Strong Island Co.

Our Top 5 Acts To See At Blissfields 2015

In less than 24 hours Strong Island will be paying our annual visit to Blissfields festival. I am excited to introduce you my top five things to see and do at this years festival.

1 – First of all are Big Child Man Child, lead singer Matt Jarvis is well acquainted with Blissfields after playing on three previous festivals as a solo artist. Lloyd Hoy and Steve Probert are more commonly known on the south coast as the popular DJ’s The Business Partners. Together they have ventured into new musical territory for them both and have been producing exciting results. Check them out on the Larch stage on Thursday night.

Twitter @BCMBCmusic

2 – Some of you might have been lucky enough to see Cosmo Sheldrake‘s performance in the Fat Fox during Southsea Fest 2013. He describes himself as a multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer. Cosmo plays a wide variety of instruments and brings them together using a loop station to create some fantastic tunes. Pay his YouTube channel a visit so you can see some of the unique venues he’s chosen for his live sessions.

Twitter @CosmoSheldrake

3 – I was introduced to The Plastic Mermaids earlier this year by a friend. Band members Douglas Richards, Jamie Richards, Chris Jones, Tom Farren and Chris Newnham hail from across the Solent on the Isle of Wight. Described by Q Magazine as a “Gorgeously textural, Polaroids sounds like Mercury Rev going on a road trip with The Flaming Lips”. After Ok Go I am confident that you would struggle to find anyone that is producing brillaintly original and entertaining music videos. A personal favourite is ‘Saturn‘, I could only dream of being that good at dancing!

Twitter @PlasticMermaids

4 – Kassassin Street require no introduction to Portsmouth locals. For a long time now Rowan, Nathan, Ryan, Tom and Andy have been building a reputation as Portsmouth’s premier live band. The guys have another busy summer ahead which includes live shows at Bestival, Secret Garden Party and Victorious Festival.

Twitter @KassassinStreet

5 – Overnight I have downloaded Apple Music and my first download had to be a Taylor Swift track but my second was the incredible ‘Zaba’ by Glass Animals. The band have been capturing the attention of electro fans across the world and have just returned from a two month tour of America, performing in cities including San Diego, New Orleans and Seattle. For fans of Jungle, The xx and SBTRKT, the Glass Animals are definitely one for you.

Twitter @GlassAnimals

If you would like to join the fun then there are a limited number of tickets still available. You can get your hands on them from You can also follow the festival for updates on Facebook and Twitter @Blissfields.

Blissfields Poster

Strong Island and Hampshire Police Cycle Security Event

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen.

In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary we are going to be hosting a free Cycle Marking event at Strong Island HQ on Saturday 11th July between 10am-midday.

Whatever type of bike you ride get yourself and your bike down to the store, you will find local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be on hand to offer cycle security advice as well well as FREE cycle marking which can help identify your bike as yours if the worst were to happen and it was stolen.

Please share this event with friends, family and anyone you think would be interested. You can find out more information in the build up to the event on Facebook –

Strong Island x Hampshire police

Strong Island’s Spoken Word Stage at Blissfields

This year Strong Island have curated the Blissfields Spoken Word event on the Amoeba to Zebra stage. I admit to not knowing a lot about spoken word but I have since discovered that spoken word is not limited to just poetry, it incorporates a whole range of art forms such as music, rap, theater, and dance, with focuses on the aesthetics of word play and story-telling. This is evident in the diverse styles we’ve lined up for Blissfields. Enjoy!

1800-1815 Roya Shadmand
1820-1835 Toby Campion
1905-1930 The Many Faces of Spike

Roya Shadmand is a spoken word poet (in theory) and stand-up comedian (kind of) from Southampton. Her poems generally aren’t very funny and her comedy certainly isn’t very poetic. She calls it compartmentalising. Others call it a clear indication of multiple personality disorder.

