Tinie Tempah on social media via Facebook, Twitter @TinieTempah, Instagram @tiniegram and his YouTube channel.

Remember there’s only two days left to get your tickets! You’d be a fool to miss out! Tickets are still available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel, Little Johnny Russell‘s and Cosham Library.

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

Tinie Tempah 1

Oyster Design Looking for a Senior Graphic Designer

The guys over at Oyster Design in Emsworth are on the look out for a new Senior Graphic Designer to join their team. The details for the position are below, if you are up for it send your CV and sample portfolio to kharran@oysterdesign.co.uk.

Senior Graphic Designer, Based in Emsworth
£30–35K
We’re looking for a senior designer to play an important role in our print design team. You’ll have at least 5 years agency experience with real flair, interest and understanding of design. We need someone who is capable of leading creative sessions, with proven skills in brand, campaigns, marketing communication and print design. You will need to be a real team player, enthusiastic and self-driven, enjoy working with clients and be able to explore and interpret briefs to produce well thought out, effective solutions. Excellent Adobe CS skills are essential.

Oyster is a great design agency of 14 people, based in the coastal town of Emsworth. We work with diverse clients including Save the Children, Wiggle, Age UK and GE.

Salary subject to experience, benefits package includes generous annual leave and private healthcare.

If that sounds good to you get in touch with them direct.

Emsworth

Victorious Festival Preview #8 The Flaming Lips

If I could only see one band perform at this weekends Victorious Festival then it would be Saturday headliners and three time Grammy winners The Flaming Lips.

Formed in Oklahoma, The Flaming Lips have been going for as long as I’ve been alive as we were both born in 1983. Despite a few line up changes in that time the eccentric frontman Wayne Coyne and bassist Michael Ivins have been ever present.

Their debut album Hear It Is was released in 1986, while their most recent and fifteenth studio album was last years With a Little Help from My Fwends. As the title suggests the latter is a tribute to The Beatles classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album features collaborations with Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket, Moby and Tegan & Sara. In the past they have also teamed up with the Chemical Brothers, Henry Rollins, Erykah Badu, Bon Iver, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono to name to just a few.

For many including myself their two stand out albums are Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and At War with the Mystics. Between them they feature classics like ‘Do You Realize??’, ‘It Overtakes Me’ and ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’.

For a long time The Flaming Lips have been charming crowds and rightly earning their reputation as one of the best live bands on the planet. The first time I was lucky enough to see them perform live was across the Solent at Bestival in 2013. They put on a spectacular and colourful performance that wowed everybody in the crowd and I expect more of the same on the Common Stage this Saturday night. When it comes to choosing who to watch this Saturday evening the decision is a no brainer, it has to be The Flaming Lips!

Find out more about them on Facebook, Twitter @TheFlamingLips and their YouTube channel.

Tickets are still available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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

Flaming Lips

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the previous Best in Show interviews, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of The News, Megan Barnes a photography student and Matt Wingett a local author.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Barry Abrook, ex-professional skateboarder and designer, at Portsmouth City Museum. Barry checked out the A Hard Choice exhibition, then let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hey Barry, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

My first choice (from the A Hard Choice Exhibition) is the mole. I love animals and nature and I like this because it is hard to see a mole, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a real mole and this is really the only opportunity a lot of people get to see these animals, basically in a zoo or taxidermy. I’m interested in taxidermy…I used to be really against it, but if you are a graphic artist, illustrator or painter it is a good way to actually observe animals to draw and paint them. I think everything about the mole is really cool. It is designed to live underground. They are nice animals, I like it, it is intriguing. All the taxidermy in the exhibition is good, the bat, magpies, it was tough to choose.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (7)

And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about it?

My second choice is the fabric by Lucienne Day. I love fabric and printing and I used to screen print quite a lot and I still do on fabric. I also like this item in the exhibition because of the era it is from, the late 60s. You’ve got bold poppy designs, block colours…I like patterns and I like symmetry…and this has got quite a lot going for it! It reminds me of childhood…this is the sort of fabric that would be made in to curtains or bed spread that could have been in my house. It has that 60s/70s feel so nostalgic for me too. The Days were pretty amazing at what they did.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (6)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (5)

And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Third choice are the saucy postcards! These are from around the 1950s, that sort of end-of-the-pier era, good seaside ephemera. I like these for quite a few reasons, I live in Southsea, by the sea, I wasn’t born here but I love living by the sea. As a child I was taken to the seaside for holidays and these were the sort of things you might see. They are cheeky, they leave you to your own thoughts…how you interpret the captions…which was the humour at the time. They have a nice feel. They are well designed too, as a designer it is difficult to design something that small and detailed and these were drawn and hand painted, they’re an art form in itself, a style all of their own too. I also love postcards, I collect them and I use them in my own work and I love the messages you get on the back of old postcards, they can be emotional things. People used to send them but not as much anymore with emails, Facebook, etc. But postcards were sent during a holiday, from a good time so postcards generally remind you of good times, they’re a positive thing.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (4)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (3)

if you could think of something, of your own or something in Portsmouth, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I was thinking that maybe if I won the lottery, Euro-big style, I would love to be able to fully restore the South Parade Pier into something that the people of Portsmouth, and especially Southsea, could use and be proud of again. Whether it be Victorian or later period restoration, the important thing would be to ensure it continued to offer the ‘complete seaside escape’ for anyone who needed it. Part of the city collection. A funfair ride, candy floss, good food, music, comedy and a Shant!

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free this summer and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Victorious Festival Competiton

The lovely guys and girls behind next weekends Victorious Festival have donated two pairs of tickets for the festival for us to give away, so that is one pair for the Saturday and another pair for the Sunday.

Sadly we can only give one pair per winner but you are welcome to answer both questions and indicate on your emails which day you prefer to attend if successful. Please send your entries to stuart@strong-island.co.uk before midnight on Sunday 23rd August. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

Saturday Question
Q) Which orchestra did Laura Mvula team up with for her Abbey Road Studios live album?

