Strong Island Co.


Dials Festival Line-Up Announced

Strong Island and Strong Island Recordings are very proud and excited to announce our involvement in the up coming, brand-new festival Dials Festival taking place across various venues along Albert Road on the 3rd October as well as being able to announce the line-up so far. After the sad news of Southsea Fest taking a year off, we banded together with some familiar faces including The Wedgewood Rooms, Pie & Vinyl, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club and seminal blog Breaking More Waves to still be able to bring a community based, multi-venue, music festival to the city.

Dials Festival will take place across five venues along Albert Road being The Wedgewood Rooms, Edge of the Wedge, Little Johnny Russells, Al Burrito and The Loft. The aim of the festival isn’t to replicate Southsea Fest but retain its ethos of a strong, community festival bringing some of the finest new national acts along with some of the finest acts from around the area to Albert Road for one day. There will be no specifically branded stages at Dials Festival but five venues with a diverse, eclectic mix of acts from day to the evening.

The festival will feature over 40 acts across the day with Hooton Tennis Club signed to Heavenly Records (Toy, King Gizzard, The Wytches) headlining the festival plus the likes of Kagoule, Black HoneyLyza Jane, Chloe Black, Alice Jemima, Broken Hands, Storms, Morning Smoke, Many Things, Bones, Peluche, Walleater and many more coming down to Southsea along with some of the finest local acts including New Desert Blues, Jerry Williams, Popobawa, The boy i used to be, Bellyeyesmile, Rickyfitts, Battery Hens, Dead Rabbits, Curxes, Wyldest and loads more splendid acts from the area. The full line-up of acts confirmed so far can be found below the article.

Tickets are on sale now at a very limited early-bird price of just £15. That’s £15 for 40 plus acts across five venues from day to evening with some of the finest new acts in the UK.  Tickets can be purchased at the Kings Theatre here, in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code as well as The Wedgewood Rooms. There will also be details of an after-party also which your Dials ticket will gain you access to. This is the biggest musical event we have ran yet so we can’t wait for October 3rd. We hope to see many of you there as us and our Dials team bring a new musical venture to the city.

Dials_outline_export-01 (1) (1)

Strong Island Recordings At The Southsea Bandstand

This Saturday Strong Island Recordings takeover the Southsea Bandstand with one of the loudest line-ups the bandstand has seen yet.

An afternoon of space rock/psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop is on offer with Southsea cult legends and Cardinal Fuzz signings You’re Smiling Now But we’ll All Turn Into Demons headlining the day plus gnarly noise rock meets garage rock and post-punk Southsea favourites, Red Seals, psychedelic doom-rock outfit Unknown Soldiers who are like being dropped into the middle of  a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western plus Jimmy Stuart of Strong Island Recordings’ Is Bliss who is an immense talent.

The day kicks off from around 12.30pm so head down early.  In the event it rains off we will be heading to The Edge of the Wedge, if in doubt keep an eye on the Strong Island Recordings Twitter page @StrongIslandRec. More details of the event can be found here.

amp sir

Strong Island Recordings Update – Shows & Releases

It’s a rather busy, yet very exciting period over at Strong Island Recordings in July and beyond so I’ve decided to condense as much as possible into one post. First up tonight, Strong Island Recordings along with Torn Speaker also, takeover the Cellars one last time where we bring label family Gang,  super buzzy, power-grunge pop, London trio, Puppy plus local cult favourites Red Seals & Protein Window down and all for just £4. Doors are at 8pm with bands kicking off pretty much from opening time, so head down early.

We also have not one but two release announcements which we’can’t wait to get out there. Last Thursday we announced the release of garage/surf rock, Brighton trio Strange Cages with their single ‘Pony’ which premiered over on Artrocker. ‘Pony’ is out 20th July and the artwork was designed by local illustrator, Sam Brandon who can be found on Instagram as @Skever.

This Monday we also had another new release premiere over on Clash magazine with scuzzy Londoner’s, Maui ‘Kiss Chase’, a sun soaked yet, somewhat grimey indie banger set for release on the 27th July. We’re beyond stoked to have both join our ever growing label family. We’ll no doubt have both down in Southsea sometime.

