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Victorious Festival 2015 Review by Liv Woodward

Well, I’ll be honest, Victorious Festival has well and truly ruined me although in the best possible way.

The Saturday was marvellous! Jerry Williams was the first act I saw and she didn’t disappoint! She transformed a very dull and rainy Saturday afternoon, into something quite joyful! She played her latest track ‘Velcro’ and old favourite ‘A Hairdresser Called Sids’. I found myself having a good old singalong. I also liked that Jerry and I matched. It seemed that bright canary yellow was the festival colour this year.

As Jery finished her set Laura Mvula took to the Common Stage and produced possibly the finest vocal performance of the weekend. The woman was incredible and had the crowd captivated with every word she sang, with the highlight being the beautiful track ‘Sing To The Moon’. The only way to follow a performance like that was to enjoy some of the excellent food available on site. I eventually settled for some Mac & Cheese which it wasn’t until I got up close to the stall I realised it being run by the lovely guys and girls from The Tenth Hole.

After sinking back a few more drinks and bumping into the lovely Bored of Southsea crew, I headed into the Silent Disco to get away from the rain! It’s hilarious to hear people warbling along to either of the two music channels available. Then there is always that mad scramble to get over to the other channel to see what all the cheering and excitement is about by the other half of the crowd. I bumped into all of my ‘lad’ friends and two of them decided to ‘seduce’ each other via the use of interpretive dance, in a huge circle of people. My night was made.

If I didn’t have my trusty yellow waterproof jacket, I probably wouldn’t have survived to the end of the evening! Tinie Tempah was unbelievable and played all of the hits, such as ‘Frisky’ and ‘Pass out’ and his energy stayed throughout the whole set. Which certainly made the rain more bearable! Sadly I didn’t get to see the Flaming Lips and what makes it worse is looking at the photos I missed a treat. Word on the street is that they put on a brilliant set and the crowd erupted with delight at the huge balloon that lead singer Wayne Coyne brought on stage.

After stumbling home and falling into bed, on the Saturday, I woke with a very sore head on the Sunday morning. I just had to get work out of the way and then continue the madness. Luckily the rain stayed away and it was a really warm day! I was truly gutted that I missed the Veludo Planes due to being at work in the morning, but I’ve heard from those lucky enough to see them that they were superb, as per usual!

After waiting for what seemed forever in the portaloo queue, I ventured over to see Kassassin Street for the first time. I now see what all the fuss is about as they put on a brilliant show. It was really good to seeing everyone enjoying their set. I even got a cheeky hug from the leader singer Rowan Bastable.

Special mention to The Southsea Alternative Choir who did an amazing job raising money for Samuels Fund and performed six times on various stages over the weekend. They must have been exhausted come Monday! I wonder if anyone managed to see all six shows?

Of course I went back to my second home aka the Silent Disco tent. Big respect to Jade, Tiffany and the rest of their team who made sure it ran really smoothly! There were long queues but everyone was patient and found out that once inside it was well worth the wait.

The layout of this years festival was spot on, as you were able to view all of the local shop stands whilst walking to each stage. Me being me, I had to check out all of the vintage clothing stalls! Also a bar was always in sight with minimal queues, which is a plus in itself! This year they had definitely improved on the band scheduling also. Although bands that I really like overlapped, you were able to catch around half an hour of one band and walk over to the other and still catch them from the beginning. Which is exactly what I did with The Darkness and Ella Eyre, who both did spectacular jobs on the Sunday! Lead singer of The Darkness Justin Hawkins would probably win the award for most entertaining frontman of any band over the weekend. He went from a fetching disco outfit into some lovely short shorts as well doing hand stands on stage, playing the guitar behind his back and being carried into the crowd.

Basement Jaxx were the perfect choice to close the festival. Their energetic set and the crowd participation during their biggest hits was brilliant! The various singers and dancers in their bonkers outfits kept you engaged throughout. I think at one point there was even a Gorilla and a Ballerina on stage? The night obviously had to come to an end and it seemed the weather wasn’t too happy about this either. The sad walk home was only made bearable due to my friend Amelia! Big thanks to her!

My one regret was that I didn’t get involved in the roller disco inside Southsea Skatepark, although knowing my luck I probably would’ve broken something. Next year maybe?

Thank you to everyone involved who made this a special event and bring on Victorious Festival 2016!

