Southseas Alternative Blog
I missed the first support act since I was too busy sitting outside the front of Koko in the high street of Camden finishing off the cheapest bottle of red wine Sainsbury’s had too offer to save me spending a fortune on drinks in the venue. Because of my love for an intoxicated state I only managed to see the 2nd support act, and thank fuck I did. They were called Obongjayar and consisted of 4 members’, I think? My eyes were drawn to the lead singer whose energy sent rolling waves of shivers across the surface of my skin which made it feel like braille. The shivers remained throughout the bands set. As he twisted, snapped and threw himself across the stage I was on the edge of expecting something to burst out of him. With every note he hit and word he sung made it seem as if every ounce of music I could hear was being squeezed from his insides and coming out as this beautiful husky voice which had me stunned. Tribal drums raced across the floor and up the walls of the venue toward me as I watched in amazement from the balcony. I was only up there for the bar and was glad I had such a full view of the stage but couldn’t help wish I was in the madness on the ground.
The 2nd act ended and after going for a smoke outside I pushed my way through the wave of people back into the venue hoping I could get as close to the front as possible for King Krule. I grabbed a beer from the bar on my way to the ground floor to unfortunately find a barricade of people in front of me. My eyes darted across the room trying to find a path way to the front. Luckily I managed to spot two people quite a bit taller than myself, which isn’t hard to achieve when you’re 5’8, who were also making their way to the front but with quite a bit more ease than myself. I instantly jumped behind them and made my way to the very front of the barrier, with the only cost being a fifth of my beer and a few insults thrown my way from a couple of (rightly) pissed off hipsters. There I was, at the very front of the barrier waiting to see King Krule, who’s album release The Ooz had been on constant replay for the last few months.
On he came, and for once I saw him before the crowd started to roar at his presence alerting those further back of the Kings arrival. This is where I would love to be able to tell you about which songs he played and in which order, but unfortunately I didn’t plan on writing this gig experience so a bottle of wine and many beers later left my memory of the night slightly faded.However, what the alcohol didn’t steal from me was the feeling of pure ecstasy I felt as I was thrown around to some of the songs that have been the soundtrack to many important moments of my life over the last 2 years. My eyes were fixated on Krule as his deeply melancholy voice bellowed out of the most unsuspecting figure. Song after song was played and I screamed out the lyrics to them as loud as I could, rinsing my body of every emotion King Krules music filled me with. While I have quite an intimate relationship to Krules music I was surprised at the amount of moshing there was to his music. Part of me wanted to be the only person standing in that venue as Krule yelled out ‘EASY EASY’ but I also could not help give in to my love of moshing and often found myself in the middle of a mosh pit, an elbow in my cheek or helping someone up off the floor. All moshing was carried out in good spirit.
After the set had finished I stumbled out of the venue drunk from overpriced beer and dazed for I could not believe the performance of emotion I had just seen. I walked down the street and noticed round the side of the building a door protected by a bouncer standing over 6ft tall with a bald head and a mean stare. I weighed up my chances of trying to rush pass him back stage to see maybe catch King Krule, but came to the conclusion that this fantasy in my head stood very little chance of making its way into reality. So I decided to stand around by the exit and have a smoke while I waited to see if he was going to be leaving the venue anytime soon. Unfortunately, he never did but I did manage to meet Jamie Isaac, another musician and friend of Krules. In a probably obviously drunken manner I told him how I liked his music and un-shamefully asked for a picture with him. Just before I left I asked if there was any chance of him being able to get me backstage of the venue, the answer was obviously no and after playing the scenario of running pass the bouncer again in my head I decided it was time to get another bottle of wine and stumble back up Camden high street to make my way home.
Howling gales and relentless driving rain on a gloomy October evening in Southsea was somewhat ironic as the perfect backdrop for this trio of young, angry bands who took to the tiny stage at Albert Road's The Loft tonight. This small, dark and dingy upstairs venue has played host to a smattering of excellent punk and anarcho bands over the last few months including Omega Tribe and The Spitfires.
Unfortunately I only caught the tail end of opening act Violet Mud, a Solent-based quartet bringing scuzzy doom-metal ridden noise - and lots of hair! - to kick off the night. They went down well and had brought in people in droves to catch their sadly, short set.
