THRILLING HEADGEAR will support the mighty MELT BANANA this May 27th at the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth. We caught up with guitarist and local Brum resident Neil Bailey (Opium Lord, Stinky Wizzleteat) to talk about his new band and what the audience can expect from their upcoming performance. Tickets for the show can be purchased HERE.


Neil Bailey – guitars

John Dixon – drums

Bruce Goodenough – bass

Nathan Coyle – vocals

First up, what’s with the name? We dig it, but we’re curious.
Thrilling Headgear is another Ren and Stimpy-ism. Wizzleteat was a big dumb name because we never wanted to take it too seriously, but we ended up getting all super cereal, so I reckon this is still not super cereal but it’s the attitude you bring that really decides it. So it’s not so big and dumb but still a bit dumb and big.

Neil, you already play in Opium Lord and before that Stinky Wizzleteat. What made you decide to form Thrilling Headgear and what makes this band different? Did you both have a specific sound in mind when you initially started?
After Wizzleteat finished up I text Nathan and Bruce to let them know, they’d put our EP out and I wanted to let them know they might be left with a load of unshiftable units since we wouldn’t be out there promoting them… so Nathan asks if I want to play bass in Opium Lord, and I was really grateful to be asked, playing bass was a nice change of pace and writing with 4 other people instead of just one was a fantastic experience. Really I love playing guitar and writing like I did in Teat but by the end of it I was bitter and angry, all lines of communication between me and John were down, we’d tried living together and it really didn’t work out. But John is one of my best friends, he’s a fantastic drummer and we just needed a bit of time apart to learn to be friends again. Thrilling Headgear is me getting to play with John Dixon again, getting Bruce and Nath involved, libidinous acts of creation, getting hyped off of hype stoked off of stoke. Trying to make noises we like.
Who are some of your musical (or otherwise) influences?
Musically, I think you have to continuously feed yourself good stuff and allow your intuitions to talk. Stuff that’s in there is stuff like Bad Brains, Melvins, Cavity, Floor, ZZ top, Oxes, Black Cobra, Godflesh, Deftones, Funkadelic, you can list bands for days but the page we’re all on is groove. Most of what I buy now is jazz and I listen to radio 3 a lot. Bruce has a hard-on for Electric Electric and other dance-mathy combos, John does a lot of reggae, but we all converge. What I would say is that I think it’s important to read and consume other narrative forms, identify approaches to structure in other media, or just think about stories and how they’re told, because music to me is story-telling. Influence is nothing without critical function. You have to think about why you like what you like.

How do you go about writing a song? Do you jam and figure stuff out that way or is the writing process much more structured?

Writing songs is a bastard, but I love writing songs. Writing a song is like having a baby. Writing songs is like creating a landscape for yourself to explore, but in the end you have to draw just one line from one side of that landscape to the other. Sometimes that landscape is a little plain and unadorned so you have to plant something, sometimes you have to chop back. Sometimes what you thought was a main bit will turn out to be a tiny link, sometimes a tiny link will become a main function. That’s where jamming is good, because John’s drumming is very descriptive and it can carry it’s own. What’s important is to play every day, even if you’re feeling fallow. I write slowly but I’m not in any rush. I want quality. I like things to come together intuitively. Frustration doesn’t do you any good. The attitude you bring to playing is important. Playing music is fun! Functionality is a primary concern. How things function, how things function against each other, in relation to ever other aspect of a song. A song is a mechanism, you just keep tweaking at it till you achieve as economical a transference of meaning as you can get. Something’s done when you can say, “of course it goes like that”. Like there’s no other way it could have been.

What can people expect from Thrilling Headgear live?
John Dixon playing rad. Groovemaster Goodenough rocking out. Haircut 100 thanking everyone and their mum. First steps on the short road to global domination.
You’re supporting Melt Banana, are you psyched?
Yeah we’re stoked. I don’t know how it happened but we’re really, really grateful for the opportunity. Thanks everyone at Capsule you are the best. We got some impetus now to actually be awesome, so we’re going to go and work on being awesome.

March playlist

March’s playlist brings together tracks from some of the artists performing at Capsule’s upcoming events this Spring.

On April 18th Capsule partners up with purveyors of fine records and good buddies MILQUE & MUHLE to curate an evening of musical activity held across two stages at Hare & Hounds. Topping the main stage are Dutch punk rock legends, THE EX, who are supported by percussion heavy RATTLE & rock experimentalists HEALTH & EFFICIENCY.

