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The Champagne Bar – Closing Party

With Summer nearly over it is almost time to say goodbye to the Champagne Bar for the year. We have been told that you can expect great decor, lights, live music, guest DJs and of course a VERY well stocked bar!

Sadly this will be the last ever Champagne Bar at Southsea Castle. So all the more reason to get down there for the final grand send off and help celebrate the good times and very fond memories of the past 3 years.

Tickets will be £10 and are available online however I am advised there are not very many left so get in there ASAP to avoid disappointment. For more information check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

The Champagne Bar Closing Party.

Blissfields 2014

The Blissfields team have just released their 2014 promo film for this years ‘Walk On The Wildside’ themed festival. We were lucky enough to be there and this video shows why Blissfields is one of our favourite festivals in the country.

The Early Bird Tickets for 2015 are now available from the website – www.blissfields.co.uk


The soundtrack features tracks from Jungle Doctors and the Dub Pistols.

Southsea Fest 2014

I have finally managed to recover from Victorious Festival and now the countdown to Southsea Fest begins. Our favourite venues along Albert Road will be welcoming thousands of music lovers, all keen to see upcoming indpendant talent from the UK including a some of our own fantastic local artists.

Fans of rock, alternative, indie, punk, folk and pop will be in for a treat. This years highlights include the South Coasts own Laurel, Pulled Apart By Horses, Ed Harcourt, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Flyte and DZ Deathrays.

Tickets are on curently available at just £18 for an adult all-day pass, and £10 for a teen ticket. Under 13’s are free but passes are still required. Passes give you access to each of the venues for the whole day’s events. All passes available now HERE.

Keep an eye out here on Strong Island next week for the first of our in-depth preview’s for our Strong Island Recordings Stage at Bar 56/Al Burrito.

Southsea Fest 2014 Poster

Charity Cabaret Event at The King Street Tavern

The King Street Tavern & Wish Street Productions invite you to join them on Monday 8th September for a night of live music, burlesque, beverages and grub. The event was inspired by one of their customers who is doing her best to fundraise for the charity @uxilia. The charity focused on the protection of the vulnerable abroad.

As part if this fantastic event there will be a Sri Lanka themed menu, live music from Nathalie Gunn & Marley Blandford & Burlesque from the incredible Isabelle L’Amour, Madaleine Soleil & Scarlett Séductrice. An evening not to be missed.

Tickets are on sale from The King Street Tavern for £15.00 each. There will also be a raffle with prizes from All About Tea, ABarBistro, Kitsch N D’or, King Street Tavern and Two Tickets for ‘Rock With The Foxes’ Halloween Show at The RMA Tavern.

Find out more on the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Cabaret

King Street Tavern

One Eyed Dog Pub Quiz

Tomorrow night Community Fusion and The One Eyed Dog invite you to join them at the monthly quiz.

There are some awesome prizes you could find yourself in possession of Southsea Fest tickets in the raffle. Other prizes include Wedgewood Rooms Comedy tickets, items from The Body Shop, Cider and sweets, Feel Like It Clothing tee, Adult FunGym Workout voucher for 2 people, Community UK WiFi for a year and Tiger Tiger Portsmouth VIP voucher for you and 4 of your friends!!

Entry is only £1 per person to enter and you can have up to 6 people per team.

Community Fusion Quiz

WIN a Strong Island Care Package by Representing at Bestival

It’s that time of the year when dozens (if not hundreds) of Strong Islanders head over to the Isle of Wight for Rob Da Banks Bestival extravaganza. Since it’s beginnings the Southsea contingency has gone from strength to strength, and this year will be no exception.

As always we’re super excited to be going over and it looks like the weather is going to be on our side this year. I know I’m leaving my wellies at home, that’s for sure! The sneak peaks of sunshine is getting everyone even more eager than normal to go get involved.

Over the years we’ve seen a nice steady increase of people representing our tees and this year we hope to see even more. If you’re going over and fancy a chance to win a Strong Island Care Package full of goodies then it couldn’t be easier. Get a photo of yourself, your friends, a stranger or just a RAD photo of someone repping Strong Island and having fun.

