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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Ten – Blessa

Tomorrow one of the finest days in the calender for new music being Southsea Fest arrives and we are very stoked to say the least. For part ten of our Southsea Fest preview is one of my favourite new bands today. Delving between blissful, ethereal dreampop, shoegaze and post punk is our splendid headliners Blessa who shall be taking you into a state of euphoric bliss at Southsea Fest. Combining stunning whirling guitars with soothing, reverb coated enchanting vocals the sonic journey of Blessa is utterly mesmerising.

I managed to catch Blessa at a very crowded Komedia in Brighton at The Great Escape and they blew me away.Having dropped their incredibly strong four track ‘Love Is An Evol EP’ recorded by man of the moment MJ of Hookworms and also getting noticeable praise from the likes of NME and The Guardian (for very good reason I should add) you would be most foolish to miss out on what is going to be a very rare occurrence of seeing Blessa in a setting such as Bar Fifty-Six.

You most certainly should witness Blessa in the flesh at time of 22.00PM at Bar Fifty-Six at Southsea Fest. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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Southsea Fest Poster

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Nine – Looks

Running an electronic music label also Looks are a band I’m very excited about seeing at Southsea Fest. Displaying the more eclectic nature to our stage,Looks deliver synth enthused, danceable indie pop. It’s like feasting on early Foals along with a sprinkle of Yeasayer, Chvrches, Friendly Fires and Late Of The Pier. Gut punching synths, huge hooks and hefty basslines, debut track ‘Everest‘ on part blog, part label Killing Moon Records is an absolute gem displaying the trio’s evident talent in 5 plus minutes. It’s also screaming and I mean SCREAMING out for a potential remix. Looks are destined for much larger venues I’m sure of. You could well be looking at the next big thing. You can catch the ever splendid Looks at 21.05m at Bar Fifty-Six.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Seven – Theo Verney

Theo Verney  first came to our attention from his debut EP the T.V EP released on the marvellous Italian Beach Babes label last year. Not long after we then co- hosted what was to be Theo’s first show outside of London and Brighton last August in Southsea at The One Eyed Dog.  Strong influences of Sabbath & Ty Segall and intertwining between garage rock, doom laden psychedelia, grunge tinted pop and stoner rock, Theo Verney is a sonic assault of fuzzy sludge filled riffs coated in gruff vocals and immense hooks. Already rapidly rising to prominence as one of the finest new acts in the country with an already shimmering career with releases on the likes of Hate Hate Hate Records (The Wytches & Fat White Family) & Italian Beach Babes as well as support stints with the likes of party king Andrew W.K, Parquet Courts & Yuck, Theo Verney’s stock looks set to continue to ascend at a rapid pace so do seize the opportunity to see Theo Verney playing in intimate venues such as Bar Fifty Six whilst you still can. Theo Verney plays Southsea Fest at Bar Fifty-Six at 19.15pm so head down early or there’s a good chance you may miss out, and you really don’t want to, trust us. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.


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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Six – FURS

First up over at Strong Island Recordings we’re wishing ourselves a very self indulgent happy birthday as it is two years as of today that we launched at Southsea Fest in Bar Fifty-Six. A rather fantastic birthday present is knowing that these guys are going to be playing our party come Saturday at Southsea Fest.

So part six of our continuous Southsea Fest previews is of the incredible psychedelic, day-dream like pop outfit FURS who take you into their charm ridden, sun drenched blissful sound all coated in gorgeous whirling guitars. Their latest single ‘An Eye On The Viscous’ premiered on The Line Of Best Fit on Friday which you can listen to the amazing single taken from their debut album set to drop on the 3rd November right here. The Line of Best Fit described their latest gem as “a rare mix of melancholy and brightness. Like the first chilly day in September, it is subtle, yet sudden, familiar, yet unexpected.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Previously released tracks such as ‘Just Kids’ and ‘Going Nowhere’ show the immense potential with infectious hooks and textured guitars pouring through whilst ‘Striptease’ is reminiscent of psychedelia and surf rock akin to the likes of Allah- Las and The Growlers that sounds like it could be straight out of seminal Californian label Burger Records. We can’t wait for FURS to touch down into Southsea and take us into their enchanting realm.

Catch FURS at Bar Fifty Six at 18.20pm. Check the Facebook event here and do check out our splendid sponsors too, The Park Studio.

