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Music & Bands

SABRE – Animals (Live at Middle Street)

Portsmouth Universities Middle Street Recording Studios played host to local band SABRE recently. Working with friends The Boy I Used To Be they produced ‘Animals’. Have a listen, I think you’ll agree it was time well spent. Animals is a catchy tune which reminds me of modern up tempo bands like Foals and Two Door Cinema club but with Brit Pop inspired guitars.

You can download the track for free over at the bands SoundCloud page HERE.

SABRE consist of Andy Hamilton (Guitar and vocals), Lewis Hemming (Guitar), Samuel Fretwell (Bass), Sam Harper (Synth) and Brandon Squibb (Drums). Find out more about the band on Facebook, SoundCloud and Twitter @SABREuk

Joe Watson from Attack! Vipers! on BBC Click

The BBC’s weekly technology programme Click last week had a feature on a piece of software that converts voice into the sounds of music instruments. The segment, recorded at the BBC’s Live Lounge included four singers from different genres, including Southsea’s very own Joe Watson from Attack! Vipers!. The segment is about 13 minutes in and can be watched on BBC’s iPlayer HERE, well worth a watch (just to see Joe getting his scream on). Good work Joe!

Competition – Win Two Tickets To See Kassassin Street + Curxes + Juice

Friday 3rd May the Wedgewood Rooms will be hosting a great night of music featuring Kassassin Street, Curxes and Juice. The guys at Kassassin Street have been generous enough to donate a pair of tickets for you, the Strong Island readers.

All you have to do to win these tickets are to email your answer to the question below to by midnight on Sunday 27th. The winner will be announced here on Monday 28th.

Q – The band are named after the road in Eastney, name one of the three roads which junction with it?

Find out more about the event on the Facebook HERE.

Kassassin Street + Curxes + Juice + Longlive DJs

Juice ‘Numbskull’ from Butchy Davy on Vimeo.

TONIGHT – Strong Island Recordings Presents Drunken Sailor 18th April At Edge Of The Wedge

On Friday 18th April Strong Island Recordings presents ‘Drunken Sailor’ at Edge of the Wedge and we bring you a handful of some of our favourite up and coming acts today plus Champagne Justice deejays all for a mere £4.00 entry.

Arrows of Love
London grunge/art punk outfit Arrows of Love whirl up an absolute riot during every one of their live sets. The 5 piece are a total adrenaline rush where the entire venue is the stage and the show is an interactive experience and one you never know what’s going to happen except from utter chaos and absolute brilliance. Kerrang labelled them as one of the most engaging new bands plus NME, Front, Fake DIY, Artrocker, John Kennedy of XFM,Fake DIY, Lauren Laverne and many many more have also shown their support for AOL and now they return to Portsmouth with their debut album set to be unleashed around the same time too on 1234 Records.

Rickyfitts as a band are still very much in their infancy, forming just a few months ago yet they could well be one of the best new live bands you will see today. The duo bring blistering, sludge filled thrash punk, heavy psych, grunge rock . Despite being the nicest guys you could meet, they play with much ferociousness & are absolute merciless to their instruments, brutally pummelling them into near mush. Check out ‘Slouching Toward Nirvana‘ we released on our ‘Treacherous Tides’ compilation.

The Hundredth Anniversary 
Brighton’s The Hundredth Anniversary cross the boundaries of ethereal, indie, dreampop & shoegaze. Wrapped in intense, whirling guitars & saturated in enchanting, reverberated vocals from Eleanor Rudge, 100th anniversary sound is beautifully atmospheric, mesmerising and frankly utter brilliant. Defiantly one’s to watch in which the likes of NME are also agreeing. Check them out for yourself plus their Daytrotter session they did very recently.

Grand choruses, tortured vocals, dark atmospheric guitars shadowing and full on fuzz, this quartet distort the lines of doom psychedelia, post punk, surf & grunge. Whilst its’ tough to liken a new outfit, so far Fever remind us of a mix of The Horrors, Arctic Monkeys and Eagulls. With Chris Pedan of Wild Smiles producing them and also being touted as one’s to watch by the NME your immune system will soon too give into Fever.

The Boy I Used To Be
Sun drenched, joyous garage pop with elements of psychedelia and folk, The Boy I Used To Be is like sipping a musical cocktail of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cloud Nothings, Splashh & Kurt Vile. The revamped sound of The Boy I Used To Be started out as a bedroom project of Edward Perry’s & the recordings very quickly headed to our label where we signed ‘I Can’t Stand’ for our compilation 30 minutes after it was recorded. Certainly one Portsmouth’s finest musical talents.

