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Far From Home Project Exhibition on 14th March

The Far from Home project and exhibition is a collaboration between Armed Forces Community Covenant scheme, public funding from Arts Council England for Fusion lab taking place in Space, staff and students of the University of Portsmouth, Somerstown residents, local artists, Sharon Court (who ran the recent Somerstown Stories project) and Strong Island Media.

The Far from Home project brought together ex-service personnel and the family or personnel with students based at the Eldon building of the University of Portsmouth, with the group exploring the theme of being Far From Home. The theme was chosen as it was felt that both groups of participants in the projects could emphasise with the sense of leaving home for the first time, leaving friends and family and experiencing a new life. The students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries who have been working alongside these retired armed service personnel and their families learnt more about how it felt to be a new recruit, to be posted overseas, or to be far from home. The students have then created art, including photography, illustration, short films and creative writing based on these experiences for an upcoming Far From Home exhibition in Space. Film footage taken of students talking to and working with armed forces personnel on the project will also be shown. Additionally artefacts from the armed forces personnel will also be on display.

Residents taking part in the project have had the opportunity to also learn new things through taster workshops led by students and a tour of the recently extended Eldon Building, home to the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. These workshops and the tour are designed to break down barriers and increasing understanding for both groups of participants.

The Far From Home exhibition opens with a special afternoon tea on Friday, March 14 and will be open to the public from March 17-26. A book and film will also be produced showcasing the work created as part of the project.

You can find out more about the project at:

Far From Home Project (1)

Far From Home Project (2)

Far From Home Project (3)

Far From Home Project (4)

Far From Home Project (5)

Far From Home Project (6)

Far From Home Project (7)

The Island City, A Day in the Life of Portsmouth

Strong Island Media put together this short film entitled ‘The Island City’ that was screened at the recent Shaping the Future of Portsmouth conference. The film gives a stylised view of a day in the life of the city, touching on its geography, landmarks, people and places.

The Island City by Strong Island Media

Sherlock Holmes Film Workshops at The Kings Theatre

Strong Island Media are holding two film production workshops based on Sherlock Holmes this Saturday, based at The Kings Theatre as part of the Making Waves Film Festival. The 10am to 12pm workshop is for 8-12yrs and the 2pm to 4pm workshop is for 12yrs up.

The workshops are introductions to film making and include how to write a script, create a storyboard, how to film & record sound using professional equipment and how to act and direct. The workshop groups will then write, make and produce a short film based on Sherlock Holmes using wardrobe from The Kings Theatre, props from the Conan Doyle Collection and using the incredible Kings Theatre as a location, including backstage and even onstage!

The short films produced by each of the workshop groups will then be edited up and put on to DVD.

Each workshop is only £10 (plus £6 for a copy of the DVD with both Sherlock Holmes films) and places can be booked at The Kings Theatre:

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Race Car Hearts

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festival’s online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode three is with Portsmouth singer/songwriter Chris Perrin aka Race Car Hearts and includes an acoustic version of Better Kind. This is the last of this year’s Sunshine Sessions, we’re looking forward to next year’s already.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Race Car Hearts

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with The Folsom

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festivals online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode two is with Portsmouth acoustic duo The Folsom and includes an acoustic cover performance of Johnny Cash’s song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. Keep an eye out next Friday for the next Sunshine Sessions episode.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with The Folsom

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Jerry Williams

Strong Island Media has partnered up with Victorious Festival to provide the festivals online digital content throughout the weekend of the festival, including photo updates of the bands and what’s going on, video of songs from the stages and interviews with the acts. In the final run up to the festival we have produced the Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions which profiles of some of the best Portsmouth acts that will be performing at Victorious with exclusive live acoustic songs.

Sunshine Sessions episode one is with 17 year old singer/songwriter Jerry Williams and includes an acoustic performance of her song ‘Sunglasses’. Keep an eye out on Fridays in the run up to the festival for the next Sunshine Sessions episodes.

To find out more information about Victorious and to buy tickets visit:

Victorious Festival Sunshine Sessions with Jerry Williams

Strong Island Media and The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival

Over the last 6 months Strong Island Media have been working on The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival project, partnering up with CASS Media and Evan Wilkinson. The project was funded by the MOD Community Covenant and co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council through three arts centres in Hampshire: The Ashcroft Centre in Fareham, The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre in Bordon and the Westend Centre in Aldershot. Each centre had 2 to 4 groups of young people from local schools or youth groups (in total over 100 young people were involved) and each group worked with a production company, Strong Island Media worked with four groups, Brune Park School in Gosport, Phoenix Youth Theatre in Bordon, Bedales School in Petersfield and Connaught School in Aldershot.

At the start of the project each group conducted interviews with active service personnel from either the Navy or Army (from camps and bases local to them) and from these interviews Strong Island Media worked with the young people to create short animated films. SIM helped them develop scripts, form creative ideas for using different animation techniques, help them through the animation process and also work on music, sound effects and more. In total SIM worked with each group for 12 weekly workshop sessions & also brought in some Portsmouth based artists to help the young people with their character development, including Mr Kemp, Stu Linfield and MyDogSighs.

On the 18th July there was a grand, red carpet premiere and awards ceremony at The No. 6 Cinema in Portsmouth which brought all of the groups together along with local dignitaries. The audience of almost 200 people watched all the films and the young people and groups as a whole received prizes for their hard work and creativity. The project was a huge success with the young people telling insightful stories about life in the forces showing empathy for their characters plus creativity in their story and animation skills as well as having loads of fun through the whole process.

We were very proud to see all of our groups win awards and were particularly pleased when the Phoenix Youth Theatre won the two big awards of the night, the Critics Award for best film and the People’s Choice award for best film (which was voted on the night by the audience).

