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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Southsea Fest 2010 review

Southsea Fest: An independent, not-for-profit festival run in our Music Editor's home town that was headlined by King Charles, and has plenty of potential to be a major force next year

Written by Laura Nineham

LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

On Sunday evening I decided to head down to London Bridge for my last stop of the day, pill case an installation by Japanese designer Satoshi Date. It was held in a musty arch near the railway station, rx atmospherically lit with beautifully crafted lanterns and echoing to the sounds of Satoshi’s very own voice in music. For Satoshi is an artist maker who fuses fine art, stuff clothes making, musicianship and sculpture – all with the help of a large team of devoted fans. When asked what attracts them I was told that it’s not only Satoshi’s obvious talents that draws them in, but the fact that he’s really funny. Always helps!

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

There was a hushed silence when I entered and ten minutes later his partner and PR maestro Sarah Ashwell had plucked up the courage to ask where I had come from – they clearly hadn’t taken me for a fashionista, a not un-rare occurrence it has to be said. By this time I had had a good chance to take in the beautiful intricacy of the clothes hanging like refined art pieces from tangled skeins of yarn. Sarah is a craftsperson too and she has made much of the clothing that completes the new Satoshi Date collection, helping Satoshi to translate his ideas into reality.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

Ethics are important to Satoshi, who states in his press brief that “In our capitalist society consumers rarely consider the consequences of their bargain shoes, or whether it is actually possible to fairly produce a jacket with a £15 price tag.” It’s a rare person indeed who works in the fashion industry and dares to utter the C word. I mean, I bandy it around all the time, but the cogs that keep the wheels of fashion turning are so well and truly oiled by our current capitalist global economy that it can seem hard to see how we break free. “The Satoshi Date philosophy does not end with the sale of the garment, rather it continues on its mission of inspiring people to think more, care more, be more creative and be more accountable, thus trying to diminish the negative impact that fashion so often has on the environment.” These are admirable aims, and Satoshi dreams of a future where his garments are mass produced by “fairly treated and fully appreciated skilled workers in decent conditions.” For now most are one offs, and he is extremely careful how he sources the materials.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

All fabric are organic and naturally dyed by hand, and Satoshi tries to keep waste to a minimum by creating smaller pieces from offcuts. He creates necklaces out of felted wool, tangles old computer cables and reshapes old guitar strings into colourful architectural necklaces.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

More experimental pieces are interspersed with clearly saleable items, and unsurprisingly Satoshi already has a series of stockists in his homeland. Back here in the UK we really really need to nurture more designers like Satoshi Date: expect to find him profiled in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration (which will have an ethical slant, of course).

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Here’s Satoshi Date…

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
and just some of his team…

This soft, understated kind of clothing isn’t really my personal style, but although I would wear very little of it myself I can appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship – I particularly liked the way that fabrics have been rewoven and re-imagined, and the jewellery was right up my street: I even treated myself to a pair of swinging felted ball earrings. Let’s hope my moths don’t find them.
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

On Sunday evening I decided to head down to London Bridge for my last stop of the day, drug an installation by Japanese designer Satoshi Date. It was held in a musty arch near the railway station, what is ed atmospherically lit with beautifully crafted lanterns and echoing to the sounds of Satoshi’s very own voice in music. For Satoshi is an artist maker who fuses fine art, more about clothes making, musicianship and sculpture – all with the help of a large team of devoted fans. When asked what attracts them I was told that it’s not only Satoshi’s obvious talents that draws them in, but the fact that he’s really funny. Always helps!

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

There was a hushed silence when I entered and ten minutes later his partner and PR maestro Sarah Ashwell had plucked up the courage to ask where I had come from – they clearly hadn’t taken me for a fashionista, a not un-rare occurrence it has to be said. By this time I had had a good chance to take in the beautiful intricacy of the clothes hanging like refined art pieces from tangled skeins of yarn. Sarah is a craftsperson too and she has made much of the clothing that completes the new Satoshi Date collection, helping Satoshi to translate his ideas into reality.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

