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Strong Island Recordings

Strong Island Recordings To Release Life Model ‘Lilt’

It’s Christmas eve but nonetheless we’re still relentless at Strong Island Recordings planning and scheduling releases ready for the new year. It’s been a great end to 2014 with the opening of the new shop and also the release of Aussie psych-pop outfit Violet Swells with ‘Here Comes Yesterday‘ which has been heavily pushed by Triple J and is also in the list for a possible Triple J Hottest 100 of the Year which you can vote for here. Our next release though comes from a little closer to home, kind of, being Glaswegian dreampop/shoegaze outfit Life Model with the single ‘Lilt’ which will be available via digital download from 2nd February 2015. It’s a gorgeous dreampop/shoegaze gem laced in whirling guitars and enchanting and ethereal vocals. We can’t wait for the release as we’ve been chatting to the guys for a long while about a release so it’s an early Christmas present for us. Anyway we hope you enjoy and thank you for the continued support of our little label. Have a great Christmas from all of us at Strong Island Recordings.

 

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part Four – Death of The Author, Verletzt, The Park Studio

So our Strong Island Recordings all day cash free Christmas party takes place tomorrow at The Eastney Cellars.  Entry is a donation of non perishable food that will go to local food banks. The party kicks off from 13.00pm with the ever great Champagne Justice playing music throughout the day.  You can find the Facebook event here for set times. Make sure you head down early and do rummage through your cupboards, the more items, the more help we can all give. In the mean time check out the remaining acts playing our bill plus our sponsors The Park Studio.

A tornado of whirling guitars, new outfit Death Of The Author are one of Hampshire’s latest exports delving into the world of shoegaze. The trio are an immense sonic assault upon your senses and very recently blew the roof of Bar 56 at our Southsea Fest stage. Viscerally exciting, they remind us of the intensity of label family Is Bliss, which is a great thing indeed.

Comprising of members of Battery Hens, Protein Window and Neil co head honcho of Champagne Justice, Verletzt are one of the newest DIY noise rock outfits in Portsmouth. They’re scuzzy noise rock, stoner- doom, drone outfit taking you into a new realm of weirdness. Sabbath esque riffs coated with eerie vocals, Verletzt give a heavy nod to their leftfield influences in a charmingly scrappy way.

Not a band but very much integral to the event and also aspects of our label overall is The Park Studio. The studio shall be kindly supplying us backline for the show which in turn helps us keep the show free. Ran by Max of Rickyfitts and formerly Is Bliss, the studio based in Denmead is the recording and practice space of label family and friends including Rickyfitts, Is Bliss, The Boy I Used to Be, Wyldest, Battery Hens, The Planes, Verletzt and many more offering incredibly cheap rates including 3 hours of rehearsal time for £20. If you’re a band or solo artists, do check them out.

 

 

xmas party

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part Three- The Boy I Used To Be, Nevermind Me, Bittertown Mary’s

Okay so we’re up to part three of four of the previews for our Strong Island Recordings cash free, charity party at The Cellars in Eastney  on the 13th December where entry is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. The event will feature 11 bands throughout the day and kicks off from 13.00pm with Champagne Justice DJ’s throughout the day and evening. You can find the Facebook event here.

We’re delighted to bring back extended label family The Boy I Used to Be, We’re fortunate and privileged to say we’re the first label to release the delightful duo back last year on our compilation and now they’re singed to our splendid pals, Pie & Vinyl. The duo are the ultimate Christmas band, if you live in Australia. Sun drenched, garage pop akin to the likes of Splashh, The Growlers and Unknown Mortal Orchestra; whilst also giving a nod to psych- folk influences such as Kurt Vile, every The Boy I Used To Be track is joyous and makes you want to high five the sun whilst sipping cocktails on the beach.