Toby Campion is passionate about engaging audiences with poetry and co-runs the Midlands’ spoken word night, Find the Right Words. Toby performs at events and festivals across the UK & America and is a member of the Spare the Poets collective. Toby has performed at internationally acclaimed events including StAnza International Poetry Festival, BBC Main stage at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014, Sofar Sounds, Bestival and Lovebox. Toby placed second in the country at the UK National Poetry Slam finals 2014, was runner up at the BBC Slam Finals 2014 and Roundhouse Slam Finals 2015 and represented the UK at the Capturing Fire International Poetry Summit 2015 in Washington DC.

Toby Campin BBCslam

The Many Faces of Spike aka Spike Zephaniah is a an illustrator first and foremost, his work crosses into all manner of practices, such as writing, animation, puppetry and graphic design. Though the contexts may vary massively, his key interests remain consistent throughout my work. Spike describes that “above all else my passion is people, particularly faces. I’m also fascinated with monsters, and like to question what truly makes a monster. I am currently working as a freelance illustrator while developing my own unique blend of portrait poetry”. Spike’s unique combination of performance illustration with spoken word is a must see and is sure to be one of the highlights of the Spoken Word event at Blissfields.

Here is a glimpse of what you can expect take in the Chocolate Poetry Club in Camberwell.

If you’d like to join the fun then there are still a limited number of tickets still available. You can get your hands on them from You can also follow the festival for updates on Facebook and Twitter @Blissfields.

Blissfields Poster

Blissfields Preview – Strong Island’s Spoken Word Stage

This year Strong Island have curated the Blissfields Spoken Word event on the Amoeba to Zebra stage. I admit to not knowing a lot about spoken word prior to this but I have since discovered that spoken word is not limited to just poetry, it incorporates a whole range of art forms such as music, rap, theater, and dance, with focuses on the aesthetics of word play and story-telling. This is evident in the diverse styles we’ve lined up for Blissfields. Enjoy!

Friday Line Up
2030-2045 Selby
2050-2105 Craft D
2110-2130 Rex Domino
2135-2200 Blizzard

Joseph Selby is a young writer who uses a unique style of lyricism to portray his love for words. Through poetry, story telling and song writing he explores the musicality in language. Weather fronting a eleven piece music ensemble or standing alone Joseph invites you to step in, tune out and get lost his flowing reflections of life, his celebration of the beauty and chaos in our human condition.

Craft D is a spoken word poet from London, currently studying in Bristol, and a musician, rapper and battle rapper. His spoken word performance aims to bridge the gap between contemporary rap and traditional poetry, using experimental rhyme schemes and metaphors to convey important messages ranging from the fall of a city to overcoming personal struggle.

Craft D
Photo by Oli Duncanson Photography

Rex Domino first played Blissfields as a 14 year old in 2010 and has been back playing the festival in different guises ever since. This year, he’s bringing his own style of spoken word to our Amoeba To Zebra stage. 2015 is a big year for Huw. His solo project, Rex Domino, takes him on tour this autumn and his collaboration project with DJ Yoda, Breakfast of Champions, were recently seen on the Glade Stage at Glastonbury and can soon be found on Sunday’s main stage at Bestival.

Rex Domino was recently seen on the main stage of Camp Bestival with fellow Blissfields act DJ Yoda.

Blizzard is a Manchester based grime musician is a rising star of the UK underground scene. He has now amassed 5 million YouTube views, emphasising his already considerable credentials, and has reached #18 in the iTunes album chart and #3 in the Hip-Hop charts with his music. Blizzard is no stranger to a festival with previously playing at Glastonbury, as well as slots supporting Jessie-J, Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande. On top of all this, Blizzard is also an ambassador for the very prominent Dianna’s anti-bullying trust that helps combat the issue that touches so many lives in this country.


If you’d like to join the fun then there are still a limited number of tickets still available. You can get your hands on them from You can also follow the festival for updates on Facebook and Twitter @Blissfields.

Blissfields Poster

The Movement Initiative | Studio Open Day

Tomorrow the local dance company The Movement Initiative (TMI) are having an open day in their new home on Milton Road. Everyone is welcome to pop in and talk to them about the company, take part in classes or to see the company perform to show a taste of what The Movement Initiative provides. There will be free taster classes plus drinks and snacks available.

