At the end of last year Strong Island proudly opened up our store, studio & exhibition space at 12 Highland Road in Southsea. So far there have been a few wonderful exhibitions in store but our label arm over at Strong Island Recordings has yet to have a house warming party so to speak. After much discussion we have decided to change that and on the 28th March between 6-8pm we present to you a free, bring your own booze party with full sets from Strong Island Recordings own Melt Dunes and our good friends Death of the Author taking place instore at Strong Island Co. Capacity for the show is obviously limited so be sure to head down early.
We’ll also being doing some amazing one-off in-store deals on label tees, vinyl, tapes and more, more details on that soon. See you there!
On Saturday 7th March Strong Island Recordings hosted our first label party of the year at The Edge of The Wedge. It was also extra special as it was also our first ever label party where all the acts including DJs too are a part of our label family. The line-up conistsed of Dead Rabbits, Melt Dunes, Yoofs and also The Boy I Used to Be making their deejay debut and played a rather eclectic and fun mix consisting of everything from local thrash dup Rickyfitts to Taylor Swift. The turnout was amazing and we want to thank everyone who came down. We hope everyone who was in attendance had a blast. We have some photos below but if you want to check out more from the evening then an head over to our Facebook and Instagram and the Strong Island Flickr. Relating to our label party on Saturday we have some exciting news coming on Friday so keep an eye out for that.
On the 7th March, Strong Island Recordings takes over The Edge of The Wedge in Southsea with three label acts being Dead Rabbits, Yoofs and newest signings Melt Dunes formerly known as ELEPHANTANTRUM plus The Boy I Used to Be DJ’s all for just £3.00. It’s our first label party of the year of what looks like is going to be the biggest year of our little label so we’d love to party with everyone celebrating a very exciting 2015 for us here at the musical arm of Strong Island. Tickets for the show can be purchased here and also in our store at 12 Highland Road. More details can also be found on the Facebook event page.
Horny Goat Music Presents spearheaded by Zach Wiggins and Amrit Sondh as an outlet for putting on shows of acts they love returns this Friday at The Loft and features some Strong Island favourites following on from successful, packed out nights that have included the likes of Rickyfitts and The Planes.
Headliners for the show are psychedelic-doom rock Gosport outfit The Unknown Soldiers. A sand storm of psychedelia, the sonic journey of the quartet is like being dropped in the middle of a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western.On the other side of the psychedelic realm, support comes from NME & KEXP favourites PopoBawa bringing their sun tinted, tropical, jangly psychedelic pop. We love PopoBawa over here at Strong Island. They’ve played a couple of shows for our Strong Island Recordings label so we advise you get down early for them as they’re certainly one of the most unique bands to come from this part of the south-coast for a while. If you haven’t seen them live yet, they’re joyous, blissful, summer tinted goodness that for at least half an hour will make you forget we’re in the midst of a bitter cold winter and instead will conjure up images of dancing in the middle of a field during the summer festival season. Also playing the show is acoustic act Tamara Jane who shall be opening the night.
Tickets for the show are £4 in advance or £5 on the door. Wrap your ears around The Unknown Soldiers and PopoBawa below. More details including where to purchase tickets can be found on the Horny Goat Presents Facebook event page here.
Portsmouth’s grandest party being Victorious Festival returns on the weekend of the 29th and 30th August and with it comes arguably the biggest line-up to ever hit Portsmouth. The latest additions are testament to Victorious’s year on growth as a festival with a heavyweight collection of new additions to the festival that takes place along Southsea. Legendary psychedelic- space- experimental rock outfit The Flaming Lips, regarded as one of the greatest live bands on the planet will be coming to Portsmouth bringing their visually stunning spectacle that is their live set along with one of Britain’s largest crossover exports in recent years being Tinie Tempah. NME & BBC Radio 6 favourites Honeyblood of Fat Cat Records return to Portsmouth less than a year after playing Southsea Fest another of Portsmouth’s fine festivals that take place in the latter half of the year. The line-up also features the likes of The Amazing Snakeheads, Bipolar Sunshine, The Magic Numbers and Texas. Tickets at present are just £18 a day and allows festival attendees access to attractions such as The D-Day Museum, Southsea Skatepark and Blue Reef Aquarium so it’s an absolute steal.
