It’s been a very busy period over at Strong Island Recordings with the release of the debut album by Curxes released earlier this month and also with us co- running a stage at Great Escape last weekend. There’s many more releases in the pipeline but we’re very excited that today is the release of Southampton based Melt Dunes ‘Epicaricacy ‘a doom-psych/garage rock banger that’s out now via digital download on most digital stores. ‘Epicaricacy is a journey into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm. It’s like being hunted by psychopathic clowns in a desolate circus at night, it’s eerily marvelous. If you dig 8 minutes of doom psych at it’s finest by one of the most exciting and best live bands out of the area you can purchase the single via Amazon and Juno.
Tomorrow night sees the album launch party of Curxes‘Verxes’ out now via digital download on Strong Island Recordings taking place at The Cellars which is sadly soon to be shut for good. Support for the Curxes launch party comes from the incredible Wyldest and also The Boy I Used to Be. Also Champagne Justice shall be deejaying throughout the night. ‘Verxes’ and the lead single ‘What You Want’ has been picking up a lot of blog and press coverage with ‘What You Want’ also being featured in the top five tracks you need to hear over on Q Magazine. Dreampop Wyldest themselves have also been picking up a lot of press coverage for their new single ‘Danish Longball’ that was also featured as one of the tracks of the week on Amazing Radio. Third support act The Boy I Used to Be is no stranger to Strong Island Recordings having released ‘I Can’t Stand’ on our compilation late 2013 and since then The Boy I Used to Be have released two EP’s on Pie & Vinyl. Entry for the show is a mere £4 and the doors are at 8pm. The Facebook event can be found here.
This Thursday both us at Strong Island Recordings and also our friends over at Pie & Vinyl takeover Bleach in Brighton for the day for a Great Escape party and one of the biggest shows both of us have hosted so far. Anybody who has been to Southsea Fest and visited the Pie & Vinyl or Strong Island Recordings stage will know what to expect. The day is also being sponsored by the kind folk at Old Blacksmiths Studio who will be providing us backline for the day helping reduce outgoing costs for us massively. The event is free to Great Escape wristband holders and just £4 for all day without to help recoup costs. You can check out the Facebook event here.
The second in our preview features the rest of the acts playing the day:
Fuzz don Theo Verney has played a couple of Strong Island Recordings shows in the past including his first show outside of Brighton and London back in August 2013 and The One Eyed Dog. That was during the release period of the riff riot that was the Heavy Sunn EP on Hate Hate Hate Records the former home to The Wytches, Fat White Family and Kagoule. Theo Verney’s latest effort ‘Mountain Rose’ and also ‘Brain Disease’ that was premiered on Fake DIY yesterday showcases a much more refined Theo. If you leave a Theo Verney show without feeling like you’ve taken a piledriver to your neck then you were probably just at the wrong show. Catch Theo Verney at 10.55pm.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia; it’s fair to say Flyying Colours have come a bit far to play The Great Escape Festival. The psych/shoegazers create a luscious yet visceral wall of noise that crashes down upon you. Their latest EP was released on the excellent Club AC30 yesterday. If you dig MBV, Slowdive, Swervedriver etc then Flyying Colours are for you. This is their only Alternative Escape show where a Great Escape wristband isn’t needed and one of their last on their UK date so make the most of it. You can catch Flyying Colours at 10.00pm.
Mancunian outfit Man Made create scuzzed out indie meets post punk topped in brain melting, grunge tinted basslines. The guys are set to dominate the festival season this year and recently had their latest 7″ single fly out off of shelves upon Record Store Day. You can catch the guys at 9.05pm at Bleach.
Strong Island Recordings label family Gang are quite simply put one of the most exciting new bands in the UK. Brighton at the moment is churning out some incredible new bands from Demob Happy, The Magic Gang, The Wytches, Black Honey to Theo Verney above and Gang are the latest grunge ridden psych band from Brighton to be unleashed. The doom pop trio have released a couple of EP’s over the last year with Sandscrape on Strong Island Recordings and also ‘Silverback’ on Sexx Tapes. You can catch Gang at 8.10pm.
