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Victorious Festival 2015 Review – A Festival For The Whole Family (Part Two)

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.

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Dials Festival Line- Up Additions

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.

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Dials Festival Preview #3 Kagoule

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.

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Dials Festival Preview #2 Peluché

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.

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Dials Festival Preview #1 Hooton Tennis Club

So as you may have seen at the end of last week, 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 can 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 of various acts playing the festival.

If you read NME or listen to BBC 6 Music often you most probably have come across Dials’ headliners, Liverpool’s Hooton Tennis Club who are signed to one of the finest UK  labels being Heavenly Recordings (Toy, The Wytches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard). Hooton Tennis Club (or HTC for short) create wonderful, scuzzy, infectious indie meets sun-soaked, garage pop. It’s like Teenage Fanclub and Pavement meets the likes of King Tuff and Parquet Courts. HTC’s debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ drops at the end of August and has already gained very favourable reviews and hotly tipped by the likes of Mojo and NME.  You’re no doubt going to be hearing a lot more of these guys over the next year or two so be sure to catch them early at Dials.

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.

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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.

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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.



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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.

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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.



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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.



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Created Local – David Thompson

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.

Brickwoods

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…

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Created Local – Mikey Ayling

Good friend of Strong Island and many Southsea locals, Mikey is quite the talent. He’s always been into art, design, photography, fashion, skateboarding, music and well, let’s just say all the cool stuff. He recently began his second year in Graphic Design (Communication Design) at Portsmouth University and he’s killing it.

Matt Sills from the Wallspace Gallery has helped Mikey produce 3 prints, on sale now, of which the ants ‘Tower Block’ is a limited run of 100 Giclee print and the others, ‘Do You Dream’ and ‘Love Life’ are open edition screen prints.

Get down Albert Road and grab yourself one of Mikeys prints. Seriously, these are like hotcakes I’m sure of it. Oh, and pop past The Little Johnny Russells Market on your way and grab some bargains.

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Holy Cody Batman

Cody needs no introductions, ever. The nicest guy you’ll ever meet with a heart of a gold and the skateboard mentality of an escaped mental patient.

If you need conformation of that statement then check this photo I grabbed from some site called Facebook. Off the clubhouse roof into the flat bank down Southsea Skatepark. Nuts…

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Shortly after I posted this insane photo of Cody going nuts down the skatepark, he sent a reply. Thought i’d post it up so people that know him can have a read.

“Thank u for the nice word. I just have to say thank you to all the peeps and friends that have help and shape me as a sk8er and as a human being. The love that i have been shown over the years is so big. The friend and peeps i have met and change my life and change my path to some thing good. I truly say it with my heart that i love you all and i hope to make more friends and to have more good time. Here a shout out to all the u.k sk8 scene and the southsea boys and girl sk8er or not, much love. and to the guys like strong island crew and bored sk8 for keeping the u.k. scene going. So if u up for a sk8 drink or chill u find me in southsea. 1 love bye cody x”

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Closed at £725

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.

Head over to www.mobro.co/StrongIsland if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to www.uk.movember.com and sign up to personally raise money.

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.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Submarine Graveyard

Portsmouth’s Pounds scrapyard has been the final stop for the lives of many military vehicles over the years but most noticeable it has been the location for a submarine graveyard. So iconic was the sight of the submarines as you entered Portsmouth that they became the inspiration for the architect when designing the new swimming pool at the Mountbatten Centre.

Robin Hinson has a large collection of photos of the scrapped submarines here, with a few shown below.






Above Western Parade

The other day I got to go up on to the roof of a house on Western parade with a great view over the common, Southsea and The Solent. Always interesting seeing Southsea in new ways. Below are some photos (click on ‘Read More’ to see more plus there are more over on Forever Circling).

CHAOS – 20 years & out!

20 years!!!! That has to go in the books as Southsea longest running night? Give or take, most people you bump in to have been to a least one Chaos night, and most spent a grimy late one down the pier dancing like idiots and spilling Newcastle Brown all over the place. I’ve a lot of fond memories of the earlier days at Chaos, mostly after skating and sitting in the pub saying I’m not going. Not this week. Then 8 pints later jumping in a taxi…

If you have any stories or cool photos from Chaos we’d love to see them. Or even some of the old flyers. There have been some pretty interesting designs over the years. I’ll always remember the photo flyer of the kid on the dance floor with a girl and his ‘wandering hands’.

Jay Dunstan got in contact and had this to say:

“To coincide with our 20th Birthday on Saturday 26th November – we’re announcing that this will be the last ever “Chaos”.

Starting in 1991 at South Parade Pier, moving to the Wedgewood rooms in 2008 – we’ve been crowned the South Coasts longest running Independent Club night, winning The Guide Awards “Best club night”, “Best DJs” (x 2) and the promoters Ped & Jay being awarded a special award for contribution to the Portsmouth Music Scene. Chaos has provided Dj’s and club nights at Guilfest, Southsea Fest & Isle of Wight Festivals.

Having been a constant in our lives and the Portsmouth clubbing & music scene for 2 decades – Its been a very tough decision to stop the regular club night. But we feel that now is the best time to unplug the speakers for the last time.

Chaos was always quite literally about being ‘alternative’ – alternative in music policy, but also offering an alternative to the traditional and mainstream clubs. Our ethos was always simple – play music we liked, to people to we liked & do it prime time on a Saturday night 52 weeks a year!

Our feeling is that the current scene is very different now and although still loving every element of the gigs, festivals and guitars – a regular club night offering everything we did, now isn’t whats required. Clubbers will always want an alternative, but the music scene is now so split and venues, pubs & clubs are all competing for survival – we felt it was a good opportunity to step back, take a deep breath & raise a glass to rock n roll!

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Chaos over the last 20 years – venue managers, bar staff & door stewards – sound & light technicians – – street teams – performers & bands and of course the roll call of DJ’s past & present that have provided the soundtrack to so, so, so many silly, drunken and above all fun Saturday nights.

Hey ho, lets go!”

The 20th Birthday & Last EVER Chaos – Saturday 26th November 2011

Flyer: Chaos Flickr

Vintage Southsea Skatepark articles

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.

Local Photographer – Paul Gordon

Local photographer Paul Gordon has spent a lot of time hanging out and photographing the local skaters over the summer, both in the skatepark and out and about. The photos from the summer are now up in galleries on Paul’s website www.questx.eu. As well as the skating photos there are also loads of other galleries too including sport, portraiture, landscape, etc. Have a flick through.

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