Supersonic features in DIS boutique festival guide

Supersonic Festival

Friday July 24th – Sunday July 26th
The Custard Factory, Birmingham, England
Line-up highlights so far: Head of David, Growing, Jarboe, Zu, PRE, Caribou, Genghis Tron, Flower/Corsano Duo, 65 Days of Static, Venetian Snares (latest full details)
Rumours, hopes et cetera: Supersonic organisers Capsule tend to pull a diverse range of specimens from the darkest of nooks, but what they do offer up is usually loud, odd or both. To that end, it’s hard to predict who will transpire on the line-up, though after last year’s event the fans seemed to want originators; the likes of Steve Reich, Sonic Youth, a reformed Can and Terry Riley and John Cale playing Church of Anthrax featuring heavily in these suggestions, along with other good shouts like Liars and Colleen. We’d break up the countless noise acts that will surely be added to the bill by asking Skull Disco to give their dark, doomsday dub one last airing, while minimalist forefather La Monte Young should be hailed to reprise the performance of Raga Sundara he’ll be giving in the Guggenheim this month. SALEM and Grouper also fit the ‘odd’ criteria and would be fine additions.
What to expect: Headache. One of the most arcane and diverse line-ups of any festival this summer. A superb merch area.
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Just added IRON LUNG to Supersonic 09

We’re really pleased to announce the addition of IRON LUNG to this years Supersonic Festivals line up.

For those uninitiated, IRON LUNG are a two-man band from Reno, NV that specialize in a brand of audio violence heretofore unknown in the extreme underground. Bearing marks of grind, power violence, thrash, and even oldschool HC, they are one of the handful of bands that have applied new and innovative approaches (arrangements, chords structures, thematic unities, etc) to their underground musical machinations. If you are one of the handful of people who remember the all-too-brief existence of KRILEZAC, then you know the foundation upon which this was built (IRON LUNG was born of the KRILEZAC ashes, although they have a more measured and sharp sound).

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They join the initial Supersonic 09 line up – Head Of David/ 65 Days of Static /  Atomized/ Berg Sans Nipple / Caribou / Cave/ Chris Herbert / Diagonal / Earthless /Flower & Corsano Duo / Genghis Tron / Growing / Jarboe / Khyam Allami / Master Musicians Of Bukake/ Nancy Wallace / Pontiak / PRE /  Scorn / Skullflower/  Theo / Venetian Snares /Zu / ZzZ’s

Weekend tickets go on sale today exclusively for those on our mailing list – general release in April from


Frank the pup at Capsule HQ today

Frank The Pup

Frank The Pup

Frank is at work today, quietly sitting under my desk, just listening to some music and keeping an eye on everything, whilst looking after ‘Suckles the Clown’. On the whole he is pretty well behaved in the office other than when he decided to wee on Jens camera bag.

If you like this picture check out stuff on my mutt for such beauties as:

Could be me & Jen…
and of course for fans of the feline stuff on my cat

Thanks to Dorian Wood for introducing us to these sites, we spent a good few hours of browsing on Sunday afternoon with slices of cake.


Skullflower + Scorn + Atomized added to Supersonic 09


We’re pleased to announce some additions to the line up for Supersonic Festival 09,  24th – 26th of July, taking place in and around the Custard Factory in Birmingham. First up to be added are the beautiful dissonant occult noise act SKULLFLOWER, also joining the line up is SCORN aka Mick Harris (king of the blast beat)  and the new project combining Russell McEwan of Black Sun &  the electronic-vocal attack of Lea Cummings (Kylie Minoise) in the form of ATOMIZED .

To the uninitiated, Skullflower is one of the better-known bands that originated in the early 1980s power-electronics / noise scene, and one of the few to achieve any real recognition outside their homeland, especially in the United States . Unlike most of their contemporaries (such as Whitehouse, Con-Dom, Grey Wolves, etc.), they are an actual band (as opposed to one or two musicians employing a mix of instruments, synths, and tapes), and retained just enough of rock’s basic structure to attract the attention of people beyond the power-electronics genre.

Skullflower’s roots are in the European power-electronics / noise scene taking place in the early 1980s. A number of experimental musicians and bands who had grown bored with punk began experimenting with a more confrontational brand of volume-dependent artistic expression. Bands like Whitehouse, Final, Napalm Death, Con-Dom, Throbbing Gristle, The Grey Wolves, and the like were pushing the boundaries of sonic assault, employing damaged synths, guitar noise, unsettling tapes, and extreme volume to confront audiences. Swiping a page from punk’s DIY manual, most of them were also releasing their own material (and in some cases, the material of a great many others) on cassette and (when they could afford it) vinyl, to be sold at shows or by mail order.


Scorn is the project of former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris. The project was formed in the early ’90s by Harris along with Nic Bullen (one of the founder members of Napalm Death in 1981). Bullen left the group in April 1995 and the projects continues on to this day as an essentially one man show.

Scorn is/was often associated with industrial and experimental music, particularly in their earlier years as a duo with much of their Earache Records era output. Scorn considered a rare example of a successful industrial/downtempo crossover artist. Since the departure of Bullen, much of the output has been minimalist beats with an emphasis on very deep bass lines, often resembling dub and trip-hop in structure.
Atomized is the what occurs when you combine the tribal percussion and bellows of Lovely Feyde Rautha (Russell McEwan of Black Sun) and the electronic-vocal attack of Lea Cummings (Kylie Minoise) as they reinterpret some well known pop songs from the 80s, or as they describe – “Raped versions of pop classics by Madonna, Visage, Howard Jones, Haircut 100, & Culture Club.” As you can imagine, the songs sound nothing like the original chart toppers, dwelling in a nocturnal grey area between Mummy and Daddy era-Whitehouse (especially on their Madonna and Visage cover) and Swans at their minimal best.

