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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.

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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.

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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.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Seven – Theo Verney

Theo Verney  first came to our attention from his debut EP the T.V EP released on the marvellous Italian Beach Babes label last year. Not long after we then co- hosted what was to be Theo’s first show outside of London and Brighton last August in Southsea at The One Eyed Dog.  Strong influences of Sabbath & Ty Segall and intertwining between garage rock, doom laden psychedelia, grunge tinted pop and stoner rock, Theo Verney is a sonic assault of fuzzy sludge filled riffs coated in gruff vocals and immense hooks. Already rapidly rising to prominence as one of the finest new acts in the country with an already shimmering career with releases on the likes of Hate Hate Hate Records (The Wytches & Fat White Family) & Italian Beach Babes as well as support stints with the likes of party king Andrew W.K, Parquet Courts & Yuck, Theo Verney’s stock looks set to continue to ascend at a rapid pace so do seize the opportunity to see Theo Verney playing in intimate venues such as Bar Fifty Six whilst you still can. Theo Verney plays Southsea Fest at Bar Fifty-Six at 19.15pm so head down early or there’s a good chance you may miss out, and you really don’t want to, trust us. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.


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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Six – FURS

First up over at Strong Island Recordings we’re wishing ourselves a very self indulgent happy birthday as it is two years as of today that we launched at Southsea Fest in Bar Fifty-Six. A rather fantastic birthday present is knowing that these guys are going to be playing our party come Saturday at Southsea Fest.

So part six of our continuous Southsea Fest previews is of the incredible psychedelic, day-dream like pop outfit FURS who take you into their charm ridden, sun drenched blissful sound all coated in gorgeous whirling guitars. Their latest single ‘An Eye On The Viscous’ premiered on The Line Of Best Fit on Friday which you can listen to the amazing single taken from their debut album set to drop on the 3rd November right here. The Line of Best Fit described their latest gem as “a rare mix of melancholy and brightness. Like the first chilly day in September, it is subtle, yet sudden, familiar, yet unexpected.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Previously released tracks such as ‘Just Kids’ and ‘Going Nowhere’ show the immense potential with infectious hooks and textured guitars pouring through whilst ‘Striptease’ is reminiscent of psychedelia and surf rock akin to the likes of Allah- Las and The Growlers that sounds like it could be straight out of seminal Californian label Burger Records. We can’t wait for FURS to touch down into Southsea and take us into their enchanting realm.

Catch FURS at Bar Fifty Six at 18.20pm. Check the Facebook event here and do check out our splendid sponsors too, The Park Studio.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Five – Gang

Brighton via Canterbury trio Gang are the latest additions to the Strong Island Recordings roster with the incredible ‘Sandscrape’ EP released back in June.

The trio came to our attention after Theo Verney told us to check them out, in which we did and thus fell in love instantaneously.Gang, also much like fellow Brighton based acts; The Wytches and Theo Verney bring a tornado of scuzzed out, blistering, primal, gnarling riffs with wailing, tortured vocals and oozing fuzz where Gang intertwine between heavy grunge, doom laden psychedelia, stoner rock and destructive garage rock.

The trio are going to be perfect for the dark and dingy setting of Bar Fifty-Six where they’re going to bring down the roof of the sweat-box. Certainly one of our new favourite bands, they may well be yours too very soon. You can catch catch Gang at 17.20pm at Southsea Fest representing our label in very fine form.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Four – Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux

Now here’s a band who epitomise the darkness, chaos and fun, party ethos of ‘Drunken Sailor Presents’. London’s Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux or ENATL for short, cross between frenetic psychobilly, garage punk and surf rock. Topped with Gothic vocals, they remind us of a mixture of The Cramps, Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster, The Wytches and our own Arrows of Love.Head down to our stage to see Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux at Bar Fifty-Six at 16.25pm. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Three – Wyldest

Creating ever gorgeous floating melodies, topped with enchanting vocals and coated in gentle, throbbing bass is the ambient, ethereal dream-pop trio Wyldest (formerly Wildest Dreams). Influences taken from the likes of My Bloody Valentine to Warpaint, it’s impossible not to fall in love and be addicted to the sounds of Wyldest.

