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Dials Festival Line- Up Additions

Dials Festival the collaborative, new multi-venue music festival ran by Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Pie & Vinyl has announced additions to the line-up already consisting of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Black Honey, Chloe Black, Curxes, Broken Hands, Rickyfitts and loads more.  The festival will be in place of Southsea Fest for 2015 to ensure a multi-venue, new music festival across various venues and pubs can still take place.

Leading the latest additions is the super fun Dingus Khan who headline the Little Johnny Russells stage and BBC 6 Music favourites, scuzzy, infectious, fuzzy, indie-pop London outfit Crushed Beaks who will headline The Loft.  Other additions to the bill include doom laden psychedelic meets raw punk outfit Crows who were recently handpicked to support Wolf Alice and are also set to support Metz on their UK tour plus Strong Island Recordings label family and one of the best new live bands in the country, primal, doom grunge pop trio Gang who return to Portsmouth and are no doubt going to bring the house down as well  snotty, garage punk trio Skinny Girl Diet (who if you dig Ty Segall and Coachwips, you will love) psych meets slacker pop Londoners, Honey Moon who are are like a cross between Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile, self proclaimed “poolside pop”  Icelandic by the way of Brighton outfit Dream Wife, electro – hip hop influenced-pop artist Frankie Knight,  indie outfit Fever plus local favourites Damn Beats, Number 9 and Sam McCarthy.

Dials Festival will take place on the 3rd October across five venues in Albert Road being Wedgewood and Edge of the Wedge (all ages), Little Johnny Russells (18 + after 7pm), Al Burrito (18 + after 8pm) and The Loft (18+ only) and features 40 plus acts playing across the entire day to the late evening plus a  Dials after party that will be taking place at The Wedgewood Rooms with Dials deejays.  Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate until Monday when they go up to £18. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl. Dress Code and Wedgewood Room.It will no doubt be a great festival and if you loved Southsea Fest then Dials Festival will be for you and perfect for any potential post Victorious blues.

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Dials Festival Preview #3 Kagoule

We’re now up to our third feature of  Dials Festival a collaborative, community based, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardner’s Club that will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year.

It only makes sense for us to feature Nottingham post-punk, grunge trio Kagoule this week with their debut album ‘Urth’ out tomorrow being the 21st August. Kagoule have been big favourites of ours for a while as you may know if you keep up to date with our label and they also played our Southsea Fest stage last year at Bar 56 (now known as Al Burrito). The trio brought the house down in the little 60 capacity sweat-pit and since then they have gone from strength to strength receiving praise and support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Mojo Magazine, Fake DIY, NME, Clash to Rough Trade where their sits as album of the month. Kagoule will be playing the Wedgewood Rooms stage at Dials Festival so it will be a considerably bigger stage when they visit Portsmouth to say the least. Make sure you catch Kagoule on their visit to Portsmouth as they’re beyond great to say the least.

Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up at the end of the month. You can purchase tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl until next Friday. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming next week and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.

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Dials Festival Preview #2 Peluché

So as you may have seen a couple of weeks back,  the line-up to Dials Festival – a collaborative, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardners Club has been announced and will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival could still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year. Leading up to our festival in October we’re going to be running weekly previews leading up to the festival.

Our next preview features an act I cannot wait to catch at Dials being Peluche who I first caught live at Lennon’s in Southampton with Wyldest who are also playing Dials Festival. The trio from London create eccentric, jazz ridden, psychedelic like shimmering pop combining elements of avant-garde that is total bliss. Peluche are nothing short of wonderful and the sun-soaked sonic journey is beyond  joyous especially for a warm summer evening. The trio have just unleashed the excellent and just as excellently titled,  ethereal, dub like, dreamy-pop gem that is ‘The Guy With The Gammy Eye’ that was released this Monday on Speedy Wunderground which you can purchase on vinyl over on their store.

Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up. You can get the tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming very soon and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.

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Strong Island Recordings Release Brisbane Based Outfit The Good Sports’ Debut Album ‘Peak Performance’

At Strong Island Recordings we’re beyond stoked that our latest release is out today from Brisbane psych-pop outfit The Good Sports with their debut album ‘Peak Performance’. This is the third album we’ve released on our little Southsea based label and if you dig sun-soaked, blissed out, psychedelic-pop that is the perfect soundtrack for a summery day sat at the beach with a few tinnies then this is for you.

