Strong Island Co.

Photos From Strong Island Recordings In-Store Takeover of Strong Island Co

We’re always really excited in exploring what we can do in our new home Strong Island Co. We have the Strong Island Clothing Co store in there plus the studio space for Strong Island Media which we use for both photography and film and we’ve already had a few exhibitions too. On Saturday night we had our first Strong Island Recordings in-store takeover with full sets by Melt Dunes and Death of the Author.

A big thank you to both bands, the SIR crew, Max from Rickyfitts and everyone that came down. We’re aiming on making this a semi-regular thing, more info on the next one soon.

Below are some photos from the night taken by Josh Knill and myself, there are a bunch more on our Facebook and Flickr.

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

As part of the current large exhibition A Hard Choice at Portsmouth City Museum a community case & display area was set up to allow local people to have the opportunity to share their own treasured collections with the rest of the city. A few weeks ago three winning collections were selected from the incredible shortlist of submissions with judges Rosalinda Hardiman the city’s collection manager, Mark Waldron from The News and myself from Strong Island. The collections submitted were fantastically diverse including vintage postcards, royal clocks, an 80s fashion designer, glasswear and much, much more. Finally three submissions were selected for the community display and the first of these to go in to A Hard Choice is all about the Back to the Future Trilogy.

The Hill Valley Preservation Society present a small portion of their Back to the Future props and costume display at Portsmouth Museum. This collection includes some of the most iconic items from the Back to the Future Trilogy and is made up of officially licensed replicas, screen-used/production made props, reproductions and vintage items. If you are a fan of the films this is an incredible collection and well worth a visit, alongside ‘A Hard Choice’ exhibition, from the end of March until the end of May. Don’t forget that entry to Portsmouth Museum is FREE.

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 29

Charlie is back with 29th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This week I take a closer look at Beatle, spiritual adventurer and self-professed ‘naughtiest boy in the school'; George Harrison. There’s a couple of solo tunes, a couple of Beatles tunes, a collaboration and a cover, a little attempt to show the breadth of work he was involved in through the years.

As well as that, there’s a new tune from Badbadnotgood featuring Ghostface Killah, a bit of krautrock, some Talking Heads, classic Beta Band and the welcome return of Sam’s Selection Box. I’ll let you tuck in.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) – George Harrison
02) I Need You – The Beatles
03) Eclipse – The Beta Band
04) Screams In The Ears – Bill Fay
05) Paper Trails – Darkside
06) Badge – Cream
07) My Ritual – The Folk Implosion
08) Isi – Neu!
09) Ray Gun – Badbadnotgood
10) All Things Must Pass – George Harrison
11) She’s So Cold – The Rolling Stones
12) Devil Was In My Yard – The Sleepy Jackson
13) Pulled Up – Talking Heads
14) Here Comes The Sun – Nina Simone
15) Something – The Beatles

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 29

Kassassin Street Limited Edition Vinyl and Castle Road Fete for Record Store Day

With Record Store Day quickly approaching (18th April) lots of things are gearing up for the day in Portsmouth. One of the first RSD related pieces of news is that Portsmouth band Kassassin Street will be releasing a limited edition vinyl EP, their first physical release. The EP comes with artwork by Luke Insect.

The band will be celebrating the launch of the vinyl EP with a performance with Pie and Vinyl for the Castle Road Fete for Record Store Day which will be happening on the 18th with the street closed, stalls and live music. Check HERE for the full details.

Kassassin Street Limited Edition Vinyl

Castle Road Fete for Record Store Day

My Dog Sighs and Democracy Street Free Art Friday Workshops

Last Thursday and Friday saw My Dog Sighs run workshops linking Free Art Friday with a new web app Democracy Street at Make and Craft Cafe in Fratton. We featured Democracy Street recently (read HERE), a web app conceived and developed in Portsmouth that nationally allows people to discover the streets around them and the people through the ages that had the roads and streets named after them.

My Dog Sighs delivered two workshops that drew upon the popular Free Art Friday principles to artwork plus looked at how artwork can be site specific in inspiration as well as where it could be dropped off for people to view and take home. The participants of the workshop had a go at creating their own Everyman artwork with quotes and song lyrics that related to them, the streets they lived on and more. Democracy Street beta was used by everyone to help research their lyrics and also for places to place their finished work. The workshops really showed where creativity and new technology can work together in new, practical situations, with one inspiring the other.

