Well, I’ll be honest, Victorious Festival has well and truly ruined me although in the best possible way.
The Saturday was marvellous! Jerry Williams was the first act I saw and she didn’t disappoint! She transformed a very dull and rainy Saturday afternoon, into something quite joyful! She played her latest track ‘Velcro’ and old favourite ‘A Hairdresser Called Sids’. I found myself having a good old singalong. I also liked that Jerry and I matched. It seemed that bright canary yellow was the festival colour this year.
As Jery finished her set Laura Mvula took to the Common Stage and produced possibly the finest vocal performance of the weekend. The woman was incredible and had the crowd captivated with every word she sang, with the highlight being the beautiful track ‘Sing To The Moon’. The only way to follow a performance like that was to enjoy some of the excellent food available on site. I eventually settled for some Mac & Cheese which it wasn’t until I got up close to the stall I realised it being run by the lovely guys and girls from The Tenth Hole.
After sinking back a few more drinks and bumping into the lovely Bored of Southsea crew, I headed into the Silent Disco to get away from the rain! It’s hilarious to hear people warbling along to either of the two music channels available. Then there is always that mad scramble to get over to the other channel to see what all the cheering and excitement is about by the other half of the crowd. I bumped into all of my ‘lad’ friends and two of them decided to ‘seduce’ each other via the use of interpretive dance, in a huge circle of people. My night was made.
If I didn’t have my trusty yellow waterproof jacket, I probably wouldn’t have survived to the end of the evening! Tinie Tempah was unbelievable and played all of the hits, such as ‘Frisky’ and ‘Pass out’ and his energy stayed throughout the whole set. Which certainly made the rain more bearable! Sadly I didn’t get to see the Flaming Lips and what makes it worse is looking at the photos I missed a treat. Word on the street is that they put on a brilliant set and the crowd erupted with delight at the huge balloon that lead singer Wayne Coyne brought on stage.
After stumbling home and falling into bed, on the Saturday, I woke with a very sore head on the Sunday morning. I just had to get work out of the way and then continue the madness. Luckily the rain stayed away and it was a really warm day! I was truly gutted that I missed the Veludo Planes due to being at work in the morning, but I’ve heard from those lucky enough to see them that they were superb, as per usual!
After waiting for what seemed forever in the portaloo queue, I ventured over to see Kassassin Street for the first time. I now see what all the fuss is about as they put on a brilliant show. It was really good to seeing everyone enjoying their set. I even got a cheeky hug from the leader singer Rowan Bastable.
Special mention to The Southsea Alternative Choir who did an amazing job raising money for Samuels Fund and performed six times on various stages over the weekend. They must have been exhausted come Monday! I wonder if anyone managed to see all six shows?
Of course I went back to my second home aka the Silent Disco tent. Big respect to Jade, Tiffany and the rest of their team who made sure it ran really smoothly! There were long queues but everyone was patient and found out that once inside it was well worth the wait.
The layout of this years festival was spot on, as you were able to view all of the local shop stands whilst walking to each stage. Me being me, I had to check out all of the vintage clothing stalls! Also a bar was always in sight with minimal queues, which is a plus in itself! This year they had definitely improved on the band scheduling also. Although bands that I really like overlapped, you were able to catch around half an hour of one band and walk over to the other and still catch them from the beginning. Which is exactly what I did with The Darkness and Ella Eyre, who both did spectacular jobs on the Sunday! Lead singer of The Darkness Justin Hawkins would probably win the award for most entertaining frontman of any band over the weekend. He went from a fetching disco outfit into some lovely short shorts as well doing hand stands on stage, playing the guitar behind his back and being carried into the crowd.
Basement Jaxx were the perfect choice to close the festival. Their energetic set and the crowd participation during their biggest hits was brilliant! The various singers and dancers in their bonkers outfits kept you engaged throughout. I think at one point there was even a Gorilla and a Ballerina on stage? The night obviously had to come to an end and it seemed the weather wasn’t too happy about this either. The sad walk home was only made bearable due to my friend Amelia! Big thanks to her!
My one regret was that I didn’t get involved in the roller disco inside Southsea Skatepark, although knowing my luck I probably would’ve broken something. Next year maybe?
Thank you to everyone involved who made this a special event and bring on Victorious Festival 2016!
Kate specialises in private painting and illustration commissions, poster and flyer design and undertaken creative workshops with both children and adults. I’ve had a little sneak peak and the exhibition shows off some of Kate’s most creative and imaginative paintings. I wouldn’t say there is a comparison with styles but Kate’s work certainly reminded me of world famous artist Ralph Steadman‘s work.
If you can’t make it down tomorrow then fear not the exhibition will be open for a few weeks yet. For more information on the exhibition and the shop opening times check out the King Ship’s Facebook page.
After two months off for the summer the No. 6 Cinema returns in September with an awesome selection of movies! If you haven’t yet visited the No. 6 Cinema then I highly recommend it. You will find a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
Be sure to check their website to buy tickets and find their full listings www.no6cinema.co.uk.
Amy (15) | Thursday 3rd September & Saturday 19th September | 7pm
Multiple-award-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia (Senna) has created this full-access film about Amy Winehouse, the extraordinary musician who died in 2011 at the age of 27. Eschewing talking-head interviews, the film uses 100% archival footage – even when presenting newly recorded interviews with Winehouse’s friends, family and collaborators – and also features previously unreleased tracks and images. The result reveals a brilliant artist in all her complicated fragility.