Brighton’s Morning Smoke are one of our favourite new bands. Combining intense shoegaze and aspects of post punk, the quartet leave the audience pulverised from their immense wall of sound during live shows. Thier recordings capture their live shows charm which leaves you wrapped around in a coil of noise whilst gorgeous textures whirl by. In a way they remind us a lot of our own Is Bliss (RIP?) which is a great thing indeed. You can check out ‘Unknown’ that was premiered just yesterday and you can catch the guys at 7.20pm at Bleach.
On the 14th May Strong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl team up for a showcase at one of Brighton’s best up and coming venues Bleach. The show is free entry with a main Great Escape wristband and just £4 without so even if you’re not down Brighton for the festival you can still come along. First up in our Great Escape previews we’re going to showcase the locals heading over to the festival. You can find out more details on the Facebook event here.
Rickyfitts are probably Portsmouth’s finest and explosive live band. Tinnitus inducing thrash meets grunge meets hardcore punk, the destructive duo inflict listeners with a tidal wave of sludge. With releases on both Strong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl, it would have been madness had we not had Rickyfitts play. They play Bleach at 4.00pm.
Newest signings to Strong Island Recordings; Melt Dunes are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Doom laden psychedelia meets garage rock, Melt Dunes are one of the most exciting new bands from the south-coast and one of the best live acts too. Look out for their debut single on Strong Island Recordings very soon. Catch Melt Dunes kick off the day at 3.10pm.
Having just released ‘Verxes’ on Strong Island Recordings, Curxes are Portsmouth’s finest alt-pop meets electronic act. Gaining praise from NME to Q Magazine and also being invited to remixes CHRVCHES ‘Recover’ the now trio will be bringing their frenetic blitz pop to The Great Escape playing at 5.40pm.
Sun soaked garage pop meets folk and psychedelia, The Boy I Used to Be signed to Pie & Vinyl are a joyous, sonic experience. Another act having releases on both Strong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl, The Boy I Used to Be were always going to be playing our Great Escape stage. Catch the trio at 6.30pm.
Creating eccentric eighties synth pop, one man Gosport native Sacha is the newest addition to the Pie & Vinyl roster. It’s luscious left field pop that is the soundtrack to a summers night. Sacha plays Bleach at 4.50pm.
As well as the city being finely represented at our stage with Pie & Vinyl there are a couple of other splendid acts from the city playing across the weekend.
It takes a rather large national touring act to sell out the Wedgewood Rooms but Kassassin Street seem to have no difficulty in doing such thing. Arguably Portsmouth’s favourite sons and best known act since Shadow Child and Kry Wolf; Kassassin Street cross between indie, new wave and electronic fused psychedelia. The guys play Sticky Mike’s at 12 noon on the Friday and a Great Escape wristband isn’t needed.
I first caught Jerry Williams at The Wedgewood Rooms a couple of years back when Is Bliss won the road to Blissfields. Although Jerry may not have won, the talent was evident enough and Jerry Williams still deservedly got a slot at Blissfields that weekend anyway. Intertwining from folk to jangly pop all coated in sweet vocals and lyrics of teenage love, it’s hard to not be taken to Jerry Williams’s charm ridden songs. Jerry Williams plays a fair few shows across the festival where many of the slot times haven’t been announced. If you have a wristband though you can check Jerry Williams on the 15th Mat at the Speigelpub at 6.30pm.
Today Curxes ‘Verxes’ the debut album by the now trio was released via digital download on our Strong Island Recordings label. The album has been a long time coming for the amazing alt-pop outfit who are set for a few festival appearances across the summer with The Great Escape Festival, Blissfields and Victorious Festival all confirmed as well as a launch party on the 13th May with Wyldest at The Cellars in Eastney. You can purchase the album from the likes of iTunes and Amazon and also stream it from services such as Spotify. Thank you everyone for the continued support of our little Southsea based label.