At the end of the workshops people went out and dropped their artwork on the streets and then added photos of the work to Democracy Street, with the images now viewable on the web app when people access the maps and roads in the local area. Democracy Street will soon be out of beta and officially launched very soon.

Below is a set of photos from Friday’s workshop.

Atrium Launch New Cocktail Menu with Fuzz Tones Night

The Atrium has always been a good spot for some cocktails and with the spring arriving they are launching their brand new cocktail menu this friday (20th March). Providing the music for the evening will be Fuzz Tones, Southsea’s only regular Psychedelic and Garage Rock night. Along with the brand new cocktail menu, the Fuzz Tones DJ’s LongDistanceDan and Martin Horn will also be giving away a free mix CD too.

The night runs from 7.30pm to midnight with happy hour from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Find out more at the Facebook event HERE.

Atrium Launch New Cocktail Menu with Fuzz Tones Night

Portsmouth in a New Children’s Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton

Monster‘, the third (with Rover and Howler) in a series of children’s books written by Michael Rosen and Southsea based illustrator Neal Layton will be published this month. The story is set in a school, and Neal based the pictures on drawings he did at Cumberland Infant School (where his daughter is in Year 2) here in Portsmouth. Some of the shops and pubs from Albert road also feature in artworks too!

To coincide with the publication of the new book Aspex Gallery are holding two exhibitions of Neal Layton’s children’s book work opening on Wednesday 18th March 2015.

The first, offsite at Portsmouth Guildhall shows artworks from the series of books Neal has done with Michael Rosen. The second exhibition held concurrently at Aspex Cafe Gallery concentrates on process and artifacts from Neal’s studio. Both exhibitions run until May.

Find more information about both exhibitions on Neal’s blog HERE, or Aspex’ website HERE.

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (1)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (2)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (4)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (3)

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 28 Vol. 2

Charlie is back with volume two of the 28th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

Here as promised, is the second instalment of my round-up of 2014. Next time you hear from me it’ll be a normal show with me muttering about nonsense, so you have that to look forward to…in the meantime. Enjoy!

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Plectrumelectrum – Prince & 3rd Eye Blind
02) Rumble – Kelis
03) The Dogs Of War – Ghostface Killah
04) Forerunner Foray – Shabazz Palaces
05) Pools – Glass Animals
06) Naked – Neneh Cherry
07) Better Strangers – Royal Blood
08) Beneath The Black And Purple – Morgan Delt
09) Denial – I Break Horses
10) The Last Conquistador – Gruff Rhys
11) Pains – Silk Rhodes
12) New Beat – Mariachi El Bronx
13) Red Eyes – War On Drugs
14) Two Weeks – FKA Twigs
15) Banjo – Clark
16) Real Thing – Tune-Yards
17) Reservoir – Metronomy
18) Prettiest Ones – Fryars
19) Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett
20) The Fool – Ethan Johns
21) Every Time The Sun Comes Up – Sharon Van Etten
22) The Secret Seven – Owen Pallett
23) Keep In The Dark – Temples
24) World Peace Is None Of Your Business – Morrissey
25) Say Goodbye – Beck

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 28 Vol. 2

FoodCycle Portsmouth Celebrates First Anniversary

Amazing how time flies, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we heard about the formation of FoodCycle Portsmouth, a community organisation combining volunteers, surplus food, and spare kitchen spaces to create nutritious meals for people at risk from food poverty and social isolation. It is great to hear that FoodCycle Portsmouth celebrated its 1st year anniversary this Tuesday with lots of guests and live music from the Pompey Pluckers at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.

The guests were treated to a delicious 3 course meal of cheese and bean quesadilla, veg pie with roasties, and a hot cross bun pudding. However, the food wasn’t the only talking point last night as people got up from their seats to enjoy the music and celebrate. The Pompey Pluckers, armed with their Hawaiian shirts & Ukuleles, have partnered with many different charities and it is easy to see why they’re so popular after their exciting and electric performance on Tuesday night. Their accompaniment to dinner was the perfect way to celebrate a very successful year of volunteering and tasty community meals at FoodCycle Portsmouth.

Since launching in March 2014, FoodCycle Portsmouth have served over 1,697 community meals using 2,689.9kgs of surplus food donated by local supermarkets. This has been achieved through the hard-work and generosity of our volunteers, who have put in over 1,200 hours of their own time. FoodCycle Portsmouth have had a very eventful year, with the highlight being the opening of a Thursday meal in Somerstown which is slowly and gaining new guests. All of these great achievements could never have been dreamt of without the outstanding and tireless work of our fantastic volunteers who continue to cook delicious community meals week in and week out.

