The Media at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth REVIEW: 'There is an Indian summer in the Portsmouth music scene'

Shows at The Square Tower are often quite sedate, all-seated affairs, featuring the best of folk or roots music from all corners of the world.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 3:57 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 4:49 pm
Pompey punks The Media at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth, on September 13, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor

Tonight however the 16th Century gunpowder store is transformed into a psychedelic wonderland – Tim Needham's liquid lights adorne the impressive interior brickwork.

Opening proceedings are Paul Groovie and The Pop Art Experience, just like The Media, recently reformed after a long hiatus. Dishing out a set of brash garage rock, dressed all in white, ubiquitous black shades, lead singer Paul's confidence knows no bounds. New single You're The Best Thing shows they are not resting on their laurels. Exciting stuff indeed.

It was a delightful surprise at the beginning of the year when original Pompey punk band The Media announced they were reforming for a show at The Dockyard Club. Such was the anticipation it quickly sold out. A support gig with the legendary Penetration followed, and there was brisk business here with another big crowd.

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Back in the day, they were a bunch of suburban lads who formed a band embracing the punk ethos, like countless others around the country. A couple of singles were released and an appearance on Phil Redmond’s Going Out TV series followed .

Forty years later (yes 40!) lead singer Martin Jacks, now has the air of school headmaster about him, dressed immaculately in pin-striped jacket, flower in his buttonhole and a feather in his tifter, but there is still is a glint in his eye. Opening with debut single TV Kids he is in fine voice, gesticulating like an orchestra conductor, the lyrics are delivered in a concise, immaculate way.

Bassist Mark 'Cello' Winchello, dapper in his tonic suit (remember those?) provides the rock to now what is a tight unit and the addition of Racketeers sax player Guy Lawson is an inspired touch.

Once again, no band reformation would be complete without a new release, and The Media deliver with the wonderful Jump Down – a track rescued and restored from tapes found in the loft. However it's South Coast City Rockers, a nod to the their heroes The Clash, which provides the highlight of the evening.

Another resounding success at The Square Tower with The Media proving there is an Indian summer in the Portsmouth music scene, and long may it continue.