2015-08-28 11.01.28
Photo by Girl About Southsea
Jerry Williams by Amba Tremain
Jerry Williams by Amba Tremain
Victorious Festival 2015 by Todd Lawton 2

Victorious Festival 2015 by Todd Lawton 3

Victorious Festival by Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton 3
Photos by Todd Lawton
Blackfoot Circle by Simon Rutter
Blackfoot Circle by Simon Rutter
Silent Disco by Johnny Bell
Silent Disco by Johnny Bell
Kassassin Street by Dave Ellis
Kassassin Street by Dave Ellis
Ella Erye by James White

Basement Jaxx by James White 1

Basement Jaxx by James White
Ella Eyre and Basement Jaxx by James White

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the previous Best in Show interviews, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of The News, Megan Barnes a photography student and Matt Wingett a local author.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Barry Abrook, ex-professional skateboarder and designer, at Portsmouth City Museum. Barry checked out the A Hard Choice exhibition, then let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hey Barry, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

My first choice (from the A Hard Choice Exhibition) is the mole. I love animals and nature and I like this because it is hard to see a mole, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a real mole and this is really the only opportunity a lot of people get to see these animals, basically in a zoo or taxidermy. I’m interested in taxidermy…I used to be really against it, but if you are a graphic artist, illustrator or painter it is a good way to actually observe animals to draw and paint them. I think everything about the mole is really cool. It is designed to live underground. They are nice animals, I like it, it is intriguing. All the taxidermy in the exhibition is good, the bat, magpies, it was tough to choose.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (7)

And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about it?

My second choice is the fabric by Lucienne Day. I love fabric and printing and I used to screen print quite a lot and I still do on fabric. I also like this item in the exhibition because of the era it is from, the late 60s. You’ve got bold poppy designs, block colours…I like patterns and I like symmetry…and this has got quite a lot going for it! It reminds me of childhood…this is the sort of fabric that would be made in to curtains or bed spread that could have been in my house. It has that 60s/70s feel so nostalgic for me too. The Days were pretty amazing at what they did.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (6)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (5)

And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Third choice are the saucy postcards! These are from around the 1950s, that sort of end-of-the-pier era, good seaside ephemera. I like these for quite a few reasons, I live in Southsea, by the sea, I wasn’t born here but I love living by the sea. As a child I was taken to the seaside for holidays and these were the sort of things you might see. They are cheeky, they leave you to your own thoughts…how you interpret the captions…which was the humour at the time. They have a nice feel. They are well designed too, as a designer it is difficult to design something that small and detailed and these were drawn and hand painted, they’re an art form in itself, a style all of their own too. I also love postcards, I collect them and I use them in my own work and I love the messages you get on the back of old postcards, they can be emotional things. People used to send them but not as much anymore with emails, Facebook, etc. But postcards were sent during a holiday, from a good time so postcards generally remind you of good times, they’re a positive thing.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (4)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Barry Abrook, Ex Pro Skateboarder & Designer (3)

if you could think of something, of your own or something in Portsmouth, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I was thinking that maybe if I won the lottery, Euro-big style, I would love to be able to fully restore the South Parade Pier into something that the people of Portsmouth, and especially Southsea, could use and be proud of again. Whether it be Victorian or later period restoration, the important thing would be to ensure it continued to offer the ‘complete seaside escape’ for anyone who needed it. Part of the city collection. A funfair ride, candy floss, good food, music, comedy and a Shant!

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free this summer and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Victorious Festival Competiton

The lovely guys and girls behind next weekends Victorious Festival have donated two pairs of tickets for the festival for us to give away, so that is one pair for the Saturday and another pair for the Sunday.

Sadly we can only give one pair per winner but you are welcome to answer both questions and indicate on your emails which day you prefer to attend if successful. Please send your entries to stuart@strong-island.co.uk before midnight on Sunday 23rd August. The winner be contact directly and announced on social media soon after.

Saturday Question
Q) Which orchestra did Laura Mvula team up with for her Abbey Road Studios live album?

Sunday Question
Q) Elle Eyre featured with Bastille on the cover of which TLC song?

If you don’t want to leave it to chance then tickets are available and you can pick one up via the website HERE, or in person from the Meat and Barrel on Palmerston Road.

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 Poster

SWEAT Southsea

For just over a month now I have been training with Luke Newton at SWEAT Southsea. If you don’t know about SWEAT Southsea they are based in Haslemere Road, which is just off Highlands Road. It’s a gym facility with a difference, unlike most gyms it is dedicated to personal training although still offers bespoke pay as you go group classes, sports massage therapy and physiotherapy. Inside you will find a fully equipped gym designed specifically for personal training, giving you the privacy to train one on one with the personal trainer.

Managing Director of SWEAT Southsea and Co-Founder of Southsea Fitness Festival Luke Newton opened the business with his partner Tina four months ago. Since then they have been going from strength to strength building up a client base who possess varying all levels of fitness.

