Strong Island Co.


The Strong Island Calendar 2016 Pre Orders Now Available

Its that time of year again when we collect together all of the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. We’ve had images submitted via email and through social media (lots on Instagram) and we’ve put our favourites together in to the 2016 calendar.

This year’s calendar has been updated and redesigned. Now printed on high quality, textured finish matt paper the images look and feel fantastic. This year the calendar also comes with a printed kraft card insert and is all sealed up ready to go for yourself or as a great gift for Christmas.

The calendar is off at the local printers and we are expecting to take delivery in the next week, so as we do each year we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Strong Island Clothing Co online store. The calendar is £12 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our Strong Island Co store once the calendars have arrived. All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last three years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

I’m sure that you would like to see which images are going to be included so here are just a few…

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
Anya Van Nieuwkerk
Aimee Smith
Aimee Smith
Johnny Black 1
Johnny Black
Jon Neil Water
Jon Neil
Todd Lawton
Todd Lawton

Created Local Special: Interview with Play Dead Studio in Southsea

With the start of Autumn, Southsea has seen the opening of a new creative space: Play Dead, that is part tattoo studio and part creative/gallery space. We caught up with the Play Dead crew to find out what’s going on down on Highland Road:

How did the idea for Play Dead come about?
We (Samo and Lex) first discussed the idea of Play Dead back in 2014. That’s when the search for a suitable property began and our plans for exactly what we wanted to set up started taking shape. We knew we wanted a more evolved conceptual tattoo studio, but as we are both involved in the street art scene it made sense to incorporate our love of that, and make our space a little more unique. Our mix of tastes and passions for things like fine art, character based art, vintage, music, and all things strange and wonderful have also helped to mould the look and style of what was to become Play Dead: a fine art/street art gallery, and custom tattoo studio.

What’s the team behind Play Dead? How did everyone get involved?
Whilst Samo and Lex remain at the core of Play Dead, we have carefully chosen a team of artists who are already well established in their own right. We’re very fortunate that the guys on our ‘wish list’ agreed to join us and we all get on like one big Play Dead Family:

Lex (Lex Luthor, LexLX, LexArt) : Doodler, Illustrator, Street Artist, Designer and Creative at All Caps and Supervillain. As the only member of the team who doesn’t tattoo, Lex is responsible for the look and style of the Play Dead name, and its continuous development. Check Lex on Instagram: @lexart.

Samo : Creative artist whose work encompasses painting, street art, sculpture and conceptual tattoo art. Samo uses watercolour, brush strokes, and geometry in a lot of her work. She enjoys the challenge of developing her freehand style from the page to the skin and using the body as a canvas. Check Samo on Instagram: @samotattoos.

Sam Hugh : A creative tattooer with a more traditional edge. Bold lines, heavy black and bright colours. Old school tuff stickers and tatty bangers for outlaws and reprobates. Check Sam on Instagram: @acidbathvampire.

Lou Lapin : Play Dead’s Tattoo Apprentice. With no higher education and being a single parent at a young age Lou has worked incredibly hard to forge a creative career. She started out as a toymaker and illustrator and now channels this into tattooing. Influenced by artists like Tove Jansson (creator of the Moomins) and Scandinavian folk tales her work is always sweet with a melancholic edge. Check Lou on Instagram: @lapin_lou.

What do you think Play Dead brings to the city?
We aim to be a creative space and street art hub, with a slightly darker edge. A unique combination of tattoo studio and gallery space, we are a home for creative artists to exhibit their work, buy materials or just hang out. Play Dead is somewhere that is ever evolving and offering something different to the norm.

Thoughts on the city’s street art scene at the moment?
We love how the street art scene in Portsmouth has grown over the past decade or so. From projects organised by the Portsmouth Creative Movement to art events at The Teatray, Coastguard Gallery, and Southsea Skatepark. Portsmouth is developing into a city that embraces creativity and street art. We’re very proud to be a part of this exciting movement. We believe that the Portsmouth street art scene is attracting tourists and art lovers from afar and firmly putting Portsmouth on the map.

Huge respect to all those involved in making Portsmouth and Southsea a more creative and visually exciting environment. Artists such as: Fark, My Dog Sighs, M-One, Midge, Mimic, Dharma, Morf, Higher, Monk, Leila, Mr Kemp, Berk and Los Dave have been committed to pushing the local street art scene further and attracting other renowned artists to the area. We look forward to working with these guys more in the future, on many exciting projects to come.

