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Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Eight

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring Ami Lowman aka Mia Mai. For a long time Ami has been one of our favourite artists. Ami specialises in beautiful illustrations, fashion & lingerie garments and unique jewellery. Ami describes her inspiration coming from days gone by, traditional tattoos, pin up culture, vintage undergarments & forgotten trinkets.

Ami has kindly donated a framed piece of her art and some of her Christmas cards to our prize list. To be in with a chance to win you will need to answer the following question.

Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?

You can find out more about Mia Mai on Facebook, Twitter @MiaMai.

Remember not to email in your answers until you have received all twelve questions.

Mia Mai

Mia Mai

Road To Blissfields 2015

Last week the team behind Blissfields launched the 2015 event. Road To Blissfields will again give emerging artists and bands the opportunity to compete for a chance to play at Blissfields. The competition attracts the highest standard of local acts including Laurel, Bear Cavalry and Popobawa.

The Road To Blissfields will be slightly different this year, it will feature just three heats in Hampshire, the Midlands and London. Portsmouth will be hosting the Hampshire stage of the competition on Thursday 9th April at the Kings Theatre. This event will be held in a secret room in the rafters of the theatre.

The applications for artist or bands to compete are now open, the deadline is 28th February. You can apply by clicking HERE. Finalists will be contacted within two weeks of the application closing. Judges on the night will consist of the festival’s organisers and local music representatives including myself.

Blissfields 2015 Logo

Blissfields itself will be held on 2nd to 4th July at Vicarage Farm just outside of Winchester. The theme for this years event is ‘Somewhere In Time’. As Blissfields approaches it’s fifteenth anniversary, the weekend will give you a chance to look back over the festivals history and more, and to gaze into the curious future of the universe, permitting your imagination to run free. Tier 1 Tickets for the main event are on sale now priced at £95.45 for an adult and £72.45 for a youth (10-16) from www.blissfields.co.uk/tickets.

Here is a little reminder of Blissfields 2014 back in July.

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Seven

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring the newest addition to the Portsmouth food scene, The Wave Maiden. Based in Osbourne Road, they specialise in homemade artisan cheese dishes, craft beer and real cider. They pride themselves on offering great service along with natural sincere products, organic and locally sourced where possible.

The team have kindly donated a meal for two, which can be redeemed before the end of January. You can take a sneak peak at the menu HERE. To be in with a chance to win you will need to correctly answer todays question.

Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters.

You can find out more about the Wave Maiden on their on Facebook, Twitter @TheWaveMaiden and Instagram @TheWaveMaiden.

To find out the previous questions click HERE. Remember not to email in until you have all of the answers though!

The Wave Maiden

The Wave Maiden Logo

BORDERLINES Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

After a hugely successful exhibition with My Dog Sighs and Midge the Coastguard Studio’s next exhibition opens on Monday, entitled ‘Borderlines’. The exhibition is comprised of photographs by University of Portsmouth photography students Cristian Jurji and Ioana Pirvu that explore the notions of territories, of dislocations and the figurative borders that society confronts.

Monday will be the opening evening from 6pm to 9pm and then the exhibition is open until the 11th at the following times:

Tuesday – 12pm – 5pm
Wedenesday – 12pm – 5pm
Thursday – 12pm – 5pm

Coastguard Studio is located at 91 Clarendon Road, Southsea, PO4 0SA. More can be found out at the Facebook event HERE.

BORDERLINES Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Six

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring Bread Addiction. Based on Elm Grove the bakery and coffee shop is the place to go for Sourdough Bread, Baguettes, Croissants, Sandwiches and Coffee. Everything is fresh and handmade by owners Nikky & Ladi, who have kindly donated one of their tote bags for the winner to store all twelve prizes in. Todays question is…

Q6) We have all heard the phrase ‘the greatest thing since sliced bread’. Prior to that a bread slicers was sold as ‘the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped’. What year was the first bread slicer sold?

