Strong Island Co.

Music & Bands

St Valentines Day Massacre

This February see’s there turn of the third annual St Valentines Day Massacre at the Edge of the Wedge. The premise is a simple one, some of Portsmouth’s favourite bands and musicians will serenade you with their take on popular love songs.

Entry to the event will be for a small entry fee of £3 and all proceeds go to the National Foundation of Youth Music. Donations give under privileged children access to musical education and equipment which in turn will help develop their creative and social skills.

This years line up includes Anansi Boys, Battery Hens, Jesse Wyldes and the Stallions, Kelly Kemp and El Morgan, Noyo Mathis, Red Seals and other special guests.

For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

The Third Annual St Valentines Day Massacre

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 27

Charlie is back with the 27th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

Hey! Welcome back to the first show of 2015! After a super long break from the radio show, I thought it was about time to get back amongst it. This week I’ve put together a playlist of people I went to see live last year. I went to a few festivals so it could have gone on forever but I decided to stick to the standard 15 tunes and just cherry pick. Thanks to everyone who came along to the gigs with me.*

Hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed the gigs!

Cheers, Charlie x

*(Chris, Russ, Phil, Laura, Tim, Peta, Tim, Simon, Tamsin, Craig, Sam, Lizzie, Morgs, Owain, Rosie, Teddy, Sharpy, Laura, Tom, Jenty, Keith, Max, Jade, Turku, Jen, Jo, Simon) It was a blast…

01) The Doors Of Then – Tim Burgess (Islington Assembly Rooms – 16th Dec 2013)
02) Long Distance Call – Phoenix (Brixton Academy – 5th Feb 2014)
03) After The Disco – Broken Bells (Shepherds Bush Empire – 14th Mar 2014)
04) Heroine – Suede (Royal Albert Hall – 30th Mar 2014)
05) Have Love, Will Travel – The Sonics (Koko – 6th May 2014)
06) I Live On A Battlefield – Nick Lowe (Union Chapel, Islington – 10th May 2014)
07) We Came Far – Paqua (Shacklewell Arms – 1st July 2014)
08) I Walk The Earth – King Biscuit Time (Camp Bestival – 1st Aug 2014)
09) Blue Moon – Beck (Bestival – 4th Sept 2014)
10) Boney M Down – Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas (Else, Berlin – 10th Aug 2014)
11) Better Than Mine – Allah-Las (Oval Space, London – 24th Sept 2014)
12) It’s Gotta Be About Me – The Jim Jones Revue (The Forum – 4th Oct 2014)
13) Second Chance – Caribou (Koko – 8th Oct 2014)
14) Wanderlust – Wild Beasts (Academy, Liverpool – 30th Oct 2014)
15) We Are Unhappy – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (St John At Hackney Church – 19th Nov 2014)

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 27

Beats & Swing Present… Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys

This first Beats & Swing event of 2015 will be 20th February at the Eastney Cellars. Headlining the evening will be Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys.

Armed with a saxophone, loop pedals and practically whatever he can get his hands on; Mr.Woodnote creates every track live, whilst Lil Rhys drops his distinctive vocal flavours into the mix.

The duo have headlined here in the UK as well as internationally and are regulars at Glastonbury, Shambala, Beatherder, the Edinburgh Fringe. After earning a global following through their live shows, album sales and videos they are becoming a positive fixture in the underground music scene. Never playing the same set twice they carry on from strength to strength.

Support on the night comes from The Scandal and James Tattington aka Fugitive Orchestra.

Beats & Swing

Strong Island Recordings Label Party & New Additions To The Roster

At Strong Island Recordings we’re hosting our first show of the year on the 7th March at Edge of the Wedge where for the first time ever, all acts, including DJ’s are part of our Strong Island Recordings family so we’re very excited.

Playing the show is shoegaze, psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits, psych-pop Bournemouth duo Yoofs who we released their debut album ‘Something’ on our label last year and brand new additions to our label, Melt Dunes now formerly known as ELEPHANTANTRUM.

Our minds were blown by the local Southampton quartet so we decided we had to have them on our label. Crossing between brooding, doom ridden psychedelia and fuzzed out garage rock, Melt Dunes are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Catch them at our label party on the 7th March where entry is a mere £3.00 and includes The Boy I Used To Be deejaying which should be fun. You can find more about the event here. All photos below are by Toby Jezard who kindly photographed our cash-free, food donation label party in December.





The Cribs After Show Party/DJ Set

Next month The Cribs are returning to Portsmouth to play a sold out show at The Wedgewood Rooms. Little Johnny Russells are hosting an after show party with guest DJ Ross Jarman of the Cribs performing a DJ set.

All the information that you need to know if on the poster below. It’s sure to be a good night so get down there early!

Cribs DJ Set at LJR

Electric Arms – Synchronising

Local band the Electric Arms are a 4-piece band consisting of guitars, harmonies, percussion and a bass drum. They live in Southsea and have played pubs, clubs and festivals in the area. Originally a folk inspired combo, playing acoustically. Their sound has since evolved to incorporate indie, rock and folk influences.

