This Saturday Dials Days following on from the success of Dials Festival is taking place at the Wedgewood Rooms & Edge of the Wedge across the day and features a tremendous, eclectic line-up across two stages.
Headlining Dials Days is indie/dream-pop outfit signed to Fear of Men who are signed to Brooklyn indie label Kanine Records and are currently readying up for the release of their next album. PIAS Recordings and Isle of Wight natives CHAMPS are co-headlining the all dayer bringing their dreamy, catchy folk-pop,
Headlining the Edge of the Wedge is band of the moment, fuzzy indie/alt-rock Welsh outfit ESTRONS fresh from tearing up the BBC stage at SXSW. The rest of the immense line up includes buzzy dream-pop Wyldest fresh from their sellout London show, psych-pop crooners Fake Laugh with their Mac Demarco meets Kurt Vile sun-soaked sound, hip-pop songstress FEMME, electro-pop singer Avec Sans, popular Southampton psych/shoegaze outfit Dead Rabbits, one of the best live bands in the UK at the moment Melt Dunes who will be transporting minds far into the cosmos with their heady, doom-laden psych sound, one of Portsmouth’s most popular and greatest exports Is Bliss bringing their euphoric wall of sound, lo-fi/surf-pop outfit The boy i used to be, Brighton grunge-poppers Thyla as well as Temples of Youth, George Reagan and Little Robyn.
Tickets for all of the above are just £10 and will be kicking off from around 4.oopm. You can purchase tickets from the Wedgewood Rooms as well as instore at Strong Island Co and Pie & Vinyl and find out more details over on the Facebook event.
After the success of our recent Strong Island Recordings party back in January we will be returning to the The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston this Sunday for our Strong Island Recordings an Easter all-dayer. The event features a handful of some of our favourite and best up and coming psychedelic bands at the moment. Entry for the all-dayer is free so it’s the perfect way to spend your Sunday.
Headlining the all-dayer is Reading’s Palm Honey bringing their Tame Impala like, crunching, psychedelic pop. Expect to be transported far into the cosmos.
Our good friends, rock n roll psych-blues outfit Saint Agnes will be playing their first ever show for us. Representing Strong Island Recordings is Melt Dunes who will bring their heady-doom psychedelia back to The Shacklewell in the vein of Black Angels. Also on the bill is garage-pop sixties revivalists Love LUV who also recently featured on our compilation along with Kassassin Street, Wyldest & more.
Brand new psych-pop outfit Indigo Child have been making waves in their early days with their dreamy, woozy, sun-soaked, psych-pop that’s perfect for a summer’s day. Completing the bill is one of Portsmouth’s finest being Is Bliss bringing their visceral wall of noise back to London.
You can find the Facebook event here with set times included. Also be sure to keep up to date with Strong Island Recordings on Twitter on @StrongIslandRec.
On the 19th February Strong Island Recordings release the follow up to the first Treacherous Tides Compilation from 2013. The latest compilation features a collection of our favourite acts from Portsmouth to Turkey, Glasgow, Australia and New Zealand. The album includes tracks featuring all things from psychedelia to stunning dream-pop gems and will be available via digital and a limited run of cassettes.
Kicking off the compilation is Southsea favourites, Kassassin Street, with their immense wall of sound, festival ready, psych-pop meets new-wave anthem ‘Radio Silence’. It’s great to get the guys on a release of ours being from our hometown.
From the opposite side of the world, ‘Gravity Wins Again’ from Tasmanian outfit Violet Swells who draw comparisons with Tame Impala’s sunshine tinted, psychedelic-pop.
Wyldest have recorded an exclusive track for the compilation with their own take on A-Ha’s ‘Sun Always Shines On TV’ giving it a fine coat of their signature shimmering dream-pop sound which will available as a Bandcamp & cassette exclusive.
Love LUV’s ‘Sold My Love’ is infectious, joyous, garage-pop mirroring the 60’s revival. New Zealanders MOSES ‘Opium’ is perfectly titled. It’s a beautiful, sedate, stone jam delving between the kaleidoscope rainbow like realms of psychedelia and shoegaze.
