Strong Island Co.

Albert Road

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part One – Rickyfitts

It’s that time again where we present and preview all of the acts that are playing our Strong Island Recordings stage at Southsea Fest. Once again we return to the sweat-box that is the dingy cavern that is Bar Fifty-Six. It’s the same venue we launched our label ultimately two years ago at Southsea Fest so we can’t wait to embrace the searing heat whilst sweat pours from the ceilings and walls.

Previously our Southsea Fest stages have featured many of our label family with the likes of Arrows of Love, Dead Rabbits, Tyrannosaurus Dead, Is Bliss and Yoofs all having played previous instalments of ‘Drunken Sailor’ and this year waking everybody up at Drunken Sailor is extending label family being the archaic, brutal, thrashy duo Rickyfitts who mould psych to grunge creating a gnarly, gut busting, face melting sludge fuzz filled set. Certainly one of if not, Portsmouth’s finest live act and also one of the countries best new live acts for sure. Despite brutally pummelling their instruments to total total mush, Rickyfitts are as much brains as they are brawn with intelligent riffs and structure to their songs sometimes going near 10 minuets of total, maniacal mind boggling, smash mouth fuzz. Since their first ever show only a year ago and first label release on Treacherous Tides Vol.1  the noisy twosome have gone on to partake in a mini tour with DZ Deathrays and also release their debut EP on local label Pie & Vinyl. They play two sets at Southsea Fest but in the countless shows we’ve seen them they have yet to play the same set twice so be sure to head down early for the loudest alarm clock ever. Rickyfitts kick off our stage at 13.15pm. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio who offer incredibly great rates.

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Strong Island Recordings WEB

Photos from Head Jam 2014

For the second year running Head Mens Hairdressing, Strong Island and My Dog Sighs (this year with Lex Luthor) put on the Head Jam street art event on Albert Road in Southsea. The yard out the back of Head and the Strong Island HQ had last year’s artwork covered during last week and Saturday saw local artists My Dog Sighs, Los Dave, M-One, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Stu Linfield, I am Posy, freakSTATIC, Midge and Samo get involved with new artwork on all of the walls plus the new sculpture too. Extra artwork is also being added today by My Name is Leila. A huge thank you to all the artists and to everyone who popped by throughout the day.

Check some of the photos from the day below, you can see a load more on our Flickr (which is a growing archive of our photography over the last 6 years) or on our Facebook page and if you want to pop in and have a look visit Head at 53 Albert Road.


































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.

Old paint on a wall

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (1)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (2)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (3)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (4)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (5)

Head Jam, photo by Paul Gonella

Photos: Matt Maber

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Final Southsea Fest Line Up Including Pulled Apart By Horses, Ed Harcourt & DZ Deathrays

Southsea Fest have announced the latest and final line up to the already marvellous bill which already includes the likes of Laurel, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Mazes, Blessa, Menace Beach, Kagoule, Eliza & The Bear and many more including local favourites Rickyfitts and Kassassin Street. The one day, multi-venue urban festival spanning across the intimate setting of Albert Road has pulled absolutely no punches with its latest additions and it looks set to be the biggest and best Southsea Fest yet.

Headlining the Wedge is gnarly hardcore punk, Leeds exports, Pulled Apart by Horses regarded by many as one of the best live acts today with their twisted, amp melting, gut busting ferocious sets. Their last Southsea Fest outing, for those fortunate to catch them was regarded as stuff of legend and with them playing the Wedge this year you’re four times more likely to be able to get a glimpse of their carnage. Along with Pulled Apart By Horses, Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays head back to Southsea and will deliver a face-melting, riot like set of thrash ridden pop. Another huge coup for Southsea Fest and headlining the Kings Theatre is established singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt who shall be a perfect fit for the glorious, Edwardian setting. Also on the bill confirmed is Fat Cat Record’s Glaswegian duo Honeyblood who deliver, scuzzy, grunge tinged, indie pop. Bringing the doom psychedelia and stoner rock is GANG, the latest signings to Strong Island Recordings who are ready to inflict a sonic assault upon senses with ear pounding riffs and gnarling, wailing vocals. Heading back to Southsea Fest is the splendid Talons who create intense and epic instrumental, math-post hardcore rock coated in  magnificently building violin sections also coated in merciless riffs. There are numerous other additions as well as in which you can find below.

