ZzZ at Supersonic Festival 2009

The first time you see a band that you don’t know at all, and two guys appear on the stage, you wait like five minutes expecting the other two weirdos that are supposed to play in a good rock band. But, after half an hour with ZzZ, you lose that expectation and you slowly realise that those two guys are enough to keep your attention up with drums and organ(!!!), shouts and a lot of dark energy.

Being ‘half a band’ doesn’t mean that they play halfway. The give all of themselves, creating something live that is not captured in the studio. Fresh but sticky sounds, really dark and deep, sometimes trembling psychedelia. I didn’t see anybody going anywhere while these guys were on the stage. Nobody moved either! We were as stunned as you can be watching one of your favorite never-heard-before bands of all times. They’re becoming very popular in the Netherlands, just because of the word of mouth effect coming from concertgoers who never returned to the real world.

They sound very similar to bands like Morphine or The Doors, but these two names are not included in their influences list at the band Myspace profile. Surprisingly, they claim to be influenced by artists like Fela Kuti, Funkadelic and Django Reinhardt!!

zZz will play at Supersonic on 26th July 2009




By Nicolás Gómez

Tickets – Weekend tickets – £70 / Friday Ticket – £15 / Saturday Ticket – £35 /Sunday Ticket – £35

available from: www.theticketsellers.co.uk
24 hr order line – 0844 870 0000 – Calls cost max 5p per min from BT landline

Also available from
Polar Bear + Swordfish – Birmingham
Rough Trade East – London
Plugd Records – Cork


Prefuse 73 date change

prefuse73_webPlease Note:
This show has been changed to Monday July 6th at the Hare & Hounds instead of the 16th of July.

All tickets for the 16th are valid for Monday the 6th show

Tickets from: https://www.theticketsellers.co.uk/buy_tickets/organisers/?id=185
Polar Bear – Kings Heath
Swordfish – Birmingham city centre


A range of emotional grappling usually foreign to instrumental hip-hop Pitchfork


Bobby Previte at Supersonic Festival

Last time Bobby Previte visited Birmingham, he brought together his acclaimed Constellation Ensemble; a jazz orchestra formed of trumpets, keyboards, sax, clarinet, harp, piano and additional drums to compliment the ones of Previte, renowned as much as a jazz drummer as a composer. That concert, commissioned by the City of Birmingham was celebrated in February 2004 at CBSO, 7 other cities in the UK and Teatro Nationale in Milan, Italy in May of 2005.

Previte played what is considered his masterpiece, The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró, a multimedia performance including texts and slide projections, based on the abstract work of the Spanish painter, which stunned Previte as he visited one of the three opportunities in history to see the full collection of 23 paintings together at the New York MOMA, in 1993.

The wide range of musical influences embraced by Previte allows him to travel from free-jazz together with the Constellations Orchestra, to urban funk, interpreted together with two of New York’s most outstanding musicians, Charlie Hunter playing his eight string guitar and DJ Logic at turntables for Previte‘s composition Blasticity. Other influences are massively mixed in his music, from Piazzola tango to Latin jazz, through to John Zorn, with whom he has worked in several projects. Some of the musical labels that have been associated to Previte’s music are free-jazz, psychedelia or doom jazz. The plastic arts and visual influence is still present at Previte’s recordings and live performances.

He will be performing at Supersonic, together with VJ Benton-C Bainbridge, an audio-visual performance in which Bobby will trigger his drums in a full direct set, no loops, no overdub, over Benton-C’s light brushstrokes, at their only tour date in the UK, in partnership with Birmingham Jazz.

By Nicolás Gómez

Tickets – Weekend tickets – £70 / Friday Ticket – £15 / Saturday Ticket – £35 /Sunday Ticket – £35

available from: www.theticketsellers.co.uk
24 hr order line – 0844 870 0000 – Calls cost max 5p per min from BT landline

Also available from
Polar Bear + Swordfish – Birmingham
Rough Trade East – London
Plugd Records – Cork


These are a few of my favourite things

Mark Ryden

On Wednesday 24th June Jenny & I have been invited to do a talk at the Ikon Gallery as part of their ‘These are a few of my favourite things’ series. Whereby a number of well-known individuals undertake a series of talks inspired by Desert Island Discs. Asked to select their eight favourite works of art,  speakers will reveal their personal inspirations, illustrated by a slide show.

Places are free but should be reserved by calling Ikon on tel. 0121 248 0708.
6.30–7.30pm Free


David Hockney


Filmic delights at Supersonic

As well as scores of bands playing over the Supersonic weekend, there will be many filmic delights to choose from. This year Film Ficcones return with Pram to Supersonic. Pram, Birmingham’s own, will provide a sinister cinematic soundtrack to Film Ficciones 16mm projections for a special performance.