You can find out more about… …on Facebook and Twitter @BreadAddiction. If you would like to know more about bread making classes they are running in the new year, click HERE.

To find out the previous questions click HERE

Bread Addiction Tote Bag.

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Five

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are feature Caleigh Ill, the Canadian born Chichester resident is best known for creating the most beautiful animals and beast as well as being known for incredible Russian Owls. In order to win yourself one of her awesome set of four coasters you just need to answer the following question.

Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?

You can find out more about Caleigh and her work by checking out her Facebook and Twitter @caleigh_ill or via her website www.caleigh-ill.com.

For a quick recap on questions 1-4 click HERE.

Caleigh Ill

Down The Hatch Recipes #2 – Ultimate Mac’n Cheese

Next up on the Down The Hatch recipe series is the ultimate comfort food: mac’n cheese. Albeit a slightly punchier version guaranteed to send you to a cheesy nirvana of sorts. This dish goes awesome with a glass of chilled Chardonnay and will be elevated to epic with a couple of squirts of Sriracha sauce.

Ingredients:
340g macaroni
100g breadcrumbs
For the cheese sauce
40g butter
40g plain flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
200ml milk
285ml double cream
200g dolcelatte or gorgonzola cheese
115g parmesan, grated
115g mature cheddar, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water, for 8-10 minutes, or until just cooked. (It needs to be just undercooked as the pasta will be cooked again in the oven.) Drain, return to the pan and set aside.
For the sauce, put the butter, flour and mustard in a small pan set over a medium heat and cook until the butter has melted. Mix the milk and cream together in a jug and add a little to the flour and butter in the pan, stirring well. Keep adding the milk mixture, bit by bit, stirring well each time.
Once all the milk has been added, turn up the heat and boil for a minute or two. The sauce will thicken considerably, then remove the pan from the heat. Add two-thirds of the dolcelatte (or gorgonzola), cheddar and parmesan to the sauce while it is still hot and stir together until well combined. It may be a bit lumpy, but that is fine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the sauce to the pasta mixture and stir everything together. Spoon the mixture into a shallow casserole dish or your individual Strong Island enamel mugs.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs over the top and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble and the topping is golden-brown.

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Pie & Vinyl Presents ‘The Retrospective Soundtrack Players’ LP Launch at The Square Tower

With Christmas gig season well underway, this Sunday 7th December sees Pie & Vinyl Records take over the Square Tower for an evening of festive musical cheer ideal for those struggling to get into the seasonal spirit. Firm local favourites The Retrospective Soundtrack Players will be launching their new LP ‘It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol’ on limited edition red vinyl with a performance of the album in its entirety. Support will provided by folky familiar faces The Day Of The Rabblement while El Morgan opens the show with her signature folk-punk sounds, all set in one of the city’s most spectacular venues.

The Pie & Vinyl team will of course be on hand offering a selection of Christmas-themed pies alongside the expected band merchandise. Fancy dress in the form of Christmas past, present and future is non-essential but is highly encouraged.

Tickets for the gig are priced at £7 and are available in store at Pie & Vinyl or online.

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part Two – Curxes, Fever, Elephantantrum

As you may have seen earlier in the week, we’re previewing all the acts playing our Strong Island Recordings all day party at The Cellars 13th December where entry is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. So it’s next to nothing entry and you get to see a handful of some of the most exciting acts across the south who are blowing up the blogosphere.  The event is also in association with The Park Studio who shall be supplying us with backline which saves us money and thus we can keep the event effectively free so do check them out.  We’re now onto the second part of our previews so do check out the acts below as they’re incredible to say the least.

Frenetic blitz-pop purveyors Curxes are a sumptuous assault to the senses. A thunderously exciting combination of a harpy’s call, electronic acrobatics, pounding bass and thumping drum rhythms, with gothic tones underpinning the bombastic layers riding on top, Curxes are as infectiously catchy as they are ferociously intelligent.

Next up is Southampton’s Fever. Fuzzy, doom like surf combined with jangly indie- rock and grunge all laced in memorable hooks; Fever are like a cross between Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors and The Wytches. Produced by Chris Pedan of Wild Smiles and with support from NME to KEXP, Fever are one of the most promising new bands from the south.

Brand new quintet, Elephantantrum are a journey into the darkest netherworld of the psychedelic realm. Brooding guitars and synths, distorted fuzz, tortured wailing vocals, all reminding you of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches, Elephanantrum are the soundtrack to your nightmares. Parts of of their tracks are like wandering alone in a circus at night with the impending doom of being hunted by psychopathic clowns, it’s eerily marvellous. Easily one of the most exciting and unique bands to come out of the south coast. Head down early evening to catch a rare glimpse of the band playing in Portsmouth. They certainly fit the ethos of a Strong Island Recordings party for sure.

Our cash free, charity Christmas all day party opens its doors at 13.oopm with Champagne Justice deejays playing throughout the entirety of day and night between acts. You can find the Facebook event here.

xmas party

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Four

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring Magpie’s Lust. What started as a hobby for owner Abbie Pembroke, is now blossoming into a nice little business. For the fans of all things nautical and science fiction, you will find jewellery inspired by your movies including Hunger Games and Harry Potter. You can find out what else is available by checking out the Facebook page.

Magpie’s Lust has kindly donated a pair of earrings and a necklace to our lucky winner. Todays question is…

Q) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?

To find out the previous questions click HERE. Remember not to email in until you have all of the answers though!

Magpie's Lust

The Shivas of Burger Records & The Red Cords At The Edge of the Wedge 11th December

Champagne Justice have pulled together a very great last minute show at The Edge of the Wedge called Blownzone on Thursday 11th December featuring a couple of the finest garage rock acts from both America and the U.K. Portland’s The Shivas of the legendary Californian label Burger Records (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Dave Grohl and many more) are playing Portsmouth in only one of three U.K shows during their European tour as well as one time Strong Island Recordings act and now full time PNKSLM shredders, The Red Cords who are very incredible to say the least. It’s a rather massive coincidence both acts were free for the same date and it’s certainly one of the strongest line-ups  musically in Portsmouth for a while no doubt. Entry to the event is a mere £5.00 and doors open at 20.00pm. If you’re a fan of psych rock/garage rock akin to the likes of Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Coachwhips, Bass Drum of Death, Black Lips etc then head down for a rare glimpse of some of the finest, gnarly garage rock acts around. The Facebook event can be found here.

 

Red cords shivas

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Three

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring the awesome Angela Chick. She has kindly donates a set of ten Nautical/Southsea themed Christmas Cards. In keeping with the nautical theme…

Q) In feet or metres how long is the HMS Warrior in overall length?

To find out the previous questions click HERE.

If you would like to get yourself some of the cards then they are available from http://angelachick.bigcartel.com. If you enter STRONGISLAND discount code then you get FREE delivery.

Angela Chick Southsea Christmas Cards

Kassassin Street – Centre Straight Atom Video

Portsmouth band Kassassin Street recently dropped the official video for their song Centre Straight Atom, a crowd favourite of their live sets. The video is by local visual artist Jez Stevens who has previously worked on many awesome projection and video projects in and around the city.

You can download the song via iTunes HERE and see the band live just before Christmas at The Cellars on the 19th of December, if you were lucky enought to grab the tickets as the show is now sold out!

Kassassin Street by Jon Neil
Kassassin Street in the Round Tower, photo by Jon Neil.

Sam Ashley Photos from Polar Tour in Portsmouth

A few months back the Polar team came through Portsmouth as a stop on their UK “Surf ‘N’ Turf” tour, hitting up different cities around the country. Polar, out of Scandinavia, is the skateboarding creative outlet of pro skateboarder, artist and film maker Pontus Alv with a team of skaters from all over Europe and New York City too. The tour stop in the city was coordinated by Bored of Southsea with a shop signing, a demo at Southsea Skatepark and then the team out hitting up some of Portsmouth’s best street spots, all captured by one of skateboarding’s best photographers, Sam Ashley from London.

The photos from the tour (and from the Portsmouth stop) appeared in a Kingpin Magazine article which is now online and well worth a look & read HERE. You can pick up Polar boards and clothing at Bored in Albert Road.

Pontus Alv, frontside wallride around the corner. Photo: Sam Ashley
Pontus Alv, frontside wallride around the corner at the King Henry building. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Paul Grund, ollie. Photo: Sam Ashley.
Paul Grund, ollie. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Foal Arts Salon Exhibition Opens on 4th December

Over the Solent in Ryde is the home of Foal Arts, an Isle of Wight focal point for the arts with an eye to promote local creativity not just on the island but further afield. At 7pm on Thursday 4th Dec you can join Foal Arts as they celebrate the opening of their Winter Salon. It is a chance to meet the artists and curators and enjoy a great night in their converted Wesleyan Chapel studios.

The Salon features many successful and investable artists with added Christmas magic including mulled wine on arrival and a musical vernissage. The salon is open from the 5th to the 8th and everyone is welcome to pop in and also enjoy Granny’s cafe/bar with a cup of tea and a homemade mince pie.

Exhibition runs Friday 5th – Monday 8th December 11am – 4.30pm. 23 Nelson street, Ryde, PO33 2EZ. (from town centre head along Cross street, cross George St onto Melville St, left onto nelson street, building halfway down on the right).

The exhibition includes works by:

Annik Cullinane, Barbara Long, Celia Wilkinson, Chris Jenkins, Eva Fraser Harris, Gillian Chapman, Lynda Gray, Lisa Heath, Hilary Hayton, Holly Maslen, Howard Hardiman, Ian Whitmore, Joanne hummel-Newell, Jacqueline Cook, Kitty Cooper, Kieron LeVine, Lisa Traxler, Lyndy Moles, Martin Swan, Matt Chambers, Melanie Swan, Paul Woods, Sara Netherway, Stephen Butterfield, Steve Miles & Zoe Barker.

Curator lead tours available by appointment. You can find out more at:

foalarts.org.uk

Foal Arts Salon Exhibition Opens on 4th December

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Two

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring the No. 6 Cinema in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. The team being No. 6 have offered free two tickets to see a movie there.

You can find out more about No. 6 Cinema at www.no6cinema.co.uk or on their Facebook and Twitter @No6Cinema.

Q) What Disney movie are they showing over the Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

To find out the previous questions click HERE.

No. 6 Cinema

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day One

Twelve of our local favourites have donated twelve awesome prizes for one lucky Strong Islander to win.

Over the next twelve days I will be asking a question each day which relates to the to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

The first prize is the awesome Portsmouth Illustration by Jennifer Burbridge from Made By Burbs. She created this map of Portsmouth as her submission for They Draw & Travel who recently held a competition to create a map of of the city where you grew up. Jennifer says to her “Portsmouth is generally known as place where nothing much happens, but to those that live there it’s a treasure trove of things to do. So much so that I couldn’t fit everything on”.

You can see a larger version of the map HERE.

So the first question you need to answer is… The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?

You can find out more about Made By Burbs on Facebook, Twitter @MadeByBurbs. You can even get yourself a copy as well as find her other work on her Etsy page HERE.

Made By Burbs

Strong Island Recordings All Dayer Preview Part One – Rickyfitts, Dead Rabbits, Wyldest

So we’re approaching our first ever Strong Island Recordings Christmas party where we’ve curated a monster of a line-up in association with The Park Studio in Denmead featuring eleven bands plus Champagne Justice DJ’s and the entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food that will go to local food banks. That means you don’t have to spend a single penny of your Christmas funds if you wish. It’s ultimately a win-win-win for all. We’re going to be posting four previews of the event over the next two weeks so you can get to know some of the bands on the bill.

First up is our headliners for the day being Rickyfitts. We had them on our Treacherous Tides compilation last year just two months after they formed and since then the guys are proving to be one of the finest and most explosive live bands in the U.K. Creating tinnitus inducing noise, annihilating their instruments, grunge tinted, thrash punk duo Rickyfitts are a tidal wave of ferocious fuzz. Having mini toured with thrash-pop Aussie twosome DZ Deathrays and a plenty of new recordings, Rickyfitts are going to sign off of 2014 with a bang.

Another of our extended label family who we’re fortunate to have playing our all dayer is Dead Rabbits. Fresh from their European tour and the release of their second album, Dead Rabbits are going to be bringing a whirling, beautiful racket to The Cellars. Crossing between psychedelia, shoegaze, space rock and also flirting with the boundries of drone, Dead Rabbits are a band Alan Mcgee would have signed had they been around during the height of Creation Records. Think The Jesus & Mary Chain crossed with The Telescopes.

This next act played their first ever gig actually at The Cellars just five months ago. Since then they’ve added an extra member being Jack, touring drummer of Sub Pop’s Still Corners, blown up the blogosphere, mainstaged Green Man Festival, wowed everyone at Southsea Fest, graced the BBC Radio 1 airwaves and also were chosen of hundreds of bands to play the This is Fake DIY all dayer. They are of course Wyldest. Creating ever gorgeous melodies, wrapped in a gentle, wobbling bassline and enchanting, yet powerful vocals, the dreampop trio are like a cross between Beach House, Warpaint and Cocteau Twins.

 

xmas party

 

Short Story Competition

We are really excited to announce that in February we are going to be holding a writing competition. This will be run in partnership with My Dog Sighs and will be open to everyone to enter. You will be asked to write a short story based on one of his tin can men, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

We can’t say too much about the exact details as they are currently being confirmed, however we can tell you that the categories will be split into three different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under
• 14 years – 18 years
• 18 years and above

For the younger age groups we looking for teachers who would be whilling to lend a hand going through the entries or would maybe like to invite their school or class to be involved, maybe as part of a class project.

This competition will run from February until March with the winner for each category being announced early April. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself.

If you or your school are interested in getting involved then drop me an email with your details to stuart@strong-island.co.uk.

Tin Can Man 9

Tin Can Man 8

Creative Christmas Cards

We all know that we have a wealth of creative talent in Portsmouth and they have produced a selection of their own awesome Christmas cards for your nearest and dearest.

Here is a selection of my favourite and how you can get your hands on them.

Roma May Design
Available from www.facebook.com/romamaydesign.

Roma May Design

Aled Lewis
Available from http://shop.aledlewis.com

Aled Lewis 1

Aled Lewis

Roberta Fidora
Available from Pie & Vinyl, 59-62 Castle Road, Southsea.

Roberta Fidora

Mia Mai
Available from Mia Mai.

Mia Mai

Jade Spranklen
Available from www.sprankenstein.bigcartel.com and Southsea Rock, 51 Marion Road, Southsea.

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Jade Spranklen

Angela Chick
Available from http://angelachick.bigcartel.com. If you enter STRONGISLAND discount code then you get FREE delivery.

Angela Chick 1

Angela Chick

Down The Hatch Series #1 – Lamb Harira Soup

Allow me to welcome you to episode #1 of the Down The Hatch recipe series. With the winter months truly upon us and the new batch of Strong Island enamel mugs now released, we shall be unveiling a weekly range of winter busting recipes to warm the cockles of your heart. Kicking off this mug friendly series is a simple and spicy North African soup which is guaranteed to keep the cold at bay: Lamb Harira soup. Ya salam!

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
Cubed lamb on or off the bone
1 leek, washed and finely sliced
4 fat celery sticks, chopped into small pieces
3 large carrots, chopped into small pieces
Coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve
1 tbsp cumin seed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp harissa
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
85g raw green lentils
2 veg stock cubes, crumbled
zest and juice 1 lemon
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic

Method:
Heat half the oil in a cast iron pot, season the lamb and brown really well on all sides. Using the same pot add the remaining oil, the vegetables and coriander stalks. Gently cook until the veg is softened – about 5 mins. Stir in the spices, turn up the heat, and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the harissa (have always loved the classic colonial design on the packaging), followed by the tomatoes, garlic, lamb and lentils. Add 500ml of stock water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 mins. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. Ladle into your enamel mugs and add extra coriander and olive oil. This hearty soup also lends itself beautifully to a sauce mopping sourdough from Bread Addiction.

