Strong Island Co.

Music & Bands

Live Music At A Lovely Little Local Pub

The Kings Street Tavern has hosted numerous bands and performers over the years and has always had locals joining together to experience music and entertainment at its best and ‘Fusebox’ is by no means any compromise.

‘Fusebox’ bellow out the sounds of the bass and drums whilst onlookers dance about and enjoy the vibrant and sexy saxophone. This musical language of Jazz has historically brought people together and having a night and a venue in Portsmouth to do this is well received.

The band get together once a month at the Kings Street Tavern and are supported by Alice Milburn, 14 from Southsea. A young and talented student at Mayville High School, Alice was spotted by Ricky Eastman, front man and Sax player with Fusebox.

Alice takes the stage with her acoustic guitar and sings beautifully, nailing covers from the likes of, Kacey Musgraves, Duffy and Corrine Bailey Rae. Alice covers the 30min interval slot and offers a refreshing and youthful sound that is nothing but engaging.

If you fancy something fun and different, get yourself along to the next Fusebox night and bring your friends.

To find out more about Fusebox contact the Kings and follow Alice on Soundcloud, WIX or Instagram.

The King's Street Tavern

Alice Milburn


Karin Parks Launch Night

Karin Parks launched her new album, ‘Apocalypse Pop’ this past week and played to a buzzing crowd at the Hampshire Street Studios in London.

The new album includes five tracks written Dan Brown who has also worked with Massive Attack and the artist’s music has been likened to that of Bjork and The Knife.

Karin has featured on Radio One presented by Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, played the Great Escape festival and gigged at our lovely local Pie and Vinyl.

The launch night was attended by many of our favourite local music buffs including the likes of Amba and Leonie Tremain, Jerry Williams and Jeff Powell, who manages Karin. It was great to have such a  following at the event and to have all of the artists from Big Hug Management under one roof supporting each other.

When asked about her music Karin told us, ‘I’ve pretty much put my life’s difficulties into words and rhythms and the result is sometimes hard hitting. I am very proud of it and I had a lot of fun making it. I think it is actually worth checking out and it feels good.’

To find out more about Karin follow her on Facebook or on Twitter.

Karin Parks

Big Hug

Karin Park


The Business Partners At Drift This Saturday

This Saturday The Business Partners will be taking a night off from performing as Big Child Man Child, and will be playing all night upstairs in Drift Bar for Love Amplified Rendezvous!

You can find them on the decks from 11pm through til 3am. Tickets are only £5 but there are a limited number so make sure you get down there with plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

The Business Partners

The Boy I Used To Be – EP Launch At The Fat Fox

Today The Boy I Used To Be release their latest EP titled ‘Grip’ on Pie & Vinyl Records. The EP is available on digital download and also a limited edition cassette which also includes a download code. The artwork for the cover was created by Strong Island’s own Louise Bush aka Ooh La Lapin.

In celebration of the launch the band will be playing The Fat Fox on Albert Road this Thursday evening. Tickets cost a mere £3 and are available from The Fat Fox, Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl and all acts themselves.

On the night there will be support from Pie & Vinyl Records newest addition Sacha and the newly formed Indigo.

For more information on the EP check out our feature from last month HERE.


Strong Island Recordings To Release Curxes ‘Verxes’

We’re incredibly delighted and excited to announce that we’re releasing the incredible ‘Verxes’ the debut album by CURXES on our Strong Island Recordings label. It’s no secret we’ve been long time fans of the guys and their frenetic, blitz-synth pop/ post-punk stylings so we’re delighted to not just have the guys on the roster but also being able to release their album. With releases recently on our label coming from as far Glasgow to Tasmania, it’s great to release an act we love who are from our hometown of Portsmouth. ‘Verxes’ by CURXES will be available from the 4th May and we have some exciting live shows to accompany the release with that will be announced at a later date so keep your eyes peeled for that. We will also have news of the lead single ‘What You Want’ a huge sounding synth-pop meets acid house banger that screams summer anthem. We can’t wait until the ‘Verxes’ drops and we’ll have more information soon but in the mean time check out ‘Valkyrie’ & ‘Spectre’ below that will be on the album. You can also preview the fantastic artwork from the album below too.