The second stage programmed by M+M takes things on a doomier route with GHOLD tipping their hat to the godfathers of sludge whilst continuing to forge their own unique sound. Hardcore will also be well represented on the bill with MOB RULES and BAYONNEBLEEDER both promising to punish ears and minds. Lastly SUMP will deliver their own hybrid of black metal and punk.

Tickets for THE EX on April 18th are available now & grant access to both stages making this one all-nighter you don’t want to miss out on. Buy tickets HERE.

Later on May 27th we welcome back Japan’s unequivocal answer to grindcore-noise rock, MELT BANANA, who are

touring in support of their latest album Fetch. Support comes from sound artist and instrument maker Sam Underwood who returns with GLATZE, his solo outlet for his broader musical endeavours. The line-up is completed with local sonic deviants THRILLING HEADGEAR, born out of the ashes of Stinky Wizzleteat and ready to pummel with their bleeted, transcendent take on punk-rock. Tickets for MELT BANANA can be purchased HERE.



Delighted to welcome Sarah Ellis

We are delighted to welcome the super talented Sarah Ellis to be part of our Advisory Committee.
Listed by the Hospital Club as one of the 100 most influential and innovative people working across arts, culture and the creative industries in the UK in 2013. Sarah Ellis is currently Digital Producer for

the Royal Shakespeare Company. In partnership with Google, she recently produced Midsummer Night’s Dreaming. In 2012, she produced myShakespeare for the World Shakespeare Festival. In 2011, she was the producer of the RSC’s Adelaide Road, which mixed live performance with an app and website map. As a producer, she has worked with the Old Vic Tunnels, Battersea Arts Centre, Birmingham REP, Contact, Freeword, Improbable, Southbank Centre, Soho Theatre,

and Shunt. She has been Head of Creative Programmes at the Albany Theatre and Programme Manager for Apples & Snakes, England’s leading performance poetry organisation.


MELT BANANA Peel Session…

Capsule welcome back high-speed Japanese noise rock act MELT BANANA to Birmingham this May 27th [Tickets here]. The band will tour in support of their latest offering and 7th studio album, the well-received ‘Fetch’. With this in mind, we thought we’d look back at the band’s friendship with legendary radio presenter and record producer John Peel.

An early supporter of the band, Peel witnessed Melt Banana’s live performance at Maida Vale in September 1999 and declared it: “Simply one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen and ever heard … just mesmerizing, absolutely astonishing.”

Peel also described MB as “one of the world’s great bands” and would go on to feature the band regularly on his radio show. This appreciation resulted in several live Melt Banana recordings for The Peel Sessions. You can listen to one of these extraordinary live sets below in the 2001 Melt Banana Peel Session:

Admiration between the band and Peel was clearly mutual, and after Peel’s death in October 2004 Melt Banana issued the following statement:

“Today is the funeral of Mr.John Peel. For us, he was like Santa Clause. We feel so maybe because of his beard and his big round eyes, but not only because of that, of course. He gave us many things and did many thing for us, and it is difficult for us to express how much we thank him. We don’t know how and when he first found us, but it seemed that he knew about us from the very beginning, like, from our 1st album. He played our music many times on his radio show, and it helped spreading our music all over the world, which is amazing. Every time when we visited U.K. to tour, he had some special events for us. He gave us a opportunity to play real-time-on-air live show at BBC, and another time, he invited audience to the studio for our peel session. Last time when we saw him was when we played a show for the radio one show case in Brighton in 2003. He was smiling. Thanks, Mr.John Peel, for your love to our music. We miss you. MELT-BANANA”

Now performing as a duo, MELT BANANA will be supported by GLATZE and THRILLING HEADGEAR at the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth, May 27th. Tickets for this not-to-miss show can be purchased now

from here.



This week we put sludge duo GHOLD in focus. GHOLD will play as part of the musical showcase Capsule + Milque & Muhle have co-curated this April 18th headlined by experimental punk noisemakers THE EX. For a full list of acts playing both stages see HERE + tickets are available from HERE. You can also purchase

tickets in person at M+M (Digbeth Custard Factory) and Polar Bear (Kings Heath) record stores.