In other news, we’re also hosting a bandstand on the 1st August with a line-up probably not suited for the bandstand but none the less it should be fun. We’ll be announcing the line up for it over the coming days but be sure to keep the day free in your diaries. In the event it rains off, we’re kindly allowed to use the Edge of the Wedge. We have even more release news soon so if you want to keep up to date, checkout out website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.

gang bleach maui kiss chase strange cages pony

Strong Island Recordings & Torn Speaker Present Gang, Puppy, Red Seals & Protein Window At The Cellars

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.

gang  bleach sigang


Battery Hens, Gloo & Freak At The Loft On Saturday For Horny Goat Presents

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.

battery hens 1

Torn Speaker Presents Syd Kemp, Melt Dunes, Death of the Author & Jimmy Stuart At Edge of The Wedge

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 RecordingsMelt 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.

melt dunes sir bleach


jimmy sir

Strong Island Recordings Release ‘Epicaricacy’ By Melt Dunes

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.

melt dunes sir

melt dunes post

Curxes Album Launch Party With Support From Wyldest & The Boy I Used To Be

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.

poster verxes


Strong Island Recordings X Pie & Vinyl At The Great Escape Preview Part Two

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:

Theo Verney

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.

Flyying Colours 

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.

Man Made

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.

Morning Smoke

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.

alt escape final

Strong Island Recordings x Pie & Vinyl At The Great Escape Festival Preview Plus Locals Part One

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.

Melt Dunes

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.

The Boy I Used to Be

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.

Kassassin Street

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.

Jerry Williams

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.

poster TGE

Next »


Hitler’s reaction to The Registry closing down.

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.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.



Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on again from the photos of the Seafront and the Paddling Pool after The Bandstand and Tennis Courts the previous week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

The Pavilion on Clarence Pier looks amazing. No more donkey rides though. Shame.


The now defunct Brickwoods Brewery was Portsmouth’s largest local brewer before it’s final demise in 1983. Many old pubs (and many houses that are converted old pubs) still have tiles and signs with the old brewery’s name on so in a way, it still lives on, just in the city’s background. Keep your eyes peeled. You can find out more about the company here too.

I came across these amazing beermats via Google, some interesting designs. Notice the sun motif…


Vintage Skatepark Photographs

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 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.

Local Photographer – Diana Goss

A familiar and friendly face around Albert Road, Diana Goss is a freelance creative portrait photographer with her own studio and whilst based in Southsea is often found all over Portsmouth as well as Bournemouth and Brighton too. Specialising in both Fashion and Boudoir work (see, and going by her website ( and Flickr obviously enjoys any type of people portraiture both in the studio and outside at such events as Goodwood Revival, music shows, weddings and even equine work. Not only that but you most likely have seen a few of her common props around town, a 1960’s Bentley, a 1955 Oldsmobile in red with red leather seats and a 1960’s red Pontiac!

Some of Diana’s work is available in Albert Road in Matt Sills’s Wallspace gallery (you may have also picked up a few free prints during the last Albert Road day) and if you’re interested in any commission work such as model shoots and portfolios, event photography or are interested in modelling for one of Diana’s photography projects give Diana a shout via email.

This is a cross processed film shot Diana took of the Wallspace Gallery with her namesake camera, a Lomo Diana and below that are a few more examples of her work:

XPRO Gallery

Southsea Rock Gardens circa 1985

More random finds. It’s a shame to say I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Rock gardens looking this nice. Not sure how often upkeep fits into the Council agenda these days. Back in 1985 however it looks amazing. Click the photo for a bigger view.

Photo : Dom Walton

Inside the Memorial

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.

Ladder Up




Southsea Strong Island Celebrates

I just can’t find the right images for this! Strong Island is 1 whole year old this Sunday the 27th. Time surely does fly hey. Meet us for a beer if you’re out and about. I think there’s something going on Albert Road this Sunday too…


and on another note…


Old Cycle Race

At some point between the wars this was taken during a cycle race at the Alexandra Park velodrome up in Tipner, which is still there.

Cycle Race
(Click on image to see a larger version)

Strong Island Clothing Co.