You can email the photo’s to contact@strong-island.co.uk or simply hashtag #strongislandclothingco or #strongrepresent on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook for your chance to win. Make sure to tag all your friends.

Whether your going over to the festival or staying at home in Southsea have a great one and enjoy the sunshine.

Strong Island Clothing Co ‘Down the Hatch’ Enamel Mug Now Available in Shop Ahoy

It took us two years of searching for just the right manufacturer but finally this summer we we’re able to release the ‘Down the Hatch’ Strong Island enamel mug at Victorious Festival. Built from scratch in Gdansk, Poland by a company steeped in enamelware heritage, we have been able to work with the manufacturer on the two colour, three point design (front, back and base) as well as carefully selecting the paint colours inside & out, including the hand-painted mug handle. Not your every day mug and rough, rugged and ready to be used out camping, sailing, cycle touring and at home. Every mug comes carefully boxed in Southsea with a handstamped tag plus Down the Hatch sticker, pin badge and beermat.

This run of enamel mugs in limited to just 100 and due to the really strong demand at Victorious (we are now down to the last 20 or so) it has taken a little while to get them online but as of now the mugs are available in Shop Ahoy HERE for £14 plus P&P.

This design is also available on an extra special Down the Hatch navy pocket tee too.

Thank you for being patient and thank you as always for your incredible support!

Strong Island Clothing Co 'Down the Hatch' Enamel Mug Now Available in Shop Ahoy (1)

Strong Island Clothing Co 'Down the Hatch' Enamel Mug Now Available in Shop Ahoy (2)

Strong Island Clothing Co 'Down the Hatch' Enamel Mug Now Available in Shop Ahoy (3)

Strong Island Clothing Co 'Down the Hatch' Enamel Mug Now Available in Shop Ahoy (4)

Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

TomLangford_CrowdGirl_230814

Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

TomLangford_Bandstand_230814

Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

South Parade Pier Petition

For those who aren’t aware, South Parade Pier is Grade II listed building which means Portsmouth City Council has legal powers to order repairs, however they have declined to use them. The pier has had no major repairs since new owners bought it in 2010 and is now in a state of progressive collapse and boarded up by Portsmouth City Council due to it being unsafe. New operators have claimed since February that they own the pier but have not actually purchased it, according to latest information from the Land Registry.

South Parade Trust have organised more than 12,000 people have now signed a petition for listed building repairs to be ordered at the pier. The Trust announced the petition milestone this week after a phenomenal weekend of canvassing at the Victorious Festival. They collected nearly four signatures a minute throughout the entire weekend.

South Parade Trust are a community group calling for full, immediate, end-to-end repairs at the pier to allow the restoration of safe public access to the whole pier. Chairman Leon Reis explains “Before Victorious, nearly 8,000 people had signed our petition – a great success in its own right. But today the total is 12,195,” he said.

“It is important to note that 12,195 signatures is equivalent to more than 8% of the entire 147,000 Portsmouth electorate registered with the council – enough to swing the entire council elections next May if people voted for candidates supporting full, end-to-end repairs to the pier.

“The council continues to spend £3,000 of ratepayers’ money every week on security at the pier but does not try to recover it from the owners of the pier, nor does it attempt to enforce either of the two court orders against the owners that PCC spent ratepayers’ money on going to court to win.

“South Parade Trust only need 1,000 signatures to automatically generate a delegation to the full council and a debate on this issue, and we will continue to collect signatures until we are ready to present the petition to the council. One question the council has still to answer is: how many signatures from local people do we need before they will start to listen to what the people of this city want?”

If you have not signed the petition then you still can online via www.SouthParadeTrust.org/petition. Please take the time to sign it and share with friends.

You can follow the South Parade Trust on Facebook and Twitter @PeoplesPier1.

South Parade Pier - 1932

Catherine Taylor
Catherine Taylor
Luke O'Brien Calendar
Photo by Luke O’Brien

Luke Ferre EP Launch @ The Eastney Cellars

A couple of weeks ago Luke Ferre released the video for his new track ‘Bloodshot’. This was the first track taken from his upcoming EP of the same name.