curxes verxes

Wyldest ‘Cruel Dusk’

Over the last 18-24 months more and more bands from Portsmouth have been starting to make more weird and wonderful music finding not just acceptance locally but going on to gain acclaim from national press. One of those bands played their first show just last year in the Cellars  and since then they have mainstaged Green Man Festival, were picked out of 100’s of bands to play the Fake DIY all dayer with the likes of Hinds, Jaws and Blessa as well gain airplay on BBC Radio 1 and press from NME to Telegraph. They are of course dreampop trio Wyldest. Today saw the release of their debut single, self released and recorded by Guy Fixsen whose CV is rather astonishing where he was one of the 16 engineers used by Kevin Sheilds on the classic  ‘Loveless’. It’s fair to say the guys were in very capable hands during the recording of ‘Cruel Dusk’ which is a gorgeous, whirling dreampop gem which you can listen below.

Strong Island Recordings Label Party – Dead Rabbits, Yoofs And Melt Dunes At Edge of The Wedge

On the 7th March, Strong Island Recordings takes over The Edge of The Wedge in Southsea with three label acts being Dead Rabbits, Yoofs and newest signings Melt Dunes formerly known as ELEPHANTANTRUM plus The Boy I Used to Be DJ’s all for just £3.00. It’s our first label party of the year of what looks like is going to be the biggest year of our little label so we’d love to party with everyone celebrating a very exciting 2015 for us here at the musical arm of Strong Island. Tickets for the show can be purchased here and also in our store at 12 Highland Road. More details can also be found on the Facebook event page.

party again

Blissfields 2015 – First Wave Of Acts Announced

Yesterday the Blissfields team announced the first wave of artists who will be performing at July’s festival.

Headliners on Friday night are The Horrors and on Saturday John Grant. He will be followed by a live set from Simian Mobile Disco who will close festival. For those arriving on the Thursday you will be treated to performances from the regional winners of the Road To Blissfields competitions, as well as a performance from The Correspondents.

Other acts to watch out for include hip hop legend Grandmaster Flash, Glass Animals, Public Service Broadcasting, Dub Pistols and the awesome Cosmo Sheldrake, who you may have seen performance in the Fat Fox during Southsea Fest 2014.

Local artists included are Popobawa. They were in fact the first band to be booked for the whole festival after impressing the organisers at last years Portsmouth leg of the Road To Blissfields competiton. This was actually their first ever live performance as a band! Since then they have been putting in a host of impressive performances including supporting Kassassin Street in their sold out show at the Rifles Club.

Singer Songwriter Floella Grace will be returning, along with Big Child Man Child who are making their festival debut. Big Child Man Child recently stole the show at the Portsmouth Guide Awards with a performance of ‘Worker To The Field’ which included six showgirls from Manic Stage Productions.

The festival is being held from 2nd-4th July at Vicarage Farm, Winchester, Hampshire. Tickets are available via the website here.

Blissfields 20

Jerry Williams at The Queens Head, London ​By Chantelle Wyatt​

The Queens Head pub on Essex Road in Islington, London, hosted Jerry Williams and her beautiful voice on Wednesday night. The venue was heaving as onlookers watched in ore of the young, upcoming singer and songwriter.

All very impressive for the Portsmouth based singer songwriter who is just 19 years old. The gig was a huge success and all that attended were treated to a great show by all of the bands performing. The audience even included ‘Time Out’ magazine’s Ray Jones.

Jerry states her influences include that of Jake Bugg, Slow Club, Johnny Cash, Jamie T, David Gray and Coldplay. She is no stranger to the stage, a highlight of last year was being involved in last years Victorious Festival on both the main and acoustic stage. Jerry is making a name for herself and can certainly be described as a ‘rising star’.

