Strong Island Co.

A night of Burlesque at Southsea’s Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre on Southsea’s Albert Road has been home to some incredible evenings in the past but none quite as sexy and intriguing as the ‘House of Burlesque.’

The shows sultry and seductive acts leave the viewers on the edge of their seat with jaws dropping as the mix of burlesque, magic, music and comedy collide.The shows organiser and host Joe Black was once again out in full force and casually wonderful as always. His charming, humorous and individually beautiful presence caught the attention of the whole theatre this weekend as seats were full.

Saturdays event not only bought out colourful crowds of Portsmouth’s finest but delivered exceptional alternative entertainment with its varied and spectacular acts including that of, Katrina Darling, The Great Aziz, Elliot Mason, Apple Tart, Rachel Rose Reid, Rococo Chanel, Terms of Unnervement and The Winners of Baghdad’s Got Talent.

The entertainers passion for performance beams through the whole show and the eccentric collection of artists brings a whole new dimension to modern theatre.

The House of Burlesque is due to visit again on the 25th July this year, so get your tickets soon!

By Chantelle Wyatt

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All Aboard – A Show by MEGAMUNDEN

The insanely prolific Ollie Munden is set to pounce once again with his second art show this year following up the packed house ‘MEGAMUNDEN Show‘ at No Walls Gallery in Brighton showcasing his first publication ‘The Tattoo Colouring Book’. Local to Brighton but by no means unfamiliar with Portsmouth, Ollie is part of the internationally renowned local design studio ilovedust and treats Portsmouth very much as his second home.

Over recent years MEGAMUNDEN has immersed himself in tattoo art and culture which eventually led to the creation of ‘The Tattoo Colouring Book’ (now in it’s 90,000 edition) commissioned and published in 2013 by Laurence King Publishing. The book has over 100 pages of hearts, sailors, skulls, roses and alike, all drawn exclusively for this book alone. It’s seriously good. I’ve not had the courage to colour mine in yet though…You can buy your copy HERE

Continuing a very strong year for the publication and to round the year off nicely Ollie is holding the small, but visually packed, ‘All Aboard‘ exhibition at local tattoo studio ‘King’s Ship’ on Marmion Road, Southsea.

Naturally there will be a selection of prints available to purchase as well as 2 new screenprints and 1 very special customised piece too. If it’s anything like the Praying Hands from the Brighton show you’re in for a real treat.

We are also super stoked to see local businesses and brands endeavouring to keep the cultural side of this city moving forward and this latest exhibition held at King’s Ship is no exception. Owner of King’s Ship, Aaron Willett, is no stranger to the illustrative style MEGAMUNDEN delivers in his work. With many years experience under his belt and with a great love for all pieces Japanese and Traditional, the King’s Ship is the perfect venue for ‘All Aboard’.

This may be the first exhibition to be held here but they are really keen to offer the shop space up to artists to exhibit and sell their artwork. If you’re interested please do get in contact at kingsshiptattoo@gmail.com

Opening night for ‘All Aboard’ is on the 7th November from 7-9pm with free beer supplied by local micro brewery ‘The Brewhouse and Kitchen’. With all these excellent people in place to make this happen it will sure to be a very successful night. Strong Island will be in full attendance and we look forward meeting the usual crowd and catching up, as well as meeting some new faces too.

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THE TATTOO COLOURING BOOK – PROMO VIDEO from MEGAMUNDEN on Vimeo.

Signature Clothing Co SALE

Need some fresh new gear for the party season? Of course you do. Go grab a slice of local skater run clothing company Signature’s style right HERE. Tie Dyes and Beanies are £10, all other tees are £15. FREE UK dleivery, £5 for international delivery.

All photos by the wonderfully tweaked James Sharp and modelled by Jackson Allgrove and Rose Roylance.

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Signature Clothing Presents Milton Daze

So Tom from Signature Clothing got himself an iPhone 5s in Spring and started filming some clips at Milton skatepark, “Coz its rad quality for a phone, and I wanna show people the skill level of the dudes who hang out there”. Damn straight they have skills. The clips began stacking up so Tom started making some edits, named ‘Milton Daze’. These raw phone edits will be solely released under Signature Clothing so it gets more coverage and the fact that a few of the team are involved like Dobbo, Alex, Jak, and Nick.