Luke will be performing with a full band at the official launch party at Eastney Cellars the 4th September. For more information on how you get a ticket check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

For info on upcoming shows, more news and more of his witty humour Luke can be found on Facebook, Twitter @lukeferre, YouTube and iTunes.

Luke Ferre

The Sunday Book Fair

aspex are looking for stallholders for a new second hand book fair to be held every Sunday 11-3pm, starting mid-September 2014. For a limited time, pitches are free and will be handed out on a first come, first served basis. You can be a professional seller, or just someone who’s got lots of books to shift – all welcome to apply.

BookFairCallout

Our Picks For No 6 This September

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.

The team have a great evening planned to offer you in the company of the wittertainer himself, Mr Mark Kermode. On Thursday 25th September at 7.30pm he will be presenting his stage show ‘Hatchet Job: LOVE Movies, HATE Critics’.

Tickets are available either through this website HERE or from the front desk at Action Stations for £15 (£12 concessions). The bar will be open after the show if you would like the chance to meet the man himself.

Kermode

Here are a selection of movies we recommend you check out. Be sure to check the No. 6 website for full list of all the movies this being shown www.no6cinema.co.uk.

The Wind Rises (PG) on Thursday 4th Sept at 19:00

Visionary director Miyazaki delivers his farewell masterpiece and once again defies the conventional limitations of animation in depicting the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer who designed the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Young Horikoshi is fascinated by flight, and dedicates his life to building flying machines but with Japan’s entry into World War II he begins to feel a terrible guilt because of the machines he has devised and the deaths they have caused. This profound and beautiful film deftly combines Ghibli’s mesmerising style with an achingly beautiful love story and asks hard questions about humanity,

*Please note that we will be screening the dubbed version (not the subtitled one).

Predator (18) on Friday 5th Sept at 19:00

Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite squad of US Army commandos to the South American jungle, where they ve been assigned to search for officials who ve been kidnapped by terrorists. Instead Arnold finds himself pitted against a hideous alien creature that is heavily armed and wearing a spacesuit enabling the creature to render itself invisible. But lets face it, we all know how awesome this movie is and how often do we get the chance to see it on the big screen? A must see for Sci Fi and Horror fans!

Belle (12A) on Saturday 13th Sept at 19:00

The illegitimate child of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an African woman, Dido is raised in England under the care of her great-uncle Lord Mansfield. Although Elizabeth immediately becomes her inseparable friend, Lord and Lady Mansfield are tormented by the question of Dido’s social status – ‘too good’ to dine with the servants, but ‘not good enough’ to entertain their guests.

Her fate takes an unexpected turn, however, when she falls in love with an idealistic young man who helps not only to advance Lord Mansfield’s career, but also to eventually halt the practice of slavery in England.

Finding Vivian Maier (12A) on Friday 19th Sep at 19:00

This documentary takes as its starting point the accidental discovery by estate agent John Maloof of a huge cache of negatives. It was only later that he realised their importance: he had stumbled upon a wealth of stunning photographs by Vivian Maier, an unsung talent who had worked as a nanny in Chicago and New York from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Maloof’s discovery resulted in Maier’s recognition as one of the most vivid street photographers of the 20th century. Paying homage to her work as well as exploring the strange twists and turns of her life, this film is dense with images, interviews and revelations.

No. 6 Cinema

Bread Addiction Artisan Bakery Now Open

A while ago we posted about Bread Addiction who were setting up a new Artisan Bakery in Portsmouth. Nikola Ondrouskova and her partner Ladislav Adamek opened for business earlier today and are already creating quite a buzz.

During my visit there was a steady stream of people coming in to find out about their venture and support them. They have been successful in using crowd funding to start the business and are very passionate about the quality of their products.

Both believe that Portsmouth is ready to experience the delights of Sourdough and they hope to run bread making workshops very soon.

