And so again to Blissfields, the place to be to witness some of the best burgeoning talent that the South Coast has to offer, as well as plenty of established and memorable artists besides. This year brought with it a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ theme, five versatile stages, and the first rain at Blissfields for nine years! However, the Great British weather was no match for our Blissfields artists, who came from far and wide to deliver their burgeoning talent to an awe-struck festival goers.
The festival site had evolved since last year, this year the main arena was larger and a second camping area was created. Other welcome additions to festival were our friends from Pie & Vinyl who were there selling their trademark delicious pies, psychedelic tie dye tee’s and obviously vinyl records. Making their Blissfields debut were the Bathing Under The Sky team, with a number hot tubs, hot showers and a sauna.
After setting up camp, a tour of the site, dinner (courtesy of The Breakfast Club) it was time to check out some music. On Thursday evening The Hustle Den stage played host to the Road to Blissfields winners, including Portsmouth champions The B of the Bang; the bang delivered a powerful set, which built tension through melodic changes and contrasting harmonies. The most memorable track culminated in a crescendo, incorporating every voice, and the repetition of the words ‘We All Stand On Thin Ice’, which lent an almost prayer-like sense to the track and made for a very impressive performance, without a doubt the B of the Bang’s best to date.
Fellow Portsmouth singer/songwriter Matt Jarvis also took to The Larch Stage, once again silencing his captive audience with promising new material, a relaxed acoustic tone, and heartfelt lyrics. Matt said of his Blissfields experience: “Just as last year, it was a really nice show for me. I always find it hard to perform well in front of a raucous audience, but in the Larch everyone was sat quietly around the stage, which made for a really intimate setting. It was all very chilled. Seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd helped to quash the pre-gig nerves that set in beforehand as well, so I must thank everyone who came to see me. The rest of my weekend was just great music, meeting awesome people, little sleep, and lots of food and drink. Perfect.”
Finally, the Dub Pistols brought raucousness with them well into the night and teased Blissed-out festival goers with the promise of a (mostly) sun-drenched weekend, and the perfect soundtrack to accompany it.
Photos by Daniel O’Neill
Say what? The Aspex Gallery cafe is now selling bánh mì as part of their new menu? Where else in Southsea can you get that, with free wifi, encapsulated in what can only be described as a hive of creativity? If you are yet to drop into Aspex solely for food and drink, then now is the time. More details here.
I don’t need to say very much about The Wave Maiden. In one sentence I think they will easily do enough to grab your attention, and have you eagerly anticipating their opening in August. They describe themselves as ‘Southsea’s purveyors of Sincere Beer, we offer a unique range of micro and independently brewed beers and ciders along with homemade cheese-based dishes.’
Stay up to date with all things Wave Maiden on their Facebook and Twitter page @TheWaveMaiden.
This Saturday Bemis will be playing an intimate one-off gig at All About Tea in Middle Street, Southsea.
The event itself is free to attend and begins at 7pm until 9pm. You can find out more info on the Facebook Event HERE.
The band are keeping busy as they are also playing Guilfest, Wickham Festival, Watchet Festival as well as recording a new live album and a new studio album.
All About Tea are importers, Blenders and Packers of fine and specialty teas and herbs, based in Portsmouth. They have an extensive range of teas from all the major tea producing regions of the world. My personal favourite is still the Lucy Rose Tea which is (two parts English Breakfast and one part Earl Grey) although the Portsmouth Tea goes down well. It is described as a strong, rich, full-flavoured tea, specially blended for Portsmouth’s hard, chalky water.
The shop and Tea Room is open every evening until 9pm Monday to Saturday (Sundays 6.30pm).
Over last weekend we offered you the chance to win a limited edition Southsea Coffee Co and Signature Clothing collaboration t-shirt.
All you had to do to was answer the following question. Every few months Southsea Coffee Co allow a local artist to paint a mural on the large wall in their snug seating area. To win the tee all you need to do is identify the artist who was responsible for the mural that you can see pictured below. The answer was of course… c) Caleigh Ill
The lucky winner is Adam Court!!
You can find out more about Caleigh Ill over on her website HERE.
In this weekends competition we are teaming up with Southsea Coffee Co to give away one of their Signature Clothing collaboration t-shirts. These were limited edition and there were only fifty printed.
All you have to do to win this prize is email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer to the following question.
Every few months Southsea Coffee Co allow a local artist to paint a mural on the large wall in their snug seating area. To win the tee all you need to do is identify the artist who was responsible for the mural that you can see pictured below.
a) My Dog Sighs
b) Stu Linfield
c) Caleigh Ill
The deadline for entries will be midnight on Monday with the winners to be announced next Tuesday morning. We do need to add that the tee is only available in a mens large I’m afraid.
The tee design can be seen below however please pay no attention to whats written on the board, the photo was taken to promote a previous competition that Southsea Coffee Co were running.
Now that we have all recovered a little, why don’t we sit back and enjoy some figures from the runaway success that was the Portsmouth Beer Festival. Over the course of 3 sold out sessions: 3,600 avid beer drinkers turned up to consume over 12,000 pints of ale, 3,000 pints of cider and a very respectable 1,500 bottled beers. On top of this, the fine folk of this city managed to raise over £1,200.00 for the cancer awareness charity Feel Yourself and for Samuels Fund which raises funds for local boy Samuel Deakin-Mant who suffers from cerebral palsy.
If you enjoyed The Portsmouth Beer Festival as much as we did, then be sure to visit them at Portsmouth’s main event this summer; the much anticipated Victorious Festival on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of August (tickets available here). Finally we would like to extend a Strong Island sized congratulation to Ben Mills and his team for bringing this highly successful event to life.
This is it people. The beer and cider lists are being finalised. The bands have been booked. The food has been ordered and The Guildhall is preparing to host the biggest and brightest beer festival to date. Not content with serving local beer from Irving & Co, Havant Brewery and Brewhouse & Kitchen, it has now been confirmed that Staggeringly Good will be joining the fold of homegrown talent at the festival. An emerging collective of brewers, Staggeringly Good are based right here on the island and are producing some fine beers, albeit in small quantities. Be sure to visit the bottle bar and try out this crisp, modern and refreshing IPA. The logo alone wins points.
The countdown to the festival has officially started, and the conditions have never been better to celebrate our love of beer and it’s historical relationship to the city. If you are yet to grab your tickets then click here for further information.
The motley crew at Pie & Vinyl got in touch the other day to tell us about their exciting new summer menu launching June the 1st; a lovely new selection of pies and drinks will soon be let loose on the good people of Southsea, including lighter pies (less than 440 calories) for the health conscious amongst us, a variety of fruit shakes and some delicious ice cream flavours, including knickerbocker glorys.
Their award winning pies will now be served with fresh locally produced salad, coleslaw, plus a healthy dollop of their very own Pie & Vinyl chutney. For the more traditional out there, creamy mash and minty mushy peas will be available on request. On top of this they will also be offering some refreshing Iced Teas, and an improved coffee selection for those who enjoy their caffeine fix. Roll on summer.