This flippin marvelous comedian, actor and musician Bill Bailey is coming to the Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday 4th Decemeber to perform at the his latest tour Limboland.
It was announced that he was continuing his tour in the UK to the delight of fans, who enjoy his quick wit and trademark intelligence merged with a sharp stage presence and his unforgettable performances.
Best known by some for his roles in Black Books and Never Mind the Buzzcocks but for most he’ll be known for his previous live tours Dandelion Mind, Tinselworm, Bewilderness and Part Troll.
Tickets are still up for grabs on the Guildhall website for £27.50 but be quick to ensure you don’t miss out. Visit the Box Office to book.
LA based actor Miles Allen smacks the senses with his super charged, hilariously funny renditions of all of the characters from the hit series, Breaking Bad. Slipping into various roles from the show including, Walter White, Jesse, Hank, Skyler, Walt Junior, Mike, Saul and Gus. Miles has been said to nail impressions and offer an alternative twist to the show, making it completely his own.
The show has had over a million YouTube hits and has been a sell out at various festivals including the famous, Edinburgh festival.
This show is hugely popular and is must see! Funny, manic and beautifully executed. The Guardian described the show as a ‘high energy, warp speed romp through all five seasons which brings the house down every night is shows.’
Tickets are still on sale for this weeks performance so don’t miss out! Visit the Kings Theatre Box Office.
On the 18th December Strong Island Recordings are to team with our Champagne Justice pals for a sweat filled, psychedelic Christmas party at Al Burrito. It will be our last hometown show for a little while so we hope many of you (or as many of you that can actually fit into Al Burrito!) can make it to our Christmas party at the very place we launched at back at Southsea Fest (then known as Bar 56). It’s a perfect Christmas homecoming!
Playing the show shall be heavy, space, psych rock lords You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons plus Strong Island Recordings’ doom-laden acid psychedelic rock quartet Melt Dunes bringing a true nightmare before Christmas and dragging everyone into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm as well as another of our label family being Brighton’s snotty surf-punk meets psych outfit Strange Cages who brought down the house back at Dials Festival in front of a capped out crowd. If you dig any of the likes of King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, Night Beats or The Cramps then they’re for you. Also on the bill is brand new garage rock outfit Cosmic Forces playing their debut show.
So come and party with us before Christmas in a tiny sweat-pit above a Mexican restaurant, eating burritos and nachos, drinking beers and tequilas whilst watching some of the finest psychedelic and garage rock bands the south-coast has to offer because what else is Christmas really about? More details can be found on the Facebook event. See you there!
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 Recordings‘ Melt 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So we’re officially on the eve of Dials Festival Portsmouth’s newest music festival taking place across various venues in Albert Road with 40 + bands spanning across the day and evening plus an afterparty featuring Rowan of Kassassin Street, Billy Colburn and Fuzz Tones all deejaying the Wedgewood Rooms and Edge of the Wedge until the later hours.
The line-up at Dials consists of some of the “buzziest” emerging acts in the country who if you’re a regular listener of BBC 6 Music or a reader of the likes of NME, Mojo, DIY etc you will probably be well aware of many of the acts playing. The line-up consists of the likes of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Fickle Friends, Black Honey, Dingus Khan, Crushed Beaks and many-many more plus some of the finest acts from around the area. The times and stage splits for Dials have been announced and you can plan your day ahead at Dials Festival with the Clashfinder here so you can workout at what point you’re going for that burrito/pie break.
You can check out the Dials playlist below of a number of the acts on the bill and you can purchase tickets on the day at just £20 if you haven’t got them in advance at £18. Entry allows you in to all venues (age permitting) and you can see some of tomorrow’s festival heavyweights in an intimate setting plus an afterparty which is free to Dials wristband holders. Also our label arm Strong Island Recordings are offering a 30% discount on all label merchandise to Dials wristband holders in Strong Island Co on Saturday. You can keep up to date with Dials on Facebook and on Twitter on @DialsFestival. Hopefully we’ll see many faces there for Portsmouth’s newest multi venue, community based festival.
So Dials Festival is fast approaching taking place on the 3rd October from the early afternoon to late in the evening and in the spirit of Southsea Fest a grand number of emerging artists from all across the U.K shall be playing across various venues in Albert Road with an after party at the Wedgewood Rooms taking place after the event. It’s certainly going to be the perfect way to be rid of those post-summer festival blues and will no doubt be one of the highlights in the Portsmouth events calendar.