Sunday Question
Q) Elle Eyre featured with Bastille on the cover of which TLC song?

If you don’t want to leave it to chance then tickets are available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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 Poster

Strong Island’s 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle

Many of you may have noticed that last year there was no Strong Island 6th Birthday celebration. We were gutted that the event didn’t take place however it was all for a good reason, the design, build and opening of our first shop and studio space.

Thanks to your continued support the shop has has been going well and we would like to say thank you to you all by inviting you all to join us for our 7th birthday at the Meat & Barrel on Thursday 24th September.

We’re excited to announce that we have already received donations offered from local based artists including My Dog Sighs and imakepictures, local power house design studio ilovedust, the awesome local engraving company Etchwork, local bespoke design company SKJ Design Limited, a whopping £250 outdoor portrait photoshoot from all round top chap Paul Thurlow, a restored vintage bicycle from Ye Olde Bike Shoppe and two tickets to Bestival 2016.

Many of you may remember our previous Birthday and Charity Raffles have been hugely successful and we have all helped raised over £4000 for the Portsmouth RNLI and Portsmouth Autism in the last few years.

There will be more information to follow in the near future but in the mean time feel free to share and invite all of your friends. If you think that you would be able to make a donation to the prizes on offer then please drop us an email at contact@strong-island.co.uk every donation is welcomed. Every donation will be hugely welcomed and will be promoted in the build up to the event as well as on the night itself.

Stay up to date on the donationgs that we have been given on our Facebook Event which can be found HERE.

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Space Interrupted – Art Installations at Fort Brookhurst

Space Interrupted brings together artists and film makers who will create new and engaging work, responding to and interrupting Fort Brookhurst in Gosport, an English Heritage fort. The six artists have been drawn to the fort to make site specific installations inspired by its fortifications, history and archives, interrupting and overlapping the space, layering and fragmenting, disrupting function and meaning.

Space Interrupted is a collaboration between Curator Clare Sheppeard and artist Sharon Haward. Artists will present site responsive work which will span Fort Brockhurst, creating an assemblage of real and imagined installations. Audiences will be able to explore this rarely open site through the artists’ response to the space, experiencing a sense of place through sculptural installations, sound and projections Each work will enhance highlight, or disrupt the integrity of the building.

The exhibition itself will be open on the 10th, 12th and 13th of September 2015, with opening times – 11-3pm and FREE.

The artists involved in the exhibition and project are:

Sharon Haward uses a range of media to engage with a sensory and narrative sense of place. Her practice is predominantly site-responsive and installation-based created to capture a slippery sense of the past and present, fragmentation and dislocation. At Fort Brockhurst she draws on the period of revoutionary turmoil in Europe around 1848 and the historically fragile relationship between France and Britain which led to the building of the fort, by interrupting the space with a precarious barricade, projections and sound recordings.

Patti Gaal-Holmes is an artist/filmmaker and historian. Her cross-disciplinary practice includes working with moving image (celluloid and digital), photography, drawing, artists’ books and performance. For Fort Brockhurst she will creating a new film on 16mm. Gaall Holmes is the author of ‘A History of 1970s Experimental Film: Britain’s Decade of Diversity’ ( 2015).

Kye Wilson uses moving image to create site specific films and video installations that explore space, self and other. Wilson will be making a film inspired by the forts location and function.

Eileen White is a craft based visual artist who will be responding to textiles in the collection at Fort Brockhurst and their provenance. White will be working with a writer, poet and painter.

Helene Kazan uses research and archival material to generate moving image and multimedia installations. She is currently a phd candidate at Centre of Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. Helene will be creating an installation and sound piece inspired by home shelters.

Lisa Traxler is interested in conversation, personal memory and environment – emotive references and the fundamental are the inspirations for Lisa work. For Fort Brockhurst Lisa will make a number of large scale paperscape installations using the funcions and narratives of each room choosen.

Clare Sheppeard is a curator who has worked with local, national and international artists in a variety of sites David Batchelor, Mariele Neudecker, Karin Van Pinxterern, Alice Anderson, Kate MccGwire and Emma Crtichley. Projects include Coastal Currents Festival Hastings, Jerwood Gallery Hastings, LIMBO Margate, Venice Biennale, Van Abbemuseum and Independents Liverpool Biennial.

There will be a series of events related to the exhibition where you can take part and get involved:

Saturday 29th August – Point and Shoot photo tours. Meet at 2pm outside the Discovery Centre, High Street, Gosport, PO12 1BT. Bring your camera, camera phone, disposable camera and join artists Sharon Haward for a tour of Gosport looking at the architecture and historical buildings. The resulting photos will be displayed as part of Space Interrupted at Fort Brockhurst.

Thursday 10th September, 4.30-6.30 – Discussion & networking event with bluemonkey net at aspex, the Vulcan Buildings, Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth.

Sunday 13th September, 1.30 – Walk and talk around the exhibition.

To book a place on any of these events email: spaceinterrupted@yahoo.co.uk

For further information check the Space Interrupted website:

spaceinterrrupted.wordpress.com

Space Interrupted - Art Installations at Fort Brookhurst

Victorious Festival Previews #7 Ben Ottewell

The next in my Victorious Festival previews features Ben Ottewell. The name alone might not mean very much to you but once you listen to his unmistakeable vocals you will immediately recognise him as the lead singer and guitarist from Gomez.

Ben Ottewell has been instrumental in the their success which has included winning the Mercury Music Prize, NME and Q Magazine awards along with a Brit Awards nomination too. The bands stand out albums include Bring It On, In Our Gun and A New Time.

As a solo artist the Chesterfield born Ottewell released his first solo album Shapes & Shadows in 2011 and his latest solo offering titled is titled Rattlebag. The album features elements of blues, rock and even a bit of country music in there. The stand out tracks I’d recommend you checking out are ‘Red Dress’, ‘Rattlebag’ and ‘Edge’.

Ben is one artist not to be missed and will certainly be one of the highlights of the festival. You can catch Ben headlining the Nevada Music Stage on the Sunday of Victorious.