The project has a website with all of the films available to watch as well as a short documentary film about the project, see below. A huge thank you to Charlotte at Hampshire County Council, the guys at CASS, Evan for working with the Connaught group and a special thank you to the groups of young people we worked with who were inspiring in their creativity.

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (1)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (2)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (3)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (4)

The Hampshire Forces Youth Film Festival (5)

Strong Island at Pompey Fans Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow sees the first Pompey Fans Day in the new era of community ownership with an event for the fans, by the fans as it is hosted by The Tony Goodall Fans Conference (the collective of fans groups and organisations) and managed by Pompey’s 12th Man and all to raise money for Portsmouth FC & Pompey Supporters Trust charity plus the following charities: Pompey in the Community, Tom Prince Cancer Trust, Asthma UK and Oakley’s Walking Fund.

The family friendly event runs from 11am-2pm (before the Charlton friendly kicks off) in the carpark behind the Fratton End and will include live music from the Trust band The Dickensian Vagabonds, The Union King, Mojo Dollar and Luke Ferre. There will also be stands from artists, designers and traders including Urban Gallery FA Cup Prints and we’re very happy to say a stall with Strong Island Clothing Co and local illustrator Lee Casey. Strong Island Clothing Co will be selling not only the highly popular collaboration tee with Portsmouth FC in the home colour-way of Navy & Gold but also two new ‘away’ colours of White & Navy plus Blue & White. These two new colours will be only available at the Pompey Fans Day before going in to the online shop later next week. As always, these Strong Island X Portsmouth FC collaboration tees will be £15 and £5 from each sale will go to the club. Lee Casey will be sharing our stall and selling his awesome, limited edition, signed illustration prints. Be sure to drop by our stall and get involved.

Portsmouth FC will also be unveiling the new away kit for the team on the day, there will be a dunk tank, bouncy castle, five-a-side football, bungee racing, football challenges, loads of amazing food available plus a replica FA cup for photos. Finally, but by no means least, there will be an incredible raffle with tonnes of amazing prizes donated by local businesses and people.

Tristan from Strong Island Media designed the flyer for Pompey Fans Day (see below) and also the amazing, huge backdrop you’ll see tomorrow.

Pompey Fans Day

Portsmouth FC Fratton Park

Lee Casey: Guy, Rocha &Craddock

Eastney MOD Test Station and Music by VNF

Despite being derelict the old MOD test station on Eastney beach adds a lot of, well, character to the seafront of Portsmouth and is a well recognised landmark both from shore and sea. The station was once a barracks and then became a test site for both weapons and radar/signals. The site itself overlooks the west entry point of Langstone Harbour and despite being empty for a long, long time it is part of the skyline and one of the last links to Eastney’s past history as a firing range and also a firm favourite for local photographers, not to mention nudists too, of course. Sadly though it seems the tower and buildings have their fate sealed (read about it on The News website).

Last spring we did a spot of urban exploration and had a look around inside, in part to find out more about the city’s heritage but also to film a music video of ex-Portsmouth engineer/producer VNF. The song inspired a theme of echoing signals lost & forgotten yet still resonating and the long derelict location touches on a visual parallel to that theme. VNF’s song ‘Reset’ and also his song ‘Orbs Lighten Them’ are formed from field recordings, many of which recorded in Portsmouth. In particular in ‘Orbs Lighten Them’ the hovercraft provides the baseline and Southsea seafront builds elements forming the dream-dub sound.

The video, VNF’s songs and photos from the test station are below. To see more photos visit the album on our Facebook page.

What are your thoughts on the loss of this historic Portsmouth landmark? Let us know with comments and over on our Facebook too. Do you have any photos of the test station you want to share? Send us a link to those too.

Eastney MOD Test Station & VNF (1)

Eastney MOD Test Station & VNF (2)

Eastney MOD Test Station & VNF (3)

Eastney MOD Test Station & VNF (4)

Strong Island Media are Official Media Partners with Victorious Festival

As you may have noticed from our recently changed header image, we are very happy to now announce that Strong Island Media are one of the official media partners for the upcoming Victorious Festival. We’ll be covering the festival over the weekend with constant updates online with extensive video interviews and performances and loads of photos plus we have something very interesting that will drop online in the final weeks running up to the event which we’ll have more details of soon.

If you’ve managed to miss the posters and news so far, The Belle Isle and Boutique Markets‘ Victorious Festival is happening over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of August and is set to be the biggest festival in Portsmouth in a long, long time. Just like it’s forerunner Victorious Vintage last year that ran for the Jubilee celebrations, Victorious Festival is located in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, taking over not only the large area next to HMS Victory but also incorporating spaces within the running Navy dockyard areas too which are normally closed to the public. The family friendly festival will be home to loads and loads of live music bands and artists (many of them local) as well as loads of the best market stalls featuring local art, craft and fashion sellers. There is also the King James Real Ale Festival with Irving & Co in attendance, loads of food and drink stalls and a tonne of fun activities and events for children to get involved with.

Tickets are £15 a day for adults and £5 a day for children with under fives able to go in for free. Plus not only for that ticket price do you have entrance to the festival and all of the stages, markets, etc but you also have access to all of the dockyard too including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and loads more. This ALSO includes entry to the incredible new Mary Rose Museum (you can read our review HERE). When you do the numbers that essentially means a discounted dockyard entry plus all the festival thrown in too.

You can find out more about the band and artist lineups for the stages and buy tickets online (and find out where to buy in person) at:

We’ll be featuring the bands and artists we are most looking forward to every Friday on Strong Island, keep an eye out for our first a bit later today…

Victorious Festival

Victorious Vintage

Victorious Vintage

Victorious Vintage


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