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Albert Road

My Dog Sighs and JCRivera Collaboration

Those of you passing through Albert Road this weekend would have noticed the latest painting on the wall of Chilli Tattoo. This painting is a collaboration between local favourite My Dog Sighs and visiting all the way from Chicago JCRivera. If you’ve not seen it make sure you take the time to check it out.

You can follow both artist on Twitter @MyDogSighs and @JcRivera.

My Dog Sighs & JCRivera by Diana Goss
Photograph by Diana Goss
My Dog Sighs and JCRivera  By Matt Maber
Photograph by Matt Maber
My Dog Sighs & JCRivera
Photograph by My Dog Sighs

The Leopold Tavern 3rd Annual Beer Festival

From the 4th to the 14th of April, one pub on Albert Road will be offering a selection of 20 different ales, real ciders and food all at once. Welcome to The Leopold Tavern‘s 3rd Annual Beer Festival. Featuring over 80 casks, this yearly event is fast becoming a fixture for the more discerning drinker. Breweries include Dark Star, Thornbridge, local favourite Irving, the increasingly popular Brewdog, Burning Sky and Magic Rock. So put down your tepid pint of Fosters and discover what beer is really supposed to taste like. This is also a good chance to grab your Portsmouth Beer Festival tickets if you don’t have them already. Catch you down there.

beerfest

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Make is 1

It’s always good to see local businesses thriving and Make on Albert Road has been a real success story. Nicky the owner got in touch to tell us they are about to celebrate their first birthday.

Here at Make HQ we’d like to thank all our supporters/fans/friends by offering 10% off all our stock on the 7th Feb at 7pm, to help things along there will be a bit of wine and nibbles too, to celebrate Make’s first birthday. For all you vintage pattern lovers there will be over 600 patterns available on the night too, all £3 each!

They’re may even be cake!

If you haven’t visited Make before because you might think crafting is not your thing it will definitely change your perception. Make now stocks super hip, sustainable label Wool and the Gang which actually convinced my partner to learn to knit back in December.

Remember there are plenty of workshops you can attend to learn or improve skills all set in a welcoming environment that fosters creativity. Strong Island wishes you many happy years to come!

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500Cups Social Enterprise Project Part 2 – Albert Road

You might well remember that in December if you visited Palmerston Road you may have seen the #500Cups project in action…and maybe picked up a free cup of coffee. The project is part of a social enterprise set up by Pravin Isram and James Cartwright (former owner of the Peace Cafe in Castle Road) that is exploring different ways of putting on events at different times of the day that do not involve alcohol.

The guys are back for part two and this time will be in Albert Road, outside the Kings Theatre, on Saturday 1st February. Be sure to visit for your free cup, also if you tweet or Instagram they would really like it if you could use the #500Cups hashtag so they can see what you think about the coffee and the project.

We spoke with Prav about this particular project in December, you can read the interview HERE.

500Cups

Amo Solo January Promotion

Albert Road restaurant/bar Amo Solo is having a special January promotion to bring a smile and quiet a growling stomach in the cold and wet days of 2014. For only £15 you can choose a starter and a main course from some of their best selling menu items. Have a look, sounds good right?

It get involved pop in to Amo Solo and make a booking (17 Albert Road) or hit them up via their Facebook page HERE.




Gland Rock Southsea Social This Saturday

As you may have seen on our Strong Island Recordings Facebook page, we’re co promoting Gland Rock, a Christmas themed music festival taking place across one day in one venue raising money and awareness for local charity The Feel Yourself Campaign with Pie & Vinyl, Champagne Justice and Beach Community on the 7th December at The Southsea Social Club. Tickets are on sale in store and online at Pie & Vinyl in which you can purchase in advance here.

The line up for the event includes an astonishing 18 acts for a mere £10.00 with the likes of Esben & The Witch, Wild Smiles, Traams, Bloodsport, 1ooth Anniversary, Curxes, Is Bliss, Dead Rabbits, YSMNBWATIDemons, Ricky Fitts, Shudder Pulps and loads more. Sadly there have been a couple of changes to the line up, Halo Halo and Yoofs are unable to play but surf punk outfit Thee mvp’s who we’re releasing on our glorious ‘Treacherous Tides’ compilation on the 16th December and also post punk outfit Fever, recently in the NME as one’s to watch have been added to the line up.