It’s a bank holiday so come down and enjoy Easter the way it’s supposed to be, partying with some of the raddest new bands in the U.K all for a paltry four pound entry.

Kassassin Street ‘Talk in Riddles’ Remix by Longlive

This week saw a new remix of Kassassin Street’s anthemic ‘Talk in Riddles’ get dropped on YouTube, giving the song a different direction with a loose, baggy feel. The remix is by Charlie at Longlive (whose new Strong Island x Longlive podcast episode 15 drops tomorrow, by the way) and can be listened to below, with motion graphics by Tom & Henry at the always awesome Golden Wolf.

Always love it when local talent collaborate and this is a fine example of how good it can be.

Longlive DJs Charlie and Morgan will be supporting Kassassin Street plus Curxes and Juice on the 3rd May at The Wedgewood Rooms, find out more at the Facebook event.

Kassassin Street

Female vocalist wanted

Local band Breakers are looking for a young female vocalist. The band is made up of Simon Brookes and Les Black, who are no strangers to the music scene, Simon previously being in both Bonemachine and Music to Drive Tanks To, and Les in Islander.

Though a good voice is essential, look and presence are equally as important as vocal talent for this project.

Music will be guitar, keyboard (synth), bass and drums-based.

Simon says: “In old money we are looking for an indie sound but I guess you might even call it post-indie nowadays.”

Email Simon Brookes for details at 

The Camp Bestival Travelling Circus Tour

Celebrating Camp Bestival 2014’s Circus theme, Rob and Josie Da Bank will be beginning their Camp Bestival Travelling Circus Tour in Portsmouth.

Starting in our fair city of Portsmouth, each event will feature the Camp Bestival DJ crew, special guest DJs and a whole host of different amazing circus-themed activities, competitions, face painting and arts & crafts guaranteed to entertain all the family. There’s no excuse not to round up the kids and come along to check them out!

The tour will kick off in at the Aspex Gallery with Camp Bestival Ringmaster Rob da Bank behind the wheels of steel with cool music for cool kids, a supersized ghetto-blaster, art workshops, face-painting, food & drinks, fancy dress, candyfloss and other surprises! This will be a party for the whole family.

Anyone attending the events will also have the special opportunity to purchase Camp Bestival 2014 tickets at face value without any booking fees or postage.


Photos from
 The Camp Bestival Travelling Circus Tour

Final Day for Victorious Festival Early Bird Tickets

Today is the final day you can pick up early bird tickets for this summer’s Victorious Festival. Despite the festival being bigger and better this year an early bird ticket means you get your tickets at the same ridiculously low price as last year, only £15 a day for adults, with children at only £6 a day (under 5s go free). You can order your early bird tickets sharpish from the Victorious Festival website or pick them up in person from Little Johnny Russells in Albert Road, The Belle Isle Southsea and The Belle Isle Chichester.

Victorious Festival

Victorious Festival (9)

Fuzz Tones at The Atrium on Friday 18th April

Fuzz Tones is a new night with DJ LongDistanceDan playing the best in 60′s psychedelia – rock, pop, soul etc, Garage rock, rhythm & blues and other oddities. The first Fuzz Tones night is happening on Friday 18th of April (Good Friday) at The Atrium on Albert Road from 7.30pm to Midnight, free entry and happy hour 7.30pm – 8.30pm.

To find out more about the event and also info on a free mix CD give away check the Fuzz Tones Facebook events page HERE.

Fuzz Tones at The Atrium on Friday 18th April

Pie & Vinyl Presents… Oliver Wilde & The Boy I Used To Be

Pie & Vinyl haven’t disappointed with their plans for this years Record Store Day. In the week running up to the main event on Saturday 19th April the team have organised a week of celebrations in the run up to it. It kicks off on Saturday 12th April with a live show at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth from Oliver Wilde and the newest addition to the Pie & Vinyl Records team, The Boy I Used To Be.

You can find out more about this event HERE.

I’m slightly disappointed to be missing this as I’m at a wedding but I encourage you to get yourself down there. The Boy I Used To Be is one of the most exciting young artists currently on the Portsmouth music scene.

