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Operation Tanktop @ Victorious Festival

The Feel Yourself Campaign are getting together with Earth Wool & Fire to yarn bomb the tank outside the D Day museum during this year’s Victorious Festival, with permission from the organisers and the museum of course.

Contributions are flooding in but more are needed! If you can knit or crochet and can spare the time to donate a square or rectangle of any size to this project, your contribution will be greatly appreciated. If you can’t but you know someone who can, please pass this on them.

Op Tanktop

For more information and to stay up to date on the project, please check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Op Tanktop

Joseph Loughborough ‘The Mountain’

Portsmouth ex pat Joseph Loughborough has just released a limited edition print ‘The Mountain’. This is a follow up to ‘The Tide’ which was released in March.

The Mountain is a giclee print on 305gsm Hahnemühle Photorag with goldleaf hand finishing. The limited edition run is for fifteen only so don’t hang around if you’d like one. The print itself is 42/59.4cm(A2) (16.5 x 23.4 inches).

You can get you hands on ones of the beauts HERE.

You can find out more about him at and through Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.

Joseph Loughborough

Joseph Loughborough

Little Johnny Russell’s | Silent Disco

You all know the drill by now. Two DJs, one set of headphones, two channels to choose from, and one dance floor full of people singing and dancing in a room with no music. Get involved!

You can follow Little Johnny Russell’s on Facebook and Twitter @JohnnyRussells

LJR Silent Disco

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie’s Vineyard from 28th to 30th July

Do you fancy seeing a spot of theatre and supporting a fledgling director, all in the lovely setting of Rosie’s wine bar? Jennie Rawling, our strong island contributor for all things theatre and literature, is directing Michael Frayn’s play Here for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors (SSA), to be performed at Rosie’s wine bar tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday at 8pm.

The play follows the daily life of Cath and Phil, a young couple who move into a studio flat, as they bicker, banter and struggle to stay on the same page while creating their own little space. All this happens amidst the rather inconveniently-timed interruptions from the landlady living downstairs, Pat.

We spoke to Jennie about the rehearsal process, drama school, and how she feels to be directing to the public for the first time:

Why did you choose this play to direct? Isn’t the SSA a Shakespeare company?
Our main focus is Shakespeare (Southsea Shakespeare Actors – the name says it all!), but we also try to put on smaller, more contemporary productions throughout the year. It’s a good way of showcasing our work to people who may be normally put off by Shakespeare, and it gives our actors a chance to try something different.

I came across Here when I was looking for audition pieces for drama school – it didn’t have any big enough chunks that I could use as a monologue for Cath, but I loved the banter between the couple and thought I’d like to have a go at directing it. I love the way it exposes the minutae of daily live in a couple living together – I think there’s something everyone who’s ever lived with a partner will recognise in Cath and Phil’s to-ing and fro-ing.

This is your first time directing to the public – how does it feel?
A bit terrifying! I directed an in-house production for the Southsea Shakespeare Actors a few years ago but as that was just to company members and friends it was less scary. There’s so much more to think about when you’re directing to the public at an external venue, and more logistical issues to sort out. There’s also the company’s reputation to uphold!

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (3)

Were there any challenges you faced along the way?
Yes! There are always challenges with any production, because you never have everything perfect (set, venue, timing, props, budget), so you just have to think around any problems and be creative. In the play there’s a scene where Cath and Phil are wearing identical jumpers, and at one point they’re both in the same jumper. So we needed to find two matching jumpers but in slightly different sizes – easy, right? Not so easy when you’re trying to buy big stretchy jumpers in the middle of June! After nearly garrotting Faye, who plays Cath, several times with one jumper, we finally found a pair of v-necks that fit the bill.

We also needed a threadbare toy dog – Theodore – which features heavily in the play. We managed to find one in a charity shop but he looked too pristine, so we were discussing how to mucky him up a bit and maybe tear an ear and I realised I just couldn’t do it. I guess the big kid in me couldn’t bear the thought of ‘hurting’ a soft toy haha. It’s become a bit of a joke – the others had to inflict the matting of fur with paint and toothpaste and coffee on him as I chickened out.

You can read a bit about Theodore and find out what we got up to in rehearsals on the SSA blog at

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (2)

You’ll be going to drama school in September to do the MA Acting at East 15 acting school. Do you think you’ll return to directing once you’re a professional actor?
Definitely, if I have the opportunity to. I want to focus on acting, but I really enjoying the directing process as well. It’s a different kind of creativity, and I like the project management side of it. Plus you get the opportunity to work with some very talented actors and guide them through the process whilst trying to get the best out of them.

Here is showing at Rosie’s Vineyard, Elm Grove, 28th–30th July, 8pm. Tickets: £9 (£7 students and unwaged). Book online at, or for more information go to

Here to be Performed by Southsea Shakespeare Actors at Rosie's Vineyard from 28th to 30th July (1)

Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 14 Drop Now Available

The initial drop of the new summer 2014 collection by Strong Island Clothing Co. is now available to buy online in the Shop Ahoy store HERE. We’ve also put together a quick video lookbook from the recent Dell Quay shoot to, have a watch below. To coincide with this drop we’ve given the website a little tidy up and fixed a few things here and there too.