Drums and bass sludge rock duo, GHOLD, have already gained recognition in their short time together, starting in 2012 in Brixton. With a heavy bass line and percussive drums, they pay homage to the early days of Sludge with bands like the Melvins, Karp and Godheadsilo. They’ve already got a string of releases under their belt, which considering their 2 years together, is pretty impressive.

“…Ghold are not your bog standard NOLA worshipping sludge troupe, however. There may only be two of them, but on their debut full-length alone (‘Judas Ghoat’) these guys demonstrate more engaging ideas than many bands do over the course of their entire careers.” – Terrorizer.

Our friend Kez Whelan at Terrorizer recently interviewed GHOLD and we’ve picked out a few questions for you below, but be sure to read the full Terrorizer interview HERE.

Image: Terrorizer

Could you tell us briefly how you both met and formed Ghold?
“We met at art college where we shared a musical interests at the noisier, heavier end of the spectrum and our tastes naturally overlapped at bands like the Melvins. At that time we’d been making music under our own separate guises for quite a while and digged each other’s stuff so it seemed only natural to collaborate on something.”

What kind of music are you both into? Who would you cite as influences?
Alex: “I would cite a lot of influences starting from the not so obvious; such as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Parliament, Funkadelic, Captain Beyond, The Beatles to Slayer, Jim Jones and the Kool Aid Kids, Melvins, Primus, Cherubs (TX), Shellac, Drive like Jehu, Karp, Harvey Milk – lots of 60’s garage psyche, 70’s kraut and heavy psyche, 80’s progressive metal, funk, the list is ever on going…”
Paul: “As far as music goes there’s a shit-ton. A lot of the old stuff from Thorrs Hammer, Burning Witch, Confessor and Corrupted really gets my blood up. Darkthrone are a continuous inspiration. I grew up with bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Melvins, Aphex Twin, Converge, Lightning Bolt, Tortoise and Isis so I’m sure a lot of this has crept into the subconscious. Am also a big fan of electronic bass-weight music and dub (Digital Mystikz, Scorn, Shackleton, King Tubby etc). Recently really digging records by Dark Castle, Baby Killer, Raime, Wolf Eyes, Ulcerate and The Body. There’s some really exciting music out there.”

You guys are ridiculously tight when playing live. How would you describe the Ghold live show for those who have yet to witness it?
Alex: “Thanks, its something we try to keep up, we both share the idea that the tighter the better, plus there’s only two of us, if one of us messes up it’s easier seen. I guess that’s the other thing is that regardless of how a record sounds it’s always going to be better live with this kind of stuff (for now anyway, were only just starting to consider more recording techniques), we like to mix it up a lot, we change our setlist all the time and whatever you think we’re going to play, we probably wont.”
Paul: “A hard hitting, zero-bullshit weight-fest. With melodies!”

What’s next for Ghold?
“Well we look ahead to a prosperous new year haha! We’re working on a full-length record to come out at some point next summer, we shall be working with a cellist and touring with her for a few shows too. We’re going to be part of a compilation record as part of the This Is DIY family (Ladyscraper/Death Pedals/Yards/USA Nails) so look out for that. We’re working on lots of stuff so it should be a busy and productive year for us, look out for the material and come and see us play!”


Tickets for April 18th event can be bought HERE.


The Ex… 15 questions


Capsule welcomes adventurous, innovative Dutch band The Ex to Birmingham this April 27th. The band will headline an extraordinary night of music at Hare & Hounds on April 18th which will include two stages and a multitude of bands (for more info on the line-up go here). Tickets are available now from here. recently conducted a – you guessed it – 15 question interview with The Ex’s guitarist Andy Moor. A guitar play for 27 years, Moor has experimented with numerous genres and seemingly has no intention of stopping now, choosing instead to expand his musical repertoire even further through his various collaborations and work within sound art. We’ve picked out a few titbits for you below but this interesting interview can be read in its entirety here