Across the globe the rise of artisan shops, workshops and ventures doesn’t seem to be dying down with more and more people wanting to know where their food, clothes and other products are being made. Even getting involved in the process which of course has many benefits.

Strong Island wish them every success. Their Cinnamon Buns were simply stunning and I even got to meet their live Sourdough!

You can find out more information on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/BREADDICTION and find them at 54 Elm Grove, Portsmouth, PO5 1JG.

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #11 The Best Of The Local Talent

Over the past six weeks I have been previewing my personal highlights at this years Victorious Festival. If you have missed my previews of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and co then click HERE to find out what you have missed. I have complied a selection of the best local acts down to perform over the weekend for you to check out…

Blackfoot Circle are a band that I’ve been listening to for what must be close to fifteen years. They’ve undergone a few name and line up changes over that time, but as Blackfoot Circle they have been one of Portsmouth best, and most loved indie bands. I recommend that you venture over to the Seaside Stage on Sunday to see the awesome Jake Bezzina and the rest of the guys put on what is bound to be a great set!

It’s been a great year for The Boy I Used To Be. They have signed to Pie & Vinyl Records and played a number festivals this summer, receiving rave reviews in the process. Our Blissfields correspondent Sophie Perryer described their sounds as “a melange of folk, pop, indie, alternative, with a touch of rock, garage and psychedelia thrown in for good measure.” You can find them doing what they do best at the Pie & Vinyl Stage on Sunday.

Psychedelic rock and garage pop band Burning Beaches were one of my highlights of this years Blissfields. With Mike Bracken on drums, Dan Sayer on bass, Luke Bowman on guitar and Portsmouth lad Sam McCarthy on lead vocals, Burning Beaches are bound to please fans of good old fashioned rock music. Catch them over on the Seaside Stage this Sunday.

Local folk band Day of the Rabblement took their name from a short essay by James Joyce written in 1901 stressing the importance of free art that remains true to the artist. It is with this in mind that the Rabblement write a set of thought-provoking and contemporary songs, blended with aspects of Celtic and American folk music. They have the perfect stage to showcase their music, they can be found in the Real Ale Festival Stage on Sunday.

One of my favourite finds of the year was the Deluxe Flamingos and their track ‘Where Is My Ray?’. PJ Davy, Mike James and Canadian singer/songwriter, Aviv make up the trio. They credit a whole range of influences from Mogwai, David Bowie, M83 to the Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth and the Pixies. You will be able to check them out for ourselves in the Beats & Swing Tent on Saturday.

Matt Jarvis is a bit of a regular on Strong Island but there is a reason we like to feature him and new work, it’s because he’s flippin fantastic! One of the nicest descriptions of Matt’s live performances was from Sophie Perryer again, “Matt Jarvis wove magic through his lyrics and stunned them to silence with beautiful melodies.” You will be able to find Matt perform on Saturday on the Nevada Music Acoustic Stage and in the Pie & Vinyl Tent on Sunday.

Popobawa are one of the newest bands on the local music circuit, and definitely the most exciting. I first saw the Gosport based trio was at the Road To Blissfields competition at the Cellars in Eastney. Granted they’d brought a scattering of their own fans, however they quickly won over everybody in the audience and had them dancing. Not bad for their first ever live performance! I expect to see these guy flourish and become of the South Coasts best bands. Don’t just take my word for it, check them out in the Pie & Vinyl Tent on Sunday.

Kassassin Street consists of Rowan Bastable (vocals and guitar), Nathan Hill (drums), Ryan Hill (guitar), Andy Hurst (keys and laptop) and Tom Wells (bass). The band state that they are inspired by 60′s/70′s beat, psychedelia and more modern artists like Primal Scream, Spiritualized and Death in Vegas.

They are already one of the most popular bands in the local area, they have been playing shows and festivals far and wide this summer. They will be finishing off what has been a busy summer by playing Bestival and Southsea Fest. See them at Victorious at the Seaside Stage on Sunday.

Last but by no means least are The Southsea Alternative Choir. They are a group of Southsea’s finest gents who in 2010 joined forces to raise money for SamuelsFund, a local child with Cerbral Palsy.

