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Created in Portsmouth Open Studios Trail 2014

The 2nd Created in Portsmouth Open Studios Trail will take place 17th – 19th October. The trail showcases the diverse range of creative work made by artists and makers in Portsmouth. This takes place at various location around Portsmouth and you can download a trail map on the website link below.

The artists taking part this year are Magpie Glass, Mel Brudrit & Lesley George, Sarah Walbrin & Jane Withey, Pam Lake, Shake Your Glass & Dancingpot, Tango Tea, Lousie Kydd, Colin Merrin & The Southsea Workbench, The Copper Hare, Prints Ink & Pam Johns, Sue Meridith Illustration & Katherine Webber Jewellery, Island Pictures and Little Duck Forge, Somerville Stone & Dan Wendes.

There is a preview exhibition on Thursday October 16th 7.30-9.30pm at The Stone and Iron Show Garden, Eastney Beam Engine House, 199 Henderson Road, Portsmouth PO4 9JF. The exhibition will also be on display during Friday 17th – Sunday 19th at The King’s Theatre Shop, 24 Albert Road, PO5 2QL.

For further details and to view a map of all the locations please visit the website at http://createdinportsmouth.co.uk/

Work below by Prints Ink, Colin Merrin and Katherine Webber Jewellery.

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5th Annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition

Can you believe it, we’re heading into our fifth year of competition.  It’s that time of year when you get the Autumn feeling setting in and you know it’s time to dust off the hydrometer and make a trip down to Wilko’s (or browse any other reputable home brew suppliers) to stock up on brewing kit.

Last year saw the greatest turn out by far in the history of the competition and with this being a landmark 5th year, we’re hoping to see even more top brews entered.  Last year’s winner, Malaccan Pirate, was a storming success selling well in many Portsmouth pubs and it was also one of the first beers to sell out at the Portsmouth Beer Festival back in May.

My hops are harvested and i’m ready to get cracking.  We have yet to confirm a date for the judging evening but we will aim to announce a set date for February 2015 very soon so be sure to keep an eye out.

In the mean time happy brewing!

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PubHack #3 on the 7th October

PubHack is a 10 hour hackathon which returns on the 7th October at the Brewhouse and Kitchen in Portsmouth. Created by local web designers Jo Eyre and Lilian Tula, the 3rd event happening on 7th has doubled in size since the inaugural event back in September 2013.

“The idea came about at our local networking group Portsmouth Freelancers Meet. We thought it’d be a really fun to get local creatives and techies together in a pub and see what could be made in a day. It’s based around the notion that we come up with our best ideas at the pub.” Jo Eyre (Organiser)

This year the event has really grown, with over 50 developers and designers coming from all over the South Coast to compete for awards and prizes worth over £4,000. The event has also gained major support through sponsorship from huge international businesses such as Github, FreeAgent and GoSquared as well as local businesses such as CatN Hosting. PubHack also has some amazing judges including author Jon Burkhart, Andrew Nesbitt (GitHub), Simon Tabor (Lead developer of GoSquared) and Rich Boakes (University of Portsmouth).

At PubHack the teams are given a theme at the beginning of the day and have 10 hours to make anything they like – a website, a game, an app…one team even produced a film. The theme for the first event was Post Apocalypse, some of the highlights included a game built in Unity (Rise of the Nerds) where you could fight zombies inside a 3D creation of the Brewhouse and Kitchen. There was also had a game called Apocolhipster – where you use your iPhone to control your hipster and fight hipster zombies.

The second event had the theme First World Problems. Teams made some amazing projects including a Magic 8-Ball style app where you can get answers to your first world problems, and an interactive game ‘Jo’s Happy Super Fun Time Sofa Catchy Game’ where you can catch falling objects including a laptop, cats and gin bottles (which puts you into drunk mode!). Another highlight was a team of 3 who produced ‘Flappy Bird Fitness’, where they had re-created the Flappy Bird game but using your iPhone accelerometer to flap and move the bird.

“I’m really excited to see what the teams will come up with this year. We have a lot of big agencies from across the South Coast competing as well as local freelancers, contractors and graduates from University of Portsmouth. If the last event is anything to go by the competition is going to be fierce!”

Ticket sales for PubHack are now closed but anyone is welcome to join teams at the Brewhouse & Kitchen from 6:30pm to see what has been made in those 10 hours.

For more information or to see the previous entries, please visit www.pubhack.co.uk or follow PubHack on Twitter @pub_hack

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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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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.

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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 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 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.

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Local Photographer – Eamon Lane

A recent arrival to Portsmouth, Eamon Lane has been out and about the city recently shooting photos on the street and at local events such as Love Your Bike. Below are a few examples of Eamon’s photography, visit I Love Slugs to see more.






