Portsmouth might not spring to mind as being one of the most bustling of cities,but it’s certainly for many an unexplored gem. Infact the relaxed atmosphere of the city and it’s thriving student population have made an unpretentious climate where creativity is thriving. Home to some great electronic labels and acts there’s a lot of noise coming from Portsea island. We caught up with Billy from Concrete Music to talk about what’s bubbling on the Southcoast’s most underated city.
What’s the best thing about running the label and a night in Portsmouth?
The best thing for me, is the pockets of culture that it has. It’s only a small town but for it’s size it has some cool stuff going on. This has been the factor in making up my mind to stay here – as my hometown has nothing like this.
What else is going on in the city music wise?
In the dance music scene, we have our friends Kry Wolf, Shadow Child & Reset Robot all from the area. I think Garage legends the Wideboys are local too.
On top of that there’s a few band venues including The Wedgewood Rooms & The Pyramids and also small Dnb, Hip Hop & Reggae Dub scenes.
What’s the rest of the creative scene like?
Like I said before, you have these pockets of creativity & culture. Albert road being the main focal point for culture I guess which is full of street art, Graffiti, interesting pubs, shops and people.Osborne Road & Castle road also have their fair share of independent shops, restaurants & businesses. You will spot little movements around the city from time to time – Pieces of street art by My Dog Sighs and some other great artists. There are also a few art galleries and exhibitions around the city. Portsmouth has a decent history of creativeness with the likes of Charles Dickens & Peter Sellers being born here.
Any venues down there that don’t exist anymore, but used to be great for a party?
Well, the first that immediatly springs to my mind is The Registry – The birthplace of Concrete, where we ran our weekly Tuesday night from 2010 – 2014. It was EASILY the best venue the city had and most would agree.Those were such good memories. Such a shame that it was never managed well enough to stay as a venue. Now it will become student halls.
Best place to go in Southsea when you are really hungover?
Mums Cafe 100% Cheap old school Greasy spoon.
Best places to eat?
Circolo pizza on Albert road is great and so is Soprano’s Pizza on Palmerstone road – you might have guessed that we like pizza.
Best places to go for a pint?
The One Eyed Dog on Elm Grove always has a great atmosphere. Little Johnny Russles too on Albert Road. Or for a quiet drink, The Hole in the Wall on Great Southsea Street it the one.
Any good record shops?
There’s one on Albert road called ‘Soundz’ – I think? Ive found a few old garage gems in there but its mainly a old rock selection. Also Pie & Vinyl has a great selection of.., you guessed it pie and vinyl!
And clothes shops?
Our friends at Bored of Southsea will never let you down for some good clobber. The best independent clothes retailer in the city by far. You will have definitely spotted one of their Southsea Bronx tees if you have been to Bestival.
Any phrases the locals use that you’ve picked up?
Calling people Din (Dinlo) I suppose which is Pompey’s version of Div basically.
And then ‘Mush’ which was thrown around when I was a kid in Kent but lost it from my vocabulary as I got older and now its back for good!
Things to see if you’re a tourist?
Concrete on a Thursday at The Astoria? – Seriously, come and party with us! You’re all welcome! And maybe the Mary Rose Museum?
Best / Worst thing about Portsmouth / Southsea?
Best thing – When it’s sunny, it’s glorious.
Worst thing – When it’s wet & windy, It’s horrendous.
LWE presents Mixed
The last weekend of every month
54 Holywell Lane
10pm – 4am
Southsea Soul Club