TMI was established in 2015 and aims to make dance related activities accessible to everybody no matter what age or ability. TMI believes that everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of dance. The studio offers dance classes or a large variety of disciplines including Hip-Hop, Break dance, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Musical theatre, fitness classes, pole dance classes, contemporary dance.

The new studio is 259m² and renovated by members of TMI making it is fresh new space. The ticket sales from the company’s ‘Celebrate’ show held last month at the Kings Theatre has contributed to the development of the studio.

The studio opens at 10am and the full schedule is below.

10am Display by Young dream Chasers
10.15-10.45 U12 beginner street dance taster
11.00-11.15 Pre school baby Ballet taster
11.30 Display by TMI Contemporary company
11.45-12.15 Contemporary Taster
12.45-13.30 Movers taster (40+)
14.00-14.30 12+ beginner/intermediate street dance taster
15.00-15.30 Beginners break dance taster
15.45 Display Dream chasers collective
16.00-16.30 Advanced Hip Hop taster

If you have an interest in dance or performance whether that is from a participant’s or spectators perspective then I encourage you to head down and check out whats going on. For more information check out the TMI Facebook page or the Event page. The company are also on Twitter @TMIports.


TMI studio

Strong Island Calendar 2016 #SIC2016

Yet again we were overwhelmed with the interest and success of our 2015 Calendar. I hope that you are all enjoying them and it is inspiring you to get involved and submitting your photo’s for inclusion for next years calendar.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2016 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2016.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. We would love to see more submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks so please share this with friends who you think might be interested in getting involved.

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

We have a couple of our 2015 Calendars left but if you are interested then get in quick as these are likely to go within the next week or so! You can get your copies from the Strong Island shop HERE.

Strong Island Calendar Poster 2016

Blissfields 2015 Strong Island Playlist

We have less than two weeks until the start of Blissfields festival 2015. I have compiled a playlist for your enjoyment featuring my favourite acts that will be performing this year.

1. Big Child Man Child ‘There is a question…’
2. The Boy I Used To Be ‘Trouble’
3. Cosmo Sheldrake ‘Rich’
4. Craft D ‘Royal Baby’
5. Curxes ‘What You Want’
6. Floella Grace ‘ODSM’
7. Ghostpoet ‘Off Peak Dreams’
8. Glass Animals ‘Pools’
9. Grandmaster Flash ‘White Lines’
10. Luke Ferre ‘Bloodshot’
11. The Mispers ’Shoulder’
12. John Grant ‘Pale Green Ghosts’
13. Plastic Mermaids ‘Saturn’
14. Public Service Broadcasting ‘Spitfire’
15. Simian Mobile Disco ‘Sleep Deprivation’
16. We Have Band ‘Someone’
17. Kassassin Street ‘Centre Straight Atom (The Boy I Used To Be remix)’
18. Ghostpoet ‘Meltdown’

If you’d like to join the fun then there are still a limited number of tickets still available. You can get your hands on them from You can also follow the festival for updates on Facebook and Twitter @Blissfields.

Blissfields Poster

Roma May Design

Roma-May Daly is currently running a competition to win a bunch of brand new limited prints and design work. All you have to is LIKE and SHARE the following link for a chance to win. Please don’t delay as the winner is to be decided on 22/06!

You can find out more about Roma’s work on her Behance, Etsy, Tumblr and Instagram @foundedbywolves.

Roma May Design

Roma May Design

Roma May Design

Beats and Swing At The Bandstand

This Saturday the lovely people behind Beats and Swing take over the Southsea Bandstand. They have brought with them a selection of awesome musical talent.

Music begins from 12:30pm with the opening live performance coming from Big Child Man Child who will be taking stage at 1:15pm with a few friends for support. They will be followed by Basement 83. The diverse six piece cite their musical influences within swing, hip-hop, funk and dub.

Headlining the stage will be the awesome Ska/Reggae band Cuba Libré. The band are going to be busy touring this summer and are about to release their first EP titled ‘State of Emergency’ next month.

To find out more about the event check out the Facebook Page HERE.