When did you start playing your instrument, and what or who were your early passions or influences?
I began playing guitar in my bedroom. When I was about 17… learning chords from a ‘tune a day’ book and playing along with records. My mother gave me her classical guitar because she was about to become an acupuncturist and sensitive

finger tips are needed for reading pulses and guitar playing is a no-no. My first influences were the giant rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and later I discovered Gang of Four, Sonic youth, The Fall and a lot of African music and this became a much stronger influence on my playing once I started playing ‘live”. But the biggest influences have come from other musicians I have played with, particularly Dog Faced Hermans, The Ex, Kletka Red, and many individual musicians with whom I have collaborated.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
Forming the band Volunteer Slavery & Dog Faced Hermans in Edinburgh in 1986 and in 1988 seeing The Ex live for the first time in a pub in Sheffield in 1988 and joining the Ex in 1990.
Playing with Tom Cora and The Ex was also a great shifting moment for all of us. Equally when we started a project with Ethiopian saxophonist Getachew Mekuria. Hearing and seeing Big Flame, Sonic Youth, Don Cherry, Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Birthday Party, Han Bennink, Konono No 1, DJ Rupture, John Butcher, Anne-James, Chaton. All of these concerts changed me fundamentally – on a musical level anyway. Discovering Ethiopian, Ugandan and Algerian music and Rebetika from Greece were also big moments in my musical life and working with Yannis Kyriakides was a big change in direction for me.

What are currently your main artistic challenges?

In the Ex I’m trying to learn how to play the baritone guitar using it as both a bass instrument and a chord instrument. It’s a big challenge and I have a long way to go, but I love the sound. It’s always a challenge with The Ex because we don’t have a formula. We create new songs using a combination of collective improvisation and collective arrangement. Working collectively is always a challenge. Working with Yannis Kyriakides, Colin Mclean and Anne-James is also a big challenge as I am working with primarily electronic sounds (especially with Yannis and Colin) and trying to find a way to fuse my analogue electric guitar sound with these incredible sounds they produce. With Chaton it’s more of an adventure because I’m working with someone who does not see himself at all as a musician … though I hear many musical aspects in his poetry.

How do you see the relationship between sound, space and performance?
They are all extremely important, each one effecting the other. Awareness of the acoustic space, especially during free improvisation, is vital. I particularly like how John Butcher approaches this. He is hyper-aware of the resonant frequencies in the room and works with them in relation to his own sound but also to the other musicians he is playing with. When I improvise I focus a lot on sound. Sometimes I try to blend a sound or create a texture with another other musician and I am thinking more in terms of rhythm or frequencies than notes or chords or melodies. To me, this is all musical and of course performance is vital, how one’s body moves and relates to the music is very telling and revealing. I don’t feel I need to act in anyway on stage but I am very aware of the audience and the fact that they are watching as well as listening.
Finish reading the interview in full here.


Tickets for The Ex plus support from Rattle + Health & Efficiency can be bought here. This also includes entry into a second stage programmed by our friends and co-hosts Milque & Muhle who have lined up acts including Ghold, Bayonnebleeder, Mob Rules, & Sump.


Supersonic 2014 “Ltd Edt” playlist


It’s that time again to get curious, to get adventurous and to get ready. After taking a year out to re-imagine the festival following our tenth anniversary, Supersonic Festival is now back and going old skool in special two-day “Limited Edition” format this May 30th-31st. Tickets HERE.

The line-up so far includes post-punk legends SWANS, avant garde rockers WOLF EYES, multi-instrumentalist ensemble EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, straight-talkers SLEAFORD MODS, sonic explorer BASIC HOUSE, Baltimore duo MATMOS, electro-violinist AGATHE MAX, Norwegian songwriter JENNY HVAL and more…. For a taste of what’s to come have a listen to our Supersonic 2014 playlist featuring these artists:

Supersonic Festival’s playground for 2014 will be the iconic Custard Factory, home of Capsule HQ. This ever-evolving industrial arts complex will shapeshift once again this May to play host to Supersonic’s enticing programme of experimental music, film and art. But this is Supersonic “Limited Edition” don’t forget, so expect a few extra special treats… and remember tickets are limited to 400 so do not miss out. Keep your eyes peeled for further line-up announcements over the next few weeks. Tickets are available from HERE.


Supersonic Ltd Edtn 2014

Back by popular demand and after a successful 10 years of existence, Supersonic Festival return and are taking the event back to its core values

by curating ‘Supersonic Festival Ltd Edtn’ an intimate two day event. On 30th and 31st May, Capsule present Supersonic Festival Ltd Edtn and shall return to the Custard Factory where it all began.

Since the inception of Supersonic Festival in 2003, Capsule have firmly established the event as a unique, inner-city festival, with an undeniably vibrant atmosphere, always presenting a variety of performers – the inaugural event featured the bewildering blend of Coil, DJ Food, LCD soundsystem, The Bug and more – and where the film programme, workshops and exhibitions are as paramount to the event’s atmosphere as the live performances. Year in, year out, Capsule unite discerning music fans, embracing eclectic tastes and have over the years adapted a creative space for music lovers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, record stalls and independent businesses to thrive.