Want to find out how to get involved? Email

FoodCycle Portsmouth Celebrates First Anniversary (1)

FoodCycle Portsmouth Celebrates First Anniversary (2)

FoodCycle Portsmouth Celebrates First Anniversary (3)

FoodCycle Portsmouth Celebrates First Anniversary (4)

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 28 Vol. 1

Charlie is back with volume one of the 28th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

As is traditional now, if a little later than usual, I’ve put together a roundup of stuff I dug from last year, this time though, there’s no nattering from me, just pure music mixed by me and the ever patient producer/engineer/talent of Longlive Radio, Dan. There’ll be another instalment next week, but for now, here’s 25 (of 50) tunes, from 50 great albums, and it was tough getting it down to that! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it and sorry if I missed off your absolute favourite from last year, it was rubbish anyway ;)

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Talk To God – Goat
02) Yacha – Sinkane
03) Close Your Eyes – Run The Jewels
04) Low – Young Fathers
05) Betray My Heart – D’Angelo & The Vanguard
06) Left Hand Free – alt-J
07) Lonely Daze – Kate Tempest
08) Himalayan – Band Of Skulls
09) Ransom Notes – SOHN
10) minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix] – Aphex Twin
11) Preben Goes To Acapulco – Todd Terje
12) Man v Dingo – Jimi Goodwin
13) Just One Of The Guys – Jenny Lewis
14) Fence Me In – Erlend Oye
15) High Ball Stepper – Jack White
16) My Sad Captains – Elbow
17) Degrees Of Light – Taylor McFerrin
18) Trouble – TV On The Radio
19) Everyday Robots – Damon Albarn
20) Choker – Honeyblood
21) Carousel – Neville Skelly
22) Talking Backwards – Real Estate
23) Regret – St Vincent
24) Moving To The Left – Woods
25) I Remember – Saint Saviour

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 28 Vol. 1

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It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Closed at £725

Righto chaps, it’s time to clean shave your boat race and get that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

New Book – Portsmouth from Family Archives

A new book called ‘Portsmouth from Family Archives’ has just been published. Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Ring started developing the book last summer. All the photographs included in the book were from their grandparents. They spent a great deal of time compiling, scanning and restoring slides and film from 1950s to 2006, including behind the scenes filming in Portsmouth.

The 100-page book is available online at Amazon. Bonzo Studio and Southsea Gallery on Albert Road, Southsea are currently selling it, and they hope other shops will sell it too. They are also planning to do the summer market at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.

“It’s been great fun, and such hard work keeping it a secret from everyone! We hope everyone enjoys the book and the photos inside it as much as we did.”

Photos below – A photo of Jonathan Ring, their Grandmother and Matthew Ring; unveiling the book to their grandparents; book cover and the slides.

Facebook group can be found here:

Sneak Peek - Showing the Grandparents the Portsmouth Book

Slides - Portsmouth Book (Coming Soon)

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 and and read up on the book and the author Sue Pike over at

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 and send photographic contributions to

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 & Portsmouth Guide

Local photographer Steve Bomford recently sent over a series of scans from the 1926 Official Publication of the Southsea Beach & Publicity Committee Portsmouth Corporation book ‘Southsea & Portsmouth’.

‘It is of little use to invite intending holiday makers to a town, unless there are attractions to offer, under all conditions of our notorious fickle ‘English’ climate. We do not make the statement that the sun shines every day at Southsea, but records show that we do get the maximum amount of sunny hours. Last year again, 1,923 hours were recorded, the highest number (with one exception) in the United Kingdom. Admitting that the question of sunshine is an important one, it is contended that a holiday resort must have other attractions, such as charming amenities, efficient public services, splendid variety of amusements, good facilities for all outdoor sports, and a good selection of cheap excursions and places of historical interest, to make a general appeal to those who are seeking a health-giving and enjoyable holiday.”

I love all the old hand drawn adverts and especially like the ‘medically recommended’ page. Where the sun lingers longer. Couldn’t be closer to the truth still to this day. It’s a shame the ‘most artistic cafe in Southsea’ is no longer in operation and the amount of people gathered on South Parade beach is incredible. Be sure to check out the full set with over 80 pages of photos, adverts and chapters all about Portsmouth & Southsea over at Steve’s Flickr HERE. A really interesting read if you like your history. And we know you do.

Strong Island Clothing Co.