Ethics are important to Satoshi, who states in his press brief that “In our capitalist society consumers rarely consider the consequences of their bargain shoes, or whether it is actually possible to fairly produce a jacket with a £15 price tag.” It’s a rare person indeed who works in the fashion industry and dares to utter the C word. I mean, I bandy it around all the time, but the cogs that keep the wheels of fashion turning are so well and truly oiled by our current capitalist global economy that it can seem hard to see how we break free. “The Satoshi Date philosophy does not end with the sale of the garment, rather it continues on its mission of inspiring people to think more, care more, be more creative and be more accountable, thus trying to diminish the negative impact that fashion so often has on the environment.” These are admirable aims, and Satoshi dreams of a future where his garments are mass produced by “fairly treated and fully appreciated skilled workers in decent conditions.” For now most are one offs, and he is extremely careful how he sources the materials.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

All fabric are organic and naturally dyed by hand, and Satoshi tries to keep waste to a minimum by creating smaller pieces from offcuts. He creates necklaces out of felted wool, tangles old computer cables and reshapes old guitar strings into colourful architectural necklaces.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

More experimental pieces are interspersed with clearly saleable items, and unsurprisingly Satoshi already has a series of stockists in his homeland. Back here in the UK we really really need to nurture more designers like Satoshi Date: expect to find him profiled in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration (which will have an ethical slant, of course).

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Here’s Satoshi Date…

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
and just some of his team…

This soft, understated kind of clothing isn’t really my personal style, but although I would wear very little of it myself I can appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship – I particularly liked the way that fabrics have been rewoven and re-imagined, and the jewellery was right up my street: I even treated myself to a pair of swinging felted ball earrings. Let’s hope my moths don’t find them.
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

On Sunday evening I decided to head down to London Bridge for my last stop of the day, decease an installation by Japanese designer Satoshi Date. It was held in a musty arch near the railway station, purchase atmospherically lit with beautifully crafted lanterns and echoing to the sounds of Satoshi’s very own voice in music. For Satoshi is an artist maker who fuses fine art, clothes making, musicianship and sculpture – all with the help of a large team of devoted fans. When asked what attracts them I was told that it’s not only Satoshi’s obvious talents that draws them in, but the fact that he’s really funny. Always helps!

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

There was a hushed silence when I entered and ten minutes later his partner and PR maestro Sarah Ashwell had plucked up the courage to ask where I had come from – they clearly hadn’t taken me for a fashionista, a not un-rare occurrence it has to be said. By this time I had had a good chance to take in the beautiful intricacy of the clothes hanging like refined art pieces from tangled skeins of yarn. Sarah is a craftsperson too and she has made much of the clothing that completes the new Satoshi Date collection, helping Satoshi to translate his ideas into reality.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

Ethics are important to Satoshi, who states in his press brief that “In our capitalist society consumers rarely consider the consequences of their bargain shoes, or whether it is actually possible to fairly produce a jacket with a £15 price tag.” It’s a rare person indeed who works in the fashion industry and dares to utter the C word. I mean, I bandy it around all the time, but the cogs that keep the wheels of fashion turning are so well and truly oiled by our current capitalist global economy that it can seem hard to see how we break free. “The Satoshi Date philosophy does not end with the sale of the garment, rather it continues on its mission of inspiring people to think more, care more, be more creative and be more accountable, thus trying to diminish the negative impact that fashion so often has on the environment.” These are admirable aims, and Satoshi dreams of a future where his garments are mass produced by “fairly treated and fully appreciated skilled workers in decent conditions.” For now most are one offs, and he is extremely careful how he sources the materials.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

All fabric are organic and naturally dyed by hand, and Satoshi tries to keep waste to a minimum by creating smaller pieces from offcuts. He creates necklaces out of felted wool, tangles old computer cables and reshapes old guitar strings into colourful architectural necklaces.

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW satoshi date by genie spinosa
Satoshi Date by Genie Spinosa.

More experimental pieces are interspersed with clearly saleable items, and unsurprisingly Satoshi already has a series of stockists in his homeland. Back here in the UK we really really need to nurture more designers like Satoshi Date: expect to find him profiled in my upcoming Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration (which will have an ethical slant, of course).