As this is a limited event, there are only 400 weekend tickets available at just £45 and they will be going on sale on Friday morning at 10am, so grab them while you can via the


Supersonic have already confirmed the billing for the event, which will take place at a new space within the Custard Factory, and are delighted to welcome back Swans. Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica are no strangers to Supersonic Festival, and are thrilled to play host to their infamous, dominant and strikingly powerful live show.


Baltimore duo Matmos shall bring their dizzyingly diverse assemblage to Supersonic Limited in support of their 2013 album. Their music comprises stomping techno, eerie synth

jams, musique concrete, Latin rhythms, and Ethiopian music, at once at home in the academy, the art gallery, the nightclub and the noise warehouse, perfect fit for the festival then.


Liverpool based ensemble, Ex Easter Island Head, will bring their expanded Large Electric Ensemble which includes twelve prepared electric guitars and drums to create a maximalist wash of amplified strings and droning overtones. The ensemble adopt a new vocabulary of playing based around various guitar preparations, from billowing harp-like arpeggios to ‘bowing’ the strings with allen keys to produce luminous upper register drones. Microtonal intervals create shimmering tones akin to the struck metallophones of Balinese gamelan, whilst the thrum of electrified strings creates a dense undertow of singing harmonies. Scored in custom notation the piece places free flowing passages alongside conductor cues, allowing the players to collectively create a distinctive sonic landscape. What Supersonic event would be complete without something special such as this?


Supersonic are pleased to welcome back, the infamous blistering noise of Wolf Eyes. From touring with Sonic Youth and Andrew W.K., Wolf Eyes have crossed borders into popularity which few other such confrontational units of their ilk have been able to and kept straight and narrow on their blazing path, and are on top form. The overwhelming force of Wolf Eyes must be seen to to be believed.


Sleaford Mods will bring their aggressive verbal onslaught to the Custard Factory, a great setting to spout about all that is contrived and connected to the day-to-day hammer of low paid employment and domestic situations arising from that trap.


Also returning to the festival, is French artist Agathe Max. With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max creates dynamic, fast-flowing loop pieces that encompass noise, post-classicism and krautrock with nods to the High Lonesome Raga as filtered through Henry Flynt.


We warmly welcome a rising talent to this rich mix in the form of Basic House, the work of the UK’s Stephen Bishop, the man behind the ever more impressive label that is Opal Tapes and also vocalist of Drunk In Hell who played an unforgettable set at Supersonic in 2012. His textural and rhythmic explorations are fast growing in acclaim, described as “somewhere between Kassem Mosse, The New Blockaders and Zoviet*France.”


Finally, provocative Norwegian singer, composer, lyricist and writer Jenny Hval shall perform at Supersonic. Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Despite her young age, she has already infused, carved and modulated an artistic voice that is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time. We cannot wait!


Let’s not forget the other elements which always make Supersonic so special, the workshops and participatory events. Supersonic have selected If Wet to feature at the festival. If Wet is a monthly event of sonic exploration, usually held in a rural village hall; chaired by musical instrument designers MortonUnderwood. Part show and tell, part test bed, part salon. A place for artists to showcase their latest sonic works and research. A place to revel and discuss. After a successful inaugural season MortonUnderwood have decided to extend the reach of If Wet beyond the village hall and it is with great pleasure that they will transport their distinctive event to Supersonic 2014.

Supersonic Ltd Edtn will launch Capsule’s inaugural ‘Labs’ (artist development and commissioning scheme) devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art. More information about this will be coming soon.

Bill Drummond: The 25 Paintings

Legendary musician and artist Bill Drummond will begin a twelve year ‘World Tour’ under Spaghetti Junction marking this momentous event with an exhibition at Eastside Projects.
The exhibition focuses on ‘The 25 Paintings’, a series of artworks that signpost actions Drummond will perform across Birmingham during his three month stay in the city including, but by no means limited to, giving away bunches of daffodils, discovering Dead Oak Rings, building rafts, hiding in cafes, making beds, sweeping the streets clean and brewing tea. Also on show will be The SIXTY Posters, The 25 Sixty Second Films, an evolving selection of photographs, a globe of the world and a large map of the city.