Strong Island Co.

Albert Road

House Of Burlesque

Sunday 1st November Joe Black will be taking over the Kings Theatre fwith a collection of delightful friends for a special Halloween edition of the House Of Burlesque.

Scarlett Daggers – Burlesque rock and roll redhead! International hot rod greaser girl and pyromaniac!
Professor Elemental – Mad professor! Hip hop surrealist! Steam powered man of lunacy! Internet sensation and wearer of piff helmets.
Cherry Shakewell – Shimmier! Shaker! Burlesque powerhouse and striptease sensation!
Andrew O’Neill – Stand up comedian! Occultist! Transvestite! “Andrew O’Neill is like a comedy ball-lightning. Fast, electrifying and even funnier than the misfortune of others.” – Alan Moore.
Lena Mae – Burlesque triple threat! Flirty, vivacious and a total knock-out!
Vie O’Lette – Burlesque clown and perpetrator of ridiculous behaviour!
Cherry Liqour – Ice Cream impersonator and female dis-illusionist. 40% Woman. 60% Wig.
Terms Of Unnervement – Resident double act. Absurd! Surreal! Hilarious!

Tickets are available from £10.50 and are available from the Kings Theatre website –

House of Burlesque

Dials Festival Preview #4 Special Guests – Fickle Friends

So Dials Festival is fast approaching taking place on the 3rd October  from the early afternoon to late in the evening and in the spirit of Southsea Fest a grand number of emerging artists from all across the U.K shall be playing across various venues in Albert Road with an after party at the Wedgewood Rooms taking place after the event. It’s certainly going to be the perfect way to be rid of those post-summer festival blues and will no doubt be one of the highlights in the Portsmouth events calendar.

Our next preview comes from one of the buzziest and best emerging acts in the country who smashed it recently at Victorious Festival in front of thousands being Fickle Friends. Racking up quite literally millions of plays on Spotify and SoundCloud, the new-wave, electronic pop outfit from Brighton with heavyweight support from everyone from Radio 1 to NME are going to be bringing their sun soaked, tropical pop sound to Southsea once more to The Wedgewood Rooms. For a new, new music festival, it’s a great coup to get Fickle Friends playing for us.

To see Fickle Friends and 40 plus more phenomenal emerging acts then you can get tickets here. Tickets are just £18 (that’s about five beers!!) so it’s an absolute bargain to say the least. You can find out more details on the Dials Facebook and also on Twitter on @DialsFestival.


Dials Festival Line- Up Additions

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

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

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

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Dials Festival Preview #1 Hooton Tennis Club

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

If you read NME or listen to BBC 6 Music often you most probably have come across Dials’ headliners, Liverpool’s Hooton Tennis Club who are signed to one of the finest UK  labels being Heavenly Recordings (Toy, The Wytches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard). Hooton Tennis Club (or HTC for short) create wonderful, scuzzy, infectious indie meets sun-soaked, garage pop. It’s like Teenage Fanclub and Pavement meets the likes of King Tuff and Parquet Courts. HTC’s debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ drops at the end of August and has already gained very favourable reviews and hotly tipped by the likes of Mojo and NME.  You’re no doubt going to be hearing a lot more of these guys over the next year or two so be sure to catch them early at Dials.

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

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Dials Festival Line-Up Announced

Strong Island and Strong Island Recordings are very proud and excited to announce our involvement in the up coming, brand-new festival Dials Festival taking place across various venues along Albert Road on the 3rd October as well as being able to announce the line-up so far. After the sad news of Southsea Fest taking a year off, we banded together with some familiar faces including The Wedgewood Rooms, Pie & Vinyl, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club and seminal blog Breaking More Waves to still be able to bring a community based, multi-venue, music festival to the city.

Dials Festival will take place across five venues along Albert Road being The Wedgewood Rooms, Edge of the Wedge, Little Johnny Russells, Al Burrito and The Loft. The aim of the festival isn’t to replicate Southsea Fest but retain its ethos of a strong, community festival bringing some of the finest new national acts along with some of the finest acts from around the area to Albert Road for one day. There will be no specifically branded stages at Dials Festival but five venues with a diverse, eclectic mix of acts from day to the evening.

The festival will feature over 40 acts across the day with Hooton Tennis Club signed to Heavenly Records (Toy, King Gizzard, The Wytches) headlining the festival plus the likes of Kagoule, Black HoneyLyza Jane, Chloe Black, Alice Jemima, Broken Hands, Storms, Morning Smoke, Many Things, Bones, Peluche, Walleater and many more coming down to Southsea along with some of the finest local acts including New Desert Blues, Jerry Williams, Popobawa, The boy i used to be, Bellyeyesmile, Rickyfitts, Battery Hens, Dead Rabbits, Curxes, Wyldest and loads more splendid acts from the area. The full line-up of acts confirmed so far can be found below the article.

Tickets are on sale now at a very limited early-bird price of just £15. That’s £15 for 40 plus acts across five venues from day to evening with some of the finest new acts in the UK.  Tickets can be purchased at the Kings Theatre here, in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code as well as The Wedgewood Rooms. There will also be details of an after-party also which your Dials ticket will gain you access to. This is the biggest musical event we have ran yet so we can’t wait for October 3rd. We hope to see many of you there as us and our Dials team bring a new musical venture to the city.

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Silent Disco – Victorious Festival Warm Up

You all know the drill by now. Two DJs, one set of headphones, two channels to choose from, and one dance floor full of people singing and dancing in a room with no music. Get involved! Battling it out for your attention on the night will be the Little Johnny Russell‘s resident DJs and It’s A Sin.

