Strong Island Co.

Strong Island

An Evening of Stuff & Nonsense with Tim Vine, Harry Hill, Neil Innes and friends

This coming Wednesday evening Portsmouth Guildhall will be playing host to an awesome night of comedy all in aid of raising money for Parkinsons UK.

The event features live performances from Harry Hill, Tim Vine, Neil Innes, Katherine Ryan, Aisling Bea and Abandoman, with exclusive video performances from Matt Lucas, Sheila Hancock, Jenny Eclair and many other special guests, all hosted by award-winning double act Max and Ivan. A very special one-off evening celebrating the nonsensical and the absurd for Parkinson’s UK, inspired by the work of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and Mervyn Peake.

Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets start from £10. You can find out more information HERE.

Stuff and Nonsense

Strong Island 5th Annual Home Brew Competition – Date Change

Ladies & Gentlemen due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to push the date back a week to WEDS 11TH FEBRUARY.  It will still be at Meat & Barrel with the same timings and formats. Huge apologies if this causes any inconvenience. If you are unable to make the revised date please contact Malcolm Irving who will be happy to take delivery of your brews and will ensure they are entered into the competition if you are unable to attend. We look forward to seeing you on the 11th.

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Strong Island Co. Exhibitions: EQUINOX by Joanna Dawson

Strong Island Co. is proud to announce the first external exhibition our in store gallery space will host. From January 28th to February 18th, local artist Joanna Dawson will be exhibiting EQUINOX, a collection of large format, mixed media abstract landscapes with a focus on coastlines near and far from her travels.

Joanna is no stranger to utilising mixed media and unusual paint substitutes, dabbling in gouache, watercolour, acrylic and even tea and coffee staining to create her works. Working as a professional artist and designer allows her the space to explore her creative direction and conduct these material experiments.

To find out more about Joanna, her work and the exhibition, give her a follow on Instagram to keep up to date with her happenings in the run up to the exhibition.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 27

Charlie is back with the 27th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

Hey! Welcome back to the first show of 2015! After a super long break from the radio show, I thought it was about time to get back amongst it. This week I’ve put together a playlist of people I went to see live last year. I went to a few festivals so it could have gone on forever but I decided to stick to the standard 15 tunes and just cherry pick. Thanks to everyone who came along to the gigs with me.*

Hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed the gigs!

Cheers, Charlie x

*(Chris, Russ, Phil, Laura, Tim, Peta, Tim, Simon, Tamsin, Craig, Sam, Lizzie, Morgs, Owain, Rosie, Teddy, Sharpy, Laura, Tom, Jenty, Keith, Max, Jade, Turku, Jen, Jo, Simon) It was a blast…

01) The Doors Of Then – Tim Burgess (Islington Assembly Rooms – 16th Dec 2013)
02) Long Distance Call – Phoenix (Brixton Academy – 5th Feb 2014)
03) After The Disco – Broken Bells (Shepherds Bush Empire – 14th Mar 2014)
04) Heroine – Suede (Royal Albert Hall – 30th Mar 2014)
05) Have Love, Will Travel – The Sonics (Koko – 6th May 2014)
06) I Live On A Battlefield – Nick Lowe (Union Chapel, Islington – 10th May 2014)
07) We Came Far – Paqua (Shacklewell Arms – 1st July 2014)
08) I Walk The Earth – King Biscuit Time (Camp Bestival – 1st Aug 2014)
09) Blue Moon – Beck (Bestival – 4th Sept 2014)
10) Boney M Down – Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas (Else, Berlin – 10th Aug 2014)
11) Better Than Mine – Allah-Las (Oval Space, London – 24th Sept 2014)
12) It’s Gotta Be About Me – The Jim Jones Revue (The Forum – 4th Oct 2014)
13) Second Chance – Caribou (Koko – 8th Oct 2014)
14) Wanderlust – Wild Beasts (Academy, Liverpool – 30th Oct 2014)
15) We Are Unhappy – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (St John At Hackney Church – 19th Nov 2014)

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 27

Beats & Swing Present… Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys

This first Beats & Swing event of 2015 will be 20th February at the Eastney Cellars. Headlining the evening will be Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys.

Armed with a saxophone, loop pedals and practically whatever he can get his hands on; Mr.Woodnote creates every track live, whilst Lil Rhys drops his distinctive vocal flavours into the mix.

The duo have headlined here in the UK as well as internationally and are regulars at Glastonbury, Shambala, Beatherder, the Edinburgh Fringe. After earning a global following through their live shows, album sales and videos they are becoming a positive fixture in the underground music scene. Never playing the same set twice they carry on from strength to strength.

Support on the night comes from The Scandal and James Tattington aka Fugitive Orchestra.

Beats & Swing

Spaces Available at White Elephant

White Elephant over in Eastney is a studio/workspace/exhibition space and they’re looking for people who might be interested in taking on one of their spaces for a studio or as a selling stall. You would be joining a team that already includes artists, editors, photographers, designers and more.

You can visit White Elephant at 48b Cromwell Road or give them a call at 02392 177311.

Studio Spaces Available at White Elephant

Strong Island Recordings Label Party & New Additions To The Roster

At Strong Island Recordings we’re hosting our first show of the year on the 7th March at Edge of the Wedge where for the first time ever, all acts, including DJ’s are part of our Strong Island Recordings family so we’re very excited.

Playing the show is shoegaze, psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits, psych-pop Bournemouth duo Yoofs who we released their debut album ‘Something’ on our label last year and brand new additions to our label, Melt Dunes now formerly known as ELEPHANTANTRUM.