The band consists of Dan Grocott (Guitar, kick drum and harmonies), George Regan (Bass, harmonies), Joe Roberts (percussion, vocals) and Chris McKenzie (guitar, harmonies).

The band have just released their latest track ‘Synchronising’ which has been taken from their upcoming EP. The track was produced by the awesome Sam McCarthy as well as being mixed and mastered by hugely talented Sam Higginbotham.

To stay up to date with all things Electric Arms you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter @ElectricArmsUK, SoundCloud and Instagram @electricarms.

You can catch Electric Arms playing the Honest Politician at the upcoming Icebreaker music festival at the end of the month. You can find out more about the festival HERE.

Electric Arms

Kassassin Street At The Wedgewood Rooms

As of today you can get your hands on tickets for the upcoming Kassassin Street gig at the Wedgewood Rooms on 4th April.

Kassassin Street have established themselves as one of the best bands in Portsmouth after a hugely successful 2014. They will be joined on the night by local rising stars, and my pick for 2015, Big Child Man Child.

Tickets for the show are available for £7 from the Wedgewood Rooms website HERE.

Kassassin Street by Jon Neil
Photo by Jon Neil

‘Centre Straight Atom’ performed live at Casemates Rehearsal Studio.


With this miserable weather we are currently experiencing we could all do with a good reason to leave the house and with Icebreaker you have just the excuse. The event will feature over fifty local bands across six venues over one day. Ice Breaker takes place on 31st January and is brought to you by Pilot Promotions & It’s a Sin.

Tickets for the day are priced at £10 and will allow you access to The Wedgewood Rooms, Edge of the Wedge, The Fat Fox, The Atrium, The Deco & The Honest Politician. You will need to exchange your ticket for a wristband from Al’Burrito before you can gain entry to any of the venues. You can get hold of your tickets via the Wedgewood Rooms HERE.

The new annual event features the headliners The Butterfly Culture, Deluxe Flamingos, Seething Akira, Matt Jarvis, Belligerence & Electric Arms. Other highlights include Bellyeyesmile and The Day of the Rabblement.

To stay up to date on all things Icebreaker check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Ice Breaker

Apply to Play Blissfields

With New Years Eve out of the way, people are already looking at the summer festival season and how to get involved this year. If your interested in performing at Blissfields at Winchester in July you can apply to get on the line-up in two different ways…the first is by getting in touch with the festival with an artist application online. This year Blissfields are also looking for applications for spoken word and comedy acts too.

As in previous years, another way you can get to play Blissfields is via the always popular Road to Blissfields event. We’ve been involved with this battle of the bands like event for a bit and this year sees it way bigger and better. First up, the event is now happening at three different national locations: Stoke, Manchester and Portsmouth. Judges on each night will consist of the festival’s organisers and representatives, music writers and journalists, radio presenters, promoters and industry-heads. Winners will be decided on the night. The Portsmouth event will be held at the Kings Theatre in a very special location on Thursday 9th of April.

We’ll have more details about Road to Blissfields (Hampshire) soon, for now if you would like to apply you can HERE. The Form will be open for entries until the 28th of February and finalists will be contacted with two weeks of the application closing.

Blissfields Main Stage Best

Blissfields 2015 Logo

Strong Island Recordings – Life Model ‘Lilt’ Release Special Edition T-Shirt With 2 Track Single

Hot on the heels of the December release by Strong Island Recordings of ‘Here Comes Yesterday’ by Tasmanian psych-pop 6 piece band Violet Swells (which you can listen to HERE or on Spotify and buy on iTunes) is news of the first 2015 release.

The 8th official release by Strong Island Recordings will be ‘Lilt’ by Glaswegian shoegaze/dreampop band Life Model, out to buy from the 2nd of February and can be listened to below. As a special edition of the single the label is producing a limited edition ‘Lilt’ tee with the artwork screen printed with soft inks on a premium white t-shirt. The tee comes with a download code for not only ‘Lilt’ but also exclusively the b-side track ‘Enough (To Know)’.

Before the release date the tee is available as a pre-order on the Strong Island Co online store, with all pre-orders and codes to be sent out after the release date of the single. The tee will also be available in-store from the 2nd too.

You can pre-order your tee and the single plus b-side HERE for only £15.

Strong Island Recordings - Life Model 'Lilt' Release Special Edition T-Shirt With 2 Track Single

Life Model - Photo by Rachele Dunn
Life Model – Photo by Rachele Dunn

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Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

Following Toby Taylor on Bored

If like me you can’t get enough of skateboarding, but just don’t know where to dig everything out from that there world wide webby, then local top gun Toby Taylors twitter feed for Bored of Southsea will fill all your needs in the world of local and international skateboarding. Jump on Tobys feed HERE. Check Tobys Tre Flip at the underpass courtesy of Tom Timewaster.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep 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 our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to 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

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




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