Since their original formation the rabble have turned into what almost resembles an proper band. The guys behind it are all very modest but they have done a fantastic job and raised thousands for a great cause. They’ve gone from busking around Southsea to appearing at major festivals including next months Bestival and Southsea Fest.

The Choir will be looking after the Nevada Music Acoustic Stage and can be found performing themselves on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

So thats it from me and my previews for this weekend. Have a great time and don’t forget to come and see us in the Strong Island Tent!

The Shutka Champions win the title of best named band at Victorious, yes better than Pissy Elliot on the Pie and Vinyl Stage. The band’s name comes from an independent film entitled ‘True Stories: The Shutka Book of Records’ celebrating life in Shutka, the largest Roma community in The Balkans (Republic of Macedonia) where everyone believes in their own uniqueness and strives to be a champion in anything imaginable – fishing, sex, seeing the scariest vampire, collecting Turkish music cassettes or training fighting geese!

The guitar heavy psychedelic five piece can be found having a drink in the Real Ale Festival Stage on Saturday. Lucky that, as it is also where they are performing.

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

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #10 Civilisation of the Rough Lost Garden

Civilisation of the Rough will be Victorious Festival‘s dirty little secret this weekend. The COR team are inviting you to join them in their Lost Garden hidden somewhere on the site. They will be joined by legendary and DJ talent over the weekend.

Saturday begins with Brighton’s Go Bang playing a selection of disco and house tunes supported by their visuals ace Matt Page. Headlining in the evening will be Diesel and Rocky aka X-Press 2.

On Sunday the COR team will be joined by Joe’s Bakery and Justin Robertson. As the COR team describes, “Justin has a CV of production credits which reads longer than most peoples record collections and a DJ history which reflects his standing at the very top of his profession Justin is guaranteed to smash yet another in a summer of headlining the very best festivals”.

Of course lets not forget that the Civilisation of the Rough residents: Leon Windsor, Mark Persaud, Ross Prior, Mick Hood and Steve Laming will be on scene to provide their usual mix of balearic beats, electro, disco and house.

COR Lost Garden

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

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five require a ticket however it is at no cost.

Portsmouth Batala At Notthing Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary on Monday. As part of the celebrations Portsmouth Batala will be joining forces to perform with 250 Batala drummers from around the world. Anyone who has previously seen the gang in action will know how awesome they are, I’m gutted that I won’t be up there myself as I would love to see this. If you are lucky enough to be in Notting Hill this Monday then be sure to check them out!

Find out more on their website HERE, Facebook and Twitter @PompeyBatala.

Batala Portsmouth

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. All you had to do was answer to the following questions.

Q. What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
A. Seasick Steve
Q. Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
A. Jade Spranklen
Q. Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?
A. Tom Odell

Congratulations goes to the lucky winner Jamie Horn.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from 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, but still require a ticket.

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

Victorious Festival 2014

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #9 British Sea Power

Eleven years on since their debut album, the British Sea Power are still very much one my favourite bands of all time. So you can understand how excited I was to find out that they’d be announced on the Victorious Festival line up.

The band consists of Jan Scott Wilkinson (vocals, guitar), Martin Noble (guitar), Neil Hamilton Wilkinson (bass guitar, vocals, guitar), Matthew Wood; (drums), Phil Sumner (cornet, keyboards) and Abi Fry (viola). The band were conceived in Reading where they were attending university. It is there that they released a four track demo as the British Air Powers, before moving to Brighton and becoming what we now know to be the British Sea Power. They began to gain quite a following by hosting their own club night ‘Krankenhaus’ which was most frequently hosted at the Freebutt and the Lift clubs.

The bands debut album ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’ was released in June 2003 to critical acclaim and led to a hugely successful tour. In 2004 they were recognised by Time Out as ‘Live Band of the Year’ and 2008 they were also nominated for a the prestigious Mercury Prize.