Playing their first ever show despite a couple of cassette releases, we’re honoured to have London’s Nevermind Me down playing our all day party. Dreamy, melancholic vocals topped with beautifully textured guitars, Nevermind Me create a colourful explosion of noise crossing between shoegaze, alt rock and parts of psychedelia. They’re an exhilarating journey of gorgeous noise.

Playing late afternoon is noisy, local favourites Bittertown Mary’s playing their first ever Strong Island Recordings show. Intertwining between the stylings of early doom metal as well grunge and stoner rock and seemingly taking strong influences from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Sabbath and Nirvana, Bittertown Mary’s inflict sonic pounding, primal riffs all wrapped in sandpapered, gruff vocals and distorted, obnoxious fuzz. It’s a splendid, sonic slap to the face.

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part Two – Curxes, Fever, Elephantantrum

As you may have seen earlier in the week, we’re previewing all the acts playing our Strong Island Recordings all day party at The Cellars 13th December where entry is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. So it’s next to nothing entry and you get to see a handful of some of the most exciting acts across the south who are blowing up the blogosphere.  The event is also in association with The Park Studio who shall be supplying us with backline which saves us money and thus we can keep the event effectively free so do check them out.  We’re now onto the second part of our previews so do check out the acts below as they’re incredible to say the least.

Frenetic blitz-pop purveyors Curxes are a sumptuous assault to the senses. A thunderously exciting combination of a harpy’s call, electronic acrobatics, pounding bass and thumping drum rhythms, with gothic tones underpinning the bombastic layers riding on top, Curxes are as infectiously catchy as they are ferociously intelligent.

Next up is Southampton’s Fever. Fuzzy, doom like surf combined with jangly indie- rock and grunge all laced in memorable hooks; Fever are like a cross between Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors and The Wytches. Produced by Chris Pedan of Wild Smiles and with support from NME to KEXP, Fever are one of the most promising new bands from the south.

Brand new quintet, Elephantantrum are a journey into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm. Brooding guitars and synths, distorted fuzz, tortured wailing vocals, all reminding you of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches, Elephanantrum are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Parts of of their tracks are like wandering alone in a circus at night with the impending doom of being hunted by psychopathic clowns, it’s eerily marvellous. Easily one of the most exciting and unique bands to come out of the south coast. Head down early evening to catch a rare glimpse of the band playing in Portsmouth. They certainly fit the ethos of a Strong Island Recordings party for sure.

Our cash free, charity Christmas all day party opens its doors at 13.oopm with Champagne Justice deejays playing throughout the entirety of day and night between acts. You can find the Facebook event here.

xmas party

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part One – Rickyfitts, Dead Rabbits, Wyldest

So we’re approaching our first ever Strong Island Recordings Christmas party where we’ve curated a monster of a line-up in association with The Park Studio in Denmead featuring eleven bands plus Champagne Justice DJ’s and the entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. That means you don’t have to spend a single penny of your Christmas funds if you wish. It’s ultimately a win-win-win for all. We’re going to be posting four previews of the event over the next two weeks so you can get to know some of the bands on the bill.

First up is our headliners for the day being Rickyfitts. We had them on our Treacherous Tides compilation last year just two months after they formed and since then the guys are proving to be one of the finest and most explosive live bands in the U.K. Creating tinnitus inducing noise, annihilating their instruments, grunge tinted, thrash punk duo Rickyfitts are a tidal wave of ferocious fuzz. Having mini toured with thrash-pop Aussie twosome DZ Deathrays and a plenty of new recordings, Rickyfitts are going to sign off of 2014 with a bang.

Another of our extended label family who we’re fortunate to have playing our all dayer is Dead Rabbits. Fresh from their European tour and the release of their second album, Dead Rabbits are going to be bringing a whirling, beautiful racket to The Cellars. Crossing between psychedelia, shoegaze, space rock and also flirting with the boundries of drone, Dead Rabbits are a band Alan Mcgee would have signed had they been around during the height of Creation Records. Think The Jesus & Mary Chain crossed with The Telescopes.

