Supersonic Festival meets Home of Metal

There is a strong metal presence at this year’s festival as Supersonic embraces Birmingham’s musical heritage.


Home of Metal is a project that has been raising the profile of the West Midlands region as the birthplace of Heavy Metal, citing Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Napalm Death and Godflesh as key players within this genre who all came out the area.

Festival goers will witness the torturous Japanese ‘funeral doom’ band Corrupted who have embraced their heavy metal influence while twisting the genre to a parallel universe where guttural roars follow extensive harp pieces and atmospheric doom accompanies all out head banging sludge. It is fitting that the first UK show for this now cult band will be in the place where Black Sabbath originally discovered their dark ominous sound which still resonates in the haunting heaviness of Corrupted.

The reformation of Head of David is another reminder of the diverse interpretations that can be born out of Heavy Metal. This Black Country band were one of the first industrial metal bands, the tempo is slowed down and distorted. They create a heavy haze that subsequently poured into the sounds of Godflesh and Ministry.

Ex Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris will be playing the festival as industrial dub act Scorn. The sounds of Scorn take those dark, heavy sounds of Heavy Metal and strip them bare, creating a uniquely mucky minimal sound.

The influence of West Midlands’ Heavy Metal can be made out through the thrashing and pummelling of Kylie Minoise. His hectic bursts of noise a reminder of the early Napalm Death tracks that pound into submission. Kylie Minoise’s reinterpretation of the one second long Napalm Death track ‘You Suffer’ was released in 2007 – it’s over an hour long.

Other Heavy Metal influenced performances at Supersonic 2009 will include grunge doom from Thorr’s Hammer, thrashcore from The Accused, power grind from Iron Lung and a wealth of bands embracing dark, psychedelic and experimental sounds – whether they linger gloomily for eternity or smash into you briefly as a burst of noise.

In addition to these crushing sounds, a number of Home of Metal events will be taking place over the weekend. Catch Kerrang! Radio DJ Johnny Doom in discussion with Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley of Sunn0))), discussing the influence of West Midlands’ Heavy Metal. Dr Niall Scott of the University of Central Lancashire will be lecturing on the ‘monstrous male figure’ with Heavy Metal and their will be a screening of the Vice film ‘True Norwegian Black Metal’.

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

available from:
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


Marnie Stern confirmed to play Supersonic Festival

We’re delighted to confirm that MARNIE STERN will be performing at this years Supersonic Festival in July  – New York native Marnie is described as a Guitar Hero showdown between Don Caballero, Hella and … Van Halen

Confirmed line up:
Friday: Army Of Flying Robots / Atomized / Drum Eyes / Kylie Minoise / PCM / Scorn / Taint / Venetian Snares

Saturday: Bobby Previte / Corrupted / Diaganol / Flower/Corsano Duo / Growing / Iron Lung / Kim Hiorthoy / Light Trap / Marnie Stern / Master Musicians Of Bukkake / Monotonix / Nisenenmondai / Remember Remember / Rose Kemp / Skullflower / Tartufi / The Accused / Thought Forms / Thorr’s Hammer / Tweak Bird / Zu

Sunday: 65 Days Of Static / Arbouretum / Caribou / Chris Herbert / Earthless / Goblin / Head Of David / Jarboe / Khyam Allami  / Nancy Wallace / Pontiak / Pram / Pre / Theo / The Memory Band / ZzZ

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


Rock-a-Rolla interview: Thorr’s Hammer Return!


Rock A Rolla – May/June 2009

Thorr’s Hammer, the cult doom outfit featuring Sunn0))) duo Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, have reformed for a very special performance at this year’s Supersonic Festival in Birmingham, UK. The band, active for a total of 6 weeks in 1994/1995, produced an EP and a demo, and disbanded once vocalist Runhild Gammelsæter aka Ozma, returned to her native Norway, ensuring their cult status and remaining the stuff of legend – until now. Runhild fills us in on underground metal’s unlikeliest comebacks.

How did this reunion happen?
We have talked about doing a reunion on and off for the last 10 years. Earlier I was negative, as I didn’t like new versions of bands who did ‘reunions’ years after. Sometimes the imaginary, epic memory of an old band can be disturbed by waking it back up to life – and the once handsome musicians are now old and wrinkly. But I am older now, and a bit more flexible in my thinking, and perhaps more nostalgic. Last year, Stephen brought up the reunion idea and all of us felt it was a good idea, that it, most of all, would be fun to play together again. Stephen really likes Supersonic festival and approached them about it. So it’s not like we had offers to play for big money or anything. Actually, I would like to point out that we are making no money on this.

It’s almost the same line-up: yourself, Stephen, Greg, Jamie Sykes and Guy Pinhas. What happened to original bassist James Hale?
Frankly, I don’t know. I lost touch with him when I left the states.

Why, do you think, given such a short lifespan and hardly any recordings, did the band go on to be such cult favourites amongst the extreme metal underground?

Four things. One: the music is quite good, if I may say so. Our stuff was different from other metal bands then and I can’t think of another band with the same sound since. I don’t believe we would be cult today if people didn’t enjoy the music. Two: a small teenage girl with very long blonde hair growling like a man is very noticeable amongst the bands composed of dudes in black t-shirts. Three: being in the right place at the right time. TH is a child of its time, and a cross-cultural band. We made a new mix of different genres: grungy doom, which was born in Seattle at the time by bands like Earth and Tad, together with Norwegian vocals about Vikings, which was used by the Norwegian black metal bands. To sum it up, we were into Norwegian black metal, from all parts of the world, and lived in Seattle when grunge and doom were born. Four: Steve and Greg went on to become big rock stars with Sunn0))), so people started looking into their other projects. That being said, the surprising thing for me is that the record has sold evenly through all these years. It hasn’t sold a lot, but we keep selling copies after 15 years, without any promotion or touring, which I think is quite rare. I am very grateful to the people who like our music and have kept the word of mouth of TH alive for all these years.

