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Music & Bands

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 30

Charlie is back with 30th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This week I’m going to fill the whole show with hip-hop. I’m not claiming to be an expert, I’ve actually always been turned off by know-it-alls and snobs and the people who’ve influenced my love of music the most have been open-minded and inviting, rather than exclusive and elitist. In turn, I like it when someone comes at a genre with their own take, which is what I’ve tried to do here. Hip-hop has played as big a part in my musical upbringing as any other style of music and like most people who have a deep-rooted love of music, it’s signposted many different parts of my life.

I hope you enjoy my selection, there’s some really obvious staples and the odd one you might not have heard before. I kick it off with what’s been called the first ever rap record, but in keeping with my ethos to music, who gives a toss as long as it gets you in the gut and makes you feel.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Here Comes The Judge – Pigmeat Markham
02) Back To The Hip Hop – The Troubleneck Brothers
03) Just A Friend – Biz Markie
04) Ping Pong – Antipop Consortium
05) Blue Flowers – Dr Octagon
06) 1-800 Suicide – Gravediggaz
07) N.Y. State Of Mind – Nas
08) She Watch Channel Zero?! – Public Enemy
09) Deception – Blackalicious
10) Peter Piper – Run DMC
from Sam’s Selection Box :
11) You Know My Steez – Gang Starr
12) Sons Of 3rd Bass – 3rd Bass
13) My Philosophy – Boogie Down Productions
14) Straight Outta Compton – NWA
15) Fallin’ – De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 30

Stage Times Announced For Common People Festival 2015

The 2015 Common People Festival stage times have now been released and what a line up there is to look forward too! The countdown clock is now ticking and we are but days away from a bank holiday weekend of fun and frivolity.

Common People 2015

The whole weekend is packed with bands and activities to kick start our summer with the likes of Fatboy Slim, De La Soul, Dead Rabbits, Grace Jones and Band of Skulls playing.

Don’t forget that the ‘Day of the Dead Cocktail Bus’ was recently released and is also set to have an incredible line up with entertainment coming from numerous artist’s including, Adam Baxter, Owen B, Jack Harris, Soul 45, Sam Eynon and South Beach Recycling/Midnight Riot Records.

Another exciting release is that of the ‘After Dark’ Sessions which will include Rob Da Bank and hosts such as Jordan Mckinlay, Jody Hannan and Luca Pilato.

Common People 2015

Common People 2015

The festival is very soon to kick off, starting this Saturday 23rd of May on the beautifully leafy Southampton Common. Music will set off at 11am on numerous stages and festivities will run right through until 22:45pm.

The weekend will come to a close with a firework finale in true Rob Da Bank style and the Southampton sky will be lit up with iridescent brilliance and colour.

Rob Da Bank

Follow the Facebook page for more news and updates or visit the Website for build up news. Tickets are still available on Ticketline so be sure to pick up yours! See you there!


Stand Up & Rock! Jasper Carrott And The Bev Bevan Band At The Kings Theatre

Jasper Carrott’s Stand Up & Rock did exactly what it said on the tin last night at the King’s Theatre in lovely Southsea.

Jasper Carrott

Jasper is back touring, mic in hand along with one of his best mates, Bev Bevan, who was part of the infamous band ELO.

Rockin Berries lead singer, Geoff Turton, Celtic Rock Band, Quill’s lead singer ‘Joy’ and the Bev Bevan band belted out old classics including covers of Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and Marvin Gaye.

The unique show not only revived some totally wondrous old songs but also got some fantastic musicians back on stage performing.


Jasper performed in Portsmouth as a young comedian and admits it is still one of his favourite spots to visit, also admitting that it sparks some incredible memories of the very stage he performed on last night and urges the community to keep the theatre alive and looked after by supporting it with bums on seats and small donations.

Jasper Carrott

It is great for one of our local historic venues to be so highly spoken of and visited by such brilliant entertainers.

Follow the show on Facebook or visit the official Website for tour dates and show information.

Portsmouth Live! Concerts as Part of Americas Cup Weekend inc. Bastille, Spandau Ballet & More

Excitement builds for the upcoming long weekend (July 23rd to 26th) of Americas Cup racing in the Solent just off of Southsea beach with more details of concerts that will be happening each night once the sails are lowered and the yachts are moored up. One of the main nights for Portsmouth Live! will be Saturday night with a heavyweight lineup by the Victorious guys featuring Bastille, Spandau Ballet, McBusted & Carly Rae Jepsen. On the Thursday and Friday evenings will be the South Coast Proms, with The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines taking the stage for a two-hour concert plus a Naval Sunset Ceremony by the Royal Marines Corps of Drums.

Tickets for Portsmouth Live are available in 30 minutes (10am) and then until Tuesday 26th May. If you have already booked your ticket to the America’s Cup World Series event and and live in the city with a PO1 to PO6 postcode you will be able to access an ‘early bird’ opportunity exclusive to The News to secure your Saturday night ticket via:

Tickets will then go on sale to the general public after 10am on Tuesday 26th May. For pricing details visit the News website HERE.

