New music night Breakthru to help emerging artists at The Jolly Sailor in Southsea

A new monthly music night for emerging acts from across the region launches next Friday.

Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 5:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 5:35 pm

The Breakthru nights are the brainchild of well-known local performer Amba Tremain.

A familiar face on the scene as singer in numerous acts, as well as co-founder of the award-winning Urban Vocal Group music charity, Amba has recently been focussing on her own original music.

The opening night will features sets from Hannah Reem, Marley Blandford and Dani Uziel.

Hannah Reem is performing at the launch night of Breakthru

Amba says: ‘It stems from the fact that I am an original artist and there are some great open mic nights, but I felt like there was a gap in our great musical city for that next step.

‘So you've established yourself as an original artist and you've got the set, and we're talking purely original music – where can you go and play?

‘Open mics are a bit different, you can jump up, you can sing covers, you can stick on an mp3 player, that kind of stuff, but I wanted somewhere that people can come and showcase their original music, so I created one.’

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Marley Blandford is performing at the launch night of Breakthru. Picture by Steve Spurgin/Seen in Portsmouth

The gigs will take place in the Jolly Sailor’s lower deck bar.

‘They've got that great bar at the bottom, and I wanted it to be somewhere that was smaller, so when you are playing to a smaller audience, it still feels like you're playing to a huge crowd. I love the low ceilings in there, I love the vibe there.

‘Breakthru will do exactly what it says on the tin – it's a chance for original artists who are ready to take that next step, maybe looking at creating a small tour for themselves, for out of town acts and local acts to come and break through and show people what they're doing, what they're creating, bring their merch and to meet other musicians in similar situations and also build up a new fanbase for themselves.’

Since Amba first put a call out on social media for acts to perform she has been inundated. As a result the shows up until August are already fully booked.

‘I knew I would be able to turn to people and say: “Do you fancy playing this?” But what has really shocked me is the amount of people who've applied to play who I don't even know, and they're all here bubbling away under the surface, or slightly further afield.

‘We've already completely packed out the first eight months.

‘I'm full to the brim with amazing acts. I've listened to all of their demos and music, so I've been able to curate nights for different genres – we've got an indie night, one that's more pop, one that's more soul and funk, one with electronic artists, left-field singer-songwriter stuff. It's a whole mixed bag.’

The first Breakthru night is at The Jolly Sailor, Southsea on Friday, February 11.

The next show on March 4 will feature Finnian James, Mary Red and Tom McDonald. For more details go to

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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