Find out more on Ben’s website www.benottewell.com or his Facebook and Twitter @ottewellben.

The festival is being held on Southsea Common on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August. Tickets are available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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

Ben Ottewell 1

Dials Festival Preview #3 Kagoule

We’re now up to our third feature of  Dials Festival a collaborative, community based, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardner’s Club that will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year.

It only makes sense for us to feature Nottingham post-punk, grunge trio Kagoule this week with their debut album ‘Urth’ out tomorrow being the 21st August. Kagoule have been big favourites of ours for a while as you may know if you keep up to date with our label and they also played our Southsea Fest stage last year at Bar 56 (now known as Al Burrito). The trio brought the house down in the little 60 capacity sweat-pit and since then they have gone from strength to strength receiving praise and support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Mojo Magazine, Fake DIY, NME, Clash to Rough Trade where their sits as album of the month. Kagoule will be playing the Wedgewood Rooms stage at Dials Festival so it will be a considerably bigger stage when they visit Portsmouth to say the least. Make sure you catch Kagoule on their visit to Portsmouth as they’re beyond great to say the least.

Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up at the end of the month. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl until next Friday. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming next week and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.

kagoule southsea fest

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SWEAT Southsea

For just over a month now I have been training with Luke Newton at SWEAT Southsea. If you don’t know about SWEAT Southsea they are based in Haslemere Road, which is just off Highlands Road. It’s a gym facility with a difference, unlike most gyms it is dedicated to personal training although still offers bespoke pay as you go group classes, sports massage therapy and physiotherapy. Inside you will find a fully equipped gym designed specifically for personal training, giving you the privacy to train one on one with the personal trainer.

Managing Director of SWEAT Southsea and Co-Founder of Southsea Fitness Festival Luke Newton opened the business with his partner Tina four months ago. Since then they have been going from strength to strength building up a client base who possess varying all levels of fitness.

SWEAT Southsea team include Luke Newton, Geraldine Ruffle, Lauren Allen, Sam Davey and Team GB Boxing Performance and Team England Talent Development coach ‘Q’ Shillingford MBE. Not for forget there is now a Sports Injury Clinic providing a range of services from highly qualified Physiotherapists and Sports Massage Therapists.

The team pride themselves on their ability to deliver results and get the best out of their clients. This sounds like the perfect recipe for anyone with a short term goal or event coming up. A Great South Run personal best anyone?! If one on one personal training isn’t quite your thing then they offer a whole range of group classes too. You can find out more information on them by checking out their website www.sweat.fitness/classes.

A few months ago I took part in a taster session with Luke and really enjoyed it. I have since booked myself a block of personal training sessions which have obviously been hard work but a lot of fun and I’m noticing the difference even after a few short weeks. I’ve been a member at a couple of different gyms over the last twenty odd years but I’ve never been particularly good at going on a consistent basis. I would get myself into a good routine for a few months notice the benefit and then allow myself to get out of that routine for whatever reason thus setting me back to where I started. Personal training isn’t as cheap as a gym membership but for me I’ve found one hour at SWEAT Southsea more beneficial than about three hours training on my own in a gym. I certainly can see this being something for me in the long term.

I would thoroughly recommend the services on offer and I would encourage anyone with even a small interest to pay them a visit, have a chat and see for yourself. The team are very welcoming and will quickly put you at ease, getting rid of any anxiety you might have because for some people this environment can be quite daunting.

You can find SWEAT Southsea on Facebook, Twitter @SweatSouthsea and Instagram @sweat_southsea.

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 1

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 2

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 3

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black
Photos come courtesy of Johnny Black Photography – www.johnnyblackphotography.co.uk

Victorious Festival Preview #6 Jerry Williams by Liv Woodward

With just under two weeks left until Victorious Festival, the next artist on my must see list is local 19 year old singer songwriter Jerry Williams.

I stumbled across Jerry around two weeks ago when she played an acoustic set at Little Johnny Russell’s. I was at the bar when she started singing and I immediately turned around and was hypnotized by her voice (I also had to be nudged several times because I hadn’t paid for my drink). Her songs are extremely catchy and I found myself singing along (well attempting to anyway) and swaying along to her superb guitar skills. When I got home, I liked her page on Facebook and also YouTubed her and found some more brilliant songs. I suggest you all do the same!

‘Cold Beer’ is the song that caught my attention and the music video that runs alongside it is funny and very clever. I’m not giving anything anyway, so you’ll have to check it out yourself! ‘Cold Beer’ will be released on the 21st of August and luckily for us local people, Jerry Williams is hosting the EP release on Sunday the 23rd of August in Tiger at 5pm. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?! So you have no excuse as to why you shouldn’t go.

Jerry has been performing for about two years and has been working her way around Portsmouth. It seems that most of her songs are influenced by nights out and dating boys, which I absolutely love, as she gets her opinions and stories out via her songs. Jerry Williams is inspired by the likes of Jake Bugg, Johnny Cash and Coldplay but this doesn’t make her the same or similar, it makes her an amazing independent singer/songwriter. Jerry even won the Best Solo Artist award for the Portsmouth Guide awards in 2014.

This girl deserves all the luck with her EP release and future events that she’ll be playing at! Jerry will be playing on the Saturday at Victorious Festival on Common Stage and also the Acoustic Stage. So if you miss her the first time, you can breath a sigh of relief because you can catch her later on in the day.

The festival is being held on Southsea Common on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August. Tickets are available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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

You can follow Jerry on Facebook, Twitter @JerryWMusic, YouTube and Instagram @jerrywilliamsmusic.

Jerry Williams

The Clock Face Exhibition at the Coastguard Studio

On 22nd August The Coastguard Studio will open its latest exhibition The Clock Face Exhibition.

Wesley Brown has assembled a team of local creative talent to deliver an exhibition capturing the essence of time in all its glory. The artists involved include Wesley Brown himself as well as Kirsty Herring, Oliver Nelson, Bruce Spruce, Elliot Cranston, Mark Poyner and Stefano Pollina.