I have been lucky enough to see a lot of live music over the past decade and I have to say the British Sea Power have been one of the best. They’ve played some of the most unique venues in the UK including Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall, a River Mersey ferry in Liverpool and Jodrell Bank Observatory.

To my knowledge they are probably the only band playing at Victorious who have hosted their own music festival, ‘Sing Ye From The Hillsides!’ hosted in the Tan Hill Inn, in North Yorkshire. The Inn is the UK’s highest pub.

You can catch them for yourselves at Victorious Festival on Sunday 24th at the Seaside Stage. Find out more about the band on their website, Facebook and Twitter @BSPOfficial.

British Sea Power

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 Sunday. 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, however you still need to pick up a free ticket for them.

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Victorious Festival 2014 Preview | #8 2manydjs

As well as being part of the alternative rock/electro band Soulwax, the Belgian brothers David and Stephen Dewaele are two of the finest DJ’s on on the planet. DJing under the guise of 2manydjs the pair are one of the most exciting acts performing at Victorious this weekend.

There probably isn’t a festival worldwide that they guys haven’t played. This month alone has already seen them rack up some serious air miles. They’ve been DJing at events in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, France, Los Angeles, the UK and Spain. As well as still having upcoming shows in Holland, Germany and South Africa before the end of August.

For a taster of what music you can expect then please please take the time to check out their current project, Radio Soulwax. If you visit www.2manydjs.com you will find a continuous mix playing all day and night.

It features 24 hour-long mixes with visuals similar to those used in the 2manydjs live sets, and will include different tracks from various different decades. In the past twenty minutes I have been treated to Dolly Parton mixed into Röyksopp, as well as a bit of Destinys Child and Skee Low thrown in too. RadioSoulwax is also available as a FREE app too, get your hands on it HERE.

You will be able to catch 2manydjs doing their thing this Sunday. With Saturday tickets now sold out I encourage you to get your Sunday tickets asap!

Stay up to date all things 2manydjs on Facebook and Twitter @2manydjsTour.

2ManyDJS

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.

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

We’ve kept a keen eye on local photographer Andrew Hayward’s work since he graduated from the University of Portsmouth including his Secret Dockyard photography project and the Secret Dockyard exhibition through to his new project focusing on petrol stages located on A roads taken after dark.

Andrew’s images within this commissioned collection capture serene and haunting visions of petrol stations, glowing like beacons of hope for the weary traveller. For those who pass through them silently in the night, they are a sanctuary amongst the isolation of the night-time drive. Every driver and passenger on road trips can connect with this vision.

Andrew’s inspiration for this project was ignited on a family holiday to Devon, where a lot of travelling through the darkness was broken up by the safe haven and goods these petrol stations have to offer. Embarking on this project he was influenced by the work of American artist Ed Rushca, who photographed petrol stations along Route 66 during the mid 20th Century.

Andrew has spent his entire life living in Portsmouth, studying photography at the city’s university where he found an even deeper love for traditional methods of photography with colour and black and white film. More specifically he works with large format 5 x 4” film and sometimes 10 x 8” finding it important to use increasingly niche and finite materials for creating his work.

aspex Guildhall will be home to this new exhibition of work by Andrew Paul Hayward with the aspex Guildhall gallery space to be opening with an artist preview on Wednesday 20th August from 6-8pm, the exhibition will then run until 19th October, open from Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm, Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.

If you were lucky you may have even picked up a print of a piece of work from the exhibition as Andrew dropped 10 prints around Portsmouth as part of Free Art Friday last week, well done if you were lucky enough to find one.

To see more of Andrew’s work and find out more about the exhibition visit Andrew’s website:

www.andrewpaulhayward.com

Andrew Paul Hayward A-Road Petrol Stations at Night Exhibition at aspex Guildhall

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from 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.

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

Victorious Festival 2014

Aspex Gallery: Call For Submissions

South-Central is an exciting new opportunity for artists based within 90 minutes travel time of the Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays.

South-Central is a new open submission group exhibition, which seeks to highlight the work of emerging visual artists working in any media but living within 90 minutes travel time of the gallery. There are no age restrictions, but undergraduate students must be in their final year of study. The exhibition is not themed.