Until recently Love Hippies & Gangsters was a one man project but now the four piece consisting of Yiğit Bülbül, Dan Hale, Mikel Acosta and Sam Enthoven. Their track ‘Through Your Mind’ is a shower of guitars and a throwback to 60’s and 70’s psychedelia.
Tin Foil Astronaut’s ‘Without A Sound’ is a nod to the current Australian psychedelic movement sounding like it’s came straight out of Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth. It’s a true sun-soaked, psych-pop banger.
Closing out the compilation is Life Model’s ‘Enough (To Know) finally getting a full release. Channeling Slowdive, MBV and Cocteau Twins, it’s a visceral yet euphoric and beautiful sonic journey.
You can pre-order and listen to the the compilation on Bandcamp and also pre-order the cassette over on our Music Glue pages (as well as find exclusive bundle deals on both) and the compilation will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital and streaming outlets.
On the 29th January our Strong Island Recordings label returns to London taking over one of our favourite venues being The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston for the evening where entry is free and features a handful of our favourite new bands from far and wide. It’s the perfect way to cure those impending January blues.
Headlining our first show at The Shacklewell Arms is dressmaker. Described by Vice as “one of the loudest, noisest and msot intense live bands around” (and the Strong Island Recordings team can vouch for that!) they’re the perfect band to headline our first ever show at The Shacklewell. Support comes from frenetic, snotty garage-punk outfit in the vein of Ty Segall, Reatards and John Dwyer’s projects, Falmouth’s The Red Cords who featured on our compilation a while back as well as having released material on PNKSLM and Art Is Hard. Also playing is Strong Island Recordings’ Melt Dunes one of, if not the best live band from Hampshire and shall be bringing their heavy, doom-laden psychedelia back to The Shacklewell Arms where they played this year supporting Creation Records legends The Telescopes. Opening the night will be banterous, heavy-punk favourites of ours being Croydon’s Frauds who have played a couple of shows in Southsea this year for our friends at Torn Speaker (who now help co-promote our shows in London) as well as Dials Festival.
So if you’re in London or at odds of what to do on Friday 29th January come to The Shacklewell Arms with us as we party with some of our favourite acts today all for the mere price of zero pound. Go and check the acts playing below and the amazing poster designed by Southsea graphic designer, Sam Brandon. You can also keep up to date with the event over on Facebook.
This coming Friday is the Strong Island Recordings & Champagne Justice Christmas party and also our last label party in Portsmouth for a little while so hopefully we’ll see many of your faces there for it. Taking place in our spiritual home, the sweat-pit that is upstairs of Al Burrito the line-up features a collection of some of the finest and most exciting psychedelic and garage -rock on the south-coast for a small sum of £5.00.
Headlining the show is SIR favourites You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons who opened for us at our launch show back in 2012 at Southsea Fest. They’re no doubt going to bring their brand of heady, doom -psychedelia in the vein of Acid Baby Jesus and Bo Ningen. Main support comes from one of the most exciting and best live acts in the south at the moment being Melt Dunes. Heavy, dark, swirling psychedelia, Melt Dunes are going to bring the true nightmare before Christmas. Also playing the night is another from our Strong Island Recordings family being frenetic, snotty, psych/garage-rock trio Strange Cages coming with heavy support from Q Magazine to Fred Perry Subculture. They killed it at Dials playing to a packed crowd where it was in a one in one out and they’re only going to slay harder come Friday so be sure to catch them. Opening the show is brand-new Southsea based garage-rock trio Cosmic Forces.
If you dig your psychedelia, garage rock -n -roll then come on down as it’s going to be one very fun Christmas party. Doors are at 8pm and the first act being Cosmic Forces hit the stage at 8.30pm so be sure to head down early as capacity is limited!