Wesley describes the use of time as the theme for the exhibition, “Capturing time is the essence of all photography; every photo is simply a moment we have managed to capture and store, something that we can use to remember it visually forever more. It really allowed me to open up the exhibition to a whole range of concepts”.

As well as the exhibition there will be music courtesy of InDeep Music. Doors open on the night at 6pm and it is looking like To stay up to date with the exhibition visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

Kirsty Herring
By Kirsty-Herring
Stefano Pollina
By Stefano Pollina
Wesley Brown
By Wesley Brown
Clock Face Exhibition

Photos from Photography Walkshop at Southsea Castle

Saturday’s Strong Island Photography Walkshop at Southsea Castle went well and was busy with over a dozen photographers coming along to improve their photo skills and explore this historic landmark both above and below ground. For the first hour we looked at different composition techniques and using aperture to control depth of field. For the second hour we explored the tunnels under the castle and experimented with shutter speed and trying out lightpainting. A big thank you to everyone who came along and the staff at the castle for being great hosts!

Our last summer photography walkshop will be on Saturday the 19th of September and we’ll be starting off at the Rose Gardens then moving to Canoe Lake and then on to the beach and Southsea Parade Pier. There are still spaces available and you can find out more HERE and book online HERE – only £10 for two hours.

Happy to announce that we will be running photography walkshops now all year round, with monthly walkshops through the autumn and winter. We’ll have details on dates and locations (and themes!) on our new photography walkshops website coming soon.

Below are some photos from the Southsea Castle walkshop, more on our Flickr (where you’ll find photos from all of our summer walkshops) and our Facebook page.












Shadow Child & Ben Pearce – Nothing Ever Hurts (Ft. Laurel)

Local house DJ and producer Shadow Child has teamed up with Ben Pearce and Strong Island favourite Laurel for ‘Nothing Ever Hurts’. The trio have produced a cracking tune and equally nice video to accompany it.

If you like what you hear then you can get your hands on the track for 99p on iTunes or stream it for free on Spotify.

Shadow Child

Laurel

Victorious Festival Preview #5 The Magic Numbers by Liv Woodward

I have always been a fan of The Magic Numbers and their infectious song, ‘Love Me Like You’, is one of my favourites. However, shame on me because I hadn’t listened their new album Alias, which was released in 2014. Have a listen and you will not be disappointed, I promise! They are a tight and polished group and their vocals are one-of-a-kind, with soft backing vocals from Michele and Angela and the husky lead vocals from Romeo.

The Magic Numbers formed in 2002 and consists of two pairs of siblings. They began touring the London circuit although it wasn’t until 2004, that their hard work finally paid off and they got the chance to support Snow Patrol and Travis. With the exposure touring with artists, it allowed the band to reach out to a different audience and gain popularity and a solid following. In 2005, their first album, The Magic Numbers was released, which became a great success and they produced three more albums over the years.

They have played at various festivals over the years and now they’re ready to rock the main stage at Victorious Festival on the Saturday! If you have never heard The Magic Numbers sing live, then I suggest you do so. Sit back and relax with a drink in hand and enjoy!

The festival is being held on Southsea Common on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. Tickets are still available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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 Magic Numbers

FoodCycle Portsmouth Fundraising Pop Up Dinner

On Friday 11th September, FoodCycle Portsmouth and FoodCycle Bristol are joining forces to bring you a one-off pop up dinner event in Southsea, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a stunning three course meal in a beautiful coastal café. This is a meal with a twist – it will be cooked entirely from surplus food! Two great teams of volunteers will work together to collect and cook up a delicious three course meal made from surplus food (that would otherwise be thrown away) especially for you!

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The evening will be jam packed with entertainment. We’ve got live music from Tom and Caitlin, Southsea’s finest bluegrass duo. Award winning artist Joe Munro will be showcasing some of his documentary driven artwork that interrogates our conceptions of existing food systems in the UK, and highlights the importance of the positive steps projects are making locally. And if that’s not enough, there’ll be street art and more to ensure this is an unforgettable evening.

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This unique event offers an opportunity to support one of the UK’s leading organisations tackling food waste, food poverty and social isolation. All funds raised will go towards supporting FoodCycle’s projects in Portsmouth, Bristol and across the UK.
Join us for this tasty meal and help unite our local community through good food.

All you need to know:
Time: 7pm for 7.30pm service.
Location: Watkins & Faux, Pavilion Café, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, PO5 3PB
Tickets: Tickets cost just £7 and must be brought in advance here. There are limited seats available so don’t delay in booking your tickets! 
Drinks and raffle tickets available for purchase on the evening – so please remember to bring a few extra pennies along!

FoodCycle runs volunteer-powered community projects across the UK – all working to reduce food poverty and social isolation by serving tasty, nutritious meals to vulnerable people. Since we started cooking in May 2009, our incredible volunteers have served over 125,000 meals made using over 146,000kg of surplus food – the equivalent saving of 657,000kg CO2 emissions.

FoodCycle Portsmouth collects food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away, and with the help of lovely volunteers cook it up into a tasty, healthy 3 course meal for those most in need in our city. Meals are put on every Tuesday at the John Pounds Centre on Queens Street, Portsea and every Thursday at Kings Church, Somerstown.

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SWEAT Southsea Open Morning This Saturday

Hopefully by now you will be aware of SWEAT Southsea who are based in Haslemere Road in Southsea. SWEAT Southsea is a gym with a bit of a difference, unlike most gyms this is a facility is dedicated to personal training as well as offering bespoke pay as you go classes and therapy.

Their building is home to a bespoke and fully equipped gym designed specifically for personal training. This gives you the privacy to train one on one with the personal trainer. As well as PT they also offer a range of studio classes, sports massage therapy and physiotherapy.

The team behind behind SWEAT are hosting a FREE open morning this Saturday from 9am. You will be able to take part in FREE taster classes and FREE taster Personal Training sessions. You can email them at enquiries@sweat.fitness or call 02392 177480 to book your place on any of the classes.