SWEAT Southsea team include Luke Newton, Geraldine Ruffle, Lauren Allen, Sam Davey and Team GB Boxing Performance and Team England Talent Development coach ‘Q’ Shillingford MBE. Not for forget there is now a Sports Injury Clinic providing a range of services from highly qualified Physiotherapists and Sports Massage Therapists.

The team pride themselves on their ability to deliver results and get the best out of their clients. This sounds like the perfect recipe for anyone with a short term goal or event coming up. A Great South Run personal best anyone?! If one on one personal training isn’t quite your thing then they offer a whole range of group classes too. You can find out more information on them by checking out their website www.sweat.fitness/classes.

A few months ago I took part in a taster session with Luke and really enjoyed it. I have since booked myself a block of personal training sessions which have obviously been hard work but a lot of fun and I’m noticing the difference even after a few short weeks. I’ve been a member at a couple of different gyms over the last twenty odd years but I’ve never been particularly good at going on a consistent basis. I would get myself into a good routine for a few months notice the benefit and then allow myself to get out of that routine for whatever reason thus setting me back to where I started. Personal training isn’t as cheap as a gym membership but for me I’ve found one hour at SWEAT Southsea more beneficial than about three hours training on my own in a gym. I certainly can see this being something for me in the long term.

I would thoroughly recommend the services on offer and I would encourage anyone with even a small interest to pay them a visit, have a chat and see for yourself. The team are very welcoming and will quickly put you at ease, getting rid of any anxiety you might have because for some people this environment can be quite daunting.

You can find SWEAT Southsea on Facebook, Twitter @SweatSouthsea and Instagram @sweat_southsea.

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 1

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 2

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black 3

SWEAT Southsea by Johnny Black
Photos come courtesy of Johnny Black Photography – www.johnnyblackphotography.co.uk

Strong Island’s 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle

Many of you may have noticed that last year there was no Strong Island 6th Birthday celebration. We were gutted that the event didn’t take place however it was all for a good reason, the design, build and opening of our first shop and studio space.

Thanks to your continued support the shop has has been going well and we would like to say thank you to you all by inviting you all to join us for our 7th birthday at the Meat & Barrel on Thursday 24th September.

Many of you may remember our previous Birthday and Charity Raffles have been hugely successful and we have all helped raised over £4000 for the Portsmouth RNLI and Portsmouth Autism in the last few years.

There will be more information to follow in the near future but in the mean time feel free to share and invite all of your friends. If you think that you would be able to make a donation to the prizes on offer then please drop us an email at contact@strong-island.co.uk every donation is welcomed. Every donation will be hugely welcomed and will be promoted in the build up to the event as well as on the night itself.

The Facebook event can be found HERE.

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Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (2)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (7)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (21)

Photos From The Strong Island 5th Birthday Charity Raffle (20)

My Dog Sigh’s Short Story Competition Winners

Earlier this year we invited everyone to take part in a short story competition. The theme of the story had to centre around one of My Dog Sighs tin can characters. I have been overwhelmed with the interest and the high number amount of entries that I received. It has taken much longer than I anticipated but with the help of Naomi Hewlett (Park Community School) and Angelo Tirotto (No Place Like Home author) we have managed to decide on the winners for each category.

Choosing the winner wasn’t an easy task but it was a lot of fun reading everyone’s interpretation on the tin can man theme. We will also be publishing some of the other entries over the summer so please keep an eye out on the website for those. We will run another short story competition next Autumn. Next time round we hope to recruit a panel of 4-5 judges so we can get through the entries a lot quicker. If you think you would like to be involved then don’t be shy, send us an email or get in touch on social media.

The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog Sighs.

I hope you agree with us and enjoy the stories as much as we did.

13 years and under (150 words)
Hannah Richardson – Year 7 at Milton Cross School

I am just a can…
dumped outside a garage,
left to rust in pain,
never to be used again.
I roam the streets in search of cover,
but no one wants me, not even my mother.
My tears fall down my old tin face,
as I stare away into space.
I hide in the shrubs,
to avoid humans coming from the clubs,
but they see me,
and kick me along the street till I plea.
They leave me, shrivelled up,
it’s just my luck
That tonight I was struck.
So I crawl across to my corner
the corner where I was left.
It’s not my fault,
it’s not I swear.
I didn’t ask for this torture;
this everlasting pain.
I cover myself in plants and leaves,
and cry myself to sleep,
hoping to see tomorrow…

14–18 years (300 words)
Peyton Owen – Year 10 at King Richards School.