On the 18th December Strong Island Recordings are to team with our Champagne Justice pals for a sweat filled, psychedelic Christmas party at Al Burrito. It will be our last hometown show for a little while so we hope many of you (or as many of you that can actually fit into Al Burrito!) can make it to our Christmas party at the very place we launched at back at Southsea Fest (then known as Bar 56). It’s a perfect Christmas homecoming!
Playing the show shall be heavy, space, psych rock lords You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons plus Strong Island Recordings’ doom-laden acid psychedelic rock quartet Melt Dunes bringing a true nightmare before Christmas and dragging everyone into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm as well as another of our label family being Brighton’s snotty surf-punk meets psych outfit Strange Cages who brought down the house back at Dials Festival in front of a capped out crowd. If you dig any of the likes of King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, Night Beats or The Cramps then they’re for you. Also on the bill is brand new garage rock outfit Cosmic Forces playing their debut show.
So come and party with us before Christmas in a tiny sweat-pit above a Mexican restaurant, eating burritos and nachos, drinking beers and tequilas whilst watching some of the finest psychedelic and garage rock bands the south-coast has to offer because what else is Christmas really about? More details can be found on the Facebook event. See you there!
So we’re onto the second in our Strong Island Recordings Spotify series continuing from thrash-duo Rickyfitts’ which you can check here if you haven’t done so yet. The aim of the series is to get label family and friends to share music they love whether it’s new tracks they’re digging, favourite albums or a playlist of acts and songs that have influenced and inspired them. Also for us, the listener, it’s a fun way of getting to know some of the acts and finding out more about them.
Next up in the series is our good friends Wyldest who most recently played for us at Dials Festival packing out the Wedgewood Rooms from front to back. The dream-pop quartet have shared a wonderful playlist with us featuring everything from post-punk, gothic pop, 80’s synth-pop and also 90’s RnB featuring the likes of TLC, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, A-Ha, Joy Division all the way to the likes of Warpaint and T.A.T.U and should give you an idea of what influences their shimmering, delightful dream-pop meets haunting, gothic like sound. You can check the playlist below or here as well as follow Wyldest on Facebook and Twitter. Also be sure to subscribe to us on Spotify to keep up to date with our Spotify series.
So over at Strong Island Recordings we’ve been meaning to get a podcast up and running for the past 12 months but with releases, shows and everything else we haven’t been able to find the time and it looks to continue that way for the foreseeable future. The idea of the podcast was to showcase and share music we love as well as from label acts and friends of the label. Luckily we don’t actually need a podcast for that so instead we’re starting a Strong Island Recordings Spotify series featuring fortnightly curated playlists from label family and friends. The aim is to share music we all love where acts show their favourite tracks, albums, acts who influenced them and so forth and build a community of music lovers and despite Spotify’s rather questionable royalty rates, it does offer a great platform to share curated playlists. So come and join us on our little journey as it should be a lot of fun whilst loads of acts share their various playlist themes featuring music they love and inspired them.
Kick starting our series is Bristol/London thrash twosome and former Portsmouth natives, Rickyfitts who have selected twenty tracks from past and present featuring an eclectic array of cuts from the likes of Flaming Lips, Girl Band to Songhoy Blues so their playlist may come as a surprise to those who have seen the grunge duo live. Go check it out below or here and be sure to follow our Spotify account to keep up to date with our playlists and future curated playlists curated by acts from our label and beyond in our Spotify series.
Also be sure to check Rickyfitts and the following dates if you’re around-
24th October – The Old Blue Last, London w/ Slutface for Fake DIY Presents
31st October – Powerlunches, London w/ Strange Cages for Fluffer Records
Saturday saw the inaugural Dials Festival take place across Southsea and what a day it was! It was humbling to see so many people fill up the venues of our new community run festival and the touching, positive response we have had for our first year has been truly amazing. Kicking off from the early afternoon to evening Dials featured 40 plus acts from across the day to evening in five different venues across Albert Road. Being the co-booker, also running the social media and also being runner of the festival I managed to catch a fair few across from across the day so here’s my diary of the day at Dials minus all the boring bits.