What sort of exhibitions do you have planned for the future?
Next for us is an exciting show by local artist My Dog Sighs, entitled: Quiet Little Voices. This will open on Friday 13th November (7pm) and is planned to run until early December. We’re really looking forward to seeing his new work for this. As well as the art on the walls, there’ll be My Dog Sighs tshirts, prints and a few other surprises.

We’re very interested in offering a different kind of art show – unique to each artist. So they are invited to take over the gallery space and use it however they wish. We’re on hand to support their ideas and realise their vision.

After the My Dog Sighs show, we have an exhibition of work from the talented stencil artist M-One. And in 2016, we have a range of artists lined-up, from street art to fine art, illustration and tattooing.

Also on the weekend of November 13th, 14th and 15th we have the talented tattoo artist Funns at Play Dead for a guest spot. Check him out on instagram; @funns

How’s life in PO4? Highland Road is a little off the beaten track to the more established traditionally thought of creative parts of the city, what are its advantages?
Yeah, it’s great. We love it here. We like being different and standing out from our surroundings. Plus, the space, the frontage, and the area was exactly what we were looking for. We like to think that people don’t mind taking an extra five minutes walk from Albert Road to pop along and come see us.

What are your plans for the future of Play Dead?
Our plans are to continue producing high quality and unique tattoos, to help showcase creative talent, not just from street art but a whole variation of art forms. We will collaborate with other creative groups and individuals. We would also like to continue developing and building the Play Dead name, through clothing designs, events, workshops, and whatever else we might think of. We will continue to keep offering the people of Portsmouth a little something different – a little darker. It’s exciting times for us.

Follow Play Dead on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates @playdeadstudio.

The Strong Island Calendar 2016 Pre Orders Now Available

Its that time of year again when we collect together all of the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. We’ve had images submitted via email and through social media (lots on Instagram) and we’ve put our favourites together in to the 2016 calendar.

This year’s calendar has been updated and redesigned. Now printed on high quality, textured finish matt paper the images look and feel fantastic. This year the calendar also comes with a printed kraft card insert and is all sealed up ready to go for yourself or as a great gift for Christmas.

The calendar is off at the local printers and we are expecting to take delivery in the next two weeks, so as we do each year we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Strong Island Clothing Co online store. The calendar is £12 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our Strong Island Co store once the calendars have arrived. All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last three years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

Exclusive Video Interview With My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition

Quiet Little Voices is the new solo exhibition by Portsmouth based street/urban artist My Dog Sighs opening this Friday (13th) at Play Dead in Highland Road, Southsea.

With the exhibition opening on a Friday 13th in a gallery called Play Dead which is opposite a graveyard, it seemed obvious for My Dog Sighs to explore a slightly darker side to his usually melancholic work. With his first uk solo show in over two years, MDS uses his familiar found and repurposed materials to explore and occasionally twist his familiar themes of love, loss melancholy and gently dips some of them in a marmite of macabre.

The exhibition will also see the launch of the new My Dog Sighs umbrellas too, featuring the colourful colour palette and hug characters normally only available as prints or huge on walls.

We caught up with My Dog Sighs last week and filmed an exclusive interview about Quiet Little Voices, watch below. You can find out more about the exhibition on the Facebook event too.

The music in the film is ‘Lilt’ by Life Model, released by Strong Island Recordings, available to download HERE (on iTunes) and also available as a t-shirt & download (plus free b-side) at Strong Island Clothing Co.

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (1)

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (2)

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (3)

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (4)

My Dog Sighs for Quiet Little Voices Exhibition (5)

Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Opens to the Public This Week

If you have visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in the last year or two it has been difficult to miss the changes happening to one of the largest buildings at the historic site, with Boathouse 4 undergoing a complete restoration and re-fit both inside and out. The building itself was hastily completed at the start of World War Two (with the building originally intended to extend all the way to Victory Gate) and it’s industrial shape and form has now been restored and converted into a Boatbuilding Skills Training Centre and is now home to the International Boatbuilding College Portsmouth (moving back from Boathouse 5). Boathouse 4 is now finished and opens to the public this week.

