We’re incredibly delighted and excited to announce that we’re releasing the incredible ‘Verxes’ the debut album by CURXES on our Strong Island Recordings label. It’s no secret we’ve been long time fans of the guys and their frenetic, blitz-synth pop/ post-punk stylings so we’re delighted to not just have the guys on the roster but also being able to release their album. With releases recently on our label coming from as far Glasgow to Tasmania, it’s great to release an act we love who are from our hometown of Portsmouth. ‘Verxes’ by CURXES will be available from the 4th May and we have some exciting live shows to accompany the release with that will be announced at a later date so keep your eyes peeled for that. We will also have news of the lead single ‘What You Want’ a huge sounding synth-pop meets acid house banger that screams summer anthem. We can’t wait until the ‘Verxes’ drops and we’ll have more information soon but in the mean time check out ‘Valkyrie’ & ‘Spectre’ below that will be on the album. You can also preview the fantastic artwork from the album below too.
At the turn of this new year a new Southsea based clothing company Death Marks launched with their first drop of garments ranging from beanies through to tees, hoodies and coach jackets. We caught up with owners Sian & Iiona to find out more.
How did Death Marks begin and what are your backgrounds? Death Marks UK started when Iiona looked through Sian’s sketch book and saw the R.I.P Rabbit design. Sian said how she would love to take her sketches and make a clothing line as it was a dream of hers. Iiona has always had a passion for graphic design and wanted to support her partner Sian and experiment her skills in different medias.
Sian studied graphics design at Portsmouth college and had 2 years experience working for a design agency called Design Image as a website coder.
Iiona had studied graphics from GCSEs to A-level and now works as a multimedia designer creating animations, illustrations and interactive content.
Who creates your artwork and what inspires your designs? All our designs are created in-house. Sian comes up with the designs and draws them up rough. Then either one of us will digitalise the design and after Iiona goes through each design so that it is perfected and final. Iiona will take the design and create and animation to help tell the story behind it.
We are inspired by the tattoo industry, alternative music scene and other clothing lines such as Drop Dead clothing, Doomsday and Honour Over Glory.
What do you have planned for the label in the coming months? Over the coming months we have south coast events planned in Portsmouth and Southampton. We have a gig at the Edge of the Wedge in April that we are working with Eyeless Promotions, another independent company who have also just started up this year. In May we have a festival in Southampton called Messtival where we will have a stall, in June we are releasing our summer range. Currently we are organising an event with Southsea Skatepark in the summer with Archie Cole, a world champion scooter rider.
Check the photos below of the current Death Marks range, you can find out more and buy items from the Death Marks website at:
Over the last 18-24 months more and more bands from Portsmouth have been starting to make more weird and wonderful music finding not just acceptance locally but going on to gain acclaim from national press. One of those bands played their first show just last year in the Cellars and since then they have mainstaged Green Man Festival, were picked out of 100’s of bands to play the Fake DIY all dayer with the likes of Hinds, Jaws and Blessa as well gain airplay on BBC Radio 1 and press from NME to Telegraph. They are of course dreampop trio Wyldest. Today saw the release of their debut single, self released and recorded by Guy Fixsen whose CV is rather astonishing where he was one of the 16 engineers used by Kevin Sheilds on the classic ‘Loveless’. It’s fair to say the guys were in very capable hands during the recording of ‘Cruel Dusk’ which is a gorgeous, whirling dreampop gem which you can listen below.
One of the things we love most about having our shop on Highland Rd is being able to put faces to names and meeting people we would otherwise never be able to; Harry Maguire is one of those people. When Harry dropped by a couple of weeks ago, he off-hand mentioned that during his time as a sailor in the Royal Navy he had developed a penchant for making ships in a bottle, a craft gleaned from a fellow shipmate during periods of down time. Over the years, Harry has modelled various types of ships from small schooners to historic frigate warships, working from single photographs or just his own memory to build intricately detailed craft complete with full rigging and sails.
Of particular note is the model Harry made while on active duty in the Falklands conflict, a complete scale replica of Portsmouth’s own HMS Warrior. Lacking any reference to work from, Harry sent the Warrior Preservation Trust a letter requesting a photograph to which they dutifully replied to with a handful of images. Upon his return, Harry presented the model to the Warrior Trust who were so impressed with his work that it was put on display in one of the Officers’ Quarters aboard the ship – a spot it still resides in to this day.