Tickets are just £18 for what represents an incredible value for money and can be purchased HERE.

Pulled Apart By Horses -Ed Harcourt – Famy – DZ Deathrays – Flyte - Fear of Men – Laurel – Curxes – Talons – Brontide - Blessa – Mazes – Castles – Eliza & The Bear 100 Ounces – Alpha Male Tea Party – Andy Oliveri – Bad Grammar - Battery Hens – Beautiful Boy – Big Fin – Big Sixes – Body Hound - Boy Jumps Ship – Brawlers – Break-Ups  - Dear Everyone - Deluxe Flamingos – Doe – Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux – Elephantantrum - Eloise Keating – Emperor Yes – Employed To Serve – Fairweather Band -FALLS – Fickle Friends – Flash Fires – Floella Grace – Fred Page - FURS – Gang – Goodtime Boys – Gossling – Happy Accidents – Happyness - Harker – Holy Kasper – Honeyblood – House of Thieves – Hunter And The Bear - Iced Out – Jesse Wylde & The Stallions – Jimmy Islip and the Ghosts w/ Sam Russo - Joythief – Kagoule – Kassassin Street – Layers – Life – Lillian Todd Jones - LOOKS – Love Park – Lu’Ami – Lucky One Dies First – Lyger - Martha – Matt Emery – Matt Jarvis – Meadowlark – Menace Beach - Michael A Grammar – Natasha North – Nothing But Thieves - Osca – Passport to Stockholm – Pawws – Pedro Donkey - Personal Best – Phoria – Pixel Fix – Popabawa – Prides – Pure Graft - Racing Glaciers – Raglans – Richie & The Remedy - RickyFitts – Rough Hands – SACHA – Saint Agnes - Sam Brothers –  Slaves – Spring King – Tangled Hair – Teef – The B of The Bang - The Boy I Used To Be – The Cadbury Sisters – The Cairos – The Lion & The Wolf -The Magic Gang – The Plastic Beats Band – The Prestige - The Proper Ornaments – The Ramona Flowers – The SLM - The Southsea Alternative Choir – ThisPlanet – Thought Forms - Tigercub – Tom Moody – Trampolene – Uncle Luc – Unknown Soldiers – Waylayers - We The Wild – Woahnows – Wildest Dreams

Southsea Fest 2014 Poster

Gland Rock At The Wedgewood Rooms in Support of The Feel Yourself Campaign 5th July Headlined by 90′s Legends The Telescopes

The glorious Gland Rock belts down into Southsea 5th July in support of the Feel Yourself Campaign. This new Portsmouth music festival takes place across one day in one venue at the Wedgewood Rooms & Edge of the Wedge featuring some the finest bands across the land. Headlined by Creation Records (responsible for the releases of the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & the Mary Chain and Oasis) 90’s legends The Telescopes bringing their visceral realm of psychedelic, shoegaze and dreampop along with the likes of God Damn, a mind blowing twosome creating an atomic, thundering racket of noise which is totally perplexing as to how two men can create such a sound that almost defies the laws of plausibility. Along with Bo Ningen, they’re possibly the best live band at the moment and can be found heavily across the festival circuit. Possibly tomorrow headliners but if you feel any seismic activity in Portsmouth, it’s likely due to God Damn.

The line up also sees the weird and wonderful punks Claw Marks fresh from their Sexbeat release (Eagulls/White Lung) and UK tour with Fat White Family as well as scuzz pop duo Playlounge, punk quartet Human Hair, electronic two piece AK/DK, indie/post punk  and and Playlounge as well as some of the best locals in the area. Carefully curated, taking quality over quantity the line-up sees thrash duo Rickyfitts who have released on bothStrong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl, local cult legends The Demons recently re-releasing ‘Contact High’ getting high praise such as being touted a classic by Backseat Mafia as well as dreampop, shoegaze duo who also create luscious surf like riffs, Wildest Dreams, psych-doom outfit Unknown Soldiers, the bombastic, blitz pop duo Curxes, Eloise Keating who delivers haunting dream pop and colourful indie electro pop 4 piece Deluxe Flamingos.