The building is a vast open, central space that provides a working home for small boats that will be restored by the students attending International Boatbuilding College Portsmouth and Highbury College, many of whom come from all over the world. The current boats being worked on range from a Falklands War marines landing craft through to the historic Lively Lady, which Southsea sailor Sir Alec Rose completed his single-handed trip around the world in 1968.

These and many other boats will undergo restoration with the students utilising their new skills to bring these (and future) craft back to use. Boathouse 4 has workshops for the students to learn the timeless woodworking skills required for their new careers, with them building toolboxes in the woodshop plus step ladders and tools. As well as using tools (some of which donated back to the college from boatbuilders from the dockyard through the ages) the students can also use some of the state of the art new machinery too. These workshops all open out to the main workspace and for years to come will be a hive of activity for visitors to the dockyard to watch.

The college will be actively working with the local community on a range of interesting outreach projects with schools and colleges, with young people in particular able to get a taste of what it is like to build small boats. The new classroom in Boathouse 4 gives educational visitors a base to learn but the they’ll be very quickly put to work with fun and creative activities.

As well as being a working space, Boathouse 4 now has new additions for visitors to the dockyard, including exhibition of small boats (some with particularly fascinating histories) and activities people can get involved with. With a circular, elevated walk around the building, you can learn more about the boatbuilding before visiting the brand new cafe/restaurant/bar that will be opening very soon. The decor and fittings to this new cafe/restaurant/bar are excellent and the view through the huge windows looking over HMS Warrior and the busy Portsmouth Harbour are quite simply worth a visit alone. This new space will also be home to corporate events too.

Boathouse 4 opens just in time for half-term as a brand new attraction for visitors to the city and local residents too. It can’t be understated how Boathouse 4 brings a whole new dimension to what is on offer at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. As with the recent restoration and opening of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the WWI ship HMS M.33, the dockyard now brings the country’s & the city’s naval, shipbuilding and sailing history from the Mary Rose all the way up to today, and even in to the future with the young boatbuilders working on new craft. What’s more, Boathouse 4 is a FREE attraction, you do not need to buy a ticket like you do for HMS Victory or the Mary Rose Museum, you can simply pop in as and when you like. There is no doubt that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard really is one of the very best visitor attractions not just in the south but in the UK and even Europe.

You can find out much more about Boathouse 4 on the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website (see below) and regarding opening and activities this week check out the Boathouse 4 Twitter (@Boathouse_4):

Below are more photos from Boathouse 4:

Rebel Makers Competition

Make and The Craft Kitchen present, ‘Rebel Makers’, a secret craft night in Portsmouth that brings creatives together with good food, drinks and fantastic live music. The evening planned by Nicola Bates and Hesta Dalton was inspired by adding a fun twist to their business and allowing the fun of craft making to continue on until the late hours of the evening.

Make has been a huge success since its opening and offers a huge range of workshops, craft supplies and tuition. They are also home to one of Portsmouth’s largest, independent creative spaces.

Make hosts everything from hen parties to corporate events and baby showers and is a lead venue in the Portsmouth area for all things crafty. So whether you are looking for a work space, a tasty slice of homemade cake or a ball of yarn, Make is a must and ‘Rebel Makers’ is set to stage an entirely new and exciting scene for all who fancy getting artist.

All you have to do to win is answer the following question. What year did David Bowie release his famous track ‘Rebel Rebel’ and what was the name of the B Side track?

Email your answers to before 9pm on Thursday 22nd October. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media very soon after. If you don’t want to leave it to chance then tickets are available for £15 and can be booked by emailing

Make Logo



‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ Exhibition Opens Tomorrow!

This Thursday evening at Strong Island HQ we will be keeping our doors open later than usual to welcome home one of our favourite artists Aled Lewis.

Aled made the move to our capital just over a decade ago and in a relatively short space of time has been involved a large number of exciting projects. Many of which have been inspired by his wicked sense of humour and his love of classic pop culture. His excellent work has led to international recognition and having his work featured in Los Angeles. He can even boast celebrity fans including Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill, The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker who plays bad buy Merle Dixon and the Cornetto trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Aled has teamed up with a group of artists to explore the simple theme of British Comedy. Other featured artists include Rose Stallard, Mark Ward, Toby Triumph, Toby Leigh, Dave Brown, Emily Forgot, Laura Gee, Paul Thurlby, Lobulo, Jess Wilson, Rexbox, Rob Flowers and Robert Ball.