Her set last night was a mix of solo acoustic session before she was joined by her full band, who included the likes of Amba Tremain, Musical Director at the Urban Vocal Group in Portsmouth and her extremely talented sister, Leonie Tremain who backed up the vocals beautifully. The collaboration was exciting, uplifting and different and people for all walks flocked in to see her.

Jerry is signed to Portsmouth based Big Hug Management and managed by Jeff Powell and has some fantastic gigs coming up, including supporting ‘Capital Fuzz’ at the Eastney Cellars alongside ‘Fat Kat’ this coming weekend. Find out more here.

Jerry is refreshing and interesting and the vibe of her music and atmosphere she creates is one to be a part of. It is great to see Portsmouth locals raising the bar with such talent and we are excited to see what more she has to offer.

You can follow Jerry on Facebook, Twitter @jerrywmusic, Instagram @jerrywilliamsmusic and YouTube.

​Words and photographs by Chantelle Wyatt​

Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams

The Unknown Soldiers & PopoBawa At The Loft This Friday

Horny Goat Music Presents spearheaded by Zach Wiggins and Amrit Sondh as an outlet for putting on shows of acts they love returns this Friday at The Loft  and features some Strong Island favourites following on from successful, packed out nights that have included the likes of Rickyfitts and The Planes.

Headliners for the show are psychedelic-doom rock Gosport outfit The Unknown Soldiers. A sand storm of psychedelia,  the sonic journey of the quartet is like being dropped in the middle of a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western.On the other side of the psychedelic realm, support comes from NME & KEXP favourites PopoBawa bringing their sun tinted, tropical, jangly psychedelic pop. We love PopoBawa over here at Strong Island. They’ve played a couple of shows for our Strong Island Recordings label so we advise you get down early for them as they’re certainly one of the most  unique bands to come from this part of the south-coast for a while. If you haven’t seen them live yet, they’re joyous, blissful, summer tinted goodness that for at least half an hour will make you forget we’re in the midst of a bitter cold winter and instead will conjure up images of dancing in the middle of a field during the summer festival season. Also playing the  show is acoustic act Tamara Jane who shall be opening the night.

Tickets for the show are £4 in advance or £5 on the door. Wrap your ears around The Unknown Soldiers and PopoBawa below. More details including where to purchase tickets can be found on the Horny Goat Presents Facebook event page here.

us the loft

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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

Transport No. 1: Portsmouth Trolleybuses

With Portsmouth’s long history and particular geography it’s public transportation systems have been varied and have changed dramatically over the years. Over the next few weeks we are going to focus briefly on some of the more interesting ones, starting with the Portsmouth Trolleybuses.

The Portsmouth Trolleybus service provided by the Portsmouth Corporation was first introduced on the 4th August 1934 and covered most of the island and up to Cosham. The trolleybuses themselves were like normal double decker buses but were powered by overhead power cables like trams. The power lines for the trolleybuses criss-crossed overhead above the roads with routes and these wires became a constant in the city’s skyline, much like modern San Francisco and Vancouver.

The Guildhall (buildings in the distance are where the council buildings are now)

The trolleybus service continued until the 27th July 1963 and then sadly the wires torn down and almost all of the trolleybuses scrapped, today only two of the trolleybuses survive. No. 201, which was in Portsmouth’s transport museum before being moved, now lives on display in Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. No. 313 was the very last trolleybus to run but now is in fully restored working order and running at East Anglia Transport Museum (see it running here).

Ready for scrap (with the old airport in the background)

You can find out about all of the trolleybuses and see more photos here and watch below to see them in action with super8 footage from the 1950s and 1960s. Still looks strange seeing traffic through Guildhall Square.

P.S. Will the Portsmouth transport museum ever find a new home?

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.

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?

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

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