Oliver Wilde ‘Perrett’s Brook’

The Boy I Used To Be ‘I Can’t Stand’

Pie & Vinyl Presents...Oliver Wilde and The Boy I Use To Be @ The Square Tower


Competition – Win Two Tickets To See Kassassin Street + Curxes + Juice

Friday 3rd May the Wedgewood Rooms will be hosting a great night of music featuring Kassassin Street, Curxes and Juice. The guys at Kassassin Street have been generous enough to donate a pair of tickets for you, the Strong Island readers.

All you have to do to win these tickets are to email your answer to the question below to by midnight on Sunday 27th. The winner will be announced here on Monday 28th.

Q – The band are named after the road in Eastney, name one of the three roads which junction with it?

Find out more about the event on the Facebook HERE.

Kassassin Street + Curxes + Juice + Longlive DJs

Juice ‘Numbskull’ from Butchy Davy on Vimeo.

Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

Last November saw the launch of our 2014 Calendar at an Exhibition at the Wine Vaults. You can read an article from Becki Partridge about the event HERE.

We cannot take all of the credit for the exhibition, the content was all provided by you, the Strong Island readers. Not to forget the exhibition was made possible by the team at Southsea Gallery who printed and framed the photographs. If you see a photo that you like you can purchase it in Southsea Gallery located at 51 Albert Road.

The exhibition can be found in ‘snug’ on the far right hand side of the Wine Vaults.

If you would like to know how to get involved in next years calendar then click HERE to find out more information.

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition 1

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition

Photos are by the awesome Phil Tickner, be sure to give him a follow on Flickr and on Twitter @HoldYourColour.

Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

A Kind of Conjuration at the Cellars

You would think witch trails a thing of the distant past. However, during the second world war a woman was tried and convicted under the ancient Witchcraft Act.

A play about the trial was performed at The Cellars at Eastney last week. Local theatre companies New Apollo and Cop The Needle brought audiences A Kind of Conjuration. This hour-long theatre piece, directed by Steve Pitt, featured a group of five actors, and was based on the real-life trial of Scottish medium Helen Duncan in 1944, for events that took place in Portsmouth.

The intimacy of the venue worked well for the subject matter, and enabled the performers and audience to connect in a way that isn’t possible in larger venues. When the judge, played by Christopher Marlowe, addressed the jury during the court scene, he spoke to the audience as if they were the jury, making them feel involved in the action.

Angie Lily was fantastic in the court scene, nipping backstage to change elements of costume in-between each character, resulting in a highly entertaining whirlwind of at least five different characters (and accents) testifying in quick succession. Henry Oastler was on comedic top form for his appearance in the court scene, displaying subtle character traits such as a tuck of the chin, transforming him completely from his other role in the play as a newspaper journalist. James Kirby and Tim Lowe also gave entertaining performances.

Writers Stuart Olesker and John Stanton incorporated excerpts from the original court transcript, adding authenticity to this brilliant piece. A highly refreshing and thought provoking performance.

A Kind of Conjuration will next be performed at the Square Tower on 25th June as part of Portsmouth Festivities. (Doors open at 7pm, performance starts at 8pm). On this occasion the play will be preceded by a monologue from the late Harry Price, ghostbuster extraordinary. Tickets from 023 9282 6249 or 023 9273 6288 or online:


Ashley Harley in Portsmouth News:
“a little gem”
“hauntingly good”
“not to be missed”
“solid direction”

Heather James in Portsmouth News:
“I was riveted”
“very witty and entertaining”

David Richards of Remote Goat:
“a sellout”
“a joy to watch”
“superb performances”
“a very high degree of professionalism”
“a very effective mix of the serious and the comedic”
“another triumph and a thoroughly enjoyable evening”

The original flyer for the show at The Cellars

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2014 Calendar was a huge success, the quality of images and huge amount interest it received really took us by surprise. We managed to double the sales of the 2013 Calendar, meaning we raised just over £600 for the Feel Yourself Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society. We received over a thousand submissions by email and by use of the Instagram hashtag #sic2014.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2015 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

If you have been taking any photos during this extreme weather we would love for you to submit them!

You may be aware that unfortunately due to an error our end the original batch of calendars contained a couple of errors. To rectify this the problem with the calendar we re-printed all of the calendars and offered everyone who bought one a free replacement (with free P&P where required). We are confident that we have managed to replace the vast major because of the online ordering records, however if you bought one from Lou Lou’s, Southsea Gallery or the Victorian Market then we don’t have your details so we need you to contact us ASAP to arrange a replacement! Those unclaimed calendars by the end of the week are likely to be donated to the staff of the charities we are supporting

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are just a few of the submissions that we have already received that might give you some inspiration.