Portsmouth's genre-crossing Battery Hens (self-described 'Pessimistic music for optimists!') were up next and gave a slick, confident, yet at times ferocious performance with their unique blend of dirgey post-punk, shoegaze and blistering noise. Battery Hens are very hard to label (always a good thing in my opinion) but they are infectiously watchable and have a way of holding you entranced. In places they are reminiscent of a punked-up Cardiacs without brass instruments! Certainly in tracks such as ‘DNR’ the vocalist surreptitiously drawls the words' Do not resuscitate’ to a steadily increasing plethora of guitar and bass distortion. The four-piece have just finished recording their debut album but a great taster of what’s to come is available on their fantastic ‘Guts’ EP.
Bad Breeding, then simply left me breathless. Lead singer Chris Dodd, reminiscent of a young Steve Ignorant was not content to tread the restricted constraints of the small humble stage. With a defiant, dead-eyed stare, he snaked through the crowd, spitting out lyrics, whilst difficult to make out in his angry rasp, but full of conviction. Whilst he was right in your face and breathtaking to watch, you could still not help but also draw your eyes – and ears – to the trio – bassist, guitarist and drummer remaining onstage whipping up a frenzy of sheer noise terror. This band are, for want of a more eloquent phrase, tight as fuck; Matt Toll's fingers are lightning across the guitar fret board and with clever use of a gold slider, he emits a habitual cool and confidence belying his years. To perfectly complement this, similarly Charlie Rose's sleazy, rolling, honey-smooth bass licks were dessert for the ears. Like he's being doing the job for 20 years, he slithered and slunk to and from the bass amp, teasing the feedback when needed. There is a brilliant chemistry here. Whilst at the back, drummer Ashlea Bennett pounded, throttled, smacked, crushed and stomped his drums like the apocalypse was already upon us.
Watching Bad Breeding for the first time unashamedly gave me goosebumps and a sense of gnawing excitement and passion, as if being back in '82 and seeing Discharge or Crass for the first time. Similarly, they gave me the same sense of excited foreboding when I first saw Gallows play a similar tiny, dark, narrow venue. These are not the stereotypical 'angry young men'; moreover they play and drive their message across like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Hailing from the grey towers and soulless London-commuter-town of Stevenage, Bad Breeding are the bastard children of post-millenium Tory Britain. However, they wield a shield of resilience and defiance against the apathy, despair, ignorance and prejudice that threatens to erode creativity and humanity.
Oh yes, BB are a dragon's breath of fire and virality into the modern punk scene, whilst drawing influences and experiences which hark back to the 1970s. Go and see them now.
Buy their debut LP 'Divide' available from
We <3 Crate Diggers!
Here at Dress code we as passionate about our vinyl selection as Lou Reed was about his right to be damn contrary. From well researched debates about the artistic merits of Beyoncé's Lemonade (masterpiece, all hail Queen Bey) to how mashed Joey Ramone had to be to do that Funky Man song, we love to hear what you bought and why.
The satisfaction of replacing lost vinyl is a huge part of what fuels our arguably Savant-ish need to stock a diverse range of genres, re-presses and first editions of the most eclectic punk, rock, indie, hip hop, house, soul, funk and oddities. Lost your favourite copy of Born Slippy in a poorly executed house move in 1997? Ex stole your copy of Pulp Fiction OST after a vicious break up with vinyl victims? We have you covered from pocket pleaser one pound wonders to the rarities you thought you'd never see again. A long way from our humble beginnings of band T Shirts and punk as funk jumble sale restyles, we now have over 1500 records, CDs, cassette tapes and music books in store now starting from £1 to browse in store seven days a week!
It’s that week again. When you suddenly look around town and that heart stopping feeling comes in, when you begin to question a part of your identity you never considered: Am I old now?
Watching a hoard of IKEA furniture, crying parents with serious Freudian issues, and a sweeping cold only describable as a low level biological attack descend on your city every September isn’t without its benefits, we love hearing what parts of town new students are enjoying or giving people a heads up for local gigs and music scenes so Fresher’s please come in. You’re all super welcome and we’ll even give you 10% off for doing so, no need to fear being the new kid in town. But with every year rolling by the feeling of “I wore that to the School Disco in 1996!” becomes “I had one of those and it wasn’t even that long ago…”.
In all the Freshers Chaos, over two decades of watching engineer types attend the polytechnic where Nirvana played one time (True story, barely anyone there although lots of people would claim they were!) to watching Astoria go through more name changes in identity than P Diddy in the 90’s, there are some things that never change.