At Strong Island Recordings we’re hosting our first show of the year on the 7th March at Edge of the Wedge where for the first time ever, all acts, including DJ’s are part of our Strong Island Recordings family so we’re very excited.
Playing the show is shoegaze, psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits, psych-pop Bournemouth duo Yoofs who we released their debut album ‘Something’ on our label last year and brand new additions to our label, Melt Dunes now formerly known as ELEPHANTANTRUM.
Our minds were blown by the local Southampton quartet so we decided we had to have them on our label. Crossing between brooding, doom ridden psychedelia and fuzzed out garage rock, Melt Dunes are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Catch them at our label party on the 7th March where entry is a mere £3.00 and includes The Boy I Used To Be deejaying which should be fun. You can find more about the event here. All photos below are by Toby Jezard who kindly photographed our cash-free, food donation label party in December.
So our Strong Island Recordings all day cash free Christmas party takes place tomorrow at The Eastney Cellars. Entry is a donation of non perishable food that will go to local food banks. The party kicks off from 13.00pm with the ever great Champagne Justice playing music throughout the day. You can find the Facebook event here for set times. Make sure you head down early and do rummage through your cupboards, the more items, the more help we can all give. In the mean time check out the remaining acts playing our bill plus our sponsors The Park Studio.
A tornado of whirling guitars, new outfit Death Of The Author are one of Hampshire’s latest exports delving into the world of shoegaze. The trio are an immense sonic assault upon your senses and very recently blew the roof of Bar 56 at our Southsea Fest stage. Viscerally exciting, they remind us of the intensity of label family Is Bliss, which is a great thing indeed.
Comprising of members of Battery Hens, Protein Window and Neil co head honcho of Champagne Justice, Verletzt are one of the newest DIY noise rock outfits in Portsmouth. They’re scuzzy noise rock, stoner- doom, drone outfit taking you into a new realm of weirdness. Sabbath esque riffs coated with eerie vocals, Verletzt give a heavy nod to their leftfield influences in a charmingly scrappy way.
Not a band but very much integral to the event and also aspects of our label overall is The Park Studio. The studio shall be kindly supplying us backline for the show which in turn helps us keep the show free. Ran by Max of Rickyfitts and formerly Is Bliss, the studio based in Denmead is the recording and practice space of label family and friends including Rickyfitts, Is Bliss, The Boy I Used to Be, Wyldest, Battery Hens, The Planes, Verletzt and many more offering incredibly cheap rates including 3 hours of rehearsal time for £20. If you’re a band or solo artists, do check them out.
Okay so we’re up to part three of four of the previews for our Strong Island Recordings cash free, charity party at The Cellars in Eastney on the 13th December where entry is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. The event will feature 11 bands throughout the day and kicks off from 13.00pm with Champagne Justice DJ’s throughout the day and evening. You can find the Facebook event here.
We’re delighted to bring back extended label family The Boy I Used to Be, We’re fortunate and privileged to say we’re the first label to release the delightful duo back last year on our compilation and now they’re singed to our splendid pals, Pie & Vinyl. The duo are the ultimate Christmas band, if you live in Australia. Sun drenched, garage pop akin to the likes of Splashh, The Growlers and Unknown Mortal Orchestra; whilst also giving a nod to psych- folk influences such as Kurt Vile, every The Boy I Used To Be track is joyous and makes you want to high five the sun whilst sipping cocktails on the beach.
Playing their first ever show despite a couple of cassette releases, we’re honoured to have London’s Nevermind Me down playing our all day party. Dreamy, melancholic vocals topped with beautifully textured guitars, Nevermind Me create a colourful explosion of noise crossing between shoegaze, alt rock and parts of psychedelia. They’re an exhilarating journey of gorgeous noise.