There will also be a raffle on the day to help raise money for the Feel Yourself Campaign. The raffle prizes include:

- My Dog Sighs Painted Canvas framed by Southsea Gallery
- Victorious Tickets
- Southsea Fest Tickets
- £25 Art Is Hard Records Voucher and Surprise Test Pressing
- Unique Pompey Calendar and David James Painting by Official PFC Artist
- Strong Island Swag
- Pie and Vinyl Swag
- Artwork by amazing local artists (such as mynameisleila and m-one)
- plus much more…

You can listen to the playlist below and tickets can be purchased for merely £10 HERE or on the day, availability permitting.

Gland Rock Poster

Southsea Fest Announcements Of Local Acts Including Curxes, Kassassin Street, Rickyfitts, The Boy I Used To Be & More

On the 20th September one of the finest days in the British music calendar; Southsea Fest hits Portsmouth once again. With a line up already consisting of some of Britain’s best new acts including the likes of Mazes, Laurel, Blessa, Kagoule, Fear of Men, Dinosaur Pile Up and Slaves to name just a small handful, Southsea Fest have announced the local additions to the already tremendous line up.

For our Strong Island Recordings stage in which we return to the sweat pit that is upstairs of bar Fifty Six, we’re delighted to announce the latest additions to our stage: Fresh to the festival and from their NME Radar hype, we bring you Wildest Dreams who delve between enchanting dream-pop and also brooding, atmospheric shoegaze reminding us of a cross between Warpaint, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Cocteau Twins.  We have a more eclectic line up this year and making her debut at Southsea Fest is the immensely talented Eloise Keating who creates hauntingly beautiful electro, dream-pop with mesmerising vocals, one of the city’s best new talents for sure. We are also bringing back the fuzzy, ferocious, tinnitus inducing, sludge filled thrash duo Rickyfitts who shall be opening the Drunken Sailor’ stage, not just one of Portsmouth’s very best live bands but one of the country’s best new live bands, period.  All three will be joining the likes of Blessa, Kagoule, Furs and Kill Moon at Bar Fifty-Six.

Also playing Southsea Fest is extended label family duo The Boy I Used to Be who shall be playing for Pie & Vinyl and bringing their garage pop akin to King Tuff, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Splashh. The festival also has some fresh blood with Gosport’s brilliant tropical psych pop trio Popobawa making their debut as well as western styled blues/psych, Southampton/London outfit Saint Agnes and ElEPHANTANTRUM taking you into a deep acid like realm of twisted, 60’s inspired psychedelia.

Other locals added to the bill are space rock, grunge Southsea regulars Battery Hens who will be sonically burning holes into eardrums, the bombastic, electro pop duo Curxes, bringing a unique hybrid of grunge, surf and jazz, Jesse Wyldes & The Stallions return to Southsea Fest, Pie & Vinyl’s The B Of the Bang return to Southsea after a summer of festival appearances, doom laden psychedelic outfit The Unknown Soldiers, the colourful indie electro pop, Deluxe Flamingos, the gnarly hardcore punk trio Lucky One Dies First, the dance-able, electro tinged, psych tinted locals Kassassin Street who combine elements of world music to their charming, indie pop  as well  as Matt Jarvis, Big Fin, Sacha, Southsea Alternative Choir, Joythief, Happy Accidents, The Plastic Beats Band and Tom Moody as well as of course the return of the phenomenal Laurel who was outstanding at the couple of sets I saw her at The Great Escape with her full band with one being a packed out Komedia.

Southsea Fest is guaranteed to be another cracker this year introducing you to tomorrow’s headliners in some of the most intimate settings. Tickets are incredibly great value for money ranging from £10 – £18 and can be found HERE. So tell your friends and family and head down to the small independent festival that supports the best in new music and fine local establishments. You can check out some of the latest additions to the line up below.