There once was a homeless man called Harold. Despite his dire situation he always had a smile on his face.
Harold was different to a lot of other homeless people. He didn’t beg. He never asked for anything. Instead he made beautiful artwork to sell with an old paint set he’d found and any rubbish he could get his hands on. He’d then display them in the subway and sell them cheaply to anybody who wanted them. His most popular pieces were the tiny faces he’d paint onto old discarded tin cans.

He lived this way for years. On some days he’d make enough money for a hot meal and he’d be happy for the rest of the week. As time moved on he aged and became ill, his artwork became less regular, until one day it stopped altogether. When the community heard of his death they all came together to hold a service for him.

Everybody had known him, he’d been an unfortunate soul who had always made the best of his bad situation. For weeks after his death his graveside was littered with cans which people had painted in memory of him.

To this day, the town still remembered Harold; the homeless entrepreneur.

18 years and above (500 words)
Garry Davies

‘BANG BANG BANG! In my drawers baby’ As the B52’s famously didn’t sing. The buckshot peppered my tin hide like torrential rain on a corrugated roof, knocking me stone-cold sparko.

I came to my senses just in time to see the All Day Breakfast Gang ride out of town in a cloud of dust. My partner, the treacherous varmint Butch Gassidy had pumped me for information on our latest heist, then betrayed me and threw his lot in with the Breakfast Bandits. I felt rich tomato sauce raging through my veins and swore revenge on the two-timing son of a can.

I roused myself and stumbled to my feet, spotting my loyal steed, I flung myself upon the mechanical bull and with a cry of “Hi-Ho Silver Alloy!” I was off in grim pursuit of the bean-based outlaws.
A few miles out of town, I came to a fork in the road with a mini frankfurter impaled in its prongs. A crude ketchup arrow, pointed towards Green Valley Gulch.

Silver, responding to my command obediently bucked down the track towards the Valley.
The sun was setting as I spotted the bandits camp, and in a scene reminiscent of Blazing Saddles they were sitting around a campfire, laughing and joking how they had made a fool of the Baked Bean Kid. At the head of the campfire sat the low down Butch Gassidy and judging from their relaxed manner and noisy bowel movements, the overpowering stench told me it was very High Noon.

Crouching behind my hidden vantage point, I gripped my trusty Tinchester Repeater and took aim.

Unleashing my 57 varieties of hell, the outlaws scattered and ran for cover into a shabby outbuilding marked: “Green Valley Recycling Centre.”
I followed at a distance and found them cowering in a battered metal truck.
With my eyes growing accustomed to the gloom, I saw the truck was sitting on an old dusty conveyor belt. A lightbulb popped above my head and I knew, cans gotta do what a cans gotta do.

In a flash, I ripped off my ring pull and hurled it at the far wall where it hit its intended target. The big lever marked “Activate”.
With an awful clanking and grinding of gears, the belt burst into life and began rolling, taking Butch and the Breakfast possee ever closer to their deserved fate.
I rushed outside towards the exit, just in time to see the bandit’s less than triumphant transformation.

The once-feared outlaws stood sheepishly before me, resplendent in their shiny new glory…Butch Evaporated Milk and Grapefruit Segment Boys.

I handed them over to the Sheriff of Aldi and had myself a satisfied chuckle, content that the All Day Breakfast Gang’s notorious shelf life had now come to a sweet and sticky end.

I saddled up Silver and with a triumphant wave, noisily clanked off into the sunset.
So long, pardners…

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

Fareham Shorts – Short Film Competition

Fareham Shorts, Fareham’s first International Short Film competition, brings together amazing judges from the world of art and film.

Filmmakers from Hampshire and beyond are getting the chance to have their work viewed by Internationally acclaimed judges this summer for the inaugural Fareham Shorts (Fareham International Short Film Competition) as part of Fareham Arts Festival curated by Live Art Local CIC.

Judges from the world of film, art and academia will be choosing their favourite films in four categories from a shortlist and the their overall film of the festival.

The full line-up of judges is Daisy Jacobs (BAFTA winner, Oscar nominee), Anna Cady (Award winning artist and filmmaker, Official Selection Sundance Film Festival for 30%), Ben Thompson (Principal Lecturer & Section Lead for Video, Film & Broadcasting and a cameraman, director and producer with many years experience), Aysegul Epengin (Chair of Portsmouth Film Society) and John Hayes (Director of Winchester Film and Art CIC and co-ordintor of Winchester short film festival).

Short listed films will be shown and awards handed out at a Gala Screening at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on Thursday 13th August, where members of the public can not only view the winning material but also question some of the filmmakers. You can purchase tickets for this very special evening via Ashcroft Arts Centre for £3.