Beats and Swin Bandstand

Southsea SEGA Tee

Angela Morgan might be more commonly known to you as Ooberla. For a while now the Southsea based artist has been creating some of the most fantastic, if not always the scariest, monsters and beasts, using art forms such as painting, sculpture and drawing.

Ooberla has recently released a limited run of SEGA inspired Southsea t-shirts. They come in sizes small to extra large. If you’d like to get your hands on one then check just visit HERE.

Angela describes “I grew up in Southsea as a total nerd, obsessed with playing the Mega Drive, scribbling Sonic the Hedgehog on everything I owned. Combining my geeky nostalgia with love for my hometown seemed like a good idea.”

If you would like to know more about Ooberla then you can find an interview with our own Louise Bush HERE.

Ooberla can be found on her own website, Facebook, Twitter @Ooberla and Instagram.

Sega Southsea

Sega Southsea

Southsea Sega Tee

Next »


Created Local – Carl Partridge

Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at



Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow hit Southsea pretty hard last night and it snowing again this morning. Good luck to everyone battling the elements to get to work, college, school, etc today. Here are a few photos from last night, if you have any please pop a link to them in the comments, we would love to see them.

Adam Wintle (see more here):

Adam Wintle

Adam Wintle

Elizabeth Bick (see more here):

Elizabeth Bick

Elizabeth Bick


I’m not a BMXer and only cruised on my Raleigh Burner to get to skate spots when I was young, but i’ve always had huge admiration the those guys. They’re freakin’ nuts. I remember Freestylin’ mag when I was younger and would always have a flick through if I could. I loved the whole style thing surrounding BMXing in the 80’s. Mag wheels, crazy colour co-ordinated bikes and big attitude.

Well, you can relive all the that, at least to a visual extent, in the form of the Freestylin’ book. Some of you may have already seen this but may not know you can download the 158 page PDF here.

Go straight to page 106 for an article on Craig Campbell at Southsea Skatepark. Sick.

Vintage Skatepark Photographs

I’ve been holding on to these truly amazing vintage photographs that Simon Tiller kindly sent in as we went through a pretty heavy skateboard period and thought we should chill back a little. Loving the roller hockey team photos too. The 1978 trophies photo is a epic and they were British Champions in 1973 too. Belated congratulations to you all.

This is just a small picking from the Southsea Skatepark website Check them out and if you see anyone you recognise or want to bring something to our attention then remember to add your comments at the bottom of this post.

Special props to the final photo and all the Southsea boys representing ‘back in the day’. Some young looking faces there. Rippers.

Do we need to spell it out?

Letters from Ian Parmiter & Photo by Claire Sambrook

Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth

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

HMS Vanguard (1960)

Man, these photos are pretty damn epic. Both show the HMS Vangaurd that went aground just feet away from alongside the Still & West and Spice Island in 1960.

“On 4 August 1960, when she was to be towed from Portsmouth to the breakers yard at Faslane, Scotland, the whole of the Southsea sea front was packed with people to see her off. As she was being towed towards the harbour entrance, she slewed across the harbour to the Still & West public house and went aground. She was eventually pulled off by tugs and finally made her exit from Portsmouth. Five days later she arrived at Faslane and by the spring of 1962 Vanguard ceased to exist, never having fired her guns in anger.” (from Wikipedia)

It’s also great to see that area of Old Portsmouth in detail from 50 years ago. There is no sea wall in place, some kind of out building on the corner of Spice Island, what looks like early dry dock developments and I love the way Broad Street goes straight in to the drink. See what you can see. Click the images for a much closer look.

Via : Jainbow

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 4

The new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up yesterday. This episode is of a bus trip from Old Portsmouth to Southsea to Eastney.

I still lament the loss of the Portsmouth Transport Museum.

Local Photographer – Duncan Allan

We recently mentioned local photographer Duncan Allan’s framing skills but we also want to profile Duncan’s creative photography too. With a wealth of knowledge in different cameras and experimentation in many different techniques (both with film and with Photoshop and Lightroom), Duncan has a strong collection of images from the local area and all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites but they are just the tip of the iceberg, to see more check Duncan’s Flickr.

Red Scale

Strong Island Clothing Co.