NME put it perfectly when describing the now trio “It’s like being tickled in the ears by pixies”. Having main-staged Green Man Festival as well as taking over the blogosphere, Wyldest have quickly become one of the most sought after new acts around today. 

Wyldest are certainly one’s to put into your diary to check out. They play at 15.20pm at Bar Fifty-Six so head down for a tidal wave of total hazed out bliss. You can find the Facebook event  and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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Strong Island Recordings WEB

Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part Two – Eloise Keating

Part two of Strong Island Recordings Presents ‘Drunken Sailor’ highlights the more eclectic nature of our Southsea Fest stage with the immensely talented Eloise Keating making her Southsea Fest debut. Smouldering with infectious, melting vocals, singer-songwriter-producer Eloise Keating creates gorgeous, electronic dream like pop with influences ranging from Lana Del Ray, James Blake to fellow Hampshire starlet Laurel. Having already gained support from the likes of Rob Da Bank as well as much coverage on the blogosphere, there’s no doubting Eloise’s uncapped potential evident in the spine tingly brilliant self written and produced ‘Be My Ghost’.

Having played to a very hefty crowd at Victorious Festival enchanting the crowd with her phenomenal vocal ability, with the right direction Eloise will certainly be a talent playing much larger venues in the future and shall be a name on many folks lips. You can catch Eloise at 14.25pm at our stage at Southsea Fest in Bar Fifty-Six.

You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio.

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Strong Island Recordings At Southsea Fest Preview Part One – Rickyfitts

It’s that time again where we present and preview all of the acts that are playing our Strong Island Recordings stage at Southsea Fest. Once again we return to the sweat-box that is the dingy cavern that is Bar Fifty-Six. It’s the same venue we launched our label ultimately two years ago at Southsea Fest so we can’t wait to embrace the searing heat whilst sweat pours from the ceilings and walls.

Previously our Southsea Fest stages have featured many of our label family with the likes of Arrows of Love, Dead Rabbits, Tyrannosaurus Dead, Is Bliss and Yoofs all having played previous instalments of ‘Drunken Sailor’ and this year waking everybody up at Drunken Sailor is extending label family being the archaic, brutal, thrashy duo Rickyfitts who mould psych to grunge creating a gnarly, gut busting, face melting sludge fuzz filled set. Certainly one of if not, Portsmouth’s finest live act and also one of the countries best new live acts for sure. Despite brutally pummelling their instruments to total total mush, Rickyfitts are as much brains as they are brawn with intelligent riffs and structure to their songs sometimes going near 10 minuets of total, maniacal mind boggling, smash mouth fuzz. Since their first ever show only a year ago and first label release on Treacherous Tides Vol.1  the noisy twosome have gone on to partake in a mini tour with DZ Deathrays and also release their debut EP on local label Pie & Vinyl. They play two sets at Southsea Fest but in the countless shows we’ve seen them they have yet to play the same set twice so be sure to head down early for the loudest alarm clock ever. Rickyfitts kick off our stage at 13.15pm. You can find the Facebook event here and also be sure to check out our stage sponsors The Park Studio who offer incredibly great rates.

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£800 raised at our 3rd Birthday Charity Raffle

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.

With your generosity we managed to raise an amazing £800 for The Portsmouth Autism Support Network and The Portsmouth Lifeboat Station.

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.

Tristan & Paul




















Photos: Matt Saxey

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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Created Local – Carl Partridge

Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at www.carlpartridge.co.uk.

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Guildhall After WWII

On 10th January 1941 during a heavy bombing attack on Portsmouth the Guildhall was hit by several incendiary bombs which heavily damaged the structure and the resulting fires quickly spread throughout the whole building, turning it in to just a shell. It took almost 15 years to rebuild the Guildhall in to what we have today, which was officially reopened by the Queen on the 8th June 1959. This photo from Stan Webb from a collection of photos collected by Portsmouth College shows how totally destroyed the building was, leaving just some of the frontage and most of the tower.

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Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

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