The Good Sports have been making waves in their native Australia picking up support from the likes of the massive Triple J (they were one of the top 50 most played Triple J Unearthed artists of 2014) and the likes of Tone Deaf and after we stumbled across them we approached them about releasing with us straight away. With Violet Swells from Tasmania, the Brisbane based outfit are the latest Aussie psych-pop act to join our ever growing label roster and if you have been following our label releases, then we have no doubt you’ll love them as much as we do.

You can purchase ‘Peak Performance’ via the likes of iTunes and Amazon as well as streaming services such as Spotify. We also have a limited run of blue cassettes that you can purchase on our site from this link here for just £5.00 or if you’re based in Australia, you can purchase from The Good Sports’ Bandcamp page to save postage costs. If you want to keep up to date in with our Strong Island Recordings label then check us out on Facebook, our Twitter on @strongislandrec and our Instagram account over on @Strongislandrecordings.


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Dials Festival Preview #1 Hooton Tennis Club

So as you may have seen at the end of last week, the line-up to Dials Festival , a collaborative, new music festival ran between Strong Island, Strong Island Recordings, Pie & Vinyl, Breaking More Waves, Wedgewood Rooms and Hong Kong Gardners Club has been announced and will take place on the 3rd October. The idea for the festival to make sure a multi-venue, new music festival can still take place in Portsmouth with the saddened absence of Southsea Fest this year. Leading up to our festival in October we’re going to be running weekly previews of various acts playing the festival.

If you read NME or listen to BBC 6 Music often you most probably have come across Dials’ headliners, Liverpool’s Hooton Tennis Club who are signed to one of the finest UK  labels being Heavenly Recordings (Toy, The Wytches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard). Hooton Tennis Club (or HTC for short) create wonderful, scuzzy, infectious indie meets sun-soaked, garage pop. It’s like Teenage Fanclub and Pavement meets the likes of King Tuff and Parquet Courts. HTC’s debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ drops at the end of August and has already gained very favourable reviews and hotly tipped by the likes of Mojo and NME.  You’re no doubt going to be hearing a lot more of these guys over the next year or two so be sure to catch them early at Dials.

Tickets for the festival are just £15 at a very limited early-bird rate so get them before the prices go up. You can get the tickets at Kings Theatre over on their site or you can get them in store at Strong Island where we have a very limited offer where if you purchase an early-bird ticket in store we’re giving away a free white 7″ vinyl. Other outlets included Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code and also The Wedgewood Rooms. Either way it’s just £15 for 40 plus bands across five venues. You can find the line-up confirmed so far below with more announcements coming very soon and you can keep up to date with Dials Festival on Twitter on @DialsFestival.

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Dials Festival Line-Up Announced

Strong Island and Strong Island Recordings are very proud and excited to announce our involvement in the up coming, brand-new festival Dials Festival taking place across various venues along Albert Road on the 3rd October as well as being able to announce the line-up so far. After the sad news of Southsea Fest taking a year off, we banded together with some familiar faces including The Wedgewood Rooms, Pie & Vinyl, Hong Kong Gardner’s Club and seminal blog Breaking More Waves to still be able to bring a community based, multi-venue, music festival to the city.

Dials Festival will take place across five venues along Albert Road being The Wedgewood Rooms, Edge of the Wedge, Little Johnny Russells, Al Burrito and The Loft. The aim of the festival isn’t to replicate Southsea Fest but retain its ethos of a strong, community festival bringing some of the finest new national acts along with some of the finest acts from around the area to Albert Road for one day. There will be no specifically branded stages at Dials Festival but five venues with a diverse, eclectic mix of acts from day to the evening.

The festival will feature over 40 acts across the day with Hooton Tennis Club signed to Heavenly Records (Toy, King Gizzard, The Wytches) headlining the festival plus the likes of Kagoule, Black HoneyLyza Jane, Chloe Black, Alice Jemima, Broken Hands, Storms, Morning Smoke, Many Things, Bones, Peluche, Walleater and many more coming down to Southsea along with some of the finest local acts including New Desert Blues, Jerry Williams, Popobawa, The boy i used to be, Bellyeyesmile, Rickyfitts, Battery Hens, Dead Rabbits, Curxes, Wyldest and loads more splendid acts from the area. The full line-up of acts confirmed so far can be found below the article.

Tickets are on sale now at a very limited early-bird price of just £15. That’s £15 for 40 plus acts across five venues from day to evening with some of the finest new acts in the UK.  Tickets can be purchased at the Kings Theatre here, in store at Strong Island, Pie & Vinyl, Dress Code as well as The Wedgewood Rooms. There will also be details of an after-party also which your Dials ticket will gain you access to. This is the biggest musical event we have ran yet so we can’t wait for October 3rd. We hope to see many of you there as us and our Dials team bring a new musical venture to the city.