Mr Holmes (PG) | Saturday 5th September | 7pm
An aging Sherlock Holmes returns from Japan where he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. He faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late. A clever multi-layered script together with a superb McKellen performance make for a sleek and fresh Sherlock Holmes film.
Jurassic World (12A) | Saturday 12th September | 7pm
Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next instalment of his ground-breaking Jurassic Park series. Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly.
Slow West (12A) | Thursday 10th September | 7pm
Michael Fassbender stars in John Maclean’s terrific revisionist western. Naive young Jay is travelling across late 1800s America to his sweetheart. Encountering danger, he’s saved by the mysterious Silas who proceeds to protect him from all manner of horrifying scrapes, before outlaw gets on their tail. With gallows humour and gorgeous visuals, we immediately know we are in for something out of the ordinary. Slow West changes our understanding of the American west’s history and explores how self-determinism, rather than fate, has made America the country we know today.
Inside Out (PG) | Saturday 19th September | 4pm
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions — Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life, turmoil ensues in HQ. Although Joy, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
Alien (15) | Saturday 26th September | 7pm
When commercial towing vehicle Nostromo, heading back to Earth, intercepts an SOS signal from a nearby planet, the crew are under obligation to investigate. After a bad landing on the planet, some crew members leave the ship to explore the area. At the same time as they discover a hive colony of some unknown creature, the ship’s computer deciphers the message to be a warning, not a call for help. When one of the eggs is disturbed, the crew do not know the danger they are in until it is too late.
Roger Waters: The Wall | Tuesday 29th September | 8pm
Roger Waters, co-founder and primary songwriter of Pink Floyd, fuses the epic and the personal in Roger Waters: The Wall, a concert film that goes well beyond the stage. Based on the ground-breaking concept album, it’s a state-of-the-art show that dazzles the senses, combined with an intensely personal road trip that deals with the loss Roger has felt throughout his life due to war. After the film we present The Simple Facts, a unique opportunity to see Roger Waters and his Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason – reunited, unscripted, and in conversation to answer questions from fans from around the world.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.com before midnight on Sunday 23rd August. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.
Q) Which orchestra did Laura Mvula team up with for her Abbey Road Studios live album?
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
Richard Baker grew up in Portsmouth and Southsea with many happy memories, but limited funds. In the 1960s Richard was studying at The Portsmouth College of Art and was lucky enough to be able to print off some wonderful black & white photographs. 40 years later he dug them out from hibernation.
The series captures people in the city going about their daily lives. Shopping, resting, having fun. Great candid shots from a simpler time. Check out the huge Pick & Mix on display at Woolworths along with the rest of Richards photographs over at his Flickr.
Wow. Another Incredible success. Myself, Paul and the Strong Island Crew owe a MASSIVE thank you to all the people who donated, helped out, attended and of course bought those ever so important raffle tickets.
Everyone had a great time and got fully involved in the atmosphere of the night. Free Strong Island Iced Teas were flowing, and the buffet was awesome. Pet Sounds kept the musical vibe alive and the crowd did the rest. A really good turn out of Strong Islanders made sure The Belle Isle was packed and the charity tin was full.
Well done to all the people who were lucky enough to get one of the prizes. If not more. Winners win prizes…..
Thanks to everyone who came down, all of the very generous prize donators and of course extra special thanks to Paul, Graham, Ben, James, Andy and all The Belle Isle staff for letting us hold our party and making sure no one went thirsty. Cheers guys.
Without the support from our readers, contributors and friends Strong Island would not be in the position to hold such an event, and we greatly appreciate it.
Prizes were very kindly donated from the following people: LJRs / The Belle Isle / Sopranos / Southsea Skatepark / Caravan Gallery / Michelle So Scone / Boed / Southsea Boutique / Dead Mans Glory / Lou Bush / Helen at Kings Theatre / Geoff at The Wedge / Love Southsea / Mikey Ayling / Mark Persuad / Southsea Gallery / james Porter / Parmiters, Ian & Sue / James Weaver / Alanna Smith / Matt Howarth / Bruce Jamieson / Jamie Olivers (Megatron) / Diana Goss / James Batchelor / Fran Bierton / Paul Thurlow / Bonzo Studio / Head Hairdressers / I Love Dust / Holgarama / Stuart Trett at Ye Olde Bike SHoppe. Apologies if I forgot your name.
We’re already looking forward to our 4th Birthday Party next year. Hope you can make it. All the best and thanks again.
I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.
Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.
We couldn’t possibly of asked for better weather this weekend. From straight out of the door after work on Friday till finally retiring to our couch on Sunday evening the sun was blazing and Southsea was rich with activity and happy people. We spent pretty much the entire weekend outside on the seafront, changing the vista every now and then and sinking more than our fair share of corner store beers. Let’s hope it keeps up for at least a while longer hey. Check my Flickr for a few more Sunny Southsea photographs.
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 our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to www.uk.movember.com 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.
How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…
Cat from the Inksquatch collective has some of her prints available for purchase in The Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. They should be in and ready for sale this weekend, 3rd July. Some nice little illustrations as always. Go and grab a local bargain.