This next act played their first ever gig actually at The Cellars just five months ago. Since then they’ve added an extra member being Jack, touring drummer of Sub Pop’s Still Corners, blown up the blogosphere, mainstaged Green Man Festival, wowed everyone at Southsea Fest, graced the BBC Radio 1 airwaves and also were chosen of hundreds of bands to play the This is Fake DIY all dayer. They are of course Wyldest. Creating ever gorgeous melodies, wrapped in a gentle, wobbling bassline and enchanting, yet powerful vocals, the dreampop trio are like a cross between Beach House, Warpaint and Cocteau Twins.

 

xmas party

 

Strong Island Recordings to Release Violet Swells ‘Here Comes Yesterday’

We’re gearing up for the next release on our little Strong Island Recordings label and this time it comes from a little further than our home town to say the least. We’re incredibly delighted to announce the forthcoming release of  Violet Swells ‘Here Comes Yesterday’. Hailing from Hobart, Tasmania, Violet Swells are a mesmerising psychedelic sunshine pop outfit who were recently touted as one of the top 10 best discoveries in Australia by the incredibly reputable Triple J as well as picking up favourable reviews across the internet blogosphere all the way to NME who proclaimed the guys as possibly the closest living heirs to Tame Impala, which is some compliment. We shall have a release date very soon but in the mean time check out  the incredible single below.

Strong Island Recordings Cash Free Christmas Party For Charity At The Eastney Cellars

On the 13th December Strong Island Recordings takes over one of Portsmouth’s finest establishments being the cosy little Eastney Cellars for an all day charity party in association with The Park Studio who will be kindly supplying us with much needed gear. The event hosts 11 bands as well as Champagne Justice deejays and we’ve decided to do away with cash entry for the event and instead entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food which will be donated to local food banks.  From a tin of beans or packet of pasta to a bag full of groceries it all helps and we can all help those in need whilst having a blast.

Now for the line up. Once again we believe we’ve curated a heavyweight eclectic line-up that features some of the most exciting and up and coming acts from across the south. Headlining the day and representing the label family will be thrashy-grunge twosome Rickyfitts, quite possibly one of the finest and also loudest bands in the U.K at the moment. Also finely representing our little label is shoegaze/psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits and garage pop duo The Boy I Used to Be. We’ve also dragged back a few of our friends who have graced our parties before. London dreampop trio Wyldest fresh from main-staging Green Man Festival and blowing up the blogosphere play later in the evening as well as everyone’s favourite blitz-pop duo Curxes. Along with both of them we’ve brought back indie rock/post-punk outfit Fever and also Death of the Author who killed it at our Southsea Fest stage back in September when they filled in last minute. New to any of ours shows is London’s shoegaze/grunge quintet Nevermind Me playing their first ever show, drone-stoner rock outfit Verletzt, doom grungers Bittertown Mary’s and also the incredible dark twisted psychedelia outfit from Southampton, ELEPHANTANTRUM who remind us of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches. Get ready to be dragged into their nightmare realm.

Doors on the day open at 13.oopm so get down early as you don’t want to miss any of the acts as they’re all splendid. In the event you’re coming down please do rummage through your cupboards and ask any friends or family if they have any bits they don’t mind donating too and hopefully all of us together can help those in need whilst also having a marvellous time watching some of the best bands in the country. Check out the Facebook event here as well as below with a playlist of some of the acts playing the all day Christmas party. You can also keep up to date over on our website. See you there on the 13th December for the Christmas party in Portsmouth.

xmas party

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Ten – Blessa

Tomorrow one of the finest days in the calender for new music being Southsea Fest arrives and we are very stoked to say the least. For part ten of our Southsea Fest preview is one of my favourite new bands today. Delving between blissful, ethereal dreampop, shoegaze and post punk is our splendid headliners Blessa who shall be taking you into a state of euphoric bliss at Southsea Fest. Combining stunning whirling guitars with soothing, reverb coated enchanting vocals the sonic journey of Blessa is utterly mesmerising.