After a swigging one of those disgusting, suspiciously cheap 35p energy drinks it was time to jog from the station to the debrief of the day in the morning at Edge of the Wedge. After this and making sure all venues were well equipped it was approaching time for wristband collection. During this brief calm before the storm I decided it was probably time for some mid-day breakfast where I quickly managed to neck a burrito at Al Burrito but unfortunately the storm arrived promptly during my “breakfast” and it was time to metaphorically put out many fires. Football traffic amongst other events going on meant acts were waiting for their taxis for nearly an hour which caused a lot of chaos first thing and we wondered if the festival was going to run behind with immediate effect..
Luckily everything worked out and we managed to remain punctual so the first venue I headed off to was The Loft for Jimmy Stuart of Is Bliss who was playing a solo set. Jimmy proved to be a one man psych machine bringing a whirling, wonderful, colorful racket that was in the vein of Morgan Delt and Jacco Gardner. Guitars being thrown on the floor, a guitar strings breaking, it was beautiful chaos and I really can’t wait to see how Jimmy Stuart’s solo material progresses. Staying at the Loft for Strong Island Recordings‘ Melt Dunes the quartet brought their brand of heavy acid/psych rock to Southsea. Their nightmarish, doom-laden, visceral sound was perfect for the psychedelic sweat-pit that is The Loft and their potential is frightening. Biased or not, they’re one of the most exciting acts to emerge from the south-coast in a while.
I’d already seen a lot of doom psych and spent a lot of time in a dark, sweaty room so I decided to have a break at head over the road for the naturally lit Little Johnny Russells. Sam McCarthy managed to hop out of the taxi straight onto stage and his summer tinted, acoustic folk was perfect for a warm sunny day in the afternoon. Next up I managed to catch Fever (albeit very briefly until I was called for some errands). They sounded wonderful at Edge of the Wedge with their fuzz tinted, grungy, indie-pop. After running around for a bit I managed to head back to LJR’s for an act I have been a fan of for a while being Dog in the Snow. Playing to a very full house the duo charmed the crowd with their dreamy, haunting art-pop and went down very well which was is always great to see. Their new EP is out now on Brighton’s Love thy Neighbor label.
After Dog in the Snow and running around like a madman once more it was time for Strange Cages at Al Burrito. It’s fair to say many weren’t ready for the sheer heat of the venue and Strange Cages sounded perfect in it with their heavy snotty garage punk meets surf and psych rock sounding like a cross between the likes of Coachwhips, The Cramps and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Al Burrito was fully packed out with one in one out and Strange Cages delivered a mind-blowing, raucous set to the sweaty audience. After Strange Cages it was time to run to the Wedgewood Rooms to catch Wyldest. Walking in to see a fully packed out Wedgewood Rooms crowd watching Wyldest was a pretty great moment from the perspective of booking the festival and seeing our good friends play to such a large amount of people. The now quartet delivered a truly wonderful set in front of such a crowd delving from their dreampop sound to shoegaze that sounded massive in the Wedge.
After some much needed fresh air it was back into the Wedgewood Rooms to watch Strong Island Recordings’ Curxes who’s set sounded enormous in the Wedge. The frenetic, blitz-pop trio played a blistering set with a number of favourites from their debut album ‘Verxes’ sounding incredible on the Wedge PA. Immediately as Curxes’ set concluded next door in the Edge of the Wedge saw another from the Strong Island Recordings family being Gang bring down the house with one of the sets of the day. Bringing their grunge ridden, doom laden pop, Gang’s set melted minds across the Edge of the Wedge proving they’re one of the finest live acts in the UK at the moment. The trio’s slacker like showmanship on stage is on level with their scolding sound and many in the fully packed out Edge of the Wedge who hadn’t seen Gang were probably not anticipating such tinnitus inducing brilliance.