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All ingredients bought from the Mediterranean Supermarket on Elm Grove.

Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward at the Southsea Skatepark

A little while back Southsea Skatepark had a BMX comp and Epic TV have dropped an edit of the day with some heavy footage of locals and Total BMX riders Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward. Mark Webb is still coming back for what for most would be a career ending injury…not that you would know it with the park getting a battering like a winter storm. Have a watch below:

Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward at the Southsea Skatepark

The Wave Maiden – Now Open!

Southsea’s purveyors of sincere beer and homemade cheese-based dishes have opened their doors this week. They say good things come to those who wait. I can confirm after my trip to see the The Wave Maiden team on Tuesday that they are onto a very good thing!

Keep an eye out here for a full feature over the coming weeks. In the meantime for opening times and all other information check out their Facebook and Twitter @TheWaveMaiden.

The Wave Maiden

The Wave Maiden

The Wave Maiden Logo

Pie & Vinyl Presents… The Retrospective Soundtrack Players LP Launch

On Sunday 7th December the Pie & Vinyl team will be taking over the Square Tower for the The Retrospective Soundtrack Players ‘It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol’ LP launch. Support on the night will come from The Day Of The Rabblement and El Morgan who will be opening the show.

The Retrospective Soundtrack Players will be launching their limited edition red vinyl ‘It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol’. The LP will be sold at the show and the band will play the whole album in it’s entirety.

Pie & Vinyl will of course be selling a selection of lush Christmas themed pies and not to forget the excellent Sweetie Pie Bakery will also be providing something for those with a sweet tooth.

Doors open from 7pm and tickets currently available for a bargain £7 from Pie & Vinyl directly or online HERE.

For updates on the event, check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

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Our Picks For No 6 This December

If you haven’t visited the No. 6 Cinema before then we highly recommend it, it is a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in the dockyard.

Here are a selection of movies we recommend you check out. Be sure to check their website for full list of all the movies this being shown www.no6cinema.co.uk.

2001: A Space Odyssey (U) – Saturday 6th at 7pm

Kubrick’s complete mastery as a director is evident in every frame and every scene of this film. His almost sadistically precise exposition of story and character creates a steady accretion of perplexed tension in the viewer. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY was a landmark film upon its initial release but it received mixed and often very misguided reviews, a fate that would befall EYES WIDE SHUT many years later. The film’s true meaning remains as opaque as the famous black monolith that appears inexplicably throughout the film.

Leviathan (15) – Thursday 11th at 7pm

This powerful drama from Cannes winner Andrey Zvyagintsev begins in a dilapidated port on the Barents Sea, where Nikolai, a hard-drinking mechanic, his long-suffering wife and truculent son are under threat of losing their home, which the mayor wants to bulldoze and replace with a fancy dacha. Hope emerges when a handsome ex-army pal turned lawyer arrives to aid their cause and in the process expose the mayor’s extensive corruption. Things take several unexpected turns, but this being a Zvyagintsev film, the family’s struggle against a poisoned bureaucracy ultimately testifies to the power of perseverance and determination.

Nightcrawler (15) – Friday 12th at 7pm

Drifter and small-time crook Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles into the seedy world of freelance journalism in LA, where he goes armed with a camera and an increasingly perverse taste for car wrecks and shoot-outs. His work soon catches the eye of veteran TV journalist Nina, although his driver Rick is more troubled. As rival newshound Bill Paxton exhorts him to sensationalise his reporting on the basis that ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ Bloom inevitably crosses the line, and instead of merely covering the story, he becomes it. Dan Gilroy makes a stunning directorial debut, combining tremendous action footage with a morally driven crime drama.