Eagle and Feather will present Kipple, cleverly edited footage of detritus of modern living amassed through visits to charity shops and jumble sales. Kipple is a term used by Philip K Dick in his book ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ to refer to ‘unwanted or useless junk that tends to reproduce itself’. Eagle and Feather have applied this to their video mashups.

There will be a programme of label shorts from Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar including Black Mountain, Phosphorescent and Parts & Labor. Screenings will also include 65 Days of Static ‘Road Movie’, a documentary of a US tour featuring interviews, live performances and footage from dates with the Cure.

By Anabel

Tickets for Supersonic Festival are available from: www.theticketsellers.co.uk
24 hr order line – 0844 870 0000 – Calls cost max 5p per min from BT landline


Capsule Recordings latest release out now

Just in time for the Einstellung show on Saturday Capsule Recordings are very proud to be releasing this very special limited edition heavy weight double vinyl release ‘Wings Of Desire’.  Artist Lucy McLauchlan has been commissioned to create a beautiful gatefold sleeve, reflective of the bands industrial roots.

From the deepest depths of the industrial heartlands of Middle England comes a small ray of light. Since late 2003 a warm glow has steadily grown into what can only be described as a fireball. From this point on let this gentle fireball be known as Einstellung.

Blending glorious monotonous Krautrock with melodic tones and heavy slabs of Sabbath riffage, whilst finding time to declare sonic warfare on those tinnitus victims who have passed the point of no return.

There are just 500 of these beauties so don’t miss out – you can purchase them via our shop or come along on Saturday to the Hare & Hounds to see Einstellung perform live supporting Aethenor (members of Sunn 0))), Guapo, Ulver and Shora), don’t forget there will also be a very special secret guest playing!!!

For tickets for Saturdays show visit   http://www.thetisketsellers.co.uk
Polar Bear + Swordfish


John Zorn & more at Equinox Festival

14_jun_equinox_200Highly recommended  – The first ever Equinox Festival kicks of this Friday in London, a three day media arts festival based on modern spirituality, culture and the occult with film, performance, lectures and music including John Zorn, Z’ev, Aethenor, Burial Hex, K11, Kinit Her, Threshold House Boys Choir (aka Sleazy of Throbbing Gristle and Coil) as well as many others.  Comus, the legendary acid folk pioneers, will be performing their seminal ‘First Utterance’ album in their first UK performance in 30 years!

Some tickets are still available from http://wegottickets.com as well as Treadwell’s Bookshop and Rough Trade East.  Limited tickets will be available on the door.
For full details check http://www.equinoxfestival.org

We have Aethenor (members of Sunn 0)))+ Guapo + Ulver + Shora) performing in Birmingham on Saturday 13th June with Einstellung + very special guests more details here


Head Of David Interview

Interview with Head Of David
by Rock A Rolla Magazine – Issue :May/June 2009

In a year that’s already seen the unlikely return of Faith No More, The Jesus Lizard, Thorr’s Hammer and Goblin, the most surprising reunion is of industrial metal legends Head of David. Back in late 80s/early 90s, the West Midlands outfit ruled the roost, their pummelling Throbbing Gristle meets Suicide meets Sabbath combination setting the blueprint for bands like Godflesh, Fear Factory, Pitchshifter and numerous others. Frontman Stephen R Burroughs, once staunchly opposed to anything in the way of a reunion, finally succumbed, an offer from the folks behind Supersonic Festival too good to pass up and his long-term steadfast refusal eventually transforming into genuine enthusiasm.

“It’s something I swore, personally, that I’d never do” Stephen tells us of the reunion. “I swore I’d never play in this band again, however we got the offer from Supersonic – it was a good offer and it’s been 23 years since the original line up has played together, and we thought that was quite fitting so we decided to do it. Simple as that.”

So was there any particular reason he swore he would ‘never’ do it again after they split in 1991?

“No particular reason, I just went off and did other things. Dave (Cochrane, bass) and Sharp (Paul, drums) continued to play, Eric (Jurenovski, guitars) hasn’t played live – his last gig was with me in America, that was in Houston. I just didn’t wanna do it – I think bands getting back together is highly tasteless to be honest, but I’m joining the ranks of the tasteless (laughter).”

Since the band’s dissolution, the band members have variously gone on to do other things, musical and otherwise, the most high profile of course being Justin Broadrick’s Godflesh, Jesu and numerous other ventures. Dave Cochrane worked with Broadrick on a number of projects including Jesu, God, Ice and the upcoming Grey Machine, as well as The Courtesy Group and Transitional, while Eric, Sharp and Stephen all but retired from music. “I continued to write” Stephen says. “I’ve done a lot of things you see, but nothing that’s surfaced. The last time I recorded was actually last summer for the Alan Vega tribute, the 10” singles on Black First – that’s the first time I’ve been in the studio for years”.