After witnessing Gang and needing a double Jack Daniels to get my brain back in sync with what was happening it was back up the road for Peluche at LJRs. It’s hard to describe Peluche to be honest which is a very good thing. They’re somewhat shimmering dreamy, avant-garde pop meets jazz. dub, psychedelia and world music that’s perfect for a summers evening and it’s fair to say Peluche smashed it. Hopefully Peluche get some summer festival slots next year as they’re perfect for dancing in a field especially with songs such as ‘Ohio’ and ‘The Guy With The Gammy Eye’. I had done a lot of walking (and running) during the day so I decided to stay put at LJR’s for Jerry Williams who I had seen a number of times but never with a full band set-up. In the end it was brilliant funky-disco pop and Jerry’s charm ridden vocals sounded perfect coated with a full band set-up making tracks such as ‘Boy Oh Boy’ and ‘Cold Beer’ sound as ace live as they do on record.
Straight after Jerry Williams it was off to the Wedge and Edge for the rest of the evening. I managed to catch some of Kagoule’s set and it was amazing to see them play in front of such a large crowd especially as last year at our Southsea Fest stage they played to about 50 people. The Wedgewood Rooms managed to capture the post-punk meets scuzzed out melodic grunge trio’s sound perfectly. Next door Rickyfitts were gearing up for their set and what was about to occur was utter chaos and mayhem. The thrash twosome played in front of a near riot out in front of them with mosh-pits and crowd surfing from the fully packed out crowd. They themselves sounded as great as always with Thom Dalmut-Rudd bringing a monsoon of riffs and Max Goulding smashing up his drum kit to pieces. It was a great, rare homecoming for the duo who now live in Bristol and London.
After Rickyfitts, back in the Wedgewood Rooms things were somewhat more calmer but just as great with special guests Fickle Friends bringing their incredible indie/electro-synth pop to the Wedgewood Rooms. Tracks such as ‘For You’ and ‘Swim’ showed why the Brightonians have such immense potential and why they should probably be MASSIVE soon. It was joyous, danceable pop at it’s best. Back in the Edge of the Wedge Black Honey played their first ever Portsmouth show and probably last here in such a small venue. Bringing the surf doom/grunge akin to The Wytches but laced in oozing noise pop goodness Black Honey were incredible. Izzy’s (front woman) charisma on stage is rather infectious and with tracks like ‘Spinning Wheel’ and ‘Teenager’ on show, Black Honey’s potential as the next big thing was evident.
After Black Honey I realised I hadn’t eaten for hours so I had to find somewhere to sit and reflect on the day knowing that I could leave and everything would be okay which meant a trip to get some food and crash. Overall the response and turnout was incredible and with such a great atmosphere from everyone who attended I and the Dials team cannot thank everyone enough for making the first ever Dials Festival a very special and memorable one.
So we’re officially on the eve of Dials Festival Portsmouth’s newest music festival taking place across various venues in Albert Road with 40 + bands spanning across the day and evening plus an afterparty featuring Rowan of Kassassin Street, Billy Colburn and Fuzz Tones all deejaying the Wedgewood Rooms and Edge of the Wedge until the later hours.
The line-up at Dials consists of some of the “buzziest” emerging acts in the country who if you’re a regular listener of BBC 6 Music or a reader of the likes of NME, Mojo, DIY etc you will probably be well aware of many of the acts playing. The line-up consists of the likes of Hooton Tennis Club, Kagoule, Fickle Friends, Black Honey, Dingus Khan, Crushed Beaks and many-many more plus some of the finest acts from around the area. The times and stage splits for Dials have been announced and you can plan your day ahead at Dials Festival with the Clashfinder here so you can workout at what point you’re going for that burrito/pie break.
You can check out the Dials playlist below of a number of the acts on the bill and you can purchase tickets on the day at just £20 if you haven’t got them in advance at £18. Entry allows you in to all venues (age permitting) and you can see some of tomorrow’s festival heavyweights in an intimate setting plus an afterparty which is free to Dials wristband holders. Also our label arm Strong Island Recordings are offering a 30% discount on all label merchandise to Dials wristband holders in Strong Island Co on Saturday. You can keep up to date with Dials on Facebook and on Twitter on @DialsFestival. Hopefully we’ll see many faces there for Portsmouth’s newest multi venue, community based festival.