We will also be serving food and there will also be prizes on the day with a pub quiz planned as well if all goes well on the day. Doors open at 12 and bands will kick off just after 2pm.

We have a playlist below of the acts playing the event to wet your appetite and the Facebook event can be found here along with real time updates on the Gland Rock Twitter account.

Gland Rock Southsea Social 7th December

Gland Rock Southsea Social 7th December

As you may have seen on our Strong Island Recordings Facebook page, we’re co promoting Gland Rock, a Christmas themed music festival taking place across one day in one venue raising money and awareness for local charity The Feel Yourself Campaign with Pie & Vinyl, Champagne Justice and Beach Community on the 7th December at The Southsea Social Club. Recently tickets went on sale in store and online at Pie & Vinyl in which you can purchase in advance here.

The line up for the event includes an astonishing 18 acts for a mere £10.00 with the likes of Esben & The Witch, Wild Smiles, Traams, Bloodsport, 1ooth Anniversary, Curxes, Is Bliss, Dead Rabbits, YSMNBWATIDemons, Ricky Fitts, Shudder Pulps and loads more. Sadly there have been a couple of changes to the line up, Halo Halo and Yoofs are unable to play but surf punk outfit Thee mvp’s who we’re releasing on our glorious ‘Treacherous Tides’ compilation on the 16th December and also post punk outfit Fever, recently in the NME as one’s to watch have been added to the line up.

We will also be serving food and there will also be prizes on the day with a pub quiz planned as well if all goes well on the day. Doors open at 12 and bands will kick off just after 2pm.

We have a playlist below of the acts playing the event to wet your appetite and the Facebook event can be found here along with real time updates on the Gland Rock Twitter account.

Gland Rock Southsea Social 7th December

Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

In the last five years at Strong Island we have been involved in a number of projects which success is owed to our readers and their involvement. The calendar is in it’s second year and after seeing the final product I can tell you that you are in for a treat. I knew it would be difficult to surpass what we brought to you last year but I think we might have managed to do just that.

In partnership with Southsea Gallery we would like to invite you all to our launch and Exhibition on Thursday 14th November at the Wine Vaults, Albert Road.

The exhibition will feature images used in our 2013 and 2014 Calendars.

You can see the photographs being included on our Facebook page HERE. You can add yourself to the Facebook event HERE.

Two pounds from each calendar sale is going to support Alzheimer’s Society and the Feel Yourself Campaign. The calendars themselves will be available from the Strong Island shop to pre order next week with delivery expected late November.

Calendar Poster 2014

Leopold Tavern Cider Festival

The Leopold Tavern on Albert Road in Southsea will be holding its second annual cider festival over the weekend of 8th, 9th and 10th of November.  Over 25 ciders will be available at all times including some never seen before specials.

If cider is not your thing then the 10 real ales or 100 bottled beers should cater for even the most discerning drinker.  I’m more of an ale man myself but I can guarantee one of the Strong Island top brass, who happens to be a cider connoisseur, will be dropping in.

Entry is free of course, but the cider isn’t.

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Little Johnny Russells – FREE drink this weekend!

To celebrate their 7th Birthday and to say thank you they are offering you a free drink this weekend! All you need to do is click HERE to claim your voucher.

LJR

Features

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2014 Calendar was a huge success, the quality of images and huge amount interest it received really took us by surprise. We managed to double the sales of the 2013 Calendar, meaning we raised just over £600 for the Feel Yourself Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society. We received over a thousand submissions by email and by use of the Instagram hashtag #sic2014.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2015 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year 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.

If you have been taking any photos during this extreme weather we would love for you to submit them!