Saturday’s timetable
09:00 Barre
09:30 Pilates
10:00 HIIT Pilates
10:30 HIIT
11:00 SWEAT Intense
11:30 Kettlebells

I was invited to pop for a taster session with co-founder Luke Newton a few months ago and I loved it. I have since booked myself some personal training sessions which have been hard work but a lot of fun and even in a few short weeks I’ve noticed a difference. If you are unable to take part in any of the classes this weekend then you are welcome to drop in and meet the trainers to discuss all things fitness.

For more information check out the Facebook Event page here. You can find SWEAT Southsea on Facebook, Twitter @SweatSouthsea and Instagram @sweat_southsea.

Sweat Open Day

Dials Festival Preview #2 Peluché

So as you may have seen a couple of weeks back,  the line-up to Dials Festival – a collaborative, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardners Club has been announced and will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year. Leading up to our festival in October we’re going to be running weekly previews leading up to the festival.

Our next preview features an act I cannot wait to catch at Dials being Peluche who I first caught live at Lennon’s in Southampton with Wyldest who are also playing Dials Festival. The trio from London create eccentric, jazz ridden, psychedelic like shimmering pop combining elements of avant-garde that is total bliss. Peluche are nothing short of wonderful and the sun-soaked sonic journey is beyond  joyous especially for a warm summer evening. The trio have just unleashed the excellent and just as excellently titled,  ethereal, dub like, dreamy-pop gem that is ‘The Guy With The Gammy Eye’ that was released this Monday on Speedy Wunderground which you can purchase on vinyl over on their store.

Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up. You can get the tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming very soon and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.

peluche

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Photos from Saturday’s Photography Walkshop in Eastney

On Saturday we ran our 4th summer Strong Island Photography Walkshop, this time down in Eastney, exploring with our cameras from the Hayling Ferry point, past the house boats, along the Langstone Harbour beach line and down to the concrete pier in to the Solent. We looked at taking control of aperture and shutter speed, different compositional techniques and much more. Below are some photos of the photographers who came along for the morning, check our Facebook page & Flick for more photos.

Our next Photography Walkshop is this Saturday at 10am to 12pm at Southsea Castle. We’ll be exploring the castle grounds and working on some basic lightpainting and long exposure photography in the tunnels under the castle walls. If you want to join us you can book online (only £10) or find out more about this walkshop and the next one in September in Southsea visit HERE.

Thanks again to all the photographers who have joined us throughout the summer!


























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Creative Census

Do you work in the Creative Industries in Portsmouth? We are running the Creative Census project throughout the summer of 2015 with the aim to measure the creative temperature of the city. Please take a minute to complete the census questions and please share with the hashtag #CreativeCensusPortsmouth. You can enter the census and find out all the details at:

www.creativecensus.co.uk

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Features

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the previous Best in Show interviews, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of The News, Megan Barnes a photography student and Matt Wingett a local author.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Barry Abrook, ex-professional skateboarder and designer, at Portsmouth City Museum. Barry checked out the A Hard Choice exhibition, then let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hey Barry, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

My first choice (from the A Hard Choice Exhibition) is the mole. I love animals and nature and I like this because it is hard to see a mole, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a real mole and this is really the only opportunity a lot of people get to see these animals, basically in a zoo or taxidermy. I’m interested in taxidermy…I used to be really against it, but if you are a graphic artist, illustrator or painter it is a good way to actually observe animals to draw and paint them. I think everything about the mole is really cool. It is designed to live underground. They are nice animals, I like it, it is intriguing. All the taxidermy in the exhibition is good, the bat, magpies, it was tough to choose.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (7)

And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about it?

My second choice is the fabric by Lucienne Day. I love fabric and printing and I used to screen print quite a lot and I still do on fabric. I also like this item in the exhibition because of the era it is from, the late 60s. You’ve got bold poppy designs, block colours…I like patterns and I like symmetry…and this has got quite a lot going for it! It reminds me of childhood…this is the sort of fabric that would be made in to curtains or bed spread that could have been in my house. It has that 60s/70s feel so nostalgic for me too. The Days were pretty amazing at what they did.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (6)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (5)

And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Third choice are the saucy postcards! These are from around the 1950s, that sort of end-of-the-pier era, good seaside ephemera. I like these for quite a few reasons, I live in Southsea, by the sea, I wasn’t born here but I love living by the sea. As a child I was taken to the seaside for holidays and these were the sort of things you might see. They are cheeky, they leave you to your own thoughts…how you interpret the captions…which was the humour at the time. They have a nice feel. They are well designed too, as a designer it is difficult to design something that small and detailed and these were drawn and hand painted, they’re an art form in itself, a style all of their own too. I also love postcards, I collect them and I use them in my own work and I love the messages you get on the back of old postcards, they can be emotional things. People used to send them but not as much anymore with emails, Facebook, etc. But postcards were sent during a holiday, from a good time so postcards generally remind you of good times, they’re a positive thing.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (4)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (3)

if you could think of something, of your own or something in Portsmouth, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I was thinking that maybe if I won the lottery, Euro-big style, I would love to be able to fully restore the South Parade Pier into something that the people of Portsmouth, and especially Southsea, could use and be proud of again. Whether it be Victorian or later period restoration, the important thing would be to ensure it continued to offer the ‘complete seaside escape’ for anyone who needed it. Part of the city collection. A funfair ride, candy floss, good food, music, comedy and a Shant!

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free this summer and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Victorious Festival Competiton

The lovely guys and girls behind next weekends Victorious Festival have donated two pairs of tickets for the festival for us to give away, so that is one pair for the Saturday and another pair for the Sunday.

Sadly we can only give one pair per winner but you are welcome to answer both questions and indicate on your emails which day you prefer to attend if successful. Please send your entries to stuart@strong-island.co.uk before midnight on Sunday 23rd August. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

Saturday Question
Q) Which orchestra did Laura Mvula team up with for her Abbey Road Studios live album?

Sunday Question
Q) Elle Eyre featured with Bastille on the cover of which TLC song?