The selected artists will exhibit their work in a group show in the main gallery space at Aspex. The overall winner will then work with the aspex team to produce a solo exhibition, either at the gallery or offsite within the City of Portsmouth.

Selectors:
• Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex
• Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery
• Judy Adam, Independent Curator
• Jonathan Parsons, Artist

The deadline for submissions is Monday 5 October 2014 and the exhibition dates are 21 November – 18 January 2014. Applicants can find out how to apply HERE.

SouthCentralMap

southcentral-Logo

Competition | Beats & Swing Presents… The Plump DJ’s

This Saturday one of our favourite local club nights Beats & Swing will be bringing us the Plump DJ’s, resident DJ’s and the Buddhist Punkz.

As well as the DJ’s, the Buddhist Punkz will be playing a live set. The lucky winner who will get two places on the guest list and the chance to see the Punkz soundcheck on Saturday afternoon, is Libby. She successfully answered to the following question. MC Sirreal, Dave Budgen and Rich Budgen from the Buddhist Punkz are all members of which UK breakbeat group?

a) The Freestylers

Tickets are still available for £9 on the Wedgewood Rooms website HERE or on the door on the evening. If you would like to know more then check out the Facebook Event Page HERE.

Beats & Swing presents The Plump DJ's

Luke Ferre ‘Bloodshot’

This week Luke Ferre released the video for his new track ‘Bloodshot’. This will be the first track taken from his upcoming EP of the same name, which is being released on 4th September.

When asked about the inspiration behind the EP, he describes it is quite simply “Girls”. Bloodshot itself was written for his friends and family. “I had a pretty intense couple of years personally, I wound up drinking quite a bit. Not loads, but probably more than I should. I wound up (feeling like I was) becoming a bit of a burden on the people I loved. So I cut back, and wrote this song as a way of showing them how much I appreciate their existence”.

You can catch him performing with a full band at the official launch party at Eastney Cellars the 4th September. For more information on how you get a ticket get in contact with Luke HERE, or the Cellars website HERE.

For info on upcoming shows, more news and more of his witty humour Luke can be found on Facebook, Twitter @lukeferre, YouTube and iTunes.

Luke Ferre 'Bloodshot'

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Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Winter is coming, that means only one thing, we are working hard behind the scenes finalising our 2015 calendar. We were again overwhelmed by the demand for our 2014 calendar. This year we aim to have the calendar available for pre orders from mid October, with the copies ready for dispatch/sale in mid November.

The calendars will be available in the Strong Island Clothing Co. shop and can be posted nationally or internationally. We will no longer be offering a pick up service for your orders. You will however be able to pick up a copy directly at Southsea Gallery, Albert Road or Lou Lou’s, Marmion Road.

We will be taking submissions up until the end of October, so please keep them coming! You can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Tina Bolton South Parade Pier
By Tina Bolton
Louise Kydd Cathedral
By Louise Kydd
Jon Neil 13
By Jon Neil

Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

TomLangford_CrowdGirl_230814

Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

TomLangford_Bandstand_230814

Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

With it being World Photo Day I thought it would be a good time to remind you that we are still taking submissions for our 2015 Calendar. We have got an awesome short list of images coming together but we still have space for more!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are a couple of snaps which I can confirm will be included in our 2015 Calendar.

Jonathan Taff O'Donnell SIC2015
Jonathan O’Donnell
Angela Chick
Angela Chick

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from 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.

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

Victorious Festival 2014

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

Beginning back in 2011, we try and work on a major arts based project/exhibition every year, previous projects have included the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, The PRIMARY Photography Exhibition and The Creating Balance Project. The Strong Island main arts project for 2014 is the Creative Cargo project, which has the key aim of promoting the creative sector in the city of Portsmouth on a national and international level. The creative sector in the UK is one of the fastest growing in the economy and locally is going from strength to strength with local artists, designers, photographers, curators, agencies, organisations and businesses creating art, products and projects that packs a serious punch. We wanted to let the rest of the UK know just how creative, innovative, successful and inspiring the people and businesses that call Portsmouth home can be and Creative Cargo is how we aim to do so.