Bastille at Blissfields, photo by Si Gross.

Photos from Curxes Album Release Party with Strong Island Recordings

As you will hopefully know by know (we’ve dropped enough hints) Strong Island Recordings‘ latest release is ‘Verxes’, an album by Southsea/Brighton band Curxes. Last night we had a bit of an album release party over at the Cellars in Eastney with The Boy I used to Be, Wyldest and Curxes on stage. A huge thank you to everyone who came down to support Curxes and the label, means a lot to see a big turnout like last night. Some photos from last night are below, you can see loads more on the Strong Island Recordings Facebook page and the Strong Island Flickr.

As you may also know, today Strong Island Recordings and Pie & Vinyl will for the first time have a stage at Brighton’s Great Escape Festival. If you’re heading down today to check out the alternative stages be sure to drop by Bleach where you’ll be able to catch label friends and family Curxes, Gang, The Boy I Used to Be, Melt Dunes, Rickyfitts, Theo Verney plus Man Made, Morning Smoke, SASHA & Flyying Colours. Check Facebook for all the details HERE.

Portsmouth Beer Festival – This Weekend

This weekend the Portsmouth Guildhall will be hosting the second annual Portsmouth Beer Festival.

The festival will feature plenty of beers brewed from all around the UK. The team behind this weekends Portsmouth Beer Festival have put out the list of beers that you can expect to see at the festival this weekend but please note that this is subject to availability.

Thornbridge, Saltaire, Mad Squirrel, Tiny Rebel, Northern Monk Brew Co., Magic Rock, Great Heck Brewing, Beavertown, Dark Star, Titanic, Ilkley Brewery, Gipsy Hill, Arbor, Wild Beer, Vibrant Forest, Burning Sky, Liverpool Organic, Brass Castle, Naked Beer, Staggeringly Good, Wychwood, Sunny Republic, Siren Craft Brew, Milk Street, Triple FFF, Mallinsons, Longdog, Sharp’s, Irving & Co., Bowman Ales, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Southsea Brewing Co., Upham, Hopback Brewey, Suthwyk Ales, Langham, Sixpenny Brewery, Joseph Holt, Exmoor Ales, Thwaites, Arkells, The Great Yorkshire Brewery, Merrie City, Belhaven, Marston’s, Ringwood, Belma and Bank’s.

There will also be plenty of awesome food available along with live music from bands including the Southsea Alternative Choir, Jerry Williams, Fleetingwood Mac, Bog Rolling Stones and Elasticated Waste Band with many more to be announced soon!

Tickets are now only available from Meat & Barrel, Leopold Tavern, Brewhouse and Portsmouth Guildhall box office and online.

You can follow the event and receive updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Portsmouth Beer Festival 2015

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

Portsmouth Beer Festival – May 2015

On Friday 15th & Saturday 16th May the Portsmouth Guildhall will be hosting the second annual Portsmouth Beer Festival.

The festival will feature plenty of beers brewed from all around the UK, including a variety of pale ales and golden beers which are perfect for the summer months ahead. Not forget there will also be more of my personal favourites, the darker stouts and porters. Expect to see beers from the likes of Ilkley, Dark Star and Tiny Rebel as well as local brewers The Brewhouse, Havant and Irving & Co to name just a few.

Co organiser Ben Miles says, “We’re proud that The Portsmouth Beer Festival is back for a second year after the sell-out weekend in May and December 2014. A celebration of craft beers and cask ales, alongside a selection of ciders, draught beer and delicious street food all set to the backdrop of more fantastic live entertainment including the Southsea Alternative Choir, Bog Rolling Stones and Elasticated Waste Band with many more to be announced soon!

During the festival the pub games room will again be open and the Saturday evening session will feature prize giveaways as well as a traditional meat raffle with a modern twist sponsored by Bransbury Park Butchers. Keep an eye out on Strong Island next week as I will be featuring some of the great live music you can expect to hear over the weekend.

Tickets are priced at £10 per person per session (some venues subject to booking fee) and include a souvenir beer glass, programme and beer token. Tickets are available online at, Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office, Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle – Southsea, The Brewhouse, Leopold Tavern and from our own Strong Island HQ at 12 Highland Road (open Thursday-Saturdays).

The festival is fast earning a reputation as one of the best events in the city. If you have never been before then I encourage you to get some tickets for yourself and some friends and check it out for yourself.

You can follow the event and receive updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages.