If you don’t want to leave it to chance then tickets are available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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 Poster

SWEAT Southsea

For just over a month now I have been training with Luke Newton at SWEAT Southsea. If you don’t know about SWEAT Southsea they are based in Haslemere Road, which is just off Highlands Road. It’s a gym facility with a difference, unlike most gyms it is dedicated to personal training although still offers bespoke pay as you go group classes, sports massage therapy and physiotherapy. Inside you will find a fully equipped gym designed specifically for personal training, giving you the privacy to train one on one with the personal trainer.

Managing Director of SWEAT Southsea and Co-Founder of Southsea Fitness Festival Luke Newton opened the business with his partner Tina four months ago. Since then they have been going from strength to strength building up a client base who possess varying all levels of fitness.

SWEAT Southsea team include Luke Newton, Geraldine Ruffle, Lauren Allen, Sam Davey and Team GB Boxing Performance and Team England Talent Development coach ‘Q’ Shillingford MBE. Not for forget there is now a Sports Injury Clinic providing a range of services from highly qualified Physiotherapists and Sports Massage Therapists.

The team pride themselves on their ability to deliver results and get the best out of their clients. This sounds like the perfect recipe for anyone with a short term goal or event coming up. A Great South Run personal best anyone?! If one on one personal training isn’t quite your thing then they offer a whole range of group classes too. You can find out more information on them by checking out their website www.sweat.fitness/classes.

A few months ago I took part in a taster session with Luke and really enjoyed it. I have since booked myself a block of personal training sessions which have obviously been hard work but a lot of fun and I’m noticing the difference even after a few short weeks. I’ve been a member at a couple of different gyms over the last twenty odd years but I’ve never been particularly good at going on a consistent basis. I would get myself into a good routine for a few months notice the benefit and then allow myself to get out of that routine for whatever reason thus setting me back to where I started. Personal training isn’t as cheap as a gym membership but for me I’ve found one hour at SWEAT Southsea more beneficial than about three hours training on my own in a gym. I certainly can see this being something for me in the long term.

I would thoroughly recommend the services on offer and I would encourage anyone with even a small interest to pay them a visit, have a chat and see for yourself. The team are very welcoming and will quickly put you at ease, getting rid of any anxiety you might have because for some people this environment can be quite daunting.

You can find SWEAT Southsea on Facebook, Twitter @SweatSouthsea and Instagram @sweat_southsea.

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 1

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 2

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 3

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black
Photos come courtesy of Johnny Black Photography – www.johnnyblackphotography.co.uk

Strong Island’s 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle

Many of you may have noticed that last year there was no Strong Island 6th Birthday celebration. We were gutted that the event didn’t take place however it was all for a good reason, the design, build and opening of our first shop and studio space.

Thanks to your continued support the shop has has been going well and we would like to say thank you to you all by inviting you all to join us for our 7th birthday at the Meat & Barrel on Thursday 24th September.

Many of you may remember our previous Birthday and Charity Raffles have been hugely successful and we have all helped raised over £4000 for the Portsmouth RNLI and Portsmouth Autism in the last few years.

There will be more information to follow in the near future but in the mean time feel free to share and invite all of your friends. If you think that you would be able to make a donation to the prizes on offer then please drop us an email at contact@strong-island.co.uk every donation is welcomed. Every donation will be hugely welcomed and will be promoted in the build up to the event as well as on the night itself.

The Facebook event can be found HERE.

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Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (2)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (7)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (21)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (20)

My Dog Sigh’s Short Story Competition Winners

Earlier this year we invited everyone to take part in a short story competition. The theme of the story had to centre around one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. I have been overwhelmed with the interest and the high number amount of entries that I received. It has taken much longer than I anticipated but with the help of Naomi Hewlett (Park Community School) and Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home author) we have managed to decide on the winners for each category.

Choosing the winner wasn’t an easy task but it was a lot of fun reading everyone’s interpretation on the tin can man theme. We will also be publishing some of the other entries over the summer so please keep an eye out on the website for those. We will run another short story competition next Autumn. Next time round we hope to recruit a panel of 4-5 judges so we can get through the entries a lot quicker. If you think you would like to be involved then don’t be shy, send us an email or get in touch on social media.

The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog Sighs.

I hope you agree with us and enjoy the stories as much as we did.

13 years and under (150 words)
Hannah Richardson – Year 7 at Milton Cross School

I am just a can…
dumped outside a garage,
left to rust in pain,
never to be used again.
I roam the streets in search of cover,
but no one wants me, not even my mother.
My tears fall down my old tin face,
as I stare away into space.
I hide in the shrubs,
to avoid humans coming from the clubs,
but they see me,
and kick me along the street till I plea.
They leave me, shrivelled up,
it’s just my luck
That tonight I was struck.
So I crawl across to my corner
the corner where I was left.
It’s not my fault,
it’s not I swear.
I didn’t ask for this torture;
this everlasting pain.
I cover myself in plants and leaves,
and cry myself to sleep,
hoping to see tomorrow…

14–18 years (300 words)
Peyton Owen – Year 10 at King Richards School.

There once was a homeless man called Harold. Despite his dire situation he always had a smile on his face.
Harold was different to a lot of other homeless people. He didn’t beg. He never asked for anything. Instead he made beautiful artwork to sell with an old paint set he’d found and any rubbish he could get his hands on. He’d then display them in the subway and sell them cheaply to anybody who wanted them. His most popular pieces were the tiny faces he’d paint onto old discarded tin cans.

He lived this way for years. On some days he’d make enough money for a hot meal and he’d be happy for the rest of the week. As time moved on he aged and became ill, his artwork became less regular, until one day it stopped altogether. When the community heard of his death they all came together to hold a service for him.

Everybody had known him, he’d been an unfortunate soul who had always made the best of his bad situation. For weeks after his death his graveside was littered with cans which people had painted in memory of him.

To this day, the town still remembered Harold; the homeless entrepreneur.