Doc Marten’s: Instant student. Just add newfound political cause/dark goth persona/vintage coffee grinder.
Buy them in Freshers Week second hand and finally bin them with a stoic salute and a moments silence when you’re 34 and the sole is finally worn. We stock Doc Martens shoes for the practical fresher looking for supportive footwear to the newly discovered Lord of Darkness who prefers to go by Raven now. Wherever you fall on the hipster to goth Spectrum, if it’s The Cure or Coachella, we have a range of different styles and sizes from £29.99
Denim Jackets: If you can swing your arms across your chest it’s got enough room for your shoulders.
You’ve left home and you’re at university. But I’ll be damned if I’m selling you a coat you haven’t done the mum technique of swinging your arms like a misunderstood kid at a hardcore gig to check it’s got enough shoulder room. And I’m having a freebie about how it’s durable denim not like that high street tat so you can give it to your kids in 20 years.
Record Players: Even if you’re a massive prick, people in halls will still come round for your records!
Over the last three years we have heard your regular frustrations at “I want the one with the handle, you know, a red one!” and somehow managed a selection of fully restored, PAT tested record players from the 50’s to the 90’s. Yes, even the red one, with the handle. Cheers for the specifics. Alongside our extensive selection of vinyl in store, we also have a regular supply of restored products from UK brands including HMV, Dansette and Ferguson.
As usual, we are offering 10% off for students, so come in and make your halls look less like your ma was just too horrified to give you away so used your childhood bedsheets for your new single duvet. We’ve got something for all tastes or just a chance to browse some records while you find something new for you!
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The aim of the shell suit game: embody as many prints as you can before you get verbally abused on the street for looking like a fucking jockey. Fun for all ages!
With the 20 year anniversary of Creamfields and far less stringent fire regulations as we leave the EU (Don't even start, we didn't vote for it either), the great 1990's wardrobe staple is back. Yes, ladies, gentleman and anyone identifying elseways, the shell suit is rearing its questionable face once again in the ultimate 90's throwback.
With a variety of the most batshit patterns, neon colours and generally flammable qualities, these beauties have been flying off the shelves and somehow you're not looking like a bunch of pricks? I have a picture of my Ellesse popper trousers from the 90's thinking I looked the absolute business, it hasn't aged well but somehow people born after The Spice Girls tragic split have managed to come along and shell suit up without looking an absolute spoon. Even more intense, reports are coming in of groups contrasting neon and aztec prints without looking like a time lapse of Lance Armstrong on a bender, will the madness ever end?
ROLL UP, ROLL UP IT'S COMPETITION TIME!
So with no further ramblings of a rapidly aging 90's bird, we launch our Dress Code contest for the month. You young people, with all your energy and dancing, have you embraced the shellsuit as your wardrobe saviour? Send us a picture of your jacket gang or the best responses of your jaded, aging relatives to your 90's throwback, prizes awarded to the best and shade to the rest. Send us one of those instasnaps on the facetwit before September 26th and we'll give you a prize.
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vintage clothing coming soon - watch this space !
We are loving our new Temerity Jones giftware range now in store! We have cherry picked the best of this eclectic range of fun and functional gifts to exclusively bring you classics such as ... our fantabulous mermaid bottle opener ... lightbulb drinking glass with straw ... palmistry love and hate hands ... strong man and painted lady kits ... and a range of ultimately stylish tote bags, greetings cards and gift boxes.
All this and still rokkin our massive range of vintage clothing, CDs and vinyl and anime products.
See you soon at Dress Code!