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Strong Island Recordings At The Southsea Bandstand

This Saturday Strong Island Recordings takeover the Southsea Bandstand with one of the loudest line-ups the bandstand has seen yet.

An afternoon of space rock/psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop is on offer with Southsea cult legends and Cardinal Fuzz signings You’re Smiling Now But we’ll All Turn Into Demons headlining the day plus gnarly noise rock meets garage rock and post-punk Southsea favourites, Red Seals, psychedelic doom-rock outfit Unknown Soldiers who are like being dropped into the middle of  a sun baked desert during a spaghetti western plus Jimmy Stuart of Strong Island Recordings’ Is Bliss who is an immense talent.

The day kicks off from around 12.30pm so head down early.  In the event it rains off we will be heading to The Edge of the Wedge, if in doubt keep an eye on the Strong Island Recordings Twitter page @StrongIslandRec. More details of the event can be found here.



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Strong Island Recordings Update – Shows & Releases

It’s a rather busy, yet very exciting period over at Strong Island Recordings in July and beyond so I’ve decided to condense as much as possible into one post. First up tonight, Strong Island Recordings along with Torn Speaker also, takeover the Cellars one last time where we bring label family Gang,  super buzzy, power-grunge pop, London trio, Puppy plus local cult favourites Red Seals & Protein Window down and all for just £4. Doors are at 8pm with bands kicking off pretty much from opening time, so head down early.

We also have not one but two release announcements which we’can’t wait to get out there. Last Thursday we announced the release of garage/surf rock, Brighton trio Strange Cages with their single ‘Pony’ which premiered over on Artrocker. ‘Pony’ is out 20th July and the artwork was designed by local illustrator, Sam Brandon who can be found on Instagram as @Skever.

This Monday we also had another new release premiere over on Clash magazine with scuzzy Londoner’s, Maui ‘Kiss Chase’, a sun soaked yet, somewhat grimey indie banger set for release on the 27th July. We’re beyond stoked to have both join our ever growing label family. We’ll no doubt have both down in Southsea sometime.

In other news, we’re also hosting a bandstand on the 1st August with a line-up probably not suited for the bandstand but none the less it should be fun. We’ll be announcing the line up for it over the coming days but be sure to keep the day free in your diaries. In the event it rains off, we’re kindly allowed to use the Edge of the Wedge. We have even more release news soon so if you want to keep up to date, checkout out website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.

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Strong Island Recordings & Torn Speaker Present Gang, Puppy, Red Seals & Protein Window At The Cellars

On the July 8th, Strong Island Recordings are teaming up with Torn Speaker to bring Gang and Puppy, two of the most exciting new bands in the UK today down to Portsmouth where we takeover The Eastney Cellars for one last time that also includes splendid Portsmouth favourites, Red Seals and Protein Window, all for just £4.

Headlining the evening will be Strong Island Recordings label family, the incredible grunge pop  trio, Gang. The guys recently tore down the house at our Great Escape party at Bleach with their brain melting, blistering live set that was one of the highlights of the whole Great Escape weekend. With their insanely heavy live show (as some of you may have seen last year at Southsea Fest), plus releases including ‘Sandscrape’ on Strong Island Recordings and the more recent ‘Silverback EP’ on the excellently titled ‘Sexx Tapes’, Gang should well be one of your new favourite bands come July 8th.

Main support for the night comes from one of the most exciting new bands in the UK at the moment, London’s Puppy. The power, grunge pop outfit have only been on our radar over the last few months but are already one of our favourite new bands in the UK. Coated in infectious vocals whilst power riffs blaze through, Puppy are going to be bringing the pint spilling, party anthems to the Eastney Cellars. Local support comes from a couple of Portsmouth cult favourites being post-punk, grunge outfit Red Seals as well as drone rock-doom sludge trio, Protein Window.

So that’s four incredible bands for just £4 entry. This will be our last ever show at The Cellars so come and say goodbye with us in the only way we know how, in a noise filled, sweat-pit. Doors are at 8pm and you can find out more about the show on the Facebook event here. See you on the 8th July.