Our next preview comes from one of the buzziest and best emerging acts in the country who smashed it recently at Victorious Festival in front of thousands being Fickle Friends. Racking up quite literally millions of plays on Spotify and SoundCloud, the new-wave, electronic pop outfit from Brighton with heavyweight support from everyone from Radio 1 to NME are going to be bringing their sun soaked, tropical pop sound to Southsea once more to The Wedgewood Rooms. For a new, new music festival, it’s a great coup to get Fickle Friends playing for us.
To see Fickle Friends and 40 plus more phenomenal emerging acts then you can get tickets here. Tickets are just £18 (that’s about five beers!!) so it’s an absolute bargain to say the least. You can find out more details on the Dials Facebook and also on Twitter on @DialsFestival.
This year’s Victorious Festival was pretty epic. Though it was my first, I am already looking forward to going back next year. Saturday may have been a washout for some, but with our brollies and wells in tow, we were not going to have our spirits dampened.
The variety of activities spread across the Kids Arena was immense. There was everything you could think of to entertain the children and some of parents who are children at heart. Every bit of detail had been covered, from children’s safety with wrist bands with emergency contact details on to baby changing areas.
In the Kids Arena, there was face painting, tennis, a disco tent (playing some absolute classics), Disney princesses everywhere, providing much excitement for the kids with plenty of photo opportunities. Magic shows and all round fun activities. What was fantastic about the Kids Arena was that all the kids actives and entertainment was all free, so there was no telling the children they can’t go on a ride because you don’t have any change!
The Kids Arena was situated next door to the main areas which was great. It meant we could escape the ‘adult zone’ and enjoy some great live music. We saw a couple of bands at the Acoustic Stage, Captain Flatcap at the Beats and Swing Tent – who were amazing! I have never seen so many people dancing so hard to live music before. The band were brilliant, clearly having fun and everyone around them was too. My five year old dragged me to the front barrier so she could get a better view and dance with everyone else. I also saw Laura Mvula, who was one of the acts that I desperately wanted to see and she didn’t disappoint. Her live vocals were incredible.
We’d built up quite an appetite just wandering around the site seeing what was on offer. There was a huge array of cuisines that all looked and smelt so delicious that it was so difficult to decide. In the end we went for a chilli from the Chilipot. If they are there next year, make sure you head over for some delicious food.
The festival was a fantastic day out for all ages, and I would highly recommend the day to anyone even those with young families, there really is something for everyone.
Dials Festival the collaborative, new multi-venue music festival ran by Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Pie & Vinyl has announced additions to the line-up already consisting of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Black Honey, Chloe Black, Curxes, Broken Hands, Rickyfitts and loads more. The festival will be in place of Southsea Fest for 2015 to ensure a multi-venue, new music festival across various venues and pubs can still take place.
Leading the latest additions is the super fun Dingus Khan who headline the Little Johnny Russells stage and BBC 6 Music favourites, scuzzy, infectious, fuzzy, indie-pop London outfit Crushed Beaks who will headline The Loft. Other additions to the bill include doom laden psychedelic meets raw punk outfit Crows who were recently handpicked to support Wolf Alice and are also set to support Metz on their UK tour plus Strong Island Recordings label family and one of the best new live bands in the country, primal, doom grunge pop trio Gang who return to Portsmouth and are no doubt going to bring the house down as well snotty, garage punk trio Skinny Girl Diet (who if you dig Ty Segall and Coachwips, you will love) psych meets slacker pop Londoners, Honey Moon who are are like a cross between Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile, self proclaimed “poolside pop” Icelandic by the way of Brighton outfit Dream Wife, electro – hip hop influenced-pop artist Frankie Knight, indie outfit Fever plus local favourites Damn Beats, Number 9 and Sam McCarthy.
Dials Festival will take place on the 3rd October across five venues in Albert Road being Wedgewood and Edge of the Wedge (all ages), Little Johnny Russells (18 + after 7pm), Al Burrito (18 + after 8pm) and The Loft (18+ only) and features 40 plus acts playing across the entire day to the late evening plus a Dials after party that will be taking place at The Wedgewood Rooms with Dials deejays. Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate until Monday when they go up to £18. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl. Dress Code and Wedgewood Room.It will no doubt be a great festival and if you loved Southsea Fest then Dials Festival will be for you and perfect for any potential post Victorious blues.
We’re now up to our third feature of Dials Festival a collaborative, community based, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardner’s Club that will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year.
It only makes sense for us to feature Nottingham post-punk, grunge trio Kagoule this week with their debut album ‘Urth’ out tomorrow being the 21st August. Kagoule have been big favourites of ours for a while as you may know if you keep up to date with our label and they also played our Southsea Fest stage last year at Bar 56 (now known as Al Burrito). The trio brought the house down in the little 60 capacity sweat-pit and since then they have gone from strength to strength receiving praise and support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Mojo Magazine, Fake DIY, NME, Clash to Rough Trade where their sits as album of the month. Kagoule will be playing the Wedgewood Rooms stage at Dials Festival so it will be a considerably bigger stage when they visit Portsmouth to say the least. Make sure you catch Kagoule on their visit to Portsmouth as they’re beyond great to say the least.
Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up at the end of the month. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl until next Friday. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming next week and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.
So as you may have seen a couple of weeks back, the line-up to Dials Festival – a collaborative, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardners Club has been announced and will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year. Leading up to our festival in October we’re going to be running weekly previews leading up to the festival.
Our next preview features an act I cannot wait to catch at Dials being Peluche who I first caught live at Lennon’s in Southampton with Wyldest who are also playing Dials Festival. The trio from London create eccentric, jazz ridden, psychedelic like shimmering pop combining elements of avant-garde that is total bliss. Peluche are nothing short of wonderful and the sun-soaked sonic journey is beyond joyous especially for a warm summer evening. The trio have just unleashed the excellent and just as excellently titled, ethereal, dub like, dreamy-pop gem that is ‘The Guy With The Gammy Eye’ that was released this Monday on Speedy Wunderground which you can purchase on vinyl over on their store.
Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up. You can get the tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming very soon and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.
Louise from the Girls Who Ride crew gave us the heads up on the amazing photos of local photographer Matt Shaw, including some great images on Portsmouth, some in HDR too. Be sure to take your time going through Matt’s Flickr and here are a few to wet your appetite:
As with so many things that are right on your doorstep, you always say yeah I’ll go do that soon, but never do. Me and Liz had the day off together and rode around a few places before popping to the Museum after saying we’d go for years now.
If you like your local history then I advise going down. Check the Portsmouth City Museum website for more information. Click read more at the bottom for a few more snaps.
From 1984 to 1986 people, in particular school children, all got involved in collecting information on their local area to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Doomsday Book by creating a new, updated, electronic version. The collected information became The Doomsday Project which was a collection of laserdiscs and special BBC computers. The country was broken down in to ‘D’ blocks with the data collection done mostly by schools, the information included text on local geography, history, legends and also more contemporary personal things such as favourite music, games, etc. As well as the text each block could also contain up to 3 photos. Many schools bought the discs and computers as a learning resource (the World Wide Web as a concept was still some years away).
A few days ago the BBC launched a new website where all of this previously difficult to access information (only a handful of working systems still exist) is now online and searchable. It’s an amazing glimpse in to Portsmouth and Southsea life in the early to mid 80s and there are some great images. The new website also allows you to upload new information and photos too.
If you are 38+ you may well have memories of being involved in the project in collecting and writing information. Personally I remember the day my group went out to a tiny village in Essex in the hot summer but instead of writing things we played near the river and weir. Oh well. Does anyone have any memories of taking part in the project? If so please add a comment, would love to hear people’s memories.
You can find out more about the original project on HERE and the BBC article and access the online version below:
Articles about Southsea Skatepark can be hard to come by, and articles from 1988 even more so. I found these on the ‘when we was rad’ website a while back. I remember having the picture of Tommy Guerrero pulling that slob torn out and on my wall for years. Sick.
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.
Man, these photos are pretty damn epic. Both show the HMS Vangaurd that went aground just feet away from alongside the Still & West and Spice Island in 1960.
“On 4 August 1960, when she was to be towed from Portsmouth to the breakers yard at Faslane, Scotland, the whole of the Southsea sea front was packed with people to see her off. As she was being towed towards the harbour entrance, she slewed across the harbour to the Still & West public house and went aground. She was eventually pulled off by tugs and finally made her exit from Portsmouth. Five days later she arrived at Faslane and by the spring of 1962 Vanguard ceased to exist, never having fired her guns in anger.” (from Wikipedia)
It’s also great to see that area of Old Portsmouth in detail from 50 years ago. There is no sea wall in place, some kind of out building on the corner of Spice Island, what looks like early dry dock developments and I love the way Broad Street goes straight in to the drink. See what you can see. Click the images for a much closer look.
The Creating Balance Project exhibition’s current residency at the Pitfield Pop-Up in Winchester ends today with the exhibition receiving some really great comments and coverage on websites, etc. Below are some photos by our own Claire Sambrook from a recent visit when many of the project’s artist/designer/photographer participants went up for a look. See more of Claire’s Creating Balance Project photos over on here Flickr.
The Creating Balance Project exhibition will return home to Portsmouth on the 10th of January 2014 for an extended exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf, with an opening party and a series of other events and activities to be announced very soon. Ourselves and Anglepoise® are all really looking forward to showing the project to everyone in Portsmouth very soon!
To find out more about the project and exhibition please visit: