Strong Island Co.

Strong Island

Into The Cell Block

Into the Cell Block is a free, four day course that is being offered to help build on creative and digital ideas to help structure new businesses and promote freelance and mentoring opportunities.

The course is based on the NESTA toolkit, an interactive way of developing key skills required for viable business products.

Chloe Hood, a University of Portsmouth graduate attended the course in October last year and is now running her own business, Hoodlum Fang Apparel, a punk rock fashion brand.

Chloe said “I went into the course not knowing anything about book keeping, taxes or insurance. I knew nothing of any of the legal aspects of business and I was terrified of starting a business without any of this knowledge… The course made it all a lot less scary. I also gained a lot of support, from the mentoring and other students who were taking part on the course. I was made to feel like I could succeed and that I had a sound business idea.”

The course is running in April and June this year and will be held at the Portsmouth Innovation Space and the only pre requisite is that you are 18 and over and have an idea, no matter how quirky or out there it may seem.

The course is fully funded by Portsmouth University and places are set to be snapped up quickly due to the fantastic opportunity that the course presents.

To find out more visit the website or contact Portsmouth University direct.


Victorious Festival 2015 – Early Bird Tickets Deadline This Friday!

You have until 4pm this Friday to get your hands on discounted early bird tickets for Victorious Festival. With tons more acts to be announced soon the line up is already taking shape nicely with the Flaming Lips, Tinie Tempah and Basement Jaxx already confirmed as headliners. Not to forget also confirmed are The Magic Numbers, Texas, Bi Polar Sunshine and Ben Ottewell from Gomez.

You can get your hands on tickets by visiting the Meat & Barrel on Palmerston Road, alternatively you can pick them up online HERE.

You can stay up to date with all things Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest

Victorious Festival

I have been lucky enough to see the Flaming Lips live twice before and they were brilliant on each occasion. I can’t wait to see them work their magic on Southsea Common! If you don’t know very much about them here is a preview of what you can expect to see.

Castle Knights At Southsea Castle

Following on from the sell out party on New Years Eve Concrete Music and Food Music will again be taking over Southsea Castle for another huge party this Sunday.

On the night you can expect music in the marquee featuring Justin Martin (Dirtybird Records), Southsea Soul Club and Concrete Music. There will also be music in the tunnel where you’ll find some of the best Disco, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul and Party tunes.

The doors open at 9pm and runs until 2am. You can buy tickets on the door but to guarantee entry I recommend picking up your tickets online HERE.

For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Castle Knights

Kassassin Street ‘To Be Young’

Local favourites Kassassin Street have today released their latest single ‘To Be Young’. Much like the last two singles ‘Centre Straight Atom’ and ‘The Royal Handkerchief Ballet’, this track will also be stuck on your head immediately after the first listen, and you won’t mind one bit.

You can pick up the track on iTunes now for a mere 79p HERE.

The band are about to play a sold out show on Albert Road’s Wedgewood Rooms next weekend. If you were unlucky enough to get yourself a ticket then you can also catch them playing in Brighton, Guildford, London and Portsmouth over April. You can find out more on their website

The band have a strong online presence, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter @KassassinStreet, SoundCloud, YouTube and Spotify.

Kassassin Street To Be Young

Jack House Gallery x Petting Zoo Prints

Here is a preview of the extremely limited edition poster by Petting Zoo Prints & Collectables that’ll be printed by hand for the launch of the Jack House Gallery on the April 4th. The print itself will be available in three colours however there will only be fifteen in the edition.

Jack House Gallery is a new art space at 121 High Street, Old Portsmouth. The first show will feature Amartey Golding. Keep an eye out here on Strong Island to find out more, or you can find out more yourself by visiting To stay up to date on all things to do with the gallery check out their Facebook and Twitter @JackHouse.

Petting Zoo Jack House Gallery

Photos From Strong Island Recordings In-Store Takeover of Strong Island Co

We’re always really excited in exploring what we can do in our new home Strong Island Co. We have the Strong Island Clothing Co store in there plus the studio space for Strong Island Media which we use for both photography and film and we’ve already had a few exhibitions too. On Saturday night we had our first Strong Island Recordings in-store takeover with full sets by Melt Dunes and Death of the Author.

A big thank you to both bands, the SIR crew, Max from Rickyfitts and everyone that came down. We’re aiming on making this a semi-regular thing, more info on the next one soon.

Below are some photos from the night taken by Josh Knill and myself, there are a bunch more on our Facebook and Flickr.

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

As part of the current large exhibition A Hard Choice at Portsmouth City Museum a community case & display area was set up to allow local people to have the opportunity to share their own treasured collections with the rest of the city. A few weeks ago three winning collections were selected from the incredible shortlist of submissions with judges Rosalinda Hardiman the city’s collection manager, Mark Waldron from The News and myself from Strong Island. The collections submitted were fantastically diverse including vintage postcards, royal clocks, an 80s fashion designer, glasswear and much, much more. Finally three submissions were selected for the community display and the first of these to go in to A Hard Choice is all about the Back to the Future Trilogy.

The Hill Valley Preservation Society present a small portion of their Back to the Future props and costume display at Portsmouth Museum. This collection includes some of the most iconic items from the Back to the Future Trilogy and is made up of officially licensed replicas, screen-used/production made props, reproductions and vintage items. If you are a fan of the films this is an incredible collection and well worth a visit, alongside ‘A Hard Choice’ exhibition, from the end of March until the end of May. Don’t forget that entry to Portsmouth Museum is FREE.

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

Back to the Future Mini Exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum

Short Story Competition – Deadline Extended

We are really excited to announce that we have extended the deadline for you to submit your entry to our short story competition. The theme behind your short story must simply involve one of My Dog Sighs tin can men pictured at the bottom of the page. There is a word limit for each age group but apart from that, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

The entries will be split into three categories for the different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under (150 words)
• 14 years – 18 years (300 words)
• 18 years and above (500 words)

This event is open to everyone to enter and you don’t even have to be from Portsmouth to get involved. For the younger age groups we are looking for teachers who would be willing to lend a hand. This will involve going through some entries and maybe they would like to invite their school or class to get involved, maybe as part of a class project perhaps.

This competition will now run until Sunday 12th April, with the winner for each category being announced soon after. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself. The winning entries will also be featured in an exhibition in our Strong Island Co shop which you can find at 12 Highland Road, Southsea.

If you or your are interested in getting involved with helping judge the winner you can drop me can email to Submissions should be sent to the same email address, please don’t forget to include your contact details and what category this is applicable to.

My Dog Sighs has a great talent for capturing character through the expressions on each piece of art, which should serve as an ideal inspiration for your short story. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

My Dog Sighs TCM 1

My Dog Sighs TCM 2

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

My Dog Sighs TCM 5


Community Fusion 4th Birthday Celebrations Today

Regular readers of Strong Island will be aware of Community Fusion and the great work they do for the young people of Portsmouth, getting them involved in making a positive change to their communities.

Today they will be hosting a special day of 4th birthday celebrations, beginning with a Made With Hartt Market from 11am. If you are into craft and all things creative then get your yourself down there. The award winning project providing an opportunity for volunteers to develop and gain new skills through volunteering and a chance for the community to sell their handmade goodies, arts, crafts and designs. The unique market will be held in the Wedgewood Rooms providing live music too.

Live Music:
12:00 Hanna GypsyWicks music
13:00 Tom Martin
14:00 The Sharpest Fool
15:00 Nicola Brown

made with hartt market small jpeg

The second part of the celebrations ‘Party with JOUIS and friends’ features live music in The Loft above the Kings Pub on Albert Rd and is sponsored by Quay West Studios. This will be a mere £2 entry on the door and is great value for this line up.

22:15 – JOUIS – Jouis (Jhew-ee) are a 5 piece band based in Brighton, UK. Combining Jazz, Psychedelia and Progressive Rock, their sounds are designed to open your mind, and spirit you away to new lucid dimensions.

21:30 – Damn Beats – Three humans. Three instruments. One sound. A new trio fusing upbeat indie riffs with blues licks.

21:00 – Barn Society – A 5 piece indie rock band hailing from Portsmouth England.

20:30 – Paul Dillon – Portsmouth based acoustic singer/songwriter.

20:15 – Back to the Future Islands – A one off cover track specifically for this celebration.

To complete the hat trick of event Community Fusion are having an after party at Al’burrito Bar with DJ Death Bitto.

Community Fusion 4th Bday

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 29

Charlie is back with 29th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This week I take a closer look at Beatle, spiritual adventurer and self-professed ‘naughtiest boy in the school'; George Harrison. There’s a couple of solo tunes, a couple of Beatles tunes, a collaboration and a cover, a little attempt to show the breadth of work he was involved in through the years.

As well as that, there’s a new tune from Badbadnotgood featuring Ghostface Killah, a bit of krautrock, some Talking Heads, classic Beta Band and the welcome return of Sam’s Selection Box. I’ll let you tuck in.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) – George Harrison
02) I Need You – The Beatles
03) Eclipse – The Beta Band
04) Screams In The Ears – Bill Fay
05) Paper Trails – Darkside
06) Badge – Cream
07) My Ritual – The Folk Implosion
08) Isi – Neu!
09) Ray Gun – Badbadnotgood
10) All Things Must Pass – George Harrison
11) She’s So Cold – The Rolling Stones
12) Devil Was In My Yard – The Sleepy Jackson
13) Pulled Up – Talking Heads
14) Here Comes The Sun – Nina Simone
15) Something – The Beatles

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 29

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Two for a Fiver mate…

I’m really digging this Tea Towel they have for sale down Clarence Pier. Great little illustrations of some of our more recognisable landmarks and modes of travel. A great addition to any kitchen.


Lights Out by Pete Thorne

Following on from Tristan’s post about pics from early Saturday morning during the power outage.

Very impressive series of photographs taken on Albert Road during the black-out by Portsmouth photographer Pete Thorne.



Moonlit Junction

See more on his Flickr Stream.

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


The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

(Click to see larger image)

Created Local – Victoria Haynes

Friend of Strong Island, Charlie ‘Pet Sounds’ Waddington told me about a very talented work colleague of his the other day and kindly asked if she could send in some examples of her work. Damn straight she can. That’s what we’re all about here, you know that.

I’ll introduce Vicky with the little bio that sent me. “Right, erm. About me, I’m 28, married with a two-year-old little boy, and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I work three days a week at Paul Smith, where I’m the visual merchandiser and a sales assistant. The rest of the time I spend looking after my son, seeing friends and family, drawing, crocheting, sewing, watching films, listening to music and reading – the dream is to eventually scratch a living from artwork and handmade goods, while living in an old house with the family and a cat or two. I’m socially awkward, and have a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, I’m not very cool and tend to like clothes that everyone else thinks are repulsive – my favourite shop in Portsmouth is Dead Mans Glory, closely followed by any charity shop. I am actually addicted to period dramas, and love anything from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.”

Vicky’s print artwork is hand drawn, scanned in to the computer, coloured in Illustrator and usually drawn from a photograph for accuracy. Patterns are then self generated and added after. Inspiration comes from old objects, cameras, typewriters and suchlike – anything from days gone by captures her imagination. Crochet has so far been limited to homewares and childrens hats, but she would love to start making more wearable items to sell.

Undoubtedly a girl of many, many talents, Vicky’s work is eclectic, fun, unique and fantastic. Please add your comments and thoughts at the bottom of the page.

Keep up to date with Vicky over at her Blog All the best for the future and I hope you get that old house. Vicky also has prints for sale in the Southsea Gallery on Albert Road. Pop down and grab one.

Strong Island Clothing Co.