Capsule zine no 4

Capsule zine no.4 – this time put together by Mark Murphy
Containing interviews with Nicholas Bullen about Zine culture and sound artist Jony Easterby.

Independent Culture for Independent Students: ENGAGING NEW AUDIENCES IN BIRMINGHAM

Arguably, one of the biggest influxes of new people to the city of Birmingham is the thousands upon thousands of new students arriving here every September. In September 2007, I was one of them.

Upon arrival, I had very little knowledge of the city and what happens here apart from the events the student union were relentlessly promoting during freshers week. With loans providing a new found, short term wealth, the general consensus suggests to quickly consume as many £1 pints and 2 for 1 shots you can whilst vertical, and then pay a visit to the nauseating glamour of broad street (amongst others) to waste some more of that cash you’ll long for a few months down the line. Sure, the big night out, club culture clearly appeals to many and seems to do well at catering for much of the student population. However, I soon found myself becoming quickly disillusioned with a student lifestyle that I wasn’t interested in being a part of, yet seemingly was all that was presented to me. Something that I now understand to be a fallacy, but why didn’t I then?

The university I attend, without naming names (although I’m sure you can guess) has campuses across the city and whilst it offers a wide range of courses, it’s probably fair to say that many come under the general brackets of the creative arts and media. The students of which are exactly the sorts of creative types you’d expect to see filling live music events and engaging with the local cultural community. So why don’t they? Why do the West Midlands have much lower attendance for cultural events than other regions?

Well, there is the lack of late night public transport in the city, the actual geography and location of many of the better independent venues, making getting to and from particularly difficult for some (for piss poor students, a taxi fare is usually out of the question). What about the potential apathy of Birmingham audiences? This is something particularly noticeable in my fellow students, but perhaps, through no fault of their own.

It’s taken me the best part of three years here in Birmingham to fully discover and become involved in its vibrant, yet hidden underbelly of music, art and creative culture and I love it. Prompting discussion among peers however often results in blank faces; they don’t know it exists, just like I didn’t. Its not the fault of the city’s independent promoters or venues, they do the best they can with what resources they have, and in most cases they do a bloody good job that goes unnoticed. But Birmingham’s creative sector needs help with the students. Universities – open up the gates for access; let non-union posters go up around campuses, allow flyer distribution and evangelise about the city’s creative networks and many events. It’s no surprise that attendance figures in the union are dropping when all that’s offered is a spotty DJ with the latest Kaiser Chiefs record. Unions need programming and promoters need audiences. Opportunity knocks? We also need a council that does the same. Instead of attracting kids to Birmingham because they can spend their money in the same clubs, bars, restaurants and shops as any other large town in the country, sell Birmingham because it’s offering things that are unique to here.

So, to all the higher education establishments of Birmingham and to BCC, lend us a hand will you? Let’s grab these new audiences before they get lost in the chaff and show them all the real reasons to stay in Birmingham on completing their studies.
David Breese

Taken from our latest Capsule Zine
What are your thoughts?


Acid Mothers Temple – this Wednesday

If you fancy something along the lines of this…

…then be sure to come by the Hare and Hounds on Wednesday, 26th May and witness it in the flesh!

Support come from Italians Stearica (check out their awesome Dalek collaboration) and Gum Takes Tooth.

Get your tickets here

26th May
Acid Mothers Temple
Gum Takes Tooth
@ Hare and Hounds
Kings Heath, Birmingham


Chrome Hoof show

The rapturous applause that greeted the eight-strong collective as they snaked their way from dressing room to stage was deafening, and by the time the jittery keyboard intro to ‘Crystalline’ had shifted into the glam-math stomp of its main riff, not a single eyeball was diverted anywhere other than the otherworldly, shimmering spectacle onstage. Within their number they boasted the talents of a violinist and bassoonist amongst others, giving the band a really vibrant and authentic sound, with doses of electro, old English prog and mathrock jostling for attention within just the first sixty seconds alone.

With the band uniformly clad in matching silver robes (‘Sunn 1999’ perhaps?) and shrouded in heaving dry ice they looked like the resident house band from George Clinton’s mothership, having been lost through time and space for years, honing their skills – but turning them just a little bit insane. Vocalist Lola Olafisoye manages to be sultry, scary, endearing and terrifying all at the same time; her futuristic shades, figure-hugging catsuit and finger extensions giving the appearance of a particularly hard end-of-level boss in some Japanese sci-fi video game.

Read full review by Duncan Wilkins on Brum Live
photos by
Katja Ogrin

Next up  ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE this Wednesday at the Hare & Hounds
Tickets for this show can be purchased from
Polar Bear on York Rd in Kings Heath + Swordfish in Birmingham city centre


Supersonic Festival 1st announcements



22 – 24 OCTOBER 2010
Birmingham, UK

Tickets on sale now from:

Following the news that the 2010 edition of Birmingham’s acclaimed annual Supersonic Festival will be headlined by Michael Gira’s massively influential NYC band SWANS, Capsule are excited to announce a first round of live acts who will also perform at this year’s festival, including a rocking free jazz fire in the form of JAILBREAK FEAT. CHRIS CORSANO + HEATHER LEIGH, the screeching hyper frantic sounds of Japan’s MELT BANANA, the understated beauty of 12 string guitar virtuoso JAMES BLACKSHAW, plus the mesmeric psych jams of Explosions in the Sky touring sidekicks LICHENS.

Add Eastern-inspired space rock doom from BONG, “tribal drumming, grunge and utter filth all pushed along with a Krautrock like pulse” from GNOD, Rick Tomlinson’s latest incarnation, the bewitching VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS and psychedelic guitar drone from BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI, and many more special live guests plus art, film and panel discussions to be revealed. READ MORE


Cure Leukemia Art Auction

Capsule have donated a pair of weekend Supersonic Festival tickets to an art auction taking place this week in aid of Cure Leukemia. The auction takes place this Thursday at Wragg & Co on Colmore Row in Birmingham, if you are interested in going you can RSVP here.

It’s all in a very good cause and there’s some really fantastic work on offer by a selection of artists including a piece by our good friend Lucy McLauchlan ( who designed our Einstellung double vinyl LP)



RIP Ronnie James Dio who lost his battle with stomach cancer on Sunday 16th May 2010. We had the honour of meeting him at Tony Iommi’s walk of stars presentation in Birmingham, he was a true legend and will be missed.
You can leave your condolences on Facebook


Be prepared…

Sent to us by our friend Chris Herbert aka @cjherbert
We promise our interview technique is slightly less daunting.


Supersonic Festival – Job Opportunity


Period: July – November 2010 approx 52 days
Fee: £6000
Deadline for applications: 28th May 2010
Interviews: 8th& 9th June 2010

“Festival Of the Year” Plan B Magazine
An experimental music festival for adventurous audiences, Supersonic aims to showcase the most exciting and interesting music out there. A consistently ambitious programme of music Supersonic now has a reputation for staging unique collaborations and reunions as well as providing a stage for emerging talent and challenging music boundaries with its constant eclectic mix.

Capsule are looking to recruit an Operations Manager to produce Supersonic 2010

Summary of role
The Operations Manager will work closely with the Festival Directors to plan and execute Supersonic 3 day festival 22nd-24th October 2010.  This role comes under the direction of the Festival Directors with responsibility for the Festival Team (includes: Artist Liaison, Marketing Assistant, Event Co-ordinator, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Festival Interns) and will be based predominantly at the company’s office in Birmingham.

For full details check HERE