“A lot is gonna change at Milton over the next 5 years. And I’m not the only head who is passionate about the place. The message I want to get across is that we’re not passionate about the quality of the ramps, but the fact that it has (without a doubt) the strongest skateboard scene in Portsmouth.”

These edits are going show the level of skateboarding happening locally right now and hopefully push for better things at Milton skatepark for the future. Signature believe the council should help direct some money in the right place as Milton has such a high skateboarder attendence (especially on a hot day) and the fact that they are kind of neglected (no sob story here though. They are not after sympathy).

WIN a Strong Island Care Package by Representing at Bestival

It’s that time of the year when dozens (if not hundreds) of Strong Islanders head over to the Isle of Wight for Rob Da Banks Bestival extravaganza. Since it’s beginnings the Southsea contingency has gone from strength to strength, and this year will be no exception.

As always we’re super excited to be going over and it looks like the weather is going to be on our side this year. I know I’m leaving my wellies at home, that’s for sure! The sneak peaks of sunshine is getting everyone even more eager than normal to go get involved.

Over the years we’ve seen a nice steady increase of people representing our tees and this year we hope to see even more. If you’re going over and fancy a chance to win a Strong Island Care Package full of goodies then it couldn’t be easier. Get a photo of yourself, your friends, a stranger or just a RAD photo of someone repping Strong Island and having fun.

You can email the photo’s to contact@strong-island.co.uk or simply hashtag #strongislandclothingco or #strongrepresent on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for your chance to win. Make sure to tag all your friends.

Whether your going over to the festival or staying at home in Southsea have a great one and enjoy the sunshine.

FREE Strong Island Clothing Co. Tees

With payday just around the corner we’re offering a free tee to the first 10 people to make a full price purchase of any Strong Island Clothing Co. tee over at Shop Ahoy. This offer is only available on Friday 1st August 2014 so you’ve got to be in it, to win it…

Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 - Dell Quay

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Strong Island, Lex Luthor & My Dog Sighs present Head Jam 2014 – Saturday 19th July

Last years Head Jam was such a resounding success with some of the nations best street artists that we eagerly began talking about the following year before the paint had even dried. We discussed how we could run the event again and where to do it, but the answer was simple and literally looking right at us. We hold it in the same place again. Make the courtyard at Head Hairdressing the centre of an annual event where the outcome is available to view for the year, then return, white wash the previous artwork away, and do it all again. After all, street art is an ever changing and developing media in it’s own right and in it’s usual environment where it gets ripped down, tagged, covered in fly posters, lost to demolition and built on, the artists have no fear of their art being lost. It’s part of the job so to speak…

Rick from Head Hairdressing at 53 Albert Road (just along from the Wine Vaults and next to Southsea Gallery) conceived the idea of having the courtyard to the rear of the local barbers transformed in to a permanent giant art piece. From precision multilayered stencils, through bubble gum cutsie to surreal illustrative mayhem, Lex Luthor and My Dog Sighs have hand picked some of their favourite artists to produce the ultimate street art dreamscape courtyard…again!

Head Jam will run all day so feel free to pop along, take a look, have a chat, hang out, meet the artists and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be music on all day, a BBQ turning over in the background if you want to stick a burger on (not supplied), and please feel free to bring along a beer too. Everyone is welcome, so bring the kids so they can see some of the finest street artists working together in this unique environment.

Attending artists include: MyDogSighs, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Fark, Nova, M-one Art, Los Dave, Stu Linfield, Morf, Freakstatic and Ooberla. Wow, this is going to be amazing! If you pop along please be sure to tag the event on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #HeadJam and we will put up a series of your photos from the day.

Strong Island Clothing Co will also be launching their latest range of tees and crews before they go online the following week. So if you want to get in there for an exclusive purchase before anyone else head on down and check it all out. Everything will be out to view, and there is a sneak peak at the end of this post (the full look book will go up this week). Also all of our PFC tees and crews are on offer, bargain. We look forward to seeing you all.