Are you planning to do anything more after Supersonic? Any new music maybe?

We might make some new music, I don’t know yet. TH is friends having fun; we’ll do whatever we like. But we will never be a tight band doing tours. Our jobs and other projects don’t allow it, and TH is and always will be old school and low key. I like that we are cult, it makes me proud.

Thorr’s Hammer play Supersonic Festival on Saturday 25th of July alongside Corrupted, The Accused, Iron Lung, Monotonix, Skullflower and many more
24 hr order line – 0844 870 0000 – Calls cost max 5p per min from BT landline


Tonight: Sing Hallelujah Reverend Billy is coming!

Sing Hallelujah Reverend Billy is coming!

Friday 29th May, 5.30 – 6.30pm – FREE
Outside Ikon, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS

Suffering from shopping overload? Concerned about a world rife with global advertising, multi-national control, global warming, packaging and supermarket domination in a profit driven and dirty world? Help is at hand! Reverend Billy and his Gospel Choir of Life After Shopping are coming to Birmingham as part of his ‘UK Shopocalypse Tour’.

Reverend Billy, the infamous New-York based performance artist and activist who is banned from every Starbucks in the US, makes his only Midlands appearance. This event is presented as a collaboration between Ikon and Fierce! Festivals year round programme.


Sublime indeed

omar_1A massive thanks to all of you that turned out to see Omar Souleyman + Group Doueh last week as part of the Sublime Frequencies tour, it has to be one of our favorite shows of the year and I was particularly enjoying the fact that so many of us non dancing types were unable to stop ourselves shimmying – the music was just so infectious.
I urge anyone who gets the chance to try and catch the tour:

Wed 27 MANCHESTER, MINT LOUNGE (Promoted by Faktion)
9pm-1am / £8 adv/£10 door (£9 NUS concession on door only) / 0161 839 8008 / /
8pm-11pm / £10/£8 concessions / 01603 660352 /
Fri 29 LONDON, TUFNELL PARK DOME (Promoted by Upset The Rhythm)
8pm-2am / £10 / /
Sat 30 CAMBRIDGE, UNITARIAN CHURCH (Note – change of venue)
7pm-11pm / £10 adv / /

A huge well done to Qu Junktions for putting the tour together and bring these guys over to the UK, it was very much appreciated and well worth all your hard work planning!


Even more bands confirmed for Supersonic!!!

super_eflyer_09We are delighted to add a few more extraordinary acts to perform at this years Supersonic Festival, including Japanese all girl band NISSENMONDAI, a 10 piece collaborative project in the form of DRUMIZE (feat. DJ SCOTCH EGG + ex members of the BOREDOMS + TRENCHER), TWEAK BIRD a brother duo who produce heavy experimental prog and psych-infused rock (a definite one for fans of the MELVINS), LIGHT TRAP which is the latest project of Nicholas Bullen (original member of Napalm Death + Scorn) in collaboration with none other than Johnny Doom and the drummer from Una Corda.

Full line up:
Head Of David (first show in 23 years) / 65 Days of Static / The Accused / Arbouretum / Atomized/ Bobby Previte / Caribou / Corrupted / Chris Herbert / Diagonal /Drumize /  Earthless /Flower  Corsano Duo / Goblin / Growing / Iron Lung / Jarboe / Khyam Allami / Kim Hiorthøy / Kylie Minoise / Light Trap / Master Musicians Of Bukkake/ Monotonix / Nancy Wallace / Nissenmondai / Pontiak / Pram / PRE / Remember Remember/ Rose Kemp/ Scorn / Skullflower/  Taint / Theo / Thorr‚s Hammer / Tweak Bird / Venetian Snares / Zu / ZzZ

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

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


The Paragon Hotel has already sold out over the weekend of Supersonic, as such we have just negotiated an additional deal with Nite Nite hotel, which is conviently located in Birmingham city centre and in walking distance or short cab ride away from the Custard Factory. We suggest booking this asap as they only have a limited number of rooms available.

Nite Nite
(20 mins walk from the Custard Factory, It’s just a 5 minute walk from New Street Station)
Quote ‘super09’  for room  – Tel: 08458 90 90 99
rate £39.95 per night (Double room only) with WIFI
offer available until 19/07/09

For a really cheap deal we recommend the ETAP
1 Great Colmore Street, Birmingham, B15 2AP
T : +44 (0) 121 622 7575

1.5 mi – about 30 mins walk

£38/45 per room per night – includes 1 single bed & 1 double bed in each room 1-3 people per room – BARGAIN!!! works out £13 each per night. Rooms book up very quickly! £2.95 for a continental breakfast. Approx 150 rooms available.
They have free parking if you’re driving to Birmingham.

Also worth checking out Late Rooms


Limited day tickets released for Supersonic Festival

We have now released a limited number of day tickets for Supersonic Festival 2009 and put up a basic timetable of whom is playing on which day (please note there are still bands & artists to add to these timetables).

Supersonic Tickets

Weekend tickets – £70
Friday 24th July 9pm – 2.30am
Ticket – £15 – includes Venetian Snares + Scorn + PCM + Drumize + Atomized + more

Saturday 25th July 4pm – 3am
Ticket – £35 – includes Corrupted + Thorr’s Hammer + The Accused + ZU + Iron Lung + Monotonix + more

Sunday 26th July 2pm – 12.30 am
Ticket – £35 includes Goblin + Head Of David + Jarboe + Caribou + Earthless

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

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