Fury (15) – Saturday 13th at 7pm

Brad Pitt’s second WW2 film is a far more visceral, indeed credible exercise than Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and as Wardaddy. It’s April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts. Director Ayer makes it clear this isn’t about the glory of victory, for as Wardaddy says, “You think it can’t get any worse, and then it does.

It’s a Wonderful Life (U) – Saturday 20th at 7pm

Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is a gloriously sentimental testament to homely small-town moral values. Masterfully crafted, the film opens with angels discussing George Bailey (James Stewart), a man so beset with problems that he contemplates a Christmas-time suicide. As George prepares to jump from a bridge his guardian angel Clarence Oddbody intervenes and shows him how badly Bedford Falls would have turned out without his good deeds. Filled with a renewed joy of life George returns to his family for Christmas.

No. 6 Cinema

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Features

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition

Between the 1st and 12th December I have been asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring two of my favourite creatives currently plying their trade in our city, Katie Barrett and Laura Bennett from Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery.

Raw & Auburn began life early in 2013, the Southsea based company specialises in hand crafted accessories using raw and unique materials. Each item bears it’s own individuality and is different than the last. Using traditional techniques every product is finished to a high standard and comes with it’s own Mill Cloth bag and they are all finished with the Raw & Auburn signature cross stitch.

Raw & Auburn have kindly donated one of their leather envelope wallets for you to win. You can find Raw & Auburn on Etsy and Facebook.

Raw & Auburn

Laura specialises in hand made contemporary jewellery inspired by nature, sympathetically composing pieces made from found objects combined with precious metals while exploring the natural qualities of the materials. She has recently created a set of jewellery inspired by Portsmouth and its nautical images.

If you would like to contact Laura about a private commission or to generally find out more about on Laura’s work on her website www.laurabennettjewellery.co.uk and her Facebook page.

Laura Bennett Jewellery

If you would like to win all of the prizes on offer then all you need to do is email your answers to the following questions to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. The deadline for entries is midnight on 19th December. We will announce the winner on 20th December. Good luck!

Day One – Made By Burbs Print
Q1) The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?

Day Two – x2 No 6 Cinema Prints
Q2) What Disney movie are they showing over he Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards
Q3) In metres how long is the HMS Warrior over all?

Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery
Q4) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?

Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters
Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?

Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag
Q6) What year was the first bread slicer sold?

Day Seven – Meal at the Wave Maiden
Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters?

Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print and Christmas cards
Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?

Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for the Marmion Pub
Q9) The Marmion has been nominated for one of the annual Guide Awards, but under what category? (Please note we are looking for the full title of the award for a correct answer).

Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar
Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?

Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin
Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?

Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery
Q12) Raw and Auburn has recently collaborated with Illustrator and artist Megamunden. What form of art inspired Megamunden to create his recent colouring book?

Photo by Josh Knill.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Under the Spotlight is an upcoming exhibition that will feature 40 spotlights on artwork & photography by 40+ local creatives, all homed in the beautiful new Coastguard Studio in Southsea. More details on the exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks by the Coastguard Studio so keep an eye on their website at coastguardstudio.com and the date of 13th February firmly written in to your new diaries.

Under the Spotlight Coming Soon at Coastguard Studio

Strong Island Calendar 2015

You should all be well aware that over the last year we have been compiling a calendar using photographs submitted to us by you, the Strong Island readers. We are really excited by our 2015 edition, I didn’t think it was possible but the bar has been raised yet again!

The calendar again features photography submitted throughout 2014 from local photographers. The calendar is full colour printed A4 and folds out and hangs so that one side of A4 contains the month’s photos and the other side has a large format calendar perfect for keeping your important dates through the year.

£1 of each calendar sale goes to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

The calendars are still only available as a pre-order from our online shop HERE. We are expecting to have them in hand by next Thursday. They are priced at £10 each if you collect from Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea. Postal orders cost £12 each and international postal orders cost £14 each.