Strong Island Recordings WEB

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Four – Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux

Now here’s a band who epitomise the darkness, chaos and fun, party ethos of ‘Drunken Sailor Presents’. London’s Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux or ENATL for short, cross between frenetic psychobilly, garage punk and surf rock. Topped with Gothic vocals, they remind us of a mixture of The Cramps, Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster, The Wytches and our own Arrows of Love.Head down to our stage to see Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux at Bar Fifty-Six at 16.25pm. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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 Strong Island Recordings WEB

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Three – Wyldest

Creating ever gorgeous floating melodies, topped with enchanting vocals and coated in gentle, throbbing bass is the ambient, ethereal dream-pop trio Wyldest (formerly Wildest Dreams). Influences taken from the likes of My Bloody Valentine to Warpaint, it’s impossible not to fall in love and be addicted to the sounds of Wyldest.

NME put it perfectly when describing the now trio “It’s like being tickled in the ears by pixies”. Having main-staged Green Man Festival as well as taking over the blogosphere, Wyldest have quickly become one of the most sought after new acts around today. 

Wyldest are certainly one’s to put into your diary to check out. They play at 15.20pm at Bar Fifty-Six so head down for a tidal wave of total hazed out bliss. You can find the Facebook event  and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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Strong Island Recordings WEB

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Two – Eloise Keating

Part two of Strong Island Recordings Presents ‘Drunken Sailor’ highlights the more eclectic nature of our Southsea Fest stage with the immensely talented Eloise Keating making her Southsea Fest debut. Smouldering with infectious, melting vocals, singer-songwriter-producer Eloise Keating creates gorgeous, electronic dream like pop with influences ranging from Lana Del Ray, James Blake to fellow Hampshire starlet Laurel. Having already gained support from the likes of Rob Da Bank as well as much coverage on the blogosphere, there’s no doubting Eloise’s uncapped potential evident in the spine tingly brilliant self written and produced ‘Be My Ghost’.

Having played to a very hefty crowd at Victorious Festival enchanting the crowd with her phenomenal vocal ability, with the right direction Eloise will certainly be a talent playing much larger venues in the future and shall be a name on many folks lips. You can catch Eloise at 14.25pm at our stage at Southsea Fest in Bar Fifty-Six.

You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

Strong Island Recordings WEB

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

Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

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Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

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Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

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Tristan Savage

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. All you had to do was answer to the following questions.

Q. What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
A. Seasick Steve
Q. Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
A. Jade Spranklen
Q. Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?
A. Tom Odell

Congratulations goes to the lucky winner Jamie Horn.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE, but still require a ticket.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

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Archives

Vintage Southsea Postcards

You know we love a bit of vintage nostalgia here at Strong Island, and these old postcards of Clarence Pier are no exception. I always pick them up at the Car Boot sale opposite Clarence when I see one. When does the Car Boot start up again? Got to be soon. Answers on a postcard…

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Vintage Portsmouth Photographs

Following up from our Vintage Portsmouth Postcards article on Monday, Strong Island reader Centro Design posted a link to some rad old photographs of the city.

As always click read more at the bottom to see a small selection, but be sure to click this link to view all of them online.

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Created Local – Matt Howarth

Local illustrator, blogger, cyclist and member of the I Love Dust crew has just relaunched his website with a brand new design and loads of new content. be sure to take some time and give it a good look, plenty of visual gems in there.

www.hellomatt.co.uk

Bike Ride Panoramics

We will have loads of photos and stories from Sunday’s hugely successful Strong Island Bike Ride and to get started we have some huge panoramics taken by George Crick. Sadly we can only show some of the small versions here that do not do them justice so be sure to visit George’s website to see the all of the photos in full size, and spot yourselves in there!

George’s panoramics will be available to buy in Wallspace Gallery in Albert Road from Saturday for a bargain price of just £35.

The Fog

Anyone who was out in Southsea and some surrounding areas would have witnessed the rolling fog that made it’s way inland this Sunday. Creeping past the Isle of Wight and finally making it’s way to the beach and taking people by total surprise. Hundreds of people were out having BBQs and generally enjoying the sun when all of a sudden things got weird when you could see your breath in the air and pockets of mist were passing right in front of your eyes. It’s rare to see this during day and normally only occurs first thing in the morning, so this was pretty cool to see.

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Check out some more photos of “The Fog’ over on my Flickr Photostream.

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