The winning film will also be shown at REEL cinema Fareham before feature films for a period after.

This is a great opportunity for local filmmakers to get their work seen by esteemed industry experts and the general public. Submissions close at midnight on 20th July and you can enter via Film Freeway or HERE.

Ed Davis-Hofbauer, co-curator of Film at Fareham Arts Festival, said:

“It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen by professionals in the industry and a great chance for local people to see new and groundbreaking work by up and coming talent, bringing a little bit of movie magic to Fareham this summer.”

If you would like to find out more about Fareham Arts Festival and submit your film, or find how to buy tickets click HERE.


A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Matt Wingett, Author

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the first article, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of the News, HERE.
You can also catch the second in the series, with Megan Barnes (a Photography Student) HERE.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Matt Wingett, a local Author with an interest in design and culture, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Matt had a look around the exhibition, he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hello Matt, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

Okay, it is called Teapot by Christopher Dresser. This teapot I absolutely adore because one of the things that I have thought about in best in show and one of the things that I do in museums generally is think, “Would I want that at home?” And that; I would love at home.
It’s delicate, and just look at the lines, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, with this beautiful squat curve that it’s got but this incredibly delicate spout and handle. The whole thing is just a really wonderful piece of aesthetic engineering, so I really enjoy it on that level. But it’s also got practicality, I love the fact that it’s something that will bring me comfort and that also is part of it’s appeal. It’s not only a visual thing but also it’s kinaesthetic. And also, pouring the water and hearing that, it is a complete sensual delight for me, especially with the bright chrome/silvered finish on it as well.


And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

It’s this wonderful turner’s chair from around 1640. I absolutely love this, because it’s not only a chair, but a demonstration piece which was showing how good this turner was at his job. So, what you’ve got built into the chair is, for example, the ends of banisters, or little figures along the tops of the horizontals. However, there’s something else about this design that I really like apart from all the turning which takes a degree of skill to make. This guy was a great turner. So in 1640, working on a lathe, with a foot pedal I would guess, and that it quite an extraordinary piece. But, the other thing I like about it on a modern level is it’s square-ness, because that reminds me of is a 1970’s robot. Now, that’s something that it gives me (and nobody else probably is going to get that) but I love it for that kind of kookiness. My goodness what a thing to talk about… and what a thing to have in your house and to show off to people.




And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Okay so we have a portrait of Miss Grace Canon. As soon as I saw this picture I fell in love with it. She has got the most calm and composed face, one that thinks straight but has a degree of humour in it. She looks like some who is confident, clear about what she wants to do, and that was immediately what I got. I also thought she was very elegant. The notes say that she was an early pioneer of motorcar racing, which makes that steely look in her eye all the more pertinent because this was a woman who liked adventure. She also lived in Southsea, so she’s got that local connection which I love, and the other side to that is she is one of the donors to this very museum!




if you could think of something, of your own, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I think it would be Portsmouth City library, which actually already belongs to the council. That building is actually a great example of brutalist architecture. It’s an extraordinarily well-designed and detailed building. So overall, I think that it isn’t recognised as being the real top-notch architectural achievement it should be.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

Blissfields Review 2015

It has taken a few days to process the whole of last weekend, but now the majority of Blissfields festival is slowly coming back to me. We were blessed with glorious sunshine, high temperatures all weekend. On Friday night we even witnessed a lightening storm aluminate the night skies without a drop of rain following behind, proving that it really never rains at Blissfields.

I arrived on site Thursday afternoon with some of Portsmouth’s finest. Some lovely faces from Blissfields past were on hand to greet me and that fellowship and community spirit can be felt all over the festival.

Another local band Popobawa were the first band booked for the festival so it was only appropriate that they officially opened the festival on Thursday lunchtime. This was the first time I’d seen Popobawa since they played their first ever live show together as a band at the Road To Blissfields 2014. They didn’t win on the night but were booked for this years event on the strength of their debut live performance.

Portsmouth was well represented over the weekend with performances on the Thursday evening from ska and reggae band Bigtopp who had the large crowd dancing and even demanding an encore which the band enthusiastically delivered. Big Child Man Child continued with the dancing theme and even surprised the crowd with dancers of their own to entertain the audience.

On Thursday night two large tents turned up next to mine belonging to Brighton based band Mok. They all seemed like a nice bunch so I went to check out their set in the Now and Den tent. They put on a top show performance with a style that I wouldn’t know how to describe, Lee from the band explained to me they like to think of it as New Wave Rap. It’s always nice to come back from a festival and finding new musical gems. Hopefully they will come join us in Portsmouth in the near future!