Charlie Thompson Fratton Park

Charlie Thompson 2
Both Charlie Thompson
Todd Lawton
Todd Lawton
Roberta Curxes
Roberta Fidora
Danny Miles
Danny Miles

Road To Blissfields 2014 by Sophie Perryer

It’s that time of year again, when Southsea’s finest traipse out on a Friday night to listen to some of our home-grown, burgeoning talent. This year was no exception, with the likes of Becky Jerams, Poppobowa, Sabre and the B of the Bang taking to the stage to fill our ears with a range of musical goodness.

The evening was held this year at the Cellars at Eastney, and certainly had a more relaxed atmosphere – Strong Island’s Stuart Barker was even spotted wandering around with a cup of tea at one point!

The relaxed atmosphere lent itself perfectly to Becky Jerams soulful, syrupy vocals, gliding effortlessly over lyrics and melodies alike. Becky has enjoyed considerable success over the last few years with her song writing: her track ‘La La Love’ was featured in a Mandy Moore movie, and she has written for the likes of Chesney Hawkes and Loz Bridge. These accomplishments certainly showed through in her music; her sound was very much grown up pop and polished, while still retaining a youthful, wishful quality in her lyrics. A great start to the evening.

Becky was followed by Popobawa, a Gosport based trio relatively new to the music scene – so much so that Road To Blissfields was their debut live show! To say the boys coped well would be an understatement; they delivered a strong set with some interesting melodic choices which made for a distinctive sound, and the combination of this with hazy vocals akin to Friendly Fires was very striking. The best part? You can download their EP for a ‘name your price’ on their SoundCloud page.

Also hailing from Gosport were SABRE – the fivesome delivered catchy synth beats and impressive vocals not dissimilar to the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club, with a little Two Door Cinema Club thrown in for good measure. Their raucous sarcastic comedy appealed to the crowd, and the banter between the band members was enjoyable.

Last but certainly not least were the B Of The Bang. The contrast of the almost gravelly voice of the lead singer and the Roxanne on keyboard’s ethereal vocals lent an almost eerie sense. The band delivered well thought-out tracks which were both directional and abstract, and conveyed a sense of their musical versatility and talent. Without a doubt a well deserved victory.

Congratulations to the B Of The Bang“>B of the Bang on their slot at Blissfields, and thank you also to the other artists for once again showcasing to us the quality of our local talent! Thank you too to Bellyeyesmile, Joel Ransom, the Cellars at Eastney, Strong Island, and all those others who had a hand in organising a top evening.

By Sophie Perryer

*We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Blissfields over the next six weeks so be sure to keep an eye out.*

Becky Jerams
Becky Jerams

Becky Jerams




B Of The Bang


B Of The Bang

All photo’s by Daniel O’Neill

Victorious Festival 2014

In January the Victorious Festival team announced that the festival will be moving to Southsea Seafront. The team appear to have planned a bigger and better event building upon the success of previous years.

Last week saw the second wave of artists confirmed to perform live. The line up already consisted of awesome headliners Dizzie Rascal, Seasick Steve but they have now been joined by Razorlight, British Sea Power, Slow Club, Foy Vance, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and The Bog Rolling Stones. There will be DJ sets from Alt J, Terry Hall of the Specials, 2manyDJs and COR. Not to forget some of the best local talent such as Matt Jarvis, Eloise Keating and our favourites the Southsea Alternative Choir are also performing.

Personally I’m really excited about the Sunday line up, I’ve been a huge fan of Seasick Steve for years and I even went to Bestival dressed as him for the Under the Sea fancy dress theme. Sunday also see’s British Sea Power performing, they have been regular visitors to the Wedgewood Rooms during their tours in the past, most recently in April 2013. They are easily one of the best live acts you could ever have the pleasure of seeing. The Saturday headliner Dizzie Rascal isn’t too shabby. I caught him at Bestival in 2010 and I can promise you, he knows how to put on a show and get you dancing!

There will be more artists announced closer to the time. You can find out first by following Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park. If you would like to be involved in the boutique market then drop the team an email on

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. There are limited early bird tickets available but hurry as they are only available at the reduced price for the next ten days! Adult Day tickets are currently available for £15 per day and will be £20 after. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets will cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for free.

Over the next five months we will try and keep you up to date on announcements and preview the performers and attractions that you can look forward to.

Victorious Festival 2014