Pompey Punk'n'Roll's Summer Party on South Parade Pier is ready for round two with Oh! Gunquit, The Dirty Strangers, The Scaners and more

Thanks to some rudely vibrated ornaments and a handful of noise complaints after the first Punk’n’Roll summer party, it looked for a while like the future of the parties on South Parade Pier was under threat.

Saturday, 30th July 2022, 3:54 pm

Fortunately, calmer heads prevailed, and the city council has given permission for this weekend’s second instalment to go ahead as planned.

Tina Swasey was at the first party, in her guise as one half of Das Clamps. But this time she’s back as the high-kicking, trumpet-playing, audience-whipping, hula-hooping frontwoman of headliners Oh! Gunquit.

The ‘rumble-bop’ band, with their sax-fuelled garage-rock have become firm favourites with Portsmouth crowds.

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    But Tina fits it all in around her day job as nurse.

    ‘It's not even a day job any more,’ she says, wryly, ‘I do about 50 per cent night shifts. I try to cram them in and swap them around.

    Oh! Gunquit at The Loft, Southsea on April 23, 2022. Picture by Chris Broom

    ‘I work in A&E and the acute medical unit – where people come in and stay from A&E. We've got the whole mixed lot – infectious disease, cardiac conditions, mental health, a lot of withdrawals, a lot of falls, constipation, confusion...’

    The band’s most recent album Why Haven’t You Watered The Plants? came out in December 2020.

    Sessions for the album got off to a rocky start pre-pandemic as Tina recalls: ‘We were all set to record, then our drummer, Ergi, came into rehearsal and said everyone looks like a Dali painting, we were like, you'd better go sort your eyes out! It turned out he'd detached his retina because he likes playing drums so much, he poked himself in the eye with his drumstick.

    ‘Ergi is the biggest, happiest boy/manchild, but if something bad can happen to him, it will. He had to get his retina reattached which involved them putting an air bubble in his eye and then him being on his back for a week.

    ‘We managed to put our album together and did a release for that – what else are you going to do between the first and second waves of a pandemic, right?’

    Tina and guitarist Simon Wild are the core of the band and have already started work on the next album.

    ‘I'd say we've got about half an album's worth of material already in the bank, and then we want to step it up and look at whatever other bits we want to work on and make an album in the fall, so we can have something out to tour with next summer. That's the gameplan.’

    And how was her first experience of playing on the pier?

    ‘It was gorgeous, but I was so panicked, it felt like you were walking on an invisible floor with that grating.’

    Tina though, has a cautionary tale courtesy of Das Clamps’ guitarist Poppy.

    ‘When we finished Poppy picked up her jacket and she had this lighter from a show we played in Munich in Germany. She had etched her name into it and she would always lose it and find it again. It's like her baby.

    ‘I watched it slip out of her pocket. It didn't even rattle between any of the gratings – it just went straight in.

    ‘I was like, I know people who can scuba dive – or maybe we can get a giant magnet and fish for it next time...’

    So, should you find a black Zippo with ‘Poppy’ on it, down on Southsea beach, at least you know who to return it to now.

    Also on the top-notch bill are The Dirty Strangers, The Scaners, The Spacewasters, Alter Moderns, Tensheds and Acid Attack plus the Surf City DJs, from midday-8pm. Tickets £20. Go to book.events.