You may be aware that unfortunately due to an error our end the original batch of calendars contained a couple of errors. To rectify this the problem with the calendar we re-printed all of the calendars and offered everyone who bought one a free replacement (with free P&P where required). We are confident that we have managed to replace the vast major because of the online ordering records, however if you bought one from Lou Lou’s, Southsea Gallery or the Victorian Market then we don’t have your details so we need you to contact us ASAP to arrange a replacement! Those unclaimed calendars by the end of the week are likely to be donated to the staff of the charities we are supporting

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are just a few of the submissions that we have already received that might give you some inspiration.

Charlie Thompson Fratton Park

Charlie Thompson 2
Both Charlie Thompson
Todd Lawton
Todd Lawton
Roberta Curxes
Roberta Fidora
Danny Miles
Danny Miles

Road To Blissfields 2014 by Sophie Perryer

It’s that time of year again, when Southsea’s finest traipse out on a Friday night to listen to some of our home-grown, burgeoning talent. This year was no exception, with the likes of Becky Jerams, Poppobowa, Sabre and the B of the Bang taking to the stage to fill our ears with a range of musical goodness.

The evening was held this year at the Cellars at Eastney, and certainly had a more relaxed atmosphere – Strong Island’s Stuart Barker was even spotted wandering around with a cup of tea at one point!

The relaxed atmosphere lent itself perfectly to Becky Jerams soulful, syrupy vocals, gliding effortlessly over lyrics and melodies alike. Becky has enjoyed considerable success over the last few years with her song writing: her track ‘La La Love’ was featured in a Mandy Moore movie, and she has written for the likes of Chesney Hawkes and Loz Bridge. These accomplishments certainly showed through in her music; her sound was very much grown up pop and polished, while still retaining a youthful, wishful quality in her lyrics. A great start to the evening.

Becky was followed by Popobawa, a Gosport based trio relatively new to the music scene – so much so that Road To Blissfields was their debut live show! To say the boys coped well would be an understatement; they delivered a strong set with some interesting melodic choices which made for a distinctive sound, and the combination of this with hazy vocals akin to Friendly Fires was very striking. The best part? You can download their EP for a ‘name your price’ on their SoundCloud page.

Also hailing from Gosport were SABRE – the fivesome delivered catchy synth beats and impressive vocals not dissimilar to the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club, with a little Two Door Cinema Club thrown in for good measure. Their raucous sarcastic comedy appealed to the crowd, and the banter between the band members was enjoyable.

Last but certainly not least were the B Of The Bang. The contrast of the almost gravelly voice of the lead singer and the Roxanne on keyboard’s ethereal vocals lent an almost eerie sense. The band delivered well thought-out tracks which were both directional and abstract, and conveyed a sense of their musical versatility and talent. Without a doubt a well deserved victory.

Congratulations to the B Of The Bang“>B of the Bang on their slot at Blissfields, and thank you also to the other artists for once again showcasing to us the quality of our local talent! Thank you too to Bellyeyesmile, Joel Ransom, the Cellars at Eastney, Strong Island, and all those others who had a hand in organising a top evening.

By Sophie Perryer

*We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Blissfields over the next six weeks so be sure to keep an eye out.*

Becky Jerams
Becky Jerams

Becky Jerams
Popobawa
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SABRE
SABRE

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SABRE
B Of The Bang
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B Of The Bang
Bellyeyesmile
Bellyeyesmile

Bellyeyesmile
All photo’s by Daniel O’Neill

Victorious Festival 2014

In January the Victorious Festival team announced that the festival will be moving to Southsea Seafront. The team appear to have planned a bigger and better event building upon the success of previous years.

Last week saw the second wave of artists confirmed to perform live. The line up already consisted of awesome headliners Dizzie Rascal, Seasick Steve but they have now been joined by Razorlight, British Sea Power, Slow Club, Foy Vance, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and The Bog Rolling Stones. There will be DJ sets from Alt J, Terry Hall of the Specials, 2manyDJs and COR. Not to forget some of the best local talent such as Matt Jarvis, Eloise Keating and our favourites the Southsea Alternative Choir are also performing.