Hidden Treasures

Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).

CHAOS – 20 years & out!

20 years!!!! That has to go in the books as Southsea longest running night? Give or take, most people you bump in to have been to a least one Chaos night, and most spent a grimy late one down the pier dancing like idiots and spilling Newcastle Brown all over the place. I’ve a lot of fond memories of the earlier days at Chaos, mostly after skating and sitting in the pub saying I’m not going. Not this week. Then 8 pints later jumping in a taxi…

If you have any stories or cool photos from Chaos we’d love to see them. Or even some of the old flyers. There have been some pretty interesting designs over the years. I’ll always remember the photo flyer of the kid on the dance floor with a girl and his ‘wandering hands’.

Jay Dunstan got in contact and had this to say:

“To coincide with our 20th Birthday on Saturday 26th November – we’re announcing that this will be the last ever “Chaos”.

Starting in 1991 at South Parade Pier, moving to the Wedgewood rooms in 2008 – we’ve been crowned the South Coasts longest running Independent Club night, winning The Guide Awards “Best club night”, “Best DJs” (x 2) and the promoters Ped & Jay being awarded a special award for contribution to the Portsmouth Music Scene. Chaos has provided Dj’s and club nights at Guilfest, Southsea Fest & Isle of Wight Festivals.

Having been a constant in our lives and the Portsmouth clubbing & music scene for 2 decades – Its been a very tough decision to stop the regular club night. But we feel that now is the best time to unplug the speakers for the last time.

Chaos was always quite literally about being ‘alternative’ – alternative in music policy, but also offering an alternative to the traditional and mainstream clubs. Our ethos was always simple – play music we liked, to people to we liked & do it prime time on a Saturday night 52 weeks a year!

Our feeling is that the current scene is very different now and although still loving every element of the gigs, festivals and guitars – a regular club night offering everything we did, now isn’t whats required. Clubbers will always want an alternative, but the music scene is now so split and venues, pubs & clubs are all competing for survival – we felt it was a good opportunity to step back, take a deep breath & raise a glass to rock n roll!

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Chaos over the last 20 years – venue managers, bar staff & door stewards – sound & light technicians – – street teams – performers & bands and of course the roll call of DJ’s past & present that have provided the soundtrack to so, so, so many silly, drunken and above all fun Saturday nights.

Hey ho, lets go!”

The 20th Birthday & Last EVER Chaos – Saturday 26th November 2011

Flyer: Chaos Flickr

Created Local – Victoria Haynes

Friend of Strong Island, Charlie ‘Pet Sounds’ Waddington told me about a very talented work colleague of his the other day and kindly asked if she could send in some examples of her work. Damn straight she can. That’s what we’re all about here, you know that.

I’ll introduce Vicky with the little bio that sent me. “Right, erm. About me, I’m 28, married with a two-year-old little boy, and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I work three days a week at Paul Smith, where I’m the visual merchandiser and a sales assistant. The rest of the time I spend looking after my son, seeing friends and family, drawing, crocheting, sewing, watching films, listening to music and reading – the dream is to eventually scratch a living from artwork and handmade goods, while living in an old house with the family and a cat or two. I’m socially awkward, and have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I’m not very cool and tend to like clothes that everyone else thinks are repulsive – my favourite shop in Portsmouth is Dead Mans Glory, closely followed by any charity shop. I am actually addicted to period dramas, and love anything from the 40′s, 50′s or 60′s.”

Vicky’s print artwork is hand drawn, scanned in to the computer, coloured in Illustrator and usually drawn from a photograph for accuracy. Patterns are then self generated and added after. Inspiration comes from old objects, cameras, typewriters and suchlike – anything from days gone by captures her imagination. Crochet has so far been limited to homewares and childrens hats, but she would love to start making more wearable items to sell.

Undoubtedly a girl of many, many talents, Vicky’s work is eclectic, fun, unique and fantastic. Please add your comments and thoughts at the bottom of the page.

Keep up to date with Vicky over at her Blog www.theowlandtheaccordion.blogspot.com. All the best for the future and I hope you get that old house. Vicky also has prints for sale in the Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. Pop down and grab one.











Local Photographer – Harvey Mills

Okay, so it’s not quite on the Island, but hey, when the content is this good we can forget about the extra few miles. Harvey Mills shoots Murray Cross chomping the Langstone 13 set on the Havant roundabout with ease. Perfect timing and composition from Harvey.

Check out Harvey’s webiste www.harveymills.com and also his Flickr. Below are photos of Charles and Southsesa’s buttery own Bored teamrider Adam Keys.

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