Check the full lookbook HERE and below are a few photos of the new designs and colours:

The Southsea Show Competition

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you have to do to win this prize is email with your answer to the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The deadline for entries will be midnight Wednesday 30th July with the winners being announced on Thursday morning.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #2 Tom Odell

In our second Victorious Festival preview we are featuring Tom Odell. Tom could even be considered one of the local artists performing this year, he was born a stones throw away from Portsmouth in Chichester, West Sussex.

After being discovered by Lily Allen, she signed him to her own record label ‘In The Name Of’. Earlier this year he won the BRITs’ Critics’ Choice Award, previously won by artists such as Adele, Emeli Sandé and Florence and the Machine. They have done alright for themselves since!

Tom was also named ‘Songwriter Of The Year’ at the this years Ivor Novello Awards. The prestigious Ivor Novello Awards honour excellence in British and Irish songwriting. They are judged by the songwriting and composing community, making the award quite an honour, and something to cherish.

Tom shot to fame with the hit single ‘Another Love’ and admits that most of songwriting is inspired by heartbreak. You can clearly hear a vulnerability in his records, akin Jeff Buckley.

It has been a busy summer, he’s played the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury and still has V Fest, Kendall Calling to come. He will also be racking up plenty of air miles by performing at festivals in Spain, Switzerland, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Belgium and Ireland. Tom finishes manic summer at Victorious on the Seaside Stage. Possibly saving the best til last?

Find out more about Tom Odell on his website, Facebook or on Twitter @tompeterodell.

Tom Odell

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August, adult day tickets are currently available for £20. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Community Fusion Shop – Made With Hartt

Launched in May as a Mini Market, Jenna and her team at Community Fusion now bring us a full market at The Wedgewood Rooms on the LAST Saturday of the month, every month.

Take the time to check out whats in store while being entertained with live music from Mike Keating, Sam Whiteway and Paul Dillon. Doors open at 11am and close at 4pm and entry is completely free! Find out more on the Facebook Event Page HERE.

If you are a crafty individual who wants to book a table in future then half a table costs as little as £5.

Community Fusion Shop - Made With Hartt

Lucius @ The Wedgewood Rooms This October

On October 27th the Wedgewood Rooms welcome Brooklyn band Lucius. Headed by the strong vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Leasing, the line up is completed by Dan Molad (drums), Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri (both guitar).

Rolling Stone magazine describes them as “the best band you may not have heard yet” and the Guardian describes them as “The missing link between Arcade Fire and Haim… How can they fail? They won’t”. Great praise indeed but don’t take their word for it, take mine. These are a great band and during a dreary October this will be something worth leaving the house for.

Tickets are priced at £9.50 and are available from the Wedgewood Rooms, find out how you can get yours HERE.

You can stay up to date on all things Lucius via their website, Facebook, Twitter @ilovelucius and YouTube.

Lucius Tour Poster

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 22

Charlie is back with the 22nd episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

“Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues are deadpan, sharply dressed, law breaking, hard drinking, and they’re on a mission from God. The Blues Brothers was an attempt to cash in on a musical sketch from Saturday Night Live and ended up being a cult classic with a stellar cast. The real star of the film though, was the phenomenal soundtrack, original songs used as background music and re-recorded set pieces with James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and more. It’s one of the best feel good films of all time, and if you watch it every week for the rest of your life, you’ll probably live longer.

For this show I’ve picked a few of the set piece songs and brought you the original versions, except for Shake Your Tail Feather which Ray Charles actually recorded especially for the movie. As well as that there’s tunes from Van Morrison, The Dø, The Housemartins and Delakota. This week from Sam’s Selection Box we’ve got a lovely 12-string folk song from The Red House Painters.

Enjoy, and then go watch The Blues Brothers.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group
02) Happy Hour – The Housemartins
03) Think – Aretha Franklin
04) Dreiklangsdimensionen – Rheingold
05) Minnie the Moocher – Cab Calloway
06) Everyone – Van Morrison
07) Mother’s Last Word To Her Son – Washington Phillips
08) 1941 – Harry Nilsson
09) On My Shoulders – The Dø
10) Shake A Tail Feather – Ray Charles & The Blues Brothers Band
11) Wop-A-Din-Din – Red House Painters
12) John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom
13) Cursed Sleep – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
14) The Rock – Delakota
15) Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Wilson Pickett

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 22

Next »


Tearing Down The House – Roller Hockey Club

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.

The Old Days - Roller Hockey Club
Free Art and Live Painting Event at Southsea Skatepark

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.

Amazing Vintage Naval Posters

I found these truly amazing posters on one of my many Flickr travels. All circa 1930s and all fantastic. Click the images for the direct links to Flickr.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 2

A new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up this week.

This episode has focuses on Canoe Lake and the Model Village.

Southsea Seagulls

How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…

Photography : Tristan

Pier and Snow

Here are a few photos from a walk down to the pier on Wednesday during the snowfall. There are some more over on Forever Circling.

Whiteout #2


Walk Together

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