On the July 8th, Strong Island Recordings are teaming up with Torn Speaker to bring Gang and Puppy, two of the most exciting new bands in the UK today down to Portsmouth where we takeover The Eastney Cellars for one last time that also includes splendid Portsmouth favourites, Red Seals and Protein Window, all for just £4.
Headlining the evening will be Strong Island Recordings label family, the incredible grunge pop trio, Gang. The guys recently tore down the house at our Great Escape party at Bleach with their brain melting, blistering live set that was one of the highlights of the whole Great Escape weekend. With their insanely heavy live show (as some of you may have seen last year at Southsea Fest), plus releases including ‘Sandscrape’ on Strong Island Recordings and the more recent ‘Silverback EP’ on the excellently titled ‘Sexx Tapes’, Gang should well be one of your new favourite bands come July 8th.
Main support for the night comes from one of the most exciting new bands in the UK at the moment, London’s Puppy. The power, grunge pop outfit have only been on our radar over the last few months but are already one of our favourite new bands in the UK. Coated in infectious vocals whilst power riffs blaze through, Puppy are going to be bringing the pint spilling, party anthems to the Eastney Cellars. Local support comes from a couple of Portsmouth cult favourites being post-punk, grunge outfit Red Seals as well as drone rock-doom sludge trio, Protein Window.
So that’s four incredible bands for just £4 entry. This will be our last ever show at The Cellars so come and say goodbye with us in the only way we know how, in a noise filled, sweat-pit. Doors are at 8pm and you can find out more about the show on the Facebook event here. See you on the 8th July.
As a music fan June has kicked off strongly already with the incredible show last night by the guys over at Torn Speaker featuring Syd Kemp, Melt Dunes, Jimmy Stuart and Death of the Author. If you didn’t go you certainly missed out for sure. This Saturday though continues the trend of great bands in little sweat-pit venues with fellow new promotions company Horny Goat returning to their home that is The Loft featuring a line up consisting of Battery Hens, Gloo and Freak where tickets are a mere £3.
Headliners for the night Battery Hens are Strong Island favourites having played a number of shows for us in the past including our first ever London show at The Old Blue Last plus the launch of Strong Island Recordings at Southsea Fest back in 2012 that can be seen here. The local cult favourites are a sonic assault upon the senses delving into grunge, space rock, punk and experimental noise. The quartet epitomise the DIY culture having self released their latest EP ‘Guts‘ which comes in a hand assembled card board case plus stickers, lyric books and more. Support for Battery Hens comes from Gloo a noise-punk twosome from Littlehampton who sound like a cross between God Damn and Big-Ups which is a great thing indeed. Expect a riff riot and a total annihilation of instruments from them. Completing the line-up is grunge three piece Freak who return to The Loft after making their debut back in October. More details about the shows can be found here.
On Wednesday one of Portsmouth’ newest promotions companies, Torn Speaker ran by Max Goulding of Rickyfitts and formerly Is Bliss and Holly Mullineaux of Wyldest who are blowing up the blogosphere return for their second show featuring Syd Kemp plus Strong Island Recordings‘ Melt Dunes, Death of the Author and Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss at Edge of the Wedge. Torn Speaker was established to bring some of the finest new talent around the UK to Portsmouth and this show promises to be a great one.
Creating trippy, sun soaked, enchanting psychedelic pop in the vein of contemporary bands like Allah Las, Mystic Braves and Morgan Delt whilst creating a warm, fuzzy “lo fi” feel akin to Kurt Vile or Unknown Mortal Orchestra, headliners Syd Kemp are perfect listing for a summers night in June. Despite being a “psychedelic act” they delve into intelligent avant-garde like rock yet still without a hint of pretentiousness. Basically Syd Kemp is great and you should head down and catch him and his band.
Main support Melt Dunes are the latest signings to Strong Island Recordings and are one of the most exciting and best new bands to come out of the south-coast. Heavy acid like psych rock, Melt Dunes are basically going to melt minds. Their debut single was released on our label last week which can be purchased via digital download here. Death of the Author formed in late 2014 will no doubt bring their tinnitus inducing shoegaze-noise rock to The Edge of the Wedge. Opening the evening shall be Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss. I haven’t seen Jimmy Stuart play since the last Is Bliss show back in late 2013 when Jimmy was crowd surfing in a little sweat-pit in Bar 56 and Is Bliss intoxicated the crowd with their captivating, visceral wall of noise. Don’t expect such a “rampage”this time but Jimmy Stuart is a talented chap none the less and with influences ranging from shoegaze legends such as MBV and Slowdive to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and early Verve expect blissed out, reverb drenched haze all wrapped in gorgeous, whirling guitars.
Doors are at 8pm and the first act will be on pretty much near the time it opens. It’s £3 in advance or £4 on the door and you can purchase tickets here or you can check the Facebook event here.
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.
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:
Portsmouth now has street view enabled on Google Maps, giving an interesting perspective of the city. Good to see it was a nice, sunny day in Southsea when the car drove through. Sadly no Old Portsmouth though.
Due to possible damage due to the storm and the high winds it was possible to access the inside of the war memorial down on Southsea seafront the other day. I always though it was a solid structure but it turns out it is hollow with sunken foundations and access to the top. From the plaque inside, it looks like the ladder is for maintenance if there is a lightning strike (the top of the memorial has a huge copper globe).
No disrespect was meant by taking a very brief look inside, just architectural curiosity and finding out something not commonly known about a Southsea landmark.
We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.
This is just classic. I’ve seen a few others before. I think I saw one about accidentally using Arial instead of Helvetica, funny stuff. This one however is just hilarious, if you know the Portsmouth pub scene. More so if you’ve ever ben a student.
The Hiscock Gallery on Stanley Street behind Waitrose has some interesting new vintage style prints in stock by local artist David Thompson. They are a series of digitally drawn images reflecting upon 1930 – 1950s style advertising posters, enhanced with modern techniques. A really nice simplistic approach highlighting the main features of the subject, yet still very technical and intricate in places. The front of The Victory is awesome.
All reproductions are genuine giclée prints, printed with pigment based inks on 180gms Canon Matte paper, fade resistant for 100+ years. These “Poster” Prints are all personally signed by the artist. Head on over to Davids Gallery and take a look for yourself. Nice stuff for sure.
After purchasing a few bits of old furniture the other day, under closer inspection we found the shelving to be lined with old newspaper.
Coming from one of the sheets is this, an advert for Southsea from the Sunday People dated 21st January 1951. The best bit and also a point raised by more than one person, is the fact that in 1951 it takes 90 minutes by train from London Waterloo to Southsea the same as it does today! Fascinating that in 61 years we haven’t managed to make it any quicker.