Our minds were blown by the local Southampton quartet so we decided we had to have them on our label. Crossing between brooding, doom ridden psychedelia and fuzzed out garage rock, Melt Dunes are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Catch them at our label party on the 7th March where entry is a mere £3.00 and includes The Boy I Used To Be deejaying which should be fun. You can find more about the event here. All photos below are by Toby Jezard who kindly photographed our cash-free, food donation label party in December.





Community Fusion Sponsor Pledge for Made with Hartt

The last year had been a roller-coaster for Community Fusion, their project Made with Hartt was launched in December 2013 making history in Cascades Shopping Centre as the first charity shop and ‘Empty shop scheme’ shop. The shop quickly became recognised as a great place to launch creative work in the city centre plus a cut of all sales came in directly to support the charity and boost volunteering opportunities for primarily young adults aged 14-25.

Made with Hartt distributed an estimated 1 tonne of free books to the community and free story time was offered to children on Saturdays. Over 25 volunteers came through the Made with Hartt project learning new skills, gaining qualifications and attending training days. Many of the volunteers moved on into paid employment after spending time in the shop.

Phase 2 of the project was launched in May 2014 in form of a market held once a month in the Wedgewood Rooms. Table fees from local artist, crafters and designers were all contributions for Community Fusion. The Wedgewood Rooms donate the space free of charge in support. All these efforts were rewarded with winning the title of Green Business of the year from the Venus Awards and the national finals are later this month.

In late November 2014 Community Fusion lost the shop in Cascades to a new tenant and sadly after a 2nd shop fell through Community Fusion have been left without a base to trade from. Recently an opportunity came about to be based on Albert Road on a long term lease but funds are needed. The charity needs to raise £5000 to make this dream possible. The new shop promises to continue its great work and also launch creative workshops and have meeting/creative/workshop space available for the community to use.

If you are interested in donating to this cause please contact Jenna Boyson via EMAIL or donate directly HERE.

The next Made with Hartt Market is on Saturday 24th January from 11am to 4pm at The Wedgewood Rooms. This is a monthly market usually on the last day of each month but January sees it one week early. Local artists, crafters and designers come together to showcase their work, take custom orders and raise awareness of their talents.

Find out more about the Community Fusion events HERE.

Community Fusion Sponsor Pledge for Made with Hartt (1)

Community Fusion Sponsor Pledge for Made with Hartt (2)

Community Fusion Sponsor Pledge for Made with Hartt (3)

Ashcroft Arts Centre Looking for Group Leaders for New Youth Arts Project

Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham have recently received funding to run a new Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots Project entitled No Facebook? OMG! The project will be an exciting opportunity for 45 young people aged 14-18 to explore the impact and development of technology since the 1970s and work together to produce an exhibition or installation based on their research and experience.

Ashcroft Arts Centre are looking to recruit two dynamic group leaders to run groups in local (Fareham & Gosport) colleges or 6th forms. This will be a great opportunity for creative individuals to work closely with young people to inspire and equip them throughout the project. These are paid positions. You can view the full job description and project details HERE (PDF).

If you are interested in the role please email Lorna at Ashcroft couple of paragraphs explaining how your skills and experience fit the requirements by 26th January. If you have any questions please email Lorna too.

School Media Project
Photo from Ashcroft’s previous schools project.

Footnote For A Dream Exhibition

Following on from the Megamunden exhibition Kings Ship Tattoo‘s welcome local artist John Ainsworth for his ‘Footnote For A Dream’ exhibition. The event will be held on 30th January and runs from 7pm-9pm, with refreshments provided and the chance to get your hands on one of his work.

John’s use of extremely varied art mediums provide a unique take on his observations of the world around us. John uses of a wide variety of materials includes tea, coffee, and walnut ink as backgrounds for more traditional media. His work is also completed with drypoint and monoprinting: creative techniques that demand patience and an understanding of process and time.

His investigations into the world around him focus entirely on creating permanence in things that are transient and ephemeral, the skulls that are drawn are not a celebration or meditation on death but a way of describing an obsessive desire to collect things that most people overlook. Discarded feathers, lichen encrusted branches, expired beetles, lapsed hornets, corvid skulls and fox kills have all been sources of subject matter.

You can follow John on Twitter @whenwewerecows and on his Tumblr account. For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.


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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.




Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Created Local – Inksquatch

Here’s an interesting little blog I stumbled upon. Inksquatch are a collective of Portsmouth based artists, illustrators and designers that comprises of four people working on anything from books, maps, sculptures, bags, badges, you name it from the sound of things. Check out their BLOG and WEBSITE for more info.


Southsea Flats by Cat

It’s nice to be nice!

A new reader of Strong Island recently sent us this email. Glad to hear we’re doing things right and feedback of all kinds is always welcome, as is beer. Of course.

“Hi all at Strong Island

I just wanted to email to say as a recent visitor to your site how great it is to see something that celebrates the creative, cultural and positive life of Portsmouth and Southsea (and I don’t even skate or cycle!). ‘Strong Island’ sums up the spirit of this place so well. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the site go from strength to strength and maybe impacting on some of the decision making that goes on.”

Best wishes



Meg and Lynda hug it out with the help of Andy.

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea poster

You know we love a bit of Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea here at Strong Island. Not too much info on this one, perfect for holidays though. The flickr link states the photo of the poster was taken in Eastney, but I’m not sure where.

Via : Bob Franklin

Strong Island Clothing Co.