So come join us, enjoy some FREE drinks and help to celebrate some of the best loved comedies from our youth.

* The team behind Home Is Where The Art Is have kindly donated one of the prints for one lucky winner! All you need to do is pop into the store after 7pm and leave us your email and we will announce the winner at 9:30pm that evening! *

The Sun Is Shining by Mark Ward

Lobulo - The Benny Hill Show

Aled Lewis - Baaah

Aled:Strong Island

Dials Festival Diary

Saturday saw the inaugural Dials Festival take place across Southsea and what a day it was! It was humbling to see so many people fill up the venues of our new community run festival and the touching, positive response we have had for our first year has been truly amazing. Kicking off from the early afternoon to evening Dials featured 40 plus acts from across the day to evening in five different venues across Albert Road. Being the co-booker, also running the social media and also being runner of the festival I managed to catch a fair few across from across the day so here’s my diary of the day at Dials minus all the boring bits.

After a swigging one of those disgusting, suspiciously cheap 35p energy drinks it was time to jog from the station to the debrief of the day in the morning at Edge of the Wedge. After this and making sure all venues were well equipped it was approaching time for wristband collection. During this brief calm before the storm I decided it was probably time for some mid-day breakfast where I quickly managed to neck a burrito at Al Burrito but unfortunately the storm arrived promptly during my “breakfast” and it was time to metaphorically put out many fires. Football traffic amongst other events going on meant acts were waiting for their taxis for nearly an hour which caused a lot of chaos first thing and we wondered if the festival was going to run behind with immediate effect..

Luckily everything worked out and we managed to remain punctual so the first venue I headed off to was The Loft for Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss who was playing a solo set. Jimmy proved to be a one man psych machine bringing a whirling, wonderful, colorful racket that was in the vein of Morgan Delt and Jacco Gardner. Guitars being thrown on the floor, a guitar strings breaking, it was beautiful chaos and I really can’t wait to see how Jimmy Stuart’s solo material progresses. Staying at the Loft for Strong Island RecordingsMelt Dunes the quartet brought their brand of heavy acid/psych rock to Southsea. Their nightmarish, doom-laden, visceral sound was perfect for the psychedelic sweat-pit that is The Loft and their potential is frightening. Biased or not, they’re one of the most exciting acts to emerge from the south-coast in a while.

I’d already seen a lot of doom psych and spent a lot of time in a dark, sweaty room so I decided to have a break at head over the road for the naturally lit Little Johnny Russells. Sam McCarthy managed to hop out of the taxi straight onto stage and his summer tinted, acoustic folk was perfect for a warm sunny day in the afternoon.  Next up I managed to catch Fever (albeit very briefly until I was called for some errands). They sounded wonderful at Edge of the Wedge with their fuzz tinted, grungy, indie-pop. After running around for a bit I managed to head back to LJR’s for an act I have been a fan of for a while being Dog in the Snow. Playing to a very full house the duo charmed the crowd with their dreamy, haunting art-pop and went down very well which was is always great to see. Their new EP is out now on Brighton’s Love thy Neighbor label.

After Dog in the Snow and running around like a madman once more it was time for Strange Cages at Al Burrito. It’s fair to say many weren’t ready for the sheer heat of the venue and Strange Cages sounded perfect in it with their heavy snotty garage punk meets surf and psych rock sounding like a cross  between the likes of Coachwhips, The Cramps and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Al Burrito was fully packed out with one in one out and Strange Cages delivered a mind-blowing, raucous set to the sweaty audience. After Strange Cages it was time to run to the Wedgewood Rooms to catch Wyldest. Walking in to see a fully packed out Wedgewood Rooms crowd watching Wyldest was a pretty great moment from the perspective of booking the festival and seeing our good friends play to such a large amount of people. The now quartet delivered a truly wonderful set in front of such a crowd delving from their dreampop sound to shoegaze that sounded massive in the Wedge.

Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.