The Larch Stage had familiar faces taking over on the Friday with Floella Grace, Sam McCarthy, Luke Ferre, The Boy I Used To Be and our Strong Island Recording’s Curxes performing. It was great to hear Sam’s rendition of ‘Deep Blue Sea’ which he admits was inspired by our tee of the same name. Floella opened the Larch Stage and put on a mesmerising performance. Later on in the day she met her namesake and fellow singer songwriter Flo Morrissey who had on a lovely performance opening the Singularity (Main) Stage.

Flo Morrisey and Floella Grace
The Flo’s – Photo by Si Gross.

Later on the Singularity Stage Blissifelds veterans the Dub Pistols were greeted by the kind of boisterous crowd we have come to expect during their performances and they loved the Pistols typical high energy performance. For me the main stage was the place to be for Friday evening because of performances from Ghostpoet, Public Service Broadcasting and the Horrors who headlined the evening with a cracking performance and an equally impressive lightshow.

For me Friday night was a late one spent at the Blisscotheque with the lovely press team who took a rare moment off work to let their hair down.

Most of the festival goers were up and about nice and early, mainly because by 7am most tents were already turning into mini saunas! The previous evening I was blown away by the Original Fry Up Material‘s burgers, so I thought that I would try their breakfast muffins and I was not disappointed, they were equally awesome and just what I needed to prepare myself for the day. This van was certainly the culinary highlight of the weekend, keep an eye out for them at a festival near you.

After spending some time with friends relaxing in the craft area I witnessed Cosmo Sheldrake work his magic on the Singularity Stage. I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards, they say never meet your heroes but on this occasion that expression was proved wrong, what a nice guy! During his set you would struggle to find someone in the crowd who wasn’t tapping their foot or nodding their head to Cosmo’s infectious tunes.

Local highlights of the day were the boys from the Kassassin Street who battled through technical difficulties to wow the crowd with signature anthems ‘Centre Straight Atom’ and ‘To Be Young’. They were followed by Isle of Wight band Plastic Mermaids who succinctly proved why they are the most exciting band on the planet at this precise moment in time!

While everyone was being wowed by the Plastic Mermaids in the Now and Den Stage, Grandmaster Flash was playing some classic Hip-Hop on the Singularity Stage. He was followed by DJ Will Chump who continued the hits playing with great aplomb after suffering a nightmare journey getting to the festival. The perfect way for me to end the festival was with Glass Animals and John Grant. Glass Animals are a band I’ve only recently been introduced to and in my opinion their new album ‘Zaba’ is one of the best the year so far. If you are a fan of the xx and Friendly Fires then I suggest you get involved!

Over the weekend I was asked to curate the Spoken Word event in the A-Z Tent. If I am honest I knew very little about spoken word at first but the more I researched and the more I spoke to those involved the bigger fan I became. I would like to thank Selby, Craft D, Rex Domino, Blizzard, Roya Shadamand, Toby Campion, Spike Zephaniah Stephenson and the A-Z stage team for helping to make the event a huge success. Special mention has to go to Rex Domino, the general consensus of the audience was that he was arguably the strongest performance of the whole festival and if that isn’t a statement to do Portsmouth proud I don’t know what is.

Last of all I wanted say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making Blissfields the best small festival on the festival circuit! Now I will be resting for a few days before I start getting excited and beginning the Strong Island build up to Victorious and Bestival.

Dub Pistols Blissfields
The Dub Pistols
Ghostpoet Blissfields
Ghostpoet
Horrors Blissfields
The Horrors
Blissfields Craft Area
Blissfields Craft Area
Grand Master Flash Blissfields
Grandmaster Flash
Glass Animals Blissfields
Glass Animals and the above photos by Tony Jupp

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Megan Barnes, a local photography student with an interest in art and history, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Megan had a walk around the exhibition, she let us know what were her own Best in Show.

Hi Megan, can you let us know what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

It is the souvenir clock of the coronation of King George, and I just love the craftsmanship of it. It’s completely different to all the others that are on display (in the community case) and I like the fact that they’ve kept it bronze, which is nice, and it keeps it natural. It just caught my eye completely, separately from the others, and the woodwork ones are lovely, but I really think it gives a real feel to it because of the materials. It gives it that powerful feel. I mean, it’s a strong material that has been used and the symbolisation of the coronation complies with that in a way.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (2)

So could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

This is called a Pier to Pier race. I love black and white photography anyway; it gives such a strong image compared to other photos, and I just love the story behind this, because the whole picture captures how big this event was. The fact that she had to fight to get her place and then came second as a disabled swimmer, I think is brilliant anyway, but I just love the people in it and it makes me laugh, because you wouldn’t get that, say down Southsea, nowadays. It’s also weird to see it that busy, because you don’t get that. And I think that’s because Southsea gets forgotten, even though it’s such a beautiful place, I mean I have family down there and we visit there a lot, but it does; it gets forgotten.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (3)

And can you explain to us what your third choice is and what you liked about it?