Southsea Fest Hampshire Acts

Gland Rock Festival 2014 in Aid of the Feel Yourself Campaign Feat. The Telescopes & More

GLAND ROCK returns for its second outing on July 5th for the one-day charity festival in aid of Feel Yourself Campaign – promoting cancer awareness for men and women. Situated at The Wedgewood Rooms and Edge of The Wedge in Southsea, Portsmouth, the event ran by Strong Island Recordings, Champagne Justice and Creation for Causes will have incredible live music alongside stalls brimming with an assortment of food, records, clothing and art. Entry is £10 and tickets can be purchased here.

The first Gland Rock, in November 2013, included the likes of Esben and The Witch, Wild Smiles, Traams, The Hundredth Anniversary, Bloodsport, Fever, Shudder Pulps and many more. This year Gland Rock 2014 is led by legendary British outfit The Telescopes formerly on one of the greatest record labels of all time Creation Records and remains as eclectic, electric and impressive, featuring a unique blend of lauded acts and exciting prospects on the ascent. The Telescopes have been hailed as “brilliant” with a “very real and crazy originality that carries fat tons of wallop” by The Wire. Steve Lamacq has championed the band since their inception and they have been described as “in another universe altogether… incredible” by NME. The Telescopes’ spiralling blend of psyche, shoegaze and visceral noise is like no other and Gland Rock is delighted to welcome them as our headline act for 2014.

Also on the line up are the likes of God Damn, AK/DK, Playlounge and Flamingods who have all fast become favourites of gig and festival goers across the country. Elsewhere, we have the bewilderingly exciting Omi Palone and Human Hair, two of the capital’s finest new bands.

On the home front, Southsea is gainfully represented by the bombastic Curxes, You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons, Is Bliss, Rickyfitts, Deluxe Flamingos & Eloise Keating.

Champagne Justice, Creation For Causes, and Strong Island Recordings are proud to bring you Gland Rock 2014 in aid of Feel Yourself Campaign! You can listen to the line up below of the acts playing Gland Rock and check the Facebook event HERE.

Gland Rock 2014

Southsea Fest 2014 Initial Lineup Announcement

Today Southsea Fest announced their initial lineup for this year’s event, with the following acts set to play at the many venues taking part along Albert Road on the 20th September:

Beautiful Boy, Big Sixes, Blessa, Boy Jumps Ship, Brawlers, Brontide, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs, Dinosaur Pile-up, Eliza and the Bear, Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux, Fear of Men, Fickle Friends, Fred Page, FURS, Happyness, House of Thieves, Holy Casper, Kagoule, Kill Moon, Laurel, Layers, Looks, Lyger, Mazes, Meadowlark, Menace Beach, Nothing But Thieves, Osca, Passport To Stockholm, Pawws, Pixel Fix, Racing Glaciers, Raglans, The Ramona Flowers, Slaves, Tigercub, Trampolene, Uncle Luc, Violet Skies & We The Wild.

More announcements will follow including lineups on the individual stages. Early bird tickets are now available at only £12 for the whole day, going to be awesome as standard.

The Drunken Sailor stage hosted by Strong Island Recordings returns for it’s third year, with a few changes from last year. Expect that lunchtime, drunken, loud, hot & heavy carnage all over again.

Southsea Fest High Res Poster










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.

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Archives

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.

Guildhall

It’s going to be a Strong Movember

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.

Poster: Tristan Savage

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep 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.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Sunny Southsea

I went for bike ride today to take advantage of the nice, albeit cold, weather and take a few photos. Check them out over on my Flickr photostream.

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RETROSPECTIVE – Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

“Since Strong Island began back in 2008 we have amassed an incredible amount of historical information about Portsmouth & Southsea’s past. These articles are not only from our own interest and passion about the city, but also from readers that have sent us some amazing facts. So much has changed in such a relatively short amount of time and the fast pace of life around us can make it easy to forget the importance of this cities history.

Retrospective‘ takes a look back at some of our previous posts incase you missed them in the past or you’re one of our new readers. One day myself and Paul hope to create a stand alone archive here utilising all the books and photos we have collected that haven’t made it on to Strong Island as of yet. With permission of course! So much to do and so little time. Enjoy.”

This is one seriously awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back (sadly no longer active). Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Just incredible. It’s hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guildhall, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on…

Originally published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011









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