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Photos: Matt Maber

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Anyone fancy a little bike ride?

Ahhhhhhh, remember the good old days. From it’s humble beginnings in 2008 to over 250 happy cyclists one year, the Bi-Annual Strong Island Bank Holiday Bike Rides had become a definite diary entry for those in the know. Shame it all had to come to an end. Public liability and all that. Oh well…

With the May Bank Holiday very nearly upon us it’s put me in the mood for a little light refreshment at The Bridge Tavern and a casual cycle along the seafront and back to get me in the mood for the Summer ahead. After a busy 2013 you might have noticed it was a little quiet at the Bridge Tavern during previous Bank Holidays! We certainly did having been locked away working over a busy year. This weekend however I reckon I’ll pop to the Bridge Tavern for about 12pm on Sunday 25th May and set off around 2pm after some lunch for a reminiscent bike ride. I might even finish at Spice Island for a cheeky tipple after. Give me a shout if you’re in the area. Nudge nudge. Wink wink.

Southsea Beach Cafe – First Day On Site

With the increasing decline and surrounding speculation of South Parade Piers future it’s extremely encouraging to see anything positive happening with regard to our extensive seafront. Despite always being under scrutiny for one reason or another the seafront remains a very popular destination throughout the year and with continuous progress on the Southsea Seafront Strategy, the PCC backed Victorious Festival and the Seafront Masterplan, to name but a few, it really feels like things are starting to change for the better…

Southsea Beach Cafe most certainly suits the progressive nature we are all dying to see take place and is a welcome addition to what is currently a very run down area of the seafront. The new proprietors of the old toilet block and cafe opposite Canoe Lake and East of the pier have taken on something that will really bring a new lease of life to the area. Not to be overshadowed by movements of the once iconic South Parade Pier, SBC is set to become a very popular destination for both locals and passing visitors.

Today saw the real beginning as work on site began and progress became a reality in physical form. Once completed, SBC will be a well considered and contemporary cafe destination offering good quality food throughout the day and evening. Set in an very accessible area with the perfect vista the plans for SBC include both inside and outside areas for dining in a very relaxed and family friendly environment.

Offering a unique experience to Southsea is the addition of having a seasonally adaptable awning that can be retracted to reveal the delights of Summer sunshine, whilst also keeping off those chilly British winds, and equally in the Winter months shield you from the elements but still offer the feeling of being outside as you are protected by the awnings structural weatherproof glass. As awesome as it will be to visit in the summertime I’m certainly looking forward to some comfort food in the Winter with the sea crashing outside in the knowledge that I’m safe and sound from the elements!

We will be following SBC very closely over the next few months before their planned opening in early June and have a more in depth article with the owners coming soon to talk about the years of negotiation up to their final plans and down to what will be on the menu. For the time being you can follow Southsea Beach Cafe over at their Facebook page HERE.

Strong Island have the privilege to be working with Southsea Beach Cafe on both the brand identity and creative consultancy and we are extremely proud to be part of the journey with them and the people they are working with. We will be keeping you up to date with all the developments of this exciting new venture right up till the opening night, and beyond…

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The Portsmouth Guest Guide 2014

A NEW guest guide is promising to reveal the creative heart of Portsmouth to visitors staying at hotels in the city. The brainchild of Hampshire based ‘Marketing Collective‘, the Guest Guide is in its second year and the talented team are working hard pulling together content as we speak.

This year’s cover (following in the footstep’s of popular Portsmouth based artist Dave Thompson) will be the prolifically talented and good old local lad My Dog Sighs. Editor Jo Andrews, explained: “We are great admirers of My Dog’s work and when we were deciding who to feature on the cover, it didn’t take us long to make up our minds.”

Other features include an exploration of Portsmouth’s part in the Sherlock mania currently gripping the world and a Little Black Book feature, where a well-known local face recommends the best places to go for a romantic meal or the best live music. “We want to make the Guest Guide a really good read – packed with interesting information about Portsmouth that you just can’t find in the usual tourist leaflets. Last year Mark from Like a Teatray in the Sky did our Little Black Book feature for us – and had people coming into his cafe clasping copies of the guide.