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Here’s Satoshi Date…

Satoshi Date SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
and just some of his team…

This soft, understated kind of clothing isn’t really my personal style, but although I would wear very little of it myself I can appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship – I particularly liked the way that fabrics have been rewoven and re-imagined, and the jewellery was right up my street: I even treated myself to a pair of swinging felted ball earrings. Let’s hope my moths don’t find them.

Illustrations by Jamie O’Callaghan

I’m a fan of small, sales independent festivals and I’d pick one over Glastonbury any day. I’m not sure I can include Southsea Fest in that grouping just yet, because, as one organiser said, “we’re not the Great Escape love”. I don’t think they’ll ever be able to rival the festival that’s just 50 miles along the coast, and that lack of ambition is just one of two things that holds the one-day festival back.

The other is the organisation. Mix ups over guestlists, disputes over whether or not I had a plus one and general waiting around meant that I missed the first band I wanted to catch, which was Revere. They played in the stunning Kings Theatre, and would probably have been my highlight of the day, if I’d been able to catch them.

Instead, I headed over to the Fat Fox to check out Real Fur but they were running late – over an hour late – although I was determined to not miss them. At this rate, I’d been at the festival for a couple of hours without hearing a single note of live music. When we finally watched Real Fur, it was definitely worth the wait. They’re a rock band that are so much more exciting live. ‘Pride’ was the standout track for me, but generally the feel of Real Fur is that they’re a jangly, dancy rock band with the odd harmony and, as much as I hate the phrase, a groovy vibe.

I caught Montage Populaire after and I really enjoyed their set. I had no idea they were one of the local bands booked, and spent hours trying to remember where I’ve seen them before. I failed, but I’ll definitely be checking them out in the future. They’re an art-rock band, and it’s easy to see why they’ve drawn comparisons with Los Campesinos and early Blur.

I watched a couple of local bands after that, before stumbling across the Ruskins doing a street gig to promote their set, which I went to. So did the majority of festival-goers judging by the size of the crowd. The lovely London lads managed a couple of songs in the street before some security guards made them stop, but inside Little Johnny Russells they managed half an hour of their ska-infused rock. It was refreshing to hear something that wasn’t indie or acoustic, as the lineup was pretty swamped with it.

The next venue was pretty hideous, but home to two of the most exciting bands on the bill. I got there in time for Let’s Buy Happiness; it’s always exciting to watch bands you know are destined for big things play such a tiny venue. The vocals are completely disarming, the music has this beautiful swaying rhythm and Let’s Buy Happiness produce the most charming pop songs that I’ve ever seen played in Portsmouth. They just got featured by the Guardian, so it won’t be long until the rest of the press begins to gush about them. They are truly spectacular.

Bright Light Bright Light played a set of electro-dance-pop that wasn’t too interesting, so I’ll skip over that bit. After came Islet, who I was crazy excited about catching. They don’t bother with the concept of a stage, preferring to swap instruments and drag them into the crowd. In fact, when one guy in the crowd reached out to touch a guitar, he was handed it. When he wasn’t sure what to do, the guitar was gently led back to the stage. Islet are pretty weird, but they’re unlike any other band I’ve seen.

When I listen I have this internal fight between feeling they’re some kind of Emporer’s New Clothes, art-school weirdness that people sway along to because they’re fashionable, and genuine love for their uniqueness. It’s tiring watching them jump around the stage, share instruments and howl, made all the stranger by the setting. They’re a band everyone should see, even if just for the spectacle of it.

The closing set came from King Charles, back at the Fat Fox. I’ve been listening to his music for a while, so to be able to watch him with a couple of hundred other people was the perfect way to end the day. The harmonies are even more heart-stoppingly beautiful, the guitar riffs that little bit more exciting and the drums that bit more frantic when played live and on a tiny stage. Easily the most captivating performer, King Charles literally didn’t put a foot wrong, performing every track note-perfect. He drew queues outside, the size of which I didn’t notice anywhere else, and showed every other band how it’s done.

If Southsea Fest had a little more ambition, if it could decide whether it’s a festival in Southsea or a festival with bands from Southsea, and if it could book the same quality of bands as this year, it could be popping up on many more radars at the end of next summer. All the elements of a successful festival are there, and hopefully the success of this event will encourage the organisers to step it up for next year.

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