Raw & Auburn began life early in 2013, the Southsea based company specialises in hand crafted accessories using raw and unique materials. Each item bears it’s own individuality and is different than the last. Using traditional techniques every product is finished to a high standard and comes with it’s own Mill Cloth bag and they are all finished with the Raw & Auburn signature cross stitch.
Raw & Auburn have kindly donated one of their leather envelope wallets for you to win. You can find Raw & Auburn on Etsy and Facebook.
Laura specialises in hand made contemporary jewellery inspired by nature, sympathetically composing pieces made from found objects combined with precious metals while exploring the natural qualities of the materials. She has recently created a set of jewellery inspired by Portsmouth and its nautical images.
If you would like to win all of the prizes on offer then all you need to do is email your answers to the following questions to email@example.com. The deadline for entries is midnight on 19th December. We will announce the winner on 20th December. Good luck!
Day One – Made By Burbs Print
Q1) The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?
Day Two – x2 No 6 Cinema Tickets
Q2) What Disney movie are they showing over he Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?
Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards
Q3) In metres how long is the HMS Warrior over all?
Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery
Q4) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?
Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters
Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?
Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag
Q6) What year was the first bread slicer sold?
Day Seven – Meal at the Wave Maiden
Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters?
Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print and Christmas cards
Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?
Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for the Marmion Pub
Q9) The Marmion has been nominated for one of the annual Guide Awards, but under what category? (Please note we are looking for the full title of the award for a correct answer).
Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar
Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?
Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin
Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?
Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery
Q12) Raw and Auburn has recently collaborated with Illustrator and artist Megamunden. What form of art inspired Megamunden to create his recent colouring book?
Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!
Today we are featuring Magpie’s Lust. What started as a hobby for owner Abbie Pembroke, is now blossoming into a nice little business. For the fans of all things nautical and science fiction, you will find jewellery inspired by your movies including Hunger Games and Harry Potter. You can find out what else is available by checking out the Facebook page.
Magpie’s Lust has kindly donated a pair of earrings and a necklace to our lucky winner. Todays question is…
Q) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?
To find out the previous questions click HERE. Remember not to email in until you have all of the answers though!
On Friday evening a large crowd gathered at 1 Cornwall Road, Portsmouth to celebrate the opening of ‘Make & The Craft Kitchen‘ and show their support for what is set to be a fabulous space for people of all ages to go along to and get creative.
Nikki Bates and Hesta Dalton have teamed up to offer a range of craft workshops and materials including an assortment of beautiful fabrics, trims, patterns, yarn, knitting needles and books to encourage people to get back to making wonderful tailor made things that they will love and enjoy.
Nikki and Hesta have been keen to create an environment where everyone can come and feel welcome, an environment where no matter what you can do or how good or bad you are at it, you can attend and learn new skills.
The ladies are always happy for new people to come in to chat or look around and are always willing to help get you inspired and motivated to get crafty.
The colourful warehouse type ‘Make’ is beautifully adorned and has even sparked the interest of local artists who have been keen to get involved and show their support. Leila Kemp aka My Name Is Leila, who is well known for her large scale paintings of bears in and around the city has contributed by releasing a new piece to the store that is hard to miss.
Another local artist, Roma May, contributed by spending over a day drawing on another wall, filling blank spaces with doodles of tea pots and gorgeous flowers.
Having local people help build a space like this adds to the community vibe and it is no doubt that it will be a huge success.
Kevin Hayward is a local artist who specialises in graphite pencil drawings and his recent commissions of mans best friend are fantastic. If you would like one or would like to get a piece commissioned then you can contact Kevin via email on email@example.com.
You can find more of his work and previous commissions on his website – HERE. You can see Kevin’s latest works by following him on Facebook or Twitter.
South-Central is an exciting new opportunity for artists based within 90 minutes travel time of the Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays.
South-Central is a new open submission group exhibition, which seeks to highlight the work of emerging visual artists working in any media but living within 90 minutes travel time of the gallery. There are no age restrictions, but undergraduate students must be in their final year of study. The exhibition is not themed.
The selected artists will exhibit their work in a group show in the main gallery space at Aspex. The overall winner will then work with the aspex team to produce a solo exhibition, either at the gallery or offsite within the City of Portsmouth.
• Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex
• Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery
• Judy Adam, Independent Curator
• Jonathan Parsons, Artist
The deadline for submissions is Monday 5 October 2014 and the exhibition dates are 21 November – 18 January 2014. Applicants can find out how to apply HERE.
This year has already seen two impressive Contemporary Makers Fair’s in the Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays. This November they’re back and again looking for contemporary fine-craft artists and designers to exhibit with them on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November, between 11am-4pm.