I managed to catch Blessa at a very crowded Komedia in Brighton at The Great Escape and they blew me away.Having dropped their incredibly strong four track ‘Love Is An Evol EP’ recorded by man of the moment MJ of Hookworms and also getting noticeable praise from the likes of NME and The Guardian (for very good reason I should add) you would be most foolish to miss out on what is going to be a very rare occurrence of seeing Blessa in a setting such as Bar Fifty-Six.

You most certainly should witness Blessa in the flesh at time of 22.00PM at Bar Fifty-Six at Southsea Fest. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

blessa press shot

Southsea Fest Poster

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Nine – Looks

Running an electronic music label also Looks are a band I’m very excited about seeing at Southsea Fest. Displaying the more eclectic nature to our stage,Looks deliver synth enthused, danceable indie pop. It’s like feasting on early Foals along with a sprinkle of Yeasayer, Chvrches, Friendly Fires and Late Of The Pier. Gut punching synths, huge hooks and hefty basslines, debut track ‘Everest‘ on part blog, part label Killing Moon Records is an absolute gem displaying the trio’s evident talent in 5 plus minutes. It’s also screaming and I mean SCREAMING out for a potential remix. Looks are destined for much larger venues I’m sure of. You could well be looking at the next big thing. You can catch the ever splendid Looks at 21.05m at Bar Fifty-Six.

looks ssf Strong Island Recordings WEB

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Eight – Kagoule

Part Eight of our ‘Strong Island Recordings at Southsea Fest’ preview features Kagoule who inflict listeners with a strong nod to seemingly 90’s influences from grunge ridden noise pop to scuzz like shoegaze.

Having played the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury blowing those away who witnessed the Nottingham based trio, Kagoule have a wealth of talent that is sure to see the guys reach dizzy heights. In a short space of time Kagoule have released a couple of singles on Hate Hate Hate Records the home of The Wytches, Fat White Family and fellow drunken sailor shipmate, Theo Verney as well as tour with the likes of Drenge and God Man. We can’t wait for their raw scuzzy rock to rain upon Bar Fifty-Six, they’re the perfect act for the little sweat-box.

If you want to witness the sheer brilliance of Kagoule’s joyous sonic assault yourselves then they play our stage at 20.10pm. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

kagoule ssf Strong Island Recordings WEB

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Archives

Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on again from the photos of the Seafront and the Paddling Pool after The Bandstand and Tennis Courts the previous week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

The Pavilion on Clarence Pier looks amazing. No more donkey rides though. Shame.

Sunny Southsea

I went for bike ride today to take advantage of the nice, albeit cold, weather and take a few photos. Check them out over on my Flickr photostream.

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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









The Doomsday Project

From 1984 to 1986 people, in particular school children, all got involved in collecting information on their local area to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Doomsday Book by creating a new, updated, electronic version. The collected information became The Doomsday Project which was a collection of laserdiscs and special BBC computers. The country was broken down in to ‘D’ blocks with the data collection done mostly by schools, the information included text on local geography, history, legends and also more contemporary personal things such as favourite music, games, etc. As well as the text each block could also contain up to 3 photos. Many schools bought the discs and computers as a learning resource (the World Wide Web as a concept was still some years away).

A few days ago the BBC launched a new website where all of this previously difficult to access information (only a handful of working systems still exist) is now online and searchable. It’s an amazing glimpse in to Portsmouth and Southsea life in the early to mid 80s and there are some great images. The new website also allows you to upload new information and photos too.

If you are 38+ you may well have memories of being involved in the project in collecting and writing information. Personally I remember the day my group went out to a tiny village in Essex in the hot summer but instead of writing things we played near the river and weir. Oh well. Does anyone have any memories of taking part in the project? If so please add a comment, would love to hear people’s memories.

You can find out more about the original project on HERE and the BBC article and access the online version below:

www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday

Domesday Project




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