Our aim is to encourage people to go beyond the heritage and really enjoy what Southsea has to offer in terms of great independent shops and fab bars and restaurants that leave a lasting impression.”

And the good news is it’s not too late for you to feature in this year’s Portsmouth Guest Guide. Jo is keen to speak to businesses who would like to advertise – and she is happy to discuss feature ideas too. If you would like to feature in the 2014 Guest Guide, contact Jo Andrews at jo@themarketing-collective.com or call 0759110720.

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Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.

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Local Designer/Photographer – Weaver

I just found these great illustrations from local web designer and photographer Weaver on one of my random web travels. I’m loving the Hilsea Lido and Carlton Cinema depictions. Check out Weavers Flickr for more Portsmouth illustrations and a whole bunch of local photography and more besides. They would make amazing prints i think you’ll agree.




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

Nike Football’s ‘Risk Everything’ by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust – Exclusive Interview

In the last few weeks Nike launched ‘Risk Everything’ their new football marketing campaign that features the England football team as well as other players from all around the world including Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Jr. Risk Everything also includes the new England kit for the 2014 World Cup with striking imagery of the players and the three lions. The artwork & branding of this vast, international marketing campaign by one of the largest brands in the World was created by Portsmouth’s very own award winning ilovedust design studio, located at the heart of the city. Established in 2003 the company and design team have grown dramatically, working with international brands as well as on local projects. Strong Island caught up with ilovedust’s Matt Howarth, senior designer, and found out more about ILD’s involvement with Nike’s Risk Everything:

ilovedust has been working with Nike for some time, can you give us a quick history of how you hooked up with them initially? Some of the past projects with them that you guys have been particularly stoked on?

We’ve been working for Nike for the last 7 years, it all started off with an illustration for a Jordan x Levis 501 project back when we were a small 4 man studio, i guess we did a pretty good job and the word spread internally at Nike world headquarters that ilovedust knew their shit! Since then we’ve grown our relationship year on year and been lucky enough to meet some inspiring people and work on some great projects along the way.

Can you give us some background on when and how you guys got involved in the England World Cup promotional branding and Risk Everything?

The initial brief for the “Risk Everything” campaign came from advertising agent Wieden & Kennady (W+K) in Portland, Oregon, over the years we have a made a few friends there and they emailed us way back in September saying they’ve got the perfect project for us! The project became so big that we ended up working directly with the Nike Football department directly.

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From what has been released already I’ve seen the mural on the Southbank of Jack Wilshire & Wayne Rooney the backdrop for the England team for their World Cup kit, retail displays and more, it is clearly a huge project, can you break down what is involved in a project of this scale?

Oh god… where to start!! Initially W+K briefed us to create illustrations for their 5 top footballers to be used in a print campaign (these will released in a couple of weeks), then Nike Football tasked us with creating illustrations for 7 different countries which Nike will be sponsoring at the World Cup, these would be used online and across retail destinations in each of the 7 countries. Since all of these have been completed we’ve been contacted by W+K London, Amsterdam, Rio and Tokyo for additional illustrations, this is where the Wayne Rooney/Jack Wilshere piece comes in to play, curated by W+K London and currently on display on the Southbank.

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With Risk Everything you guys have stamped your distinct signature style all over it, what level of creative control do Dust and the team have in the collaboration with Nike?

When the brief came in it referenced a lot of our work, the client had a distinct idea of what they wanted, we took it, run with it, and made it better. Luckily we have good, open relationships with our clients, and we know a thing or two about football, so they trusted us.

As well as having your main studio in Portsmouth you have a studio in Portland, working with a brand the size of Nike and a project of this scale have there been practical issues with working with a brand on the other side of the World? Advantages?

We’ve visited Nike HQ 3 times during this project and our small studio in Portland has allowed us to work on the project in real time with the clients. We’re used to being 8 hours ahead of them everyday, and working until midnight is not uncommon, so being able to work and get feedback instantaneously was a real advantage.