A very nice review by Portsmouth livetv, "A Shop With More Edge Written by Morgane Kimmich ALTERNATIVE (noun): "THE CHOICE BETWEEN TWO MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE POSSIBILITIES “ DRESS CODE – Imagine a clothing version of Aladdin’s Cave in Albert Road, Portsmouth - offers to its customers. Dress Code has witnessed many changes since it has first been established, 20 years ago. Changes in fashion with the vintage turmoil but also regarding its clientele and the outside world. And yet its owner, Linda Fitzgerald, decided not to choose a particular trend, particular customers and an unique direction. That’s why she created a ‘one-stop-for-everything’ shop with clothes, shoes, bags but also books and records, mixing brand new items with second-hand garments. Dress Code‘It all comes down to music’ confessed Elle who works at Dress Code. This was the definition of alternative back in the days: wearing your favourite band tee-shirts, having tattoos and so on. Alternative today somehow looks more conventional. Indeed, boundaries between marginal and casual have been blown as the industrialization and standardization of pretty much everything – clothing, music - skyrocketed. Therefore, it’s quite hard to identify who’s really alternative nowadays. Is it the fashionista willing to follow all the trends or the vinyl fan willing not to follow any? Dress Code doesn’t follow fashion; it just relies on Linda’s good eye in order to create the trend. Her inspirations are many and diverse ranging from the students of Portsmouth selling their work to the world famous Camden market in London. The latter is a micro world where everything can be found: clothing, accessories and weirdoes. Linda wanted to recreate this atmosphere in Albert Road, offering her customers the possibility not to travel to London. The gamble paid off as Dress Code attracts many curious people willing to find out what this shop ‘with more edge’ is all about. Punk kids, vintage addicts, teens and many adults scramble in everyday. Dress CodeWilling to fight this clothing standardization, Dress Code offers further alternatives. Without rejecting any shop or style, Dress Code proves that the ‘High Street’ way of shopping is not the only one. The independent shops of Albert Road show that mass production can be fought and everyone’s uniqueness can be preserved. Dress Code is also fighting for the best prices, renewing its suppliers if necessary, therefore proving that the maxim ‘cheap and crap versus expensive and good’ is no longer on. Once again, it goes far beyond fashion. This isn’t the story of one particular shop in Portsmouth, it’s about a life style shared by many people around the world. Being alternative is not just wearing the right tee-shirt but actually knowing what’s the story behind it. Elle perfectly summarized the shop’s motto by saying that it is a ‘good melting pot of vintage and alternative, offering the customer a different option to the norm’. Norm’s fine but if you want to spice up your wardrobe, choose the right dress code no matter whether it’s vintage, modern or future." "Dress Code in Southsea, Portsmouth is brill, with loads of alternative mens and womens t-shirts, dresses, jackets, shoes and lots more. They have tons of accessories, belts and quirky gifts. Really friendly staff!" - Jackie 2011 "Dress-Code must be one of the coolest shops in Southsea! As they say on their flyers, A Touch of Camden in Southsea. A great selection of T Shirts, hoodies, posters, and just general cool stuff! Friendly staff. If Mat the pink haired chap is there, ask him about Zombie Bob!" - Vlad 2009
MUSIC-LOVERS from across the country descended upon Southsea on Saturday to celebrate the national Record Store Day. Die-hard fans spent Friday evening queuing up outside independent record store Pie & Vinyl, in Castle Road, to be the first to get their hands on valuable vinyls and rare records. More than 500 people passed through the doors of the store – the most to have ever visited the site for the event. Retail manager Robert ‘Radd’ Addison at Pie & Vinyl said the store’s staff had been planning the occasion for several months and that the weekend had been ‘emotional’. They opened their doors at 8am on Saturday – with a queue of almost 100 customers waiting to get in. ‘There isn’t a bigger event in the entire record shop calendar,’ he said. ‘It’s something that we look forward to each year. Each year we’ve been involved in it, it just get bigger and better. ‘So days like this are massive. It’s a celebration of independent trading.’ Read more: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/record-store-day-is-a-hit-for-city-s-independent-store-1-7333943#ixzz46qdjKlWY Castle Road was a hive of activity to mark the national celebration. The street was packed full of stalls with plenty on offer for visitors. Musicians and bands from across the south coast also had a chance to take to the stage. Among those performing included cult 1980s Portsmouth group Emptifish, and Band of Skulls – who recently sold out Southampton’s Guildhall. Read more: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/record-store-day-is-a-hit-for-city-s-independent-store-1-7333943#ixzz46qdsWVoR ‘This has just been a brilliant way to celebrate independent music and traders,’ said Robert. ‘We have some pretty big-name bands here today which has been brilliant.’ Among the hundreds of music-lovers to visit Castle Road included Karen Hade. The 31-year-old of Chichester was one of those eager to get into Pie & Vinyl. She said: ‘I love Record Store Day. It’s a brilliant chance to get some really rare vinyls.’ Record Store Day was launched in 2008. It was designed to reverse the plummeting sale of records by enticing customers back into their local shops with the lure of potentially getting their hands on limited-edition records. In particular, it has helped revive sales of vinyl records Read more: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/record-store-day-is-a-hit-for-city-s-independent-store-1-7333943#ixzz46qe0soRi