Silent Disco Victorious Warm Up

House of Burlesque

With a busy weekend in store on the seafront it would be easy to forget that this Saturday the Kings Theatre welcomes masterful Joe Black and a cast of delightful friends to entertain us.

His guests include…
Eliza Delite – Winner of the International crown at the World Burlesque Games 2014 and winner of the British female crown at the World Burlesque Games 2012! Classy, elegant and nothing short of decadent!
Fancy Chance – Burlesque terrorist and cabaret clown! Winner of Alternative Miss World 2009!
Frank Sanazi – Ubermeister of lounge and extremist crooner who puts the fun back into fundamental! Uneasy listening and Blitzrieg comedy! We’re gonna have one heil of a gas!
Delores Deluxe – Magician, conjurer, illusionist and instructional magic audiobook enthusiast!
Lolo Brow – Drag king, drag queen, lizard lady, burlesque shuffler and all round sauce pot!
Lilly Snatchdragon – Direct from Thailand! Massage specialist and burlesque from the far east!
Chi Chi Revolver – Hula hooping! Face pulling! Circus girl extraordinaire!
Terms Of Unnervement – Resident double act. A duo specialising in clown, burlesque and absurdity!
and your host…
Joe Black – Gin addled ringmaster. Facilitator of good times and the man on all the local authorities speed dial!

Tickets are available from £10.50 and are available from the Kings Theatre website –

Eliza Delite
Eliza Delite by Charis Talbot Photography.

House of Burlesque

Birdsong At The Kings Theatre

Marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Birdsong is the hit, critically acclaimed stage show based on the famous novel by Sebastian Faulks.

In pre-War France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous love affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire as War breaks out and changes every ones lives forever.

The main character, Stephen, leads his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme. A group of men faced with unprecedented horror and grief. A totally mesmerising stage show that evokes all sorts of powerful emotion.

Following on from the 2013/14 National tours that were seen by over 130’000 onlookers, Birdsong is back and we are lucky enough to get the chance to take a look at the King’s Theatre in Southsea.

Showings are on until June 5th and tickets are available to buy direct from the theatre. Don’t miss out!




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

The Woman In Black At The King’s Theatre

Tonight, Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story came dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation, The Woman in Black, at the King’s Theatre in Southsea.

A Lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes is cast over him by the spectre of a Woman in Black, engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying tale that he is bound and haunted by. The story begins innocently enough but quickly turns into a tale of eerie marshes and moaning winds as they dive deeper into his deepest memories.

The Woman in Black has celebrated 25 years of production in the West End and is brilliantly successful. The actors create complete illusion and atmosphere and have viewers gripped for more. The story is one of complete suspense and tension and is perfectly paced.

The King’s Theatre will host the production up until the 14th March and offers a superb setting for the play to unfold. The theatre’s old feel and historic background take you back in time to watching real actors, on stage, doing just that, acting. With minimal props and a minimal cast, the production is cleverly delivered and enthralling. Swirling fog, a creaking rocking chair, shrieks and gasps and humorous sniffs conjure up a drama that is hard to predict.

The Guardian called it a ‘Masterpiece’ and Time Out magazine said that ‘The chills are irresistibly effective… A delicious spell of malevolence and menace.’

To find out more about The Woman in Black check out the website or purchase tickets from the box office at the King’ Theatre.

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

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Created Local – Caleigh Illerbrun

Old University friend Tom Hall sent me over a link to his extremely talented and prolific girlfriend Caleigh Illerbrun’s online portfolio With illustration, painting and 3 dimensional work firmly tucked under her belt Caleigh has an impressive amount of work on her site, some of which is up for grabs. Currently selling coasters over in her SHOP, Caleigh needs a little help identifying the favourites as she has an advert coming out soon in a magazine.

I’m loving the ‘Wood Tree’ coaster set below, and very much so the ‘Bearlamb’ acrylic & pen at the bottom. You can also follow Caleigh on Facebook and also her blog.

Above Western Parade

The other day I got to go up on to the roof of a house on Western parade with a great view over the common, Southsea and The Solent. Always interesting seeing Southsea in new ways. Below are some photos (click on ‘Read More’ to see more plus there are more over on Forever Circling).

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Totally forgot to add this one to the series of ‘Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea‘ that we had posted in the past. So following on once again from the photos of the Seafront and the Paddling Pool after The Bandstand and Tennis Courts and The Pier and Esplanade , here’s the final scan.

Guildhall After WWII

On 10th January 1941 during a heavy bombing attack on Portsmouth the Guildhall was hit by several incendiary bombs which heavily damaged the structure and the resulting fires quickly spread throughout the whole building, turning it in to just a shell. It took almost 15 years to rebuild the Guildhall in to what we have today, which was officially reopened by the Queen on the 8th June 1959. This photo from Stan Webb from a collection of photos collected by Portsmouth College shows how totally destroyed the building was, leaving just some of the frontage and most of the tower.


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



Spinnaker Tower

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


The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

(Click to see larger image)

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.

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.

The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea

Gareth Colwell sent us these amazing scans from a vintage book called ‘The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea. “It was an old book of my Grandads’ we found when going through some of his old stuff that had been packed away for years. I love the paintings and the written bits, especially describing Southsea Common as “a dismal spot in the old days. Footpads and cut-throats roamed at night, and a murderer hung in chains on the edge of the shingle”

A really interesting read so I won’t say anymore and let the book do all the talking. Check out the full set of scans over at Gareths Flickr.

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