Aspex describes the event as a “professional development opportunity for craft artists and makers that will include a curated showcase of exhibited works with the chance to sell direct to the public.” The cost to participants are £28 for a single day or £50 for the whole weekend. To apply for this opportunity please send an email containing 5 images of your work and your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For an idea what to expect you can find out more about Augusts event HERE.
Local cycle machine and all round nice guy Dan Tonkin recently updated his website under the design pseudonym Adayin Design. Dan has been on the local scene since forever as a skater, photographer, web/graphic deisgner and keen cyclist with a heavily growing portfolio of work. A very multi talented individual that will leave you standing in a bike race.
Check out www.adayin.co.uk and aslo Dan’s Flickr stream. Sorry I can’t make The Randonnee this Sunday mate. Really quite gutted to be honest.
I’ve been holding on to this for a while now as I wanted to make a feature of it and had to wait for the exhibition to finish to give it pride of place on the front page. If like myself you’re always looking around at our local architecture you will have noticed many of the buildings within the book Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’. Some could even be right on your doorstep but you have never noticed, or peeked over that high wall. Thomas Ellis Owen’s work is all over the city and you’d be forgiven for walking past as a lot of it is hidden or down those streets you may not stroll down too often. Other buildings however are right in your face. Ever noticed the huge block of flats at the entrance to Waitrose, the detailing on the building at Dover Court opposite the old Havana bar?
“Thomas Ellis Owen is probably the best known of Portsmouth’s nineteenth century architects, his construction of villas and substantial terraces in Southsea being responsible for the emergence of the district as a middle class locality. His work was recognised by Pevsner and Lloyd in their magisterial Buildings of England: Hampshire, and later by a rather more detailed architectural enquiry by two students, Preedy and Stewart. My own research was principally concerned with dating Owen’s properties and analysing their inhabitants. What Sue Pike has done is to cast the net very much wider, not only by providing great detail about Owen’s family, but also by demonstrating the impressive breadth of his activities outside architecture. Indeed, his interests were so wide that there must have been few aspects of Portsmouth’s development in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in which he was not involved. Infrastructural fields such as gas supply, the Portsea Canal, railways, the Camber Docks and hospitals lay within his purview, while he assisted in the purchase of land for one of Portsmouth’s defining features, the Palmerstonian forts. His tithe map has proved of inestimable value to local historians. Meanwhile Owen was an important local politician. All these facets of Owen’s life have been fully laid bare in this thoroughly well researched book by Sue Pike, who is to be congratulated on her labours.” Professor Ray Riley
Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ is a really interesting read and contains stunning colour photos of many Owen properties in Southsea and Alverstoke by Gosport photographer, Tim Martin. There is no real target audience and hopefully it will appeal to old and young alike. The detailed captions may be helpful to first year architecture students but it showcases Southsea well and may well appeal equally to academics, photographers, interested newcomers and people who just want a really nice book to put on their coffee table. I’m a huge fan of both history and architecture so this book is a real winner for me, and I have no doubt that if that’s not really your bag you will still appreciate what Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ has to offer.
I took these photos the other week when the ash cloud was at it’s worst, there are more over at Forever Circling. if you have any photos online taken around the island effected by the ash cloud please pop a link in the comments and we’ll post some up later this week.
Local photographer Steve Bomford recently sent over a series of scans from the 1926 Official Publication of the Southsea Beach & Publicity Committee Portsmouth Corporation book ‘Southsea & Portsmouth’.
‘It is of little use to invite intending holiday makers to a town, unless there are attractions to offer, under all conditions of our notorious fickle ‘English’ climate. We do not make the statement that the sun shines every day at Southsea, but records show that we do get the maximum amount of sunny hours. Last year again, 1,923 hours were recorded, the highest number (with one exception) in the United Kingdom. Admitting that the question of sunshine is an important one, it is contended that a holiday resort must have other attractions, such as charming amenities, efficient public services, splendid variety of amusements, good facilities for all outdoor sports, and a good selection of cheap excursions and places of historical interest, to make a general appeal to those who are seeking a health-giving and enjoyable holiday.”
I love all the old hand drawn adverts and especially like the ‘medically recommended’ page. Where the sun lingers longer. Couldn’t be closer to the truth still to this day. It’s a shame the ‘most artistic cafe in Southsea’ is no longer in operation and the amount of people gathered on South Parade beach is incredible. Be sure to check out the full set with over 80 pages of photos, adverts and chapters all about Portsmouth & Southsea over at Steve’s Flickr HERE. A really interesting read if you like your history. And we know you do.