Continuing from the HMS Vanguard photos from earlier this week, this one shot from above shows the scale of the ship and her guns, which are as big as the pubs! The second photo is of HMS Victorious passing out in the 50s, with the old power station in the background. Hard to believe such a huge, dominating landmark like that is now just a memory.
Click on the images to see larger versions. Photos are taken from the wonderful Portsmouth From The Air book by Anthony Triggs.
I’ve been following local photographer Paul Thurlow’s blog for a little while, always some wonderful photos from our little piece of coastline plus some incredible portrait and wedding photography too. Put what you’re doing to one side for a little while and have a look through Paul’s website and Flickr too, so many beautiful photos including HDR images too.
“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…
Awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back. Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Epic. Hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guilders, 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. To view the full collection head over to Pop Olive’s Flickr photostream HERE and the Portsmouth set HERE.
The other day I got to go up on to the roof of a house on Western parade with a great view over the common, Southsea and The Solent. Always interesting seeing Southsea in new ways. Below are some photos (click on ‘Read More’ to see more plus there are more over on Forever Circling).
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.
It has been on the cards for a while now but finally yesterday the old Roller Hockey Club House at Southsea Skatepark was torn down. It had become unstable and hadn’t been used for a while. I was lucky enough to gain entry back last year and took a few photographs. If anybody has any old photographs of the club house seen in better times then please let us know.
Lots of exciting plans at the Skatepark so watch this space.
This photo of Cody taking a leap of faith form the club house roof has always been a winner in my book.
Following on from the previous post about the Igloo seen on Southsea Common, Khalid Saleh was kind enough to get in contact with some more information and some photos. It took Khalid and 6 of his friends 5 and a half hours to build the Igloo using what looks like icecream tubs and glow sticks were donated by passers by from the Navy.
It’s still standing today and Meridian will be doing a short interview with them. Not sure when that will air, but hopefully I’ll catch it.
Wow. Another Incredible success. Myself, Paul and the Strong Island Crew owe a MASSIVE thank you to all the people who donated, helped out, attended and of course bought those ever so important raffle tickets.
Everyone had a great time and got fully involved in the atmosphere of the night. Free Strong Island Iced Teas were flowing, and the buffet was awesome. Pet Sounds kept the musical vibe alive and the crowd did the rest. A really good turn out of Strong Islanders made sure The Belle Isle was packed and the charity tin was full.
Well done to all the people who were lucky enough to get one of the prizes. If not more. Winners win prizes…..
Thanks to everyone who came down, all of the very generous prize donators and of course extra special thanks to Paul, Graham, Ben, James, Andy and all The Belle Isle staff for letting us hold our party and making sure no one went thirsty. Cheers guys.
Without the support from our readers, contributors and friends Strong Island would not be in the position to hold such an event, and we greatly appreciate it.
Prizes were very kindly donated from the following people: LJRs / The Belle Isle / Sopranos / Southsea Skatepark / Caravan Gallery / Michelle So Scone / Boed / Southsea Boutique / Dead Mans Glory / Lou Bush / Helen at Kings Theatre / Geoff at The Wedge / Love Southsea / Mikey Ayling / Mark Persuad / Southsea Gallery / james Porter / Parmiters, Ian & Sue / James Weaver / Alanna Smith / Matt Howarth / Bruce Jamieson / Jamie Olivers (Megatron) / Diana Goss / James Batchelor / Fran Bierton / Paul Thurlow / Bonzo Studio / Head Hairdressers / I Love Dust / Holgarama / Stuart Trett at Ye Olde Bike SHoppe. Apologies if I forgot your name.
We’re already looking forward to our 4th Birthday Party next year. Hope you can make it. All the best and thanks again.