One of the original outfits on the industrial metal scene, the Black Country foursome were operational between 1986 and 1991 with a varying line-up, producing three albums and a handful of EPs on Mute’s Blast First label before calling it quits. Appearing at this year’s Supersonic Festival, which is fast shaping up to be a sort of Dream Comeback Festival this year (see also Thorr’s Hammer and Goblin), 2009 marks the end of an almost two decade hiatus, with the bad appearing in their original 1986 guise.

“That’s the original Head of David” Stephen confirms. “Me on vocals, Eric Jurenovski on guitar, Dave Cochrane on bass and Sharp on drums, and that’s the band that recorded (the band’s 1986 debut EP) Dogbreath.”

And what about Justin Broadrick? Was he considered for the reunion?

“Justin, he’s locked away in his studio in Wales somewhere. We did suggest that he might like to do something with us for this, but he’s a busy man and simply couldn’t come along to rehearse – he’s doing too much studio work so sadly he won’t be involved. The initial idea was to get him involved and I think he was quite keen to do it as well. He played drums when Sharp sadly had to leave – Justin took over and he played on Dustbowl, the second album.”

So how was it playing these songs for the first time in twenty years?

“It was surprisingly good fun actually. It feels very different. The good thing about it is it doesn’t feel like it’s some ‘friends reunited, let’s all be self indulgent and try and live out our past’ kind of thing. It does feel quite relevant because I think with maturity over time, in ourselves, we’ve approached it all differently and it does feel quite fresh and it’s sounding very good. I said initially: let’s rehearse, if it sounds good, if we’ve still got the same sound, we’ll do it. And we plugged in and away we went and it was really quite easy. As I say, it does sound good.” Presumably, though, energy levels aren’t quite the same as when they were all younger? “(laughter)  You’re joking! No…that’s a categorical NO, and I certainly don’t shout with the same nervous energy that I used to”.

Like so many bands that would eventually prove to be influential, during their active phase Head of David were largely acknowledged only by those in the know, remaining underground while bands like Godflesh, and later on Fear Factory (who covered ‘Dog Day Sunrise’ on 1995’s Demanufacture), took this sound to a wider audience. Stephen, for one, is unperturbed by their lack of tangible popularity the first time round, nor was it ever part of the plan.

“It was never a consideration at all, and it’s something I never expected, that we’d be a big band. I do think that we were overlooked but I said at the time, back in 1986, that we’ll be more popular in 30 years time than we’ll be in a year’s time. That happens with a lot of bands, when people re-discover a band. I wasn’t expecting any fame then at all, I didn’t particularly want it either. But yeah, I think with any band it’s recognition they want more than anything, and I think that recognition started to seep through various channels, the ones you just mentioned, the rise of that genre of music, when Ministry mention us in dispatches, and lots of other bands have. So I think that’s brought our name to a few people.”

“But to be honest” he continues, “all we did at the time was we just played what we listened to and liked, we didn’t really think ‘oh, this is industrial metal’. We were certainly conscious, coming from the Black Country, the Midlands, of our heavy metal roots, with Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. But at the same time we didn’t want to be a heavy metal band – we wanted the overwhelming sound of a heavy metal band but at the same time we were listening to Throbbing Gristle, Boyd Rice and all the early industrial stuff, so it’s just a natural seepage of all those influences and that’s where the sound came from. It wasn’t necessarily concocted, it was purely instinctive.”

So with the band revving up for their performance at the upcoming Supersonic Festival in their natural surroundings of Birmingham, UK, the reunited combo are about to make their full comeback, with a swiftly widening plan to resurrect their name for a new (and for that matter old) audience.

“The back catalogue should be reissued later this year, hopefully in time for Supersonic, but I’m not sure when that’s gonna happen. As for recording new stuff, it’s now become apparent that we would like to record something – more of a continuation of what we were doing back then and put-the-record-straight kind of record. That’s what we’d like to do. Something with a bit of feeling. So hopefully we will record, but we’ve got Supersonic in mind, and that’s it at the moment. There have been a few offers already to do other things, and there’s a good chance that we’ll do other things. I can only be as vague as that at that moment”.

Catch Head of David at this year’s Rock A Rolla sponsored Supersonic Festival

To listen to tracks by Head Of David check:

Tickets available from:
24 hr order line – 0844 870 0000 – Calls cost max 5p per min from BT landline