Portsmouth Beer Festival

The Pie & Vinyl Poster Show: Gig Posters from Around the World at Portsmouth Guildhall

This Summer, Portsmouth Guildhall plays host to an exhibition by Pie & Vinyl of framed works of contemporary studios from all over the world: North, Central and South America, Europe and across the UK. The gig-poster as a medium has changed over the years. From letter-pressed bills listing performers much like boxing match promotionals, to lithographed variety show paste-ups, to screen-printed works of dazzling psychedelia, the roots of the gig-poster lie in advertising – tantalising and bold they fought for your attention, with the sole goal of securing ticket sales. Punk then tore up the rules with the xerox and ransom note collage and with the economy of modern reproduction techniques came a slide in the craft of the poster, if not in their “collectability”…

…fast forward a decade or more and poster design and production began to cater for the collector – many contemporary studios design work with the goal of creating a popular culture artefact, a memento of a time and its sound and the scene growing from it – something to be taken home and treasured.

The Pie & Vinyl Poster Show in both the Cafe and the Zodiac Gallery contains work including numerous styles, techniques, colours and themes and was curated by Petting Zoo. The posters are on display now and runs until Tuesday 29th September, access is during the normal Guildhall opening hours and is free.

Some of the posters are from private collections but many of the framed exhibition prints are available for sale (via the Guildhall Box Office, collection once the exhibition has finished). Pie & Vinyl are also selling multiples from their shop.

Tomorrow sees the special opening event, open to all, from 7pm to 8:30pm. Pie & Vinyl will be DJing too! Cash bar available.

Pie & Vinyl Poster Show

The Pie & Vinyl Poster Show: Gig Posters from Around the World at Portsmouth Guildhall

The Pie & Vinyl Poster Show: Gig Posters from Around the World at Portsmouth Guildhall

Less Than Two Weeks Until Common People Festival

The brand new two day adventure is soon to be upon us and festival up dates are getting even more exciting with the recent release of the Day of the Dead Cocktail Bus.

Josie Da Bank and her team of artistic elves have spent months and months designing what is set to be the coolest bus bar and a central point of the festival with local Portsmouth, Astoria DJ’s hosting. The bus will serve a selection of colourful concoctions to sip whilst getting down to the likes of Jack harris, Owen B, Adam Baxter, So Positive Sounds, Midnight Riot Records and Sam Eynon as well as many, many more.


A reminder of headline acts that will be literally gracing the stage include, the force of nature personality and performer, Grace Jones who is soon to release a brand new album and will as always show effortless panache on stage. She is absolutely not to be missed!

Fatboy Slim and his classic tunes will also be making an appearance and will have festival goers raving until the early hours.

Other treats to look forward too will include performances from the winners of the BBC Sound of 2015 and an enormous array of fantastic fun and daytime diversions to amuse and entertain everybody who attends.

Tickets are available from Ticketline from £30 and reductions for children and teens.

To stay up to date on all things Common People you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter @cpeoplefest and Instagram @commonpeoplefestival.


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Created Local – Marc B.B

Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.

“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”

Be sure to check out Marcs website for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.

Vintage Southsea Postcards

You know we love a bit of vintage nostalgia here at Strong Island, and these old postcards of Clarence Pier are no exception. I always pick them up at the Car Boot sale opposite Clarence when I see one. When does the Car Boot start up again? Got to be soon. Answers on a postcard…



Welcome to Southsea

Ian Parmiter recently found this photo at a sign makers on one of his many travels. A Facebook debate has already begun as to it’s original whereabouts. Any ideas?

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video

The guys over at have put together a nice little edit from the Bike Ride on April 4th. It really shows the vibe of the day well. Good times. I better get on the phone and book the Police escort for August.

Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.

Local Photographer – Duncan Allan

We recently mentioned local photographer Duncan Allan’s framing skills but we also want to profile Duncan’s creative photography too. With a wealth of knowledge in different cameras and experimentation in many different techniques (both with film and with Photoshop and Lightroom), Duncan has a strong collection of images from the local area and all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites but they are just the tip of the iceberg, to see more check Duncan’s Flickr.

Red Scale

Fog Lights!

I love fog, even more so at night time because all the street lights are on and it’s like this weird eerie zombie town. People appear out of no where and even cars creep up on you before you notice them in the deathly silence of the fog. I watched, or should I say waited, as the the Hovercraft came over from The Isle of Wight. I could hear the roar of the engines for five minutes till I could actually see the craft as it pulled on to shore. Spooky.

My little point and shoot isn’t much cop in low light fog but there are a few more over on my Flickr

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.

Created Local – Inksquatch

Here’s an interesting little blog I stumbled upon. Inksquatch are a collective of Portsmouth based artists, illustrators and designers that comprises of four people working on anything from books, maps, sculptures, bags, badges, you name it from the sound of things. Check out their BLOG and WEBSITE for more info.


Southsea Flats by Cat

Old Southsea Skate Photos

Check the Skate Library for the first of a growing list of old Southsea photos including this one of Lance Mountain grinding the Law Courts back in 1988 (photo by Tim Leighton-Boyce).

Strong Island Clothing Co.