After some much needed fresh air it was back into the Wedgewood Rooms to watch Strong Island Recordings’ Curxes who’s set sounded enormous in the Wedge. The frenetic, blitz-pop trio played a blistering set with a number of favourites from their debut album ‘Verxes’ sounding incredible on the Wedge PA. Immediately as Curxes’ set concluded  next door in the Edge of the Wedge saw another from the Strong Island Recordings family being Gang bring down the house with one of the sets of the day. Bringing their grunge ridden, doom laden pop, Gang’s set melted minds across the Edge of the Wedge proving they’re one of the finest live acts in the UK at the moment. The trio’s slacker like showmanship on stage is on level with their scolding sound and many in the fully packed out Edge of the Wedge who hadn’t seen Gang were probably not anticipating such tinnitus inducing brilliance.

Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.

After witnessing Gang and needing a double Jack Daniels to get my brain back in sync with what was happening it was back up the road for Peluche at LJRs. It’s hard to describe Peluche to be honest which is a very good thing. They’re somewhat shimmering dreamy, avant-garde pop meets jazz. dub, psychedelia and world music that’s perfect for a summers evening and it’s fair to say Peluche smashed it. Hopefully Peluche get some summer festival slots next year as they’re perfect for dancing in a field especially with songs such as ‘Ohio’ and ‘The Guy With The Gammy Eye’.  I had done a lot of walking (and running) during the day so I decided to stay put at LJR’s for Jerry Williams who I had seen a number of times but never with a full band set-up. In the end it was brilliant funky-disco pop and Jerry’s charm ridden vocals sounded perfect coated with a full band set-up making tracks such as ‘Boy Oh Boy’ and ‘Cold Beer’ sound as ace live as they do on record.

Straight after Jerry Williams it was off to the Wedge and Edge for the rest of the evening. I managed to catch some of Kagoule’s set and it was amazing to see them play in front of such a large crowd especially as last year at our Southsea Fest stage they played to about 50 people. The Wedgewood Rooms managed to capture the post-punk meets scuzzed out melodic grunge trio’s sound perfectly. Next door Rickyfitts were gearing up for their set and what was about to occur was utter chaos and mayhem. The thrash twosome played in front of a near riot out in front of them with mosh-pits and crowd surfing from the fully packed out crowd. They themselves sounded as great as always with Thom Dalmut-Rudd bringing a monsoon of riffs and Max Goulding smashing up his drum kit to pieces. It was a great, rare homecoming for the duo who now live in Bristol and London.

Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.

After Rickyfitts, back in the Wedgewood Rooms things were somewhat more calmer but just as great with special guests Fickle Friends bringing their incredible indie/electro-synth pop to the Wedgewood Rooms. Tracks such as ‘For You’ and ‘Swim’ showed why the Brightonians have such immense potential and why they should probably be MASSIVE soon. It was joyous, danceable pop at it’s best. Back in the Edge of the Wedge Black Honey played their first ever Portsmouth show and probably last here in such a small venue. Bringing the surf doom/grunge akin to The Wytches but laced in oozing noise pop goodness Black Honey were incredible.  Izzy’s (front woman) charisma on stage is rather infectious and with tracks like ‘Spinning Wheel’ and ‘Teenager’ on show, Black Honey’s potential as the next big thing was evident.

Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.Dials Festival 2015.

After Black Honey I realised I hadn’t eaten for hours so I had to find somewhere to sit and reflect on the day knowing that I could leave and everything would be okay which meant a trip to get some food and crash. Overall the response and turnout was incredible and with such a great atmosphere from everyone who attended I and the Dials team cannot thank everyone enough for making the first ever Dials Festival a very special and memorable one.

dials full line up

Strong Island’s 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle

From all of the Strong Island crew we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle last week. The night was a real success and together we have raised over £1,500 for local charities including the Portsmouth Autism Support Network, Feel Yourself Campaign, Portsmouth RNLI and Southsea Skatepark Trust.

The Meat and Barrel was the perfect venue and allowed for us to welcome a large crowd who were all vying for an awesome bunch of prizes.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year and we promise to have a PA system in place and only one book of blue raffle tickets!

Charity Raffle 2015 e

Charity Raffle 2015 h

Charity Raffle 2015 g

Charity Raffle 2015 d

Charity Raffle 2015 c

Charity Raffle 2015 b

Charity Raffle 2015 a

Charity Raffle 2015

Bestival 2015 Review | Sunday

I woke up feeling pretty rock n roll with my 3:30am bedtime in the early hours of Sunday morning, although it appears that my friends put me to shame as they didn’t get back until about 5am!

While tucking into my breakfast in the press tent I was listening to Missy Elliott‘s team soundchecking, or what I thought was soundchecking. Closer inspection revealed that Missy was there herself and it was a rehearsal with DJ, backing vocals and dancers. As the Main Stage was closed to festival goers there was only a privileged few who were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of her show later on that evening and I was one of them. This was easily the coolest thing that has happened to me over the weekend.

Local boys Kassassin Street opened the Big Top and it was great to see them draw in a big crowd on such a large stage and it was also nice to see plenty of Portsmouth locals in the crowd. The boys didn’t disappoint and put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen them play. Rowan and the boys looked at home on the bigger stage and tracks such as ‘Centre Straight Atom’ went down a storm! Afterwards just outside of the Big Top were Portsmouth’s Samba Reggae drumming band Batala who were doing their thing and as ever wherever they went a large crowd quickly gathered.

For Portsmouth the biggest performance of the weekend was by Huw Olesker aka Rex Domino who was on the Main Stage as part of DJ Yoda’s Breakfast Of Champions. It was great to see my friend performing on the Main Stage and being involved in one of the best performances of the festival. As they took to the stage the grey clouds were hanging over Robin Hill Country Park but as the band performed the sunshine soon followed. The collective that is the Breakfast of Champions features eleven of Britain’s finest MCs and musicians. It was great to see all of them having such a great time on stage. They all performed with huge smiles on their faces and that transmitted to the crowd who were also loving it.

The afternoon continued with a customary hog roast but musically I was treated to the awesome Andreya Triana and Låpsley in the Big Top. Then we met the boys from Kassassin Street and prepared for the legends that are the mighty Jacksons.

After being greeted by a short intro on the big screens the foursome came out and went straight into some of their biggest hits, however just as the crowd were getting into the groove the band left the stage and the big screens showed a short documentary about their early years as a group. We were in a good spot you couldn’t hear a great deal of it as most of the crowd around me were having their own conversations. They’d already played my favourites ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’ so we decided to leave because I hate to say it, we were bored and they still had well over an hour left on stage.

I took a few friends over to check out another group of siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis in the Big Top. I’ve been listening to the awesome Kitty, Daisy and Lewis for years but to my shame for one reason or another I’ve not been able to catch them live and shame on me because they were brilliant! After the first track the trio all switched instruments and did the same yet again for the following track, they are one talented bunch! You can catch them in the Wedgewood Rooms in February and you can find more at here.

We then joined the massive crowd that was beginning to gather at the Main Stage for Missy Elliott. She was impressive earlier in the morning but the full show took it to another level. It reminded my of teenage years as I was really into the RnB back then. I think I even bought a few of Missy’s CD singles from Our Price in Fareham, that tells you how long ago that was. Missy played a selection of her biggest tracks which had the crowd cheering and paying no attention to the oncoming rain.

After the impressive fireworks I jumped in the car and caught a late ferry home. As much I would have loved to have caught Mark Ronson’s DJ set in the Port I didn’t fancy getting caught in the rain storm that was predicted until the early hours of the morning. I made the right decision as it felt great to have a shower, be in my own bed again and get a proper nights sleep.

Every year I worry Bestival will to get too big, or that I get the feeling that it isn’t what it used to be and perhaps I’ve outgrown it. Every year I’m delighted to be proved wrong! The festival itself was near perfect and the attention to detail by Rob Da Bank and his team is incredible. Before I bang on any longer though I just want to say thank you to everyone who made it an amazing weekend for me and a special thank you to Stevie and Molly from the Get Involved team for hosting us and we hope to see you next year. I’ve already booked the time off work.

2016 early bird tickets are now available with a 34 week payment plan of just £5 per week. You can get your early bird tickets here –