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The ilovedust lion is the striking backdrop for the England team in the new Nike kit in the run up to the World Cup, what design constraints did you experience (if any) with working with essentially a national sporting icon? Were the FA involved in sign-off?

This project was a fun one to work on with hardly any design restraints, and as far as we know The FA were not involved in sign-off, but as with all Nike work it had to go through legal checks, we we’re pretty safe with the 3 lions.

The lion and associated artwork are already gracing huge sports retailers’ windows plus on TV adverts, how does if feel seeing your work on this level in the UK?

It’s always nice to see months of hard work pay off when it’s released to the world – a bit surreal to see it in shop windows in your hometown!

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I’m assuming there is still much more to come in the run up to June and the World Cup? Will you guys be getting out to Rio?

Yes, lots more to come. The “Risk Everything” campaign will run beyond the World Cup and into next season so we have started to work on a different style of illustration for Europe’s top clubs; Barca, Man Utd, PSG, Juventus etc etc

ILD is home to some die hard Portsmouth FC fans, ever think about what you could do in regards to the club in respect to design? Maybe a new kit for 2014/2015 season?

Ha, the current kit’s not too bad but i’m sure we could improve it if given the chance!

Without letting too many cats out of the bag, what other projects are you guys working on for 2014?

Some very cool projects in the pipeline, one for Pepsi which is also World Cup related, we’re continuing to work with Microsoft for the launch of Xbox One’s Sunset Overdrive computer game in 2015, hmmm what else… lots more Nike that’s for sure, a few bits for Red Bull and a couple of top secret projects which you’ll have to wait for… sorry!

The Risk Everything artwork continues to roll out through the press and on TV, below are some images of the artwork already in the wild, be sure to keep up with the ILD website, blog, Twitter, Instagram & Behance to see more.

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NatWest Carved Map

The NatWest Bank in Palmerston Road has an amazing carved map of Portsmouth that I must have walked past on loads of occasions and never really stopped to look at. The map has many local landmarks highlighted plus the islands in both Portsmouth and Langstone harbours. Not sure exactly how old it is. Next time you pass by if you have a moment spare stop and have a look.




Holy Cody Batman

Cody needs no introductions, ever. The nicest guy you’ll ever meet with a heart of a gold and the skateboard mentality of an escaped mental patient.

If you need conformation of that statement then check this photo I grabbed from some site called Facebook. Off the clubhouse roof into the flat bank down Southsea Skatepark. Nuts…

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Shortly after I posted this insane photo of Cody going nuts down the skatepark, he sent a reply. Thought i’d post it up so people that know him can have a read.

“Thank u for the nice word. I just have to say thank you to all the peeps and friends that have help and shape me as a sk8er and as a human being. The love that i have been shown over the years is so big. The friend and peeps i have met and change my life and change my path to some thing good. I truly say it with my heart that i love you all and i hope to make more friends and to have more good time. Here a shout out to all the u.k sk8 scene and the southsea boys and girl sk8er or not, much love. and to the guys like strong island crew and bored sk8 for keeping the u.k. scene going. So if u up for a sk8 drink or chill u find me in southsea. 1 love bye cody x”

Hidden Treasures

Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).

Two for a Fiver mate…

I’m really digging this Tea Towel they have for sale down Clarence Pier. Great little illustrations of some of our more recognisable landmarks and modes of travel. A great addition to any kitchen.

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Local Photographer – Harvey Mills

Okay, so it’s not quite on the Island, but hey, when the content is this good we can forget about the extra few miles. Harvey Mills shoots Murray Cross chomping the Langstone 13 set on the Havant roundabout with ease. Perfect timing and composition from Harvey.

Check out Harvey’s webiste www.harveymills.com and also his Flickr. Below are photos of Charles and Southsesa’s buttery own Bored teamrider Adam Keys.

Inside the Round Tower

The Round Tower in Old Portsmouth is an often visited landmark but few people get a look at what lies inside those walls. On Friday a few lucky members of The Solent Camera Club (on one of it’s Friday evening meets) were able to explore it’s cavernous interior including the brick arches, rusted cannons and stalactites.

Photos kindly supplied by Duncan Allan.

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