Playing late afternoon is noisy, local favourites Bittertown Mary’s playing their first ever Strong Island Recordings show. Intertwining between the stylings of early doom metal as well grunge and stoner rock and seemingly taking strong influences from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Sabbath and Nirvana, Bittertown Mary’s inflict sonic pounding, primal riffs all wrapped in sandpapered, gruff vocals and distorted, obnoxious fuzz. It’s a splendid, sonic slap to the face.
As you may have seen earlier in the week, we’re previewing all the acts playing our Strong Island Recordings all day party at The Cellars 13th December where entry is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. So it’s next to nothing entry and you get to see a handful of some of the most exciting acts across the south who are blowing up the blogosphere. The event is also in association with The Park Studio who shall be supplying us with backline which saves us money and thus we can keep the event effectively free so do check them out. We’re now onto the second part of our previews so do check out the acts below as they’re incredible to say the least.
Frenetic blitz-pop purveyors Curxes are a sumptuous assault to the senses. A thunderously exciting combination of a harpy’s call, electronic acrobatics, pounding bass and thumping drum rhythms, with gothic tones underpinning the bombastic layers riding on top, Curxes are as infectiously catchy as they are ferociously intelligent.
Next up is Southampton’s Fever. Fuzzy, doom like surf combined with jangly indie- rock and grunge all laced in memorable hooks; Fever are like a cross between Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors and The Wytches. Produced by Chris Pedan of Wild Smiles and with support from NME to KEXP, Fever are one of the most promising new bands from the south.
Brand new quintet, Elephantantrum are a journey into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm. Brooding guitars and synths, distorted fuzz, tortured wailing vocals, all reminding you of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches, Elephanantrum are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Parts of of their tracks are like wandering alone in a circus at night with the impending doom of being hunted by psychopathic clowns, it’s eerily marvellous. Easily one of the most exciting and unique bands to come out of the south coast. Head down early evening to catch a rare glimpse of the band playing in Portsmouth. They certainly fit the ethos of a Strong Island Recordings party for sure.
Our cash free, charity Christmas all day party opens its doors at 13.oopm with Champagne Justice deejays playing throughout the entirety of day and night between acts. You can find the Facebook event here.
Champagne Justice have pulled together a very great last minute show at The Edge of the Wedge called Blownzone on Thursday 11th December featuring a couple of the finest garage rock acts from both America and the U.K. Portland’s The Shivas of the legendary Californian label Burger Records (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Dave Grohl and many more) are playing Portsmouth in only one of three U.K shows during their European tour as well as one time Strong Island Recordings act and now full time PNKSLM shredders, The Red Cords who are very incredible to say the least. It’s a rather massive coincidence both acts were free for the same date and it’s certainly one of the strongest line-ups musically in Portsmouth for a while no doubt. Entry to the event is a mere £5.00 and doors open at 20.00pm. If you’re a fan of psych rock/garage rock akin to the likes of Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Coachwhips, Bass Drum of Death, Black Lips etc then head down for a rare glimpse of some of the finest, gnarly garage rock acts around. The Facebook event can be found here.
Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.
Adam Wintle recently uploaded to his blog loads of photos from an old book about Portsmouth passed down to him by his dad. Some of the photos in the book are incredible, be sure to spend some time having a good look through, below are a few examples:
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.
Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at www.carlpartridge.co.uk.
Bored Manager Tom sent us over this original Skatepark article and poster. It doesn’t get more back in the day than this really. The original proposal plan and the opening day poster. At last Skateboard Paradise. Truly amazing. The article is quite small, but I zoomed it to read back the first paragraph.
‘Skatepark plan caters for all plus band and roller skating. Fast elevated runs and steep twisting slalom – like tracks for the advanced skateboarder, are a design feature of the £60,000 skateboard arena proposed for Southsea Common’