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Torn Speaker Presents Syd Kemp, Melt Dunes, Death of the Author & Jimmy Stuart At Edge of The Wedge

On Wednesday one of Portsmouth’ newest promotions companies, Torn Speaker ran by Max Goulding of Rickyfitts and formerly Is Bliss and Holly Mullineaux of Wyldest who are blowing up the blogosphere return for their second show featuring Syd Kemp plus Strong Island RecordingsMelt Dunes, Death of the Author and Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss at Edge of the Wedge. Torn Speaker was established to bring some of the finest new talent around the UK to Portsmouth and this show promises to be a great one.

Creating trippy, sun soaked, enchanting psychedelic pop in the vein of contemporary bands like Allah Las, Mystic Braves and Morgan Delt whilst creating a warm, fuzzy “lo fi” feel akin to Kurt Vile or Unknown Mortal Orchestra, headliners Syd Kemp are perfect listing for a summers night in June.  Despite being a “psychedelic act” they delve into intelligent avant-garde like rock yet still without a hint of pretentiousness. Basically Syd Kemp is great and you should head down and catch him and his band.

Main support Melt Dunes are the latest signings to Strong Island Recordings and are one of the most exciting and best new bands to come out of the south-coast. Heavy acid like psych rock, Melt Dunes are basically going to melt minds. Their debut single was released on our label last week which can be purchased via digital download here. Death of the Author formed in late 2014 will no doubt bring their tinnitus inducing shoegaze-noise rock to The Edge of the Wedge. Opening the evening shall be Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss. I haven’t seen Jimmy Stuart play since the last Is Bliss show back in late 2013 when Jimmy was crowd surfing in a little sweat-pit in Bar 56 and Is Bliss intoxicated the crowd with their captivating, visceral wall of noise. Don’t expect such a “rampage”this time but Jimmy Stuart is a talented chap none the less  and with influences ranging from shoegaze legends such as MBV and Slowdive to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and early Verve expect blissed out, reverb drenched haze all wrapped in gorgeous, whirling guitars.

Doors are at 8pm and the first act will be on pretty much near the time it opens. It’s £3 in advance or £4 on the door and you can purchase tickets here or you can check the Facebook event here.

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Friday, Saturday & Sunday in Southsea

We couldn’t possibly of asked for better weather this weekend. From straight out of the door after work on Friday till finally retiring to our couch on Sunday evening the sun was blazing and Southsea was rich with activity and happy people. We spent pretty much the entire weekend outside on the seafront, changing the vista every now and then and sinking more than our fair share of corner store beers. Let’s hope it keeps up for at least a while longer hey. Check my Flickr for a few more Sunny Southsea photographs.

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RETROSPECTIVE – Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

“Since Strong Island began back in 2008 we have amassed an incredible amount of historical information about Portsmouth & Southsea’s past. These articles are not only from our own interest and passion about the city, but also from readers that have sent us some amazing facts. So much has changed in such a relatively short amount of time and the fast pace of life around us can make it easy to forget the importance of this cities history.

Retrospective‘ takes a look back at some of our previous posts incase you missed them in the past or you’re one of our new readers. One day myself and Paul hope to create a stand alone archive here utilising all the books and photos we have collected that haven’t made it on to Strong Island as of yet. With permission of course! So much to do and so little time. Enjoy.”

This is one seriously awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back (sadly no longer active). Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Just incredible. It’s hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guildhall, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on…

Originally published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011









Portsmouth – Not The New Malta

Do you remember our post about Portsmouth, The New Malta and the advertising campaign that has been going on? The Telegraph has written a short article in response to the campaign. Check it out HERE and follow it up in the comments. Unfashionable, now come on Telegraph.

“We probably get about two weeks of sunshine at best, and you are more used to seeing people fighting than socialising in a quaint café,” said Tim Courtnell, a life-long Portsmouth resident. “The beach at Southsea is a mixture of shingle and Stella Artois cans on most days, and you wouldn’t think of swimming in the sea.”

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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.

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Outside

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 3

The next episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up recently. This episode is of a round Portsmouth car journey back in 1998.

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.

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Image: eBay

Brickwoods

The now defunct Brickwoods Brewery was Portsmouth’s largest local brewer before it’s final demise in 1983. Many old pubs (and many houses that are converted old pubs) still have tiles and signs with the old brewery’s name on so in a way, it still lives on, just in the city’s background. Keep your eyes peeled. You can find out more about the company here too.

I came across these amazing beermats via Google, some interesting designs. Notice the sun motif…

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Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.

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Ben Schroeder Transfer

In the previous Ben Schroeder post I didn’t really describe the legendary trick very well, so I’ve dug out the photo! Ben frontside ollied out of the pool over the platform and in to the steep bank. Sick stuff.

Ben Schroeder, Transfer, Southsea (1991)

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