The single is an absolute alt-pop meets acid-house inspired summer banger that needs to be played out loud for sure. Curxes this week were also announced for Victorious Festival and the now trio also are set to play The Eastney Cellars on the 13th May with Wyldest for the ”Verxes’ album launch we’re throwing and are also set to play The Great Escape Festival weekend where they play Bleach on the 14th May at our Great Escape stage and Friday 15th May at The Lick Warehouse. Curxes are also set to play Blissfields and various other shows to be announced very soon.
We’re incredibly proud to be working with Curxes especially as they’re a band from our hometown. Hopefully we’ll see you at one of their upcoming shows we’re hosting.
The multi award winning team at Bestival, present to us the Southampton based Festival, Common People. It will be held on the 23rd and 24th May 2015.
Taking place on the bank holiday weekend on Southampton Common, the two day, metropolitan festival will bring the spirit of Bestival away from the Isle of Wight and into the heart of the city.
Rob Da Bank, curator of the festival, explained that Common People is the first new venture since Camp Bestival seven years ago. He went on to tell us that this festival isn’t a camping show, its not tents and wellies, it’s a two day show that has easy access and is open to all ages. A festival packed with experiences that is reasonably priced, it was designed to allow everybody to enjoy good music and fun activities along with cultural highs including art and delicious food.
Tomorrow being Thursday 16th April, Torn Speaker launches at The Cellars in Eastney with an amazing line-up featuring experimental, psychedelic rock duo Science of Eight Limbs who are mindbogglingly tight, punk duo Frauds from Croydon as well as local favourites and one of the finest live bands to come out of Portsmouth, the thrashy twosome Rickyfitts playing a rare hometown show and also opening the night will be Freak a new grunge trio born out of the ashes of Dirty Legion combining doom filled, sludge riffs with elements of punk.
Torn Speaker themselves are Max Goulding of Rickyfitts and The Park Studio and also Holly Mullineaux, guitarist of the buzzy Wyldest who are blowing up the blogosphere right now. The two decided to start the night to promote and put on bands they love, bringing some of the most exciting new acts to town. They’re already planning their second show and by the sounds of the line-up that they have planned, it’s going to be a great one. Entry is just £4 and doors are at 7.30pm and with it being a four band bill on a week day, expect an early start. More details about the show can be found on the Facebook page here
On the 13th May, Strong Island Recordings will be throwing a Curxes ‘Verxes’ album launch party at The Eastney Cellars with support coming from the wonderful Wyldest as well as special guests to be announced plus Champagne Justice DJs . The debut album ‘Verxes’ from Curxes released on our Strong Island Recordings label will be available digitally on the 4th May and we’ll be selling an exclusive, limited run of physical copies on the night. The album party is also the night before we head off and host our first ever Brighton show taking place at The Great Escape so it will be a big couple of days for the label. Entry for the event is a mere £4 or we shall be doing a limited ticket bundle that comes with a digital download code of the album. More details can be found on the Facebook event here but it would be great to see some faces for one of our biggest shows yet.
This Sunday at the Fat Fox, Blownzone returns once again after their killer show at The Edge of the Wedge with The Shivas and The Red Cords back in December. This time they feature the excellent Californian garage rock meets post punk outfit Corners who are currently touring Europe as well as support from one of our favourite new bands over at Strong Island Recordings; scuzzy post punk/ shoegaze outfit Morning Smoke from Brighton.
Morning Smoke will also be playing our first ever Strong Island Recordings show in Brighton mid-May which we’ll have details about over the next couple of weeks. First though they visit Portsmouth with Corners where entry is £6.00 on the door.