This image, of a child with a dog and a squirrel, caught my eye because I love paintings, especially old-fashioned ones. I think they’re just stunning and with the materials they had back then and what they achieved, but this one I just love the girl’s face and the little dog in the corner. But the story of the frame and how it took a long time to find the correct frame for it; how early she (the curator) had to get up and go to London to make sure she got her place to get this framed show that actually it’s a marvellous piece. I just love looking at it, the colours, it just hasn’t lost any of it’s originality, and considering how old it is I just think it’s stunning.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (4)

Finally, what thing would you personally consider donating to the city collection?

So, this only started a couple of years ago, but my family and I go camping every year and we go to Swanage. They have a carnival type week and a masquerade night, and I’ve been collecting quite a few of their masks that they have on sale, so I have about 6 of them now. I think that would be what I would put forward because they’re stunning; they’re just so pretty.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (1)

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

www.portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk

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Do we need to spell it out?

Letters from Ian Parmiter & Photo by Claire Sambrook

Following Toby Taylor on Bored

If like me you can’t get enough of skateboarding, but just don’t know where to dig everything out from that there world wide webby, then local top gun Toby Taylors twitter feed for Bored of Southsea will fill all your needs in the world of local and international skateboarding. Jump on Tobys feed HERE. Check Tobys Tre Flip at the underpass courtesy of Tom Timewaster.

Submarine Graveyard

Portsmouth’s Pounds scrapyard has been the final stop for the lives of many military vehicles over the years but most noticeable it has been the location for a submarine graveyard. So iconic was the sight of the submarines as you entered Portsmouth that they became the inspiration for the architect when designing the new swimming pool at the Mountbatten Centre.

Robin Hinson has a large collection of photos of the scrapped submarines here, with a few shown below.






Transport No. 2: The Hovercraft

Southsea seafront has iconic and familiar structures and views but ever since the mid 60s we also have the familiar sound of the hovercraft engines as it repeatedly arrives and leaves for Ryde. This hovercraft route itself was the first Hovercraft passenger service in the world and Hovertravel Limited, founded in 1965, is the world’s longest established commercial hovercraft operator. The first hovercraft was first developed on the Isle of Wight in 1955 when inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell tested out his idea for a floating/flying craft by putting a cat food tin inside a coffee tin. After fine-tuning his designs, Sir Christopher Cockerell secured funding to build a hovercraft. Saunders Roe, the flying boat firm in Cowes on the Isle of Wight was given the contract. The commercial success of hovercraft was initially huge but subsequently suffered from rapid rises in fuel prices during the late 1960s and 1970s. Since the channel routes abandoned hovercraft the United Kingdom’s only public hovercraft service is now our one operating from Southsea.

In 1972 Hovertravel’s SR-N6 012 overturned off of Southsea with a loss of five lives. This was the world’s first fatal accident involving a commercially operated hovercraft. Apart from this one incident the service has an incredible safety record and is used day in day out to transfer up to 100,000 passengers a year.

The hovercraft is a wonderful and now unique form of local transport and something to celebrate and also to actively enjoy with a trip. Booking and travel information is available at the Hovertravel website.

To discover more about hovercraft we are lucky to have the Hovercraft Museum just down the road in Lee-On-Solent which houses the world’s largest library of documents, publications, film, video, photographs and drawings on hovercraft and a collection of actual hovercraft too including the last two remaining SR.N4 craft, the world’s largest civil hovercraft.

Irving & Co. Local Brewery

Seeing as Portsmouth has such a rich history for pubs and naval culture I thought i’d bring your attention to something that combines the both.  Irving & Co brewers are situated at Railway Triangle in Farlington and have their doors open for tourists as well as turning out a fine range of real ales to a huge number of pubs in and around the Portsmouth area.

Irving and Co brings the welcome return of brewing to Portsmouth and a brewery to excite the taste buds of drinkers in Hampshire, Sussex and beyond. The company aim is to produce the highest quality traditional cask beers supplying the local market within 45 miles of Portsmouth.

Malcolm Irving ably assisted by Mark Doswell bring together 29 years of combined brewing industry experience to produce beers that they thoroughly enjoy and about which they care passionately. It’s not just a job, it’s definitely not just beer, it is a way of life.

Rolling right Inuit part II

Following on from the previous post about the Igloo seen on Southsea Common, Khalid Saleh was kind enough to get in contact with some more information and some photos. It took Khalid and 6 of his friends 5 and a half hours to build the Igloo using what looks like icecream tubs and glow sticks were donated by passers by from the Navy.

It’s still standing today and Meridian will be doing a short interview with them. Not sure when that will air, but hopefully I’ll catch it.

Proper.

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Created Local Special: Immy Smith and the Brain Tumour Research lab at the University of Portsmouth

We’ve featured many local artists, photographers, filmmakers, designers & makers under the Created Local series for many years (over 100 in the last 6 years), profiling work touching on many, many different subjects. Immy Smith’s background, artwork and working environment is something a little different.

Immy Smith is a rare creative, working in what initially might be thought of as two different worlds: one foot in science, the other in art. With a PhD in Pharmacology plus a strong arts background Immy has recently been working in the Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories at the University of Portsmouth on a 10 month residency which looks at how to foster better and more creative working relationships between medical science and the arts. The residency, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, aims specifically to create a sense of collaboration with not just laboratory staff but also the patients effected by brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

“The project I’m working on here at the Brain Tumour Research lab is a Leverhulme artists residency where I work in the lab making art alongside science researchers. Our project aims to tell the story of brain tumour patients, scientists and clinicians, through art. We want to make these stories accessible and share the unique challenges of brain tumours with a wider audience to help raise awareness of this devastating disease.” – Immy Smith

Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

Working within the laboratory environment sees the research staff and artists working in a shared space, with artwork becoming a part of the laboratory environment. The relationship allowing for artistic insight in to the latest treatment research and the scientist an appreciation of creative processes and different patterns of thought. The project has included workshops with scientists as well as patients, collecting stories and aiming to “fill the gap in understanding”; having perspective on cancer analogies, unique sensory & cognitive effects of these tumours due to their location in the brain and patterns of cells and diagnosis & treatment. The creative work aims to engage with all and to broaden the horizons and enhance the skills of both artist & scientists, through this particular interdisciplinary research.

Staff at Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology (Brain Tumour) Research laboratories

Immy’s work includes ‘Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity’ which explores heterogeneity between brain tumours, through making art at the lab bench. The ingredients used are primarily inks – ultramarine and magenta. Other constituents include water and lab filters. Every filter contains both colours. From this limited palette of ingredients are made an array of unique patterns – more than 120 of them. The components are few but the outcomes are complex, heterogeneous:

“The cellular components of your brain are primarily neurons and glial cells. Neurons get a lot of the limelight, however glial cells – including astrocytes and oligodendrocytes – play a crucial role in brain function, and neurons are lost without them. Other constituent cells include pericytes and endothelial cells in the brain’s blood vessels, microglia (immune cells), and ependymal cells (which line brain ventricles). From a limited palette of cellular ingredients, all the fascinating machinery of your brain is created.” – Immy Smith

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

Heterogeneity Experiment: Ink, SciArt, and Brain Tumour Heterogeneity

Another part of work produced during this pilot project are Immy’s Ugly Objects experiments:

“Some of the scientists here expressed a wish to depict brain tumours as something ugly – rather than using images of cells which are often quite beautiful. While this project is about using recognisable or non-exclusive imagery (so I wouldn’t use scientific images of cells anyway) it raised many interesting ideas. I previously discussed the scientists feelings of the dread and awfulness, that they associate personally with brain tumours as cancers. Another interesting idea was; what is ugly? Is what we perceive as ‘ugly’ in any way universal? What are common features in people’s descriptions of ugly? Can we use this as something recognisable, something not exclusive to science or art, with which to communicate about brain tumours? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I know it’s harder to draw ugly than you might think.” – Immy Smith

Ugly Objects

Ugly Objects

Immy is working towards an upcoming public exhibition, with permission to use the event to fundraise for the charity Brain Tumour Research. We’ll let you know more details on the upcoming exhibition and the work included soon. For now, if you are interested in finding out more about Immy’s work you can visit her websites below:

connectingnarratives.tumblr.com
immysmith.com
imaginingscience.com

Immy Smith

Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.

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Southsea Typeface

When ever possible I like to do the odd piece that’s just for me, just for fun. This came about off the back of something I was doing for work. Messing around with pens and pencils, then putting it through the computer. Maybe I’ll tackle Strong Island at the weekend! Oh, and for those that know him it’s Borneos birthday this Friday. KST then on to Albert Road. Be sure to check my flickr photostream to see the carnage.

Click the read more link to see a whole variety of colours.

southsea-slime

Strong Island Clothing Co.

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