I guess it’s about time we share with you some more of the amazing photographs which have been included this year.

Danielle Gridley
Danielle Gridley
Nick Weall
Nick Weall
Megan Barnes
Megan Barnes
Jay Hansford
Jay Hansford
Sam Brooks
Sam Brooks
Melanie Easthope
Melanie Easthope

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

Strong Island invites all our friends old and new to our new home in Southsea, opening this Saturday (15th November) from 10am. Strong Island at 12 Highland Road is a new shop and exhibition space, stocking all of the Strong Island Clothing Co range, a selection of high quality art prints, releases from Strong Island Recordings plus a collection of fine leather accessories from Raw & Auburn. We will also have monthly guest artists and designers selling their work too.

Our first exhibition in the space is a retrospective of some of the designs, projects and events we have worked on in our 6 year history. We’ll be having regular exhibitions throughout the year with shows by local and visiting artists, designers & photographers.

Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH.

We will be open every week on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

The Strong Island Calendar 2015 Pre Orders Now Available

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks collecting together the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. The calendar is soon to be sent off to the local printers and we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Shop Ahoy online store. As per our previous years, the calendar is £10 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our new studio/store once the calendars have arrived (due early December). All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last two years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

The Strong Island Calendar 2015

Strong Island Recordings Cash Free Christmas Party For Charity At The Eastney Cellars

On the 13th December Strong Island Recordings takes over one of Portsmouth’s finest establishments being the cosy little Eastney Cellars for an all day charity party in association with The Park Studio who will be kindly supplying us with much needed gear. The event hosts 11 bands as well as Champagne Justice deejays and we’ve decided to do away with cash entry for the event and instead entry for the event is a donation of non-perishable food which will be donated to local food banks.  From a tin of beans or packet of pasta to a bag full of groceries it all helps and we can all help those in need whilst having a blast.

Now for the line up. Once again we believe we’ve curated a heavyweight eclectic line-up that features some of the most exciting and up and coming acts from across the south. Headlining the day and representing the label family will be thrashy-grunge twosome Rickyfitts, quite possibly one of the finest and also loudest bands in the U.K at the moment. Also finely representing our little label is shoegaze/psychedelic outfit Dead Rabbits and garage pop duo The Boy I Used to Be. We’ve also dragged back a few of our friends who have graced our parties before. London dreampop trio Wyldest fresh from main-staging Green Man Festival and blowing up the blogosphere play later in the evening as well as everyone’s favourite blitz-pop duo Curxes. Along with both of them we’ve brought back indie rock/post-punk outfit Fever and also Death of the Author who killed it at our Southsea Fest stage back in September when they filled in last minute. New to any of ours shows is London’s shoegaze/grunge quintet Nevermind Me playing their first ever show, drone-stoner rock outfit Verletzt, doom grungers Bittertown Mary’s and also the incredible dark twisted psychedelia outfit from Southampton, ELEPHANTANTRUM who remind us of a cross between Tame Impala and The Wytches. Get ready to be dragged into their nightmare realm.

Doors on the day open at 13.oopm so get down early as you don’t want to miss any of the acts as they’re all splendid. In the event you’re coming down please do rummage through your cupboards and ask any friends or family if they have any bits they don’t mind donating too and hopefully all of us together can help those in need whilst also having a marvellous time watching some of the best bands in the country. Check out the Facebook event here as well as below with a playlist of some of the acts playing the all day Christmas party. You can also keep up to date over on our website. See you there on the 13th December for the Christmas party in Portsmouth.

xmas party

Archives

Welcome to Southsea

Ian Parmiter recently found this photo at a sign makers on one of his many travels. A Facebook debate has already begun as to it’s original whereabouts. Any ideas?

Created Local – Marc B.B

Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.

“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”

Be sure to check out Marcs website www.marcbb.co.uk for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at www.portsmouthatnight.com. They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to www.uk.movember.com and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Old Ships and The Point

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.

Hidden Treasures

Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).