This is another show not to be missed from the Blownzone guys who are once again bringing over some of the finest international bands to the city as well as some of the best new bands in the UK Doors are open from 7pm.
Claire Sambrook from the http://www.flickr.com/groups/portsmouth_creative_movement/ 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.
Local photographer Steve Bomford recently sent over a series of scans from the 1926 Official Publication of the Southsea Beach & Publicity Committee Portsmouth Corporation book ‘Southsea & Portsmouth’.
‘It is of little use to invite intending holiday makers to a town, unless there are attractions to offer, under all conditions of our notorious fickle ‘English’ climate. We do not make the statement that the sun shines every day at Southsea, but records show that we do get the maximum amount of sunny hours. Last year again, 1,923 hours were recorded, the highest number (with one exception) in the United Kingdom. Admitting that the question of sunshine is an important one, it is contended that a holiday resort must have other attractions, such as charming amenities, efficient public services, splendid variety of amusements, good facilities for all outdoor sports, and a good selection of cheap excursions and places of historical interest, to make a general appeal to those who are seeking a health-giving and enjoyable holiday.”
I love all the old hand drawn adverts and especially like the ‘medically recommended’ page. Where the sun lingers longer. Couldn’t be closer to the truth still to this day. It’s a shame the ‘most artistic cafe in Southsea’ is no longer in operation and the amount of people gathered on South Parade beach is incredible. Be sure to check out the full set with over 80 pages of photos, adverts and chapters all about Portsmouth & Southsea over at Steve’s Flickr HERE. A really interesting read if you like your history. And we know you do.
The Round Tower in Old Portsmouth is an often visited landmark but few people get a look at what lies inside those walls. On Friday a few lucky members of The Solent Camera Club (on one of it’s Friday evening meets) were able to explore it’s cavernous interior including the brick arches, rusted cannons and stalactites.
How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…
Righto chaps, it’s time to clean shave your boat race and get that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.
You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.
The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
I’ve been holding on to these truly amazing vintage photographs that Simon Tiller kindly sent in as we went through a pretty heavy skateboard period and thought we should chill back a little. Loving the roller hockey team photos too. The 1978 trophies photo is a epic and they were British Champions in 1973 too. Belated congratulations to you all.
This is just a small picking from the Southsea Skatepark website www.southseaskatepark.com. Check them out and if you see anyone you recognise or want to bring something to our attention then remember to add your comments at the bottom of this post.
Special props to the final photo and all the Southsea boys representing ‘back in the day’. Some young looking faces there. Rippers.
Friend of Strong Island, Charlie ‘Pet Sounds’ Waddington told me about a very talented work colleague of his the other day and kindly asked if she could send in some examples of her work. Damn straight she can. That’s what we’re all about here, you know that.
I’ll introduce Vicky with the little bio that sent me. “Right, erm. About me, I’m 28, married with a two-year-old little boy, and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I work three days a week at Paul Smith, where I’m the visual merchandiser and a sales assistant. The rest of the time I spend looking after my son, seeing friends and family, drawing, crocheting, sewing, watching films, listening to music and reading – the dream is to eventually scratch a living from artwork and handmade goods, while living in an old house with the family and a cat or two. I’m socially awkward, and have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I’m not very cool and tend to like clothes that everyone else thinks are repulsive – my favourite shop in Portsmouth is Dead Mans Glory, closely followed by any charity shop. I am actually addicted to period dramas, and love anything from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.”
Vicky’s print artwork is hand drawn, scanned in to the computer, coloured in Illustrator and usually drawn from a photograph for accuracy. Patterns are then self generated and added after. Inspiration comes from old objects, cameras, typewriters and suchlike – anything from days gone by captures her imagination. Crochet has so far been limited to homewares and childrens hats, but she would love to start making more wearable items to sell.
Undoubtedly a girl of many, many talents, Vicky’s work is eclectic, fun, unique and fantastic. Please add your comments and thoughts at the bottom of the page.
Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).