At the heart of the Creative Cargo project are ten vintage steamer cases that each will contain a curated selection of objects and products from these creative individuals and organisations in Portsmouth. Theses cases will be launched at a VIP event in London in September with each case destined to either be given to a person of national cultural influence or passed on to editors of national and international newspapers and websites focusing on culture, arts & design. A case will also be kept within Portsmouth to tour at key locations within the city to celebrate the creative sector locally.

We have the vintage shipping cases BUT we need to restore them and make them also representative of the city so will re-line them with textiles and paper designed and sourced locally. We need volunteers this week who would like to help us make these steamer cases look not only beautiful but also in their own way showcases that not only hold the project’s artwork and objects but are also works of local art themselves. We’re running the restoration from 11am to 6pm on Wednesday 13th August to Saturday 16th August at the Strong Island HQ Studio at 53 Albert Road and would love to have local people (skilled in textiles or furniture or just enthusiastic!) take part in the project, even if it is just an hour. With the cases restored we can then photograph them for the project website and the press pack to go to national and international press, websites & blogs. We are also producing a project book which will be full of the photography of the cases and which will be given to all the VIPs at the launch event…so everyone helping will not only have our huge appreciation and props but will also directly help this project make a positive difference in promoting the creativity in their city.

Also, if you have any textile or paper repeating designs/artwork that we could use to help restore these cases please get in touch too!

To find out more about volunteering or supplying possible artwork for lining the cases please email Kate at katethesmith@gmail.com.

If you can share this amongst your friends via Facebook & Twitter to get the word out it would really help!

We’ll have more details on the project soon. This project has been made possible with the support of Portsmouth City Council and Penny Mordaunt MP.

Volunteers Needed This Week for the Strong Island Creative Cargo Project

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 stuart@strong-island.co.uk 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

Archives

New Book – Portsmouth from Family Archives

A new book called ‘Portsmouth from Family Archives’ has just been published. Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Ring started developing the book last summer. All the photographs included in the book were from their grandparents. They spent a great deal of time compiling, scanning and restoring slides and film from 1950s to 2006, including behind the scenes filming in Portsmouth.

The 100-page book is available online at Amazon. Bonzo Studio and Southsea Gallery on Albert Road, Southsea are currently selling it, and they hope other shops will sell it too. They are also planning to do the summer market at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.

“It’s been great fun, and such hard work keeping it a secret from everyone! We hope everyone enjoys the book and the photos inside it as much as we did.”

Photos below – A photo of Jonathan Ring, their Grandmother and Matthew Ring; unveiling the book to their grandparents; book cover and the slides.

Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Portsmouth-From-Family-Archives/164827033632175

Sneak Peek - Showing the Grandparents the Portsmouth Book

Slides - Portsmouth Book (Coming Soon)

The Infamous Harry Pounds Scrapyard Submarines

Many of you will remember the once iconic Submarines at the Harry Pounds Scrapyard on the way in to Portsmouth. We even featured a few photos by Robin Hinson back in 2010.

Although I never got to explore the sub aquatic giants myself I was lucky enough to find this little gem a few weeks ago. Although I can’t remember where, so sorry if I nabbed it and forgot to mention you.

Watch the video for a unique view of these “Uk, Admiralty Standard Range Diesels 16 Cylinder V mechanical supercharged monsters!”

Sunny Southsea

I went for bike ride today to take advantage of the nice, albeit cold, weather and take a few photos. Check them out over on my Flickr photostream.

3204028070_90f1fe3eb2_b

Local Designer/Photographer – Weaver

I just found these great illustrations from local web designer and photographer Weaver on one of my random web travels. I’m loving the Hilsea Lido and Carlton Cinema depictions. Check out Weavers Flickr for more Portsmouth illustrations and a whole bunch of local photography and more besides. They would make amazing prints i think you’ll agree.




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 www.theowlandtheaccordion.blogspot.com. 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.