Caitlin Mogridge - The Feast Collective - 6b8c663a-58c3-11e5-adcd-92ce347ad47a - Web
The Feast Collective by Caitlin Mogridge
Kassassin Street
Kassassin Street by Stuart Barker
Batala by Stuart Barker
Rex Domino
DJ Yoda Presents Breakfast of Champions by Stuart Barker
Bollywood by Stuart Barker
Carolina Faruolo - Andreya Triana - 00e1b9da-5a3e-11e5-9d96-aee5d44592c4 - Web
Andreya Triana by Carolina Faruolo
Victor Frankowski - The Jacksons - 06504116-5a52-11e5-aac6-aee5d44592c4 - Web
The Jacksons by Victor Frankowski
Carolina Faruolo - Kitty Daisy and Lewis - 3ebb67ae-5a7c-11e5-9cb1-92ce347ad47a - Web
Kitty, Daisy and Lewis by Carolina Faruolo
Victor Frankowski - Missy Elliott - bd504d9a-5a55-11e5-9ccb-92ce347ad47a - Web
Missy Elliott by Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski - Missy Elliott - c5209e42-5a57-11e5-b16d-92ce347ad47a - Web
Missy Elliott by Victor Frankowski
Caitlin Mogridge - Bestival 2015 - 2dc99684-5a52-11e5-85c5-92ce347ad47a - Web
Lovebot by Caitlin Mogridge
Photo by Stuart Barker

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Portsmouth at Night

Claire Sambrook from the sent me a link to a Flickr group called Portsmouth at Night, and let me say this, their photos are amazing. Lots of playing with lights, angles and exposures make for some fantastic photography.

Check out all the PAN photography on their Flickr.




The Infamous Harry Pounds Scrapyard Submarines

Many of you will remember the once iconic Submarines at the Harry Pounds Scrapyard on the way in to Portsmouth. We even featured a few photos by Robin Hinson back in 2010.

Although I never got to explore the sub aquatic giants myself I was lucky enough to find this little gem a few weeks ago. Although I can’t remember where, so sorry if I nabbed it and forgot to mention you.

Watch the video for a unique view of these “Uk, Admiralty Standard Range Diesels 16 Cylinder V mechanical supercharged monsters!”

The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea

Gareth Colwell sent us these amazing scans from a vintage book called ‘The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea. “It was an old book of my Grandads’ we found when going through some of his old stuff that had been packed away for years. I love the paintings and the written bits, especially describing Southsea Common as “a dismal spot in the old days. Footpads and cut-throats roamed at night, and a murderer hung in chains on the edge of the shingle”

A really interesting read so I won’t say anymore and let the book do all the talking. Check out the full set of scans over at Gareths Flickr.

Southsea Circa ’51

After purchasing a few bits of old furniture the other day, under closer inspection we found the shelving to be lined with old newspaper.

Coming from one of the sheets is this, an advert for Southsea from the Sunday People dated 21st January 1951.  The best bit and also a point raised by more than one person, is the fact that in 1951 it takes 90 minutes by train from London Waterloo to Southsea the same as it does today!  Fascinating that in 61 years we haven’t managed to make it any quicker.

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Created Local – David Thompson

The Hiscock Gallery on Stanley Street behind Waitrose has some interesting new vintage style prints in stock by local artist David Thompson. They are a series of digitally drawn images reflecting upon 1930 – 1950s style advertising posters, enhanced with modern techniques. A really nice simplistic approach highlighting the main features of the subject, yet still very technical and intricate in places. The front of The Victory is awesome.

All reproductions are genuine giclée prints, printed with pigment based inks on 180gms Canon Matte paper, fade resistant for 100+ years. These “Poster” Prints are all personally signed by the artist. Head on over to Davids Gallery and take a look for yourself. Nice stuff for sure.

Super Sunny Southsea

What amazing weather we’ve been having as of late. I even rode the full 8 miles home in the sun on Friday. We all had a great weekend spent on the common, riding our bikes, skateboarding and generally eating and drinking the days away.






The Tricorn

It’s fair to say that we all loved The Tricorn outside of it’s it intent. A classic example of people reinventing architecture far beyond it’s original purpose. This short film doesn’t delve too deeply in to the many uses and inspirations The Tricorn had to offer, but it’s still a nice watch.

“An imaginative portrait of a futuristic concrete experiment of a shopping centre (‘the ugliest building in the world’ according to Prince Charles), built in the 1960s coastal town of Portsmouth, England. Loved or loathed, it developed a passionate cult following of artists and skateboarders but has now lost the battle for life.”

Directed by David Ferrone and Martin Fickling.

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 and also his Flickr. Below are photos of Charles and Southsesa’s buttery own Bored teamrider Adam Keys.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 2

A new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up this week.

This episode has focuses on Canoe Lake and the Model Village.

Strong Island Clothing Co.