Personally I’m really excited about the Sunday line up, I’ve been a huge fan of Seasick Steve for years and I even went to Bestival dressed as him for the Under the Sea fancy dress theme. Sunday also see’s British Sea Power performing, they have been regular visitors to the Wedgewood Rooms during their tours in the past, most recently in April 2013. They are easily one of the best live acts you could ever have the pleasure of seeing. The Saturday headliner Dizzie Rascal isn’t too shabby. I caught him at Bestival in 2010 and I can promise you, he knows how to put on a show and get you dancing!

There will be more artists announced closer to the time. You can find out first by following Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park. If you would like to be involved in the boutique market then drop the team an email on traders@victoriousfestival.co.uk.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. There are limited early bird tickets available but hurry as they are only available at the reduced price for the next ten days! Adult Day tickets are currently available for £15 per day and will be £20 after. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets will cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for free.

Over the next five months we will try and keep you up to date on announcements and preview the performers and attractions that you can look forward to.

Victorious Festival 2014

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum

Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete is a brand new exhibition commemorating 10 years since the demolition of this distinct and controversial building that between 1966 and 2004 was a fundamental part of the Portsmouth skyline. The exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum goes far beyond documenting the building from an architectural perspective, although for the first time many, many original drawings, plans and photographs are on display from the building’s architects, much of it for the first time ever. Where this exhibition explores beyond the groundbreaking and (for many) iconic Brutalist architectural design is documenting how it was experienced and used by the people of Portsmouth. The exhibition opened on the 15th and formally had its opening celebration to a capacity crowd on Saturday 22nd.

The exhibition on the ground floor of the museum is loosely arranged in to two areas, with the first section detailing the origins of the building from concept to design and build. As you enter this space the striking architectural plans on the wall are what first catch the eye. The lines and form of the concrete structure can almost take you back in time to the exciting and economically optimistic early 1960s, with the original and then cutting edge design still feeling strangely fresh even now. This is reinforced with the many original pamphlets, magazines and books that show the enthusiasm the project launched with. This part of the exhibition also establishes where the Tricorn sat within the Brutalist movement and also with some other buildings in the city such as Portsdown Park and Portsmouth Central Library, both of which are in the exhibition in the form of architect sketches and models.

The second section focuses on how the people of Portsmouth experienced the structure over the years it stood in the city centre. Part of this section is an incredible collection of posters and artwork from the nightclub but there is also related music, photos and even period clothing giving a sense of how the building was, for a time, a hub for the community. This section also looks at how the building was a creative inspiration for many, including artwork, skateboard decks and in particular, photography. It is in this section the Strong Island community photo panel is located, with over 100 photos capturing the structure in artistic angles and light. This area is also home to some striking work by Jon King and James Earle, both of who explored the building with their cameras throughout it’s demolition. Both areas also contain oral history, with interviews, opinions and memories on the Tricorn from both architect and members of the public. Also in both areas of the exhibition are feedback walls, which welcome comments from people visiting the exhibition. Despite the exhibition only being open for a week these are already full with amazing contributions.

On Saturday 22nd the exhibition was formally opened including attendance by VIPs such as Owen Luder, one of the original architects, plus many people associated with the Tricorn from right back to it’s design and construction through to its final demolition. The event included speeches by Owen Luder, Celia Clark and Councillor Lee Hunt, possibly the most interesting was the story of the Tricorn told by Owen Luder himself. It was fascinating to see how for him the aspirations for the building were in many ways dashed due to an economic turndown happening with an extended delay in securing contracts with key business tenants. Of particular note were his thoughts on how the space itself has been used “54 years on it is back to how it was when I first saw it in 1960, a carpark”.

The exhibition runs through to the 29th June.

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (1)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (2)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (3)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (4)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (5)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (6)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (7)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (8)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (9)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (11)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (12)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (13)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (14)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (15)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (16)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (17)

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Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (19)

Macbeth at the Square Tower

The Scottish play is coming to the atmospheric setting of the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth this week. The Southsea Shakespeare Actors, who performed Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors at the Station Theatre, Hayling Island last November, are swapping tomfoolery and twins for blood and revenge in their production of Macbeth, showing from 12th-15th March.