18 years and above (500 words)
Garry Davies

‘BANG BANG BANG! In my drawers baby’ As the B52’s famously didn’t sing. The buckshot peppered my tin hide like torrential rain on a corrugated roof, knocking me stone-cold sparko.

I came to my senses just in time to see the All Day Breakfast Gang ride out of town in a cloud of dust. My partner, the treacherous varmint Butch Gassidy had pumped me for information on our latest heist, then betrayed me and threw his lot in with the Breakfast Bandits. I felt rich tomato sauce raging through my veins and swore revenge on the two-timing son of a can.

I roused myself and stumbled to my feet, spotting my loyal steed, I flung myself upon the mechanical bull and with a cry of “Hi-Ho Silver Alloy!” I was off in grim pursuit of the bean-based outlaws.
A few miles out of town, I came to a fork in the road with a mini frankfurter impaled in its prongs. A crude ketchup arrow, pointed towards Green Valley Gulch.

Silver, responding to my command obediently bucked down the track towards the Valley.
The sun was setting as I spotted the bandits camp, and in a scene reminiscent of Blazing Saddles they were sitting around a campfire, laughing and joking how they had made a fool of the Baked Bean Kid. At the head of the campfire sat the low down Butch Gassidy and judging from their relaxed manner and noisy bowel movements, the overpowering stench told me it was very High Noon.

Crouching behind my hidden vantage point, I gripped my trusty Tinchester Repeater and took aim.

Unleashing my 57 varieties of hell, the outlaws scattered and ran for cover into a shabby outbuilding marked: “Green Valley Recycling Centre.”
I followed at a distance and found them cowering in a battered metal truck.
With my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, I saw the truck was sitting on an old dusty conveyor belt. A lightbulb popped above my head and I knew, cans gotta do what a cans gotta do.

In a flash, I ripped off my ring pull and hurled it at the far wall where it hit its intended target. The big lever marked “Activate”.
With an awful clanking and grinding of gears, the belt burst into life and began rolling, taking Butch and the Breakfast possee ever closer to their deserved fate.
I rushed outside towards the exit, just in time to see the bandit’s less than triumphant transformation.

The once-feared outlaws stood sheepishly before me, resplendent in their shiny new glory…Butch Evaporated Milk and Grapefruit Segment Boys.

I handed them over to the Sheriff of Aldi and had myself a satisfied chuckle, content that the All Day Breakfast Gang’s notorious shelf life had now come to a sweet and sticky end.

I saddled up Silver and with a triumphant wave, noisily clanked off into the sunset.
So long, pardners…

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

Fareham Shorts – Short Film Competition

Fareham Shorts, Fareham’s first International Short Film competition, brings together amazing judges from the world of art and film.

Filmmakers from Hampshire and beyond are getting the chance to have their work viewed by Internationally acclaimed judges this summer for the inaugural Fareham Shorts (Fareham International Short Film Competition) as part of Fareham Arts Festival curated by Live Art Local CIC.

Judges from the world of film, art and academia will be choosing their favourite films in four categories from a shortlist and the their overall film of the festival.

The full line-up of judges is Daisy Jacobs (BAFTA winner, Oscar nominee), Anna Cady (Award winning artist and filmmaker, Official Selection Sundance Film Festival for 30%), Ben Thompson (Principal Lecturer & Section Lead for Video, Film & Broadcasting and a cameraman, director and producer with many years experience), Aysegul Epengin (Chair of Portsmouth Film Society) and John Hayes (Director of Winchester Film and Art CIC and co-ordintor of Winchester short film festival).

Short listed films will be shown and awards handed out at a Gala Screening at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on Thursday 13th August, where members of the public can not only view the winning material but also question some of the filmmakers. You can purchase tickets for this very special evening via Ashcroft Arts Centre for £3.

The winning film will also be shown at REEL cinema Fareham before feature films for a period after.

This is a great opportunity for local filmmakers to get their work seen by esteemed industry experts and the general public. Submissions close at midnight on 20th July and you can enter via Film Freeway or HERE.

Ed Davis-Hofbauer, co-curator of Film at Fareham Arts Festival, said:

“It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen by professionals in the industry and a great chance for local people to see new and groundbreaking work by up and coming talent, bringing a little bit of movie magic to Fareham this summer.”

If you would like to find out more about Fareham Arts Festival and submit your film, or find how to buy tickets click HERE.


Archives

The Langstone Ark Project

The Langstone Ark is a project being run by Langstone Harbour’s Environment Officer Louise MacCallum that went live on-line in August. The project aims to create a digital collection of all the animals and plants associated with Langstone Harbour, by asking harbour users, visitors, and anyone else with an interest in the harbour to send digital photographs of wildlife taken on the water, or around the shoreline.

So far, over 150 photographs have been contributed to the project, and nearly 100 species are now represented. There are literally 1000’s of species of animal and plant to be found around the harbour however, so there are plenty of gaps in the project left to fill!

Autumn is a great time of year to see wildlife around Langstone Harbour, with thousands of migratory birds beginning to arrive and beautiful fungi springing up on many of the wildlife reserves dotted around the shoreline.

For more information about the project visit the Langstone Harbour Board’s brand new website at www.langstoneharbour.org.uk and send photographic contributions to ark@langstoneharbour.org.uk

Below are just a few of the contributors photographs so far, and you can see all of them over at the gallery HERE.

Kestrel by B.D. McGregor

Little Tern by Mark Milum

Grey Seal by Nick Lyon

Southsea Circa ’51

After purchasing a few bits of old furniture the other day, under closer inspection we found the shelving to be lined with old newspaper.

Coming from one of the sheets is this, an advert for Southsea from the Sunday People dated 21st January 1951.  The best bit and also a point raised by more than one person, is the fact that in 1951 it takes 90 minutes by train from London Waterloo to Southsea the same as it does today!  Fascinating that in 61 years we haven’t managed to make it any quicker.