Rob Bartlett, who plays the title role, tells us why the play is so popular among theatregoers, and what the audience can expect from this production.

This is one of Shakespeare’s plays that most people know at least a little about, whether it be the ‘is this a dagger I see before me’ quote or the infamous character of Lady Macbeth. Why do you think it holds such appeal for audiences?

I think it’s because of the mix of supernatural, unbridled ambition and human weakness – we may not all do what the Macbeths do, but we’ve thought about it! If we were given a supernatural push and told by powers beyond our understanding that it would all be okay, we might just act on those impulses more often.

I also think it’s because Macbeth’s descent into madness is so well observed and written that it makes it utterly compelling, and a joy to play. In one line ranting and in the next line totally lucid. The jerkiness of his thoughts makes it a perfect portrayal of manic behaviour.

The play also barrels along at a heck of a pace – there isn’t the flowery poetry of Romeo and Juliet for example, it’s all plot, character and action. I also think that almost every character gets their moment in the spotlight – Lady M and Mackers obviously, but Malcolm, MacDuff, Lady MacDuff, Banquo and even the Porter get their chance to shine (to name but a few)!

There’s a superstition in the theatre world that it’s bad luck to mention the ‘M’ word on the night of a performance, regardless of the play. What’s that all about?

To be honest I have no idea!!! I talk about Macbeth all the time. I think there was some talk about bad things happening on various productions but to me it seems like a good way to get some publicity! 

You’re performing at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth – how do you think the setting will lend itself to the atmosphere of the play?

I think it will be brilliant! A big bare stone building, dimly lit with lots of shadows bouncing off the walls, candles – it will be fab. Also by doing it ‘in the round’ the audience will be really close. They will feel like they are in the scene, not just watching it. There will be times where they can’t see the face of the actor who is delivering the lines but that wont matter, a bit like when you are out with a big group of friends. You can’t always see the face of the person talking but you get a sense of what’s going on from everyone around you – and yes, that will include the other members of the audience on the opposite side of the room who can see.

We are doing some scenes with candles, so it will be really dim – really atmospheric!

Can you sum up in one (short!) sentence what we can expect from the Southsea Shakespeare Actors’ version of Macbeth?

It’s up close and personal – be ready to be part of the action!

 

To book tickets go to http://ssa.ticketsource.co.uk/events or find out more about the Southsea Shakespeare Actors at www.southseashakespeareactors.com.

Far From Home Project Exhibition on 14th March

The Far from Home project and exhibition is a collaboration between Armed Forces Community Covenant scheme, public funding from Arts Council England for Fusion lab taking place in Space, staff and students of the University of Portsmouth, Somerstown residents, local artists, Sharon Court (who ran the recent Somerstown Stories project) and Strong Island Media.

The Far from Home project brought together ex-service personnel and the family or personnel with students based at the Eldon building of the University of Portsmouth, with the group exploring the theme of being Far From Home. The theme was chosen as it was felt that both groups of participants in the projects could emphasise with the sense of leaving home for the first time, leaving friends and family and experiencing a new life. The students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries who have been working alongside these retired armed service personnel and their families learnt more about how it felt to be a new recruit, to be posted overseas, or to be far from home. The students have then created art, including photography, illustration, short films and creative writing based on these experiences for an upcoming Far From Home exhibition in Space. Film footage taken of students talking to and working with armed forces personnel on the project will also be shown. Additionally artefacts from the armed forces personnel will also be on display.

Residents taking part in the project have had the opportunity to also learn new things through taster workshops led by students and a tour of the recently extended Eldon Building, home to the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. These workshops and the tour are designed to break down barriers and increasing understanding for both groups of participants.

The Far From Home exhibition opens with a special afternoon tea on Friday, March 14 and will be open to the public from March 17-26. A book and film will also be produced showcasing the work created as part of the project.

You can find out more about the project at:

www.farfromhomeproject.co.uk

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