Created Local – Matt Howarth

Local illustrator, blogger, cyclist and member of the I Love Dust crew has just relaunched his website with a brand new design and loads of new content. be sure to take some time and give it a good look, plenty of visual gems in there.

www.hellomatt.co.uk

Spinnaker Tower

Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and has already established itself as a national icon for Britain. Get yourself down to Gunwharf Quays and check out the panoramic views over the city and the Solent. Don’t forget your camera. Oh, and if you’re a Portsmouth resident you get cheap entry if you provide proof.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

Jonathan & Matthew Ring recently released a book of archive Portsmouth photography that was taken by their grandparents over the years (find out more about the book HERE). As well as photographs they also found a load of footage filmed around the city and have just released their first episode of their Portsmouth on Film.

This episode has some great footage from the early 90s, including some from the Tour de France.

Local Photographer – Diana Goss

A familiar and friendly face around Albert Road, Diana Goss is a freelance creative portrait photographer with her own studio and whilst based in Southsea is often found all over Portsmouth as well as Bournemouth and Brighton too. Specialising in both Fashion and Boudoir work (see www.laboudoir.co.uk), and going by her website (www.notmagnum.co.uk) and Flickr obviously enjoys any type of people portraiture both in the studio and outside at such events as Goodwood Revival, music shows, weddings and even equine work. Not only that but you most likely have seen a few of her common props around town, a 1960’s Bentley, a 1955 Oldsmobile in red with red leather seats and a 1960’s red Pontiac!

Some of Diana’s work is available in Albert Road in Matt Sills’s Wallspace gallery (you may have also picked up a few free prints during the last Albert Road day) and if you’re interested in any commission work such as model shoots and portfolios, event photography or are interested in modelling for one of Diana’s photography projects give Diana a shout via email.

This is a cross processed film shot Diana took of the Wallspace Gallery with her namesake camera, a Lomo Diana and below that are a few more examples of her work:

XPRO Gallery

The Doomsday Project

From 1984 to 1986 people, in particular school children, all got involved in collecting information on their local area to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Doomsday Book by creating a new, updated, electronic version. The collected information became The Doomsday Project which was a collection of laserdiscs and special BBC computers. The country was broken down in to ‘D’ blocks with the data collection done mostly by schools, the information included text on local geography, history, legends and also more contemporary personal things such as favourite music, games, etc. As well as the text each block could also contain up to 3 photos. Many schools bought the discs and computers as a learning resource (the World Wide Web as a concept was still some years away).

A few days ago the BBC launched a new website where all of this previously difficult to access information (only a handful of working systems still exist) is now online and searchable. It’s an amazing glimpse in to Portsmouth and Southsea life in the early to mid 80s and there are some great images. The new website also allows you to upload new information and photos too.

If you are 38+ you may well have memories of being involved in the project in collecting and writing information. Personally I remember the day my group went out to a tiny village in Essex in the hot summer but instead of writing things we played near the river and weir. Oh well. Does anyone have any memories of taking part in the project? If so please add a comment, would love to hear people’s memories.

You can find out more about the original project on HERE and the BBC article and access the online version below:

www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday

Domesday Project




Old Portsmouth

I found this photo of Old Portsmouth shot form The Spinnaker last night. I don’t think I’ve seen it shot from this angle before. It almost looks like another town at first glance. Some great details. Cricket in full swing, all the catchers traps on the roof of the fish market, enjoying a beer at The A Bar, Lawn Bowls, all on a cracking sunny day. Click on the image for full size.

Photo – eNil

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ by Sue Pike

I’ve been holding on to this for a while now as I wanted to make a feature of it and had to wait for the exhibition to finish to give it pride of place on the front page. If like myself you’re always looking around at our local architecture you will have noticed many of the buildings within the book Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’. Some could even be right on your doorstep but you have never noticed, or peeked over that high wall. Thomas Ellis Owen’s work is all over the city and you’d be forgiven for walking past as a lot of it is hidden or down those streets you may not stroll down too often. Other buildings however are right in your face. Ever noticed the huge block of flats at the entrance to Waitrose, the detailing on the building at Dover Court opposite the old Havana bar?



“Thomas Ellis Owen is probably the best known of Portsmouth’s nineteenth century architects, his construction of villas and substantial terraces in Southsea being responsible for the emergence of the district as a middle class locality. His work was recognised by Pevsner and Lloyd in their magisterial Buildings of England: Hampshire, and later by a rather more detailed architectural enquiry by two students, Preedy and Stewart. My own research was principally concerned with dating Owen’s properties and analysing their inhabitants. What Sue Pike has done is to cast the net very much wider, not only by providing great detail about Owen’s family, but also by demonstrating the impressive breadth of his activities outside architecture. Indeed, his interests were so wide that there must have been few aspects of Portsmouth’s development in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in which he was not involved. Infrastructural fields such as gas supply, the Portsea Canal, railways, the Camber Docks and hospitals lay within his purview, while he assisted in the purchase of land for one of Portsmouth’s defining features, the Palmerstonian forts. His tithe map has proved of inestimable value to local historians. Meanwhile Owen was an important local politician. All these facets of Owen’s life have been fully laid bare in this thoroughly well researched book by Sue Pike, who is to be congratulated on her labours.” Professor Ray Riley

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ is a really interesting read and contains stunning colour photos of many Owen properties in Southsea and Alverstoke by Gosport photographer, Tim Martin. There is no real target audience and hopefully it will appeal to old and young alike. The detailed captions may be helpful to first year architecture students but it showcases Southsea well and may well appeal equally to academics, photographers, interested newcomers and people who just want a really nice book to put on their coffee table. I’m a huge fan of both history and architecture so this book is a real winner for me, and I have no doubt that if that’s not really your bag you will still appreciate what Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ has to offer.

You can purchase a hardback copy for £25 via the publishers www.tricornbooks.co.uk and www.whsmith.co.uk and read up on the book and the author Sue Pike over at www.thomasellisowen.co.uk















Old Cycle Race

At some point between the wars this was taken during a cycle race at the Alexandra Park velodrome up in Tipner, which is still there.

Cycle Race
(Click on image to see a larger version)