Equal parts industrial, noise and no-wave – it’s a heavy and merciless release from these two, the audio equivalent to Boy George’s night terrors in the clink. This will be released from Lea’s Kovorox Sound label in the not so distant future, be sure to catch their debut performance of this material at Glasgow Implodes this March.

Initial Supersonic 09 line up – Head Of David/ 65 Days of Static /  Atomized/ Berg Sans Nipple / Caribou / Cave/ Chris Herbert / Diagonal / Earthless /Flower & Corsano Duo / Genghis Tron / Growing / Jarboe / Khyam Allami / Master Musicians Of Bukake/ Nancy Wallace / Pontiak / PRE /  Scorn / Skullflower/  Theo / Venetian Snares /Zu / ZzZ’s

Tickets go on sale the first week of March exclusively to those on our mailing list, followed by additional tickets in April
You can join the mailing list here to guarantee first round of tickets. join now


Next Home Of Metal event as part of Flatpack Festival

As part of Flat Pack Festival in collaboration with Home Of Metal
Screening of: The Song Remains the Same & talk by Chris Phipps

@ South Birmingham College
Saturday 14th 16:00pm

Dir. Peter Clifton & Joe Massot
UK/USA 1976, 137 mins
Feat. Robert Plant; Jimmy Page; John Bonham; John Paul Jones

Back in the day when psychedelic concept movies were compulsory for any self-respecting rock band, Led Zeppelin took the plunge with this patchy but often entertaining document of their 1973 Houses of the Holy tour. The meat of the film is a performance at Madison Square Gardens shot over three nights in which the group steam through ‘Stairway’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Heartbreaker’ and the rest to thunderous effect. Also scattered through the movie are fantasy sequences which Spinal Tap might have cringed at, including Plant rescuing a fair maiden and Page meeting a hermit up a mountain. The simplest and most touching is John Bonham’s, shot on his farm near Droitwich.

The making-of story is an epic in its own right, and today’s special screening will include a talk by Birmingham-born documentary maker and music historian Chris Phipps. Combining personal anecdotes with music fact and urban fiction, Phipps will provide a unique decoding of a band and film which often defy description. As he says, “you may leave with more questions than answers, but that’s Zeppelin.”

For further info about Flatpack Festival:

Don’t forget you can upload your photos, ticket stubs, programs etc to the Home Of Metal Archive


Javens does it again

Two more stunning gig posters have been created by artist Ben Javens for our future Capsule gigs, firstly for a show with Savannah, Georgia’s BARONESS (Relapse Records) with support from Alabaster Suns (ex Capricorns) and Birminghams very own thunderous foursome Mothertrucker which takes place on Friday 10th of April.

Followed a week later by the godfather of Drone, Dylan Carsons EARTH with support from Ko-Guma-za, which sees the guitar section of Nottingham band Wolves Of Greece reunited for the first time since their involvement with NYC composer Glenn Branca’s orchestra in 2007.

Both these gigs will take place at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, advanced tickets are available from or Polar Bear on York Road in Kings Heath, also at Swordfish on Temple Street in Birmingham city centre.


Highlights from previous Supersonic festivals

“It was an incredible experience that was quality throughout – every detail accounted for, every nerve stimulated! Fantastic to spend an entire weekend talking about and listening to music with people who really love it too. And getting to tell the musicians how much you appreciated them was a real bonus. A life changing experience – never been more in love with music- THANK YOU! XXX” Audience feedback

We hope each year people go away from Supersonic having discovered a few gems, often the line up is made up of names that you might not recognise just yet! – but its worth being adventurous as the rewards are well worth it.
Here are  some of the highlights from previous Supersonic Festivals including 2008’s immense performance by the  incredible Harvey Milk featuring the mighty Joe Preston – these guys blew audiences away on the Saturday night – fists in the air, tears in the eyes!!! Supersonic were proud to bring these guys over to Europe for the first time after a few years of gentle persuasion. Other great performances were by Merzbow in collaboration with Keiji Haino as Kikuri, the Danish ensemble Efterklang, comic antics by Fucked Up and the blissful end performance by Krautrock legends Harmonia.

Harvey Milk 2008

2007 saw a unique collaboration by the Oxbow Duo with Stephen O’Malley,  Justin Broadrick, Dave Cochrane & Chipper, the first European show for David Yows Qui, a near riot during Wolf Eyes and a co headline performance by Sunn0))) and Mogwai.

2007 report for Supersonic by BBC

2006 saw the thunderous High on Fire headline the outside stage whilst in the Factory club audiences went berserk for Zombi & Circle.

High On Fire 2006

Zombi 2006

Circle 2006

2005 was the infamous year of the bomb – when the whole of Birmingham city centre was evacuated due to  a bomb scare including our festival – we all had to vacate the Digbeth area but not before having witnessed amazing sets by Battles, Dalek and Tunng amongst a host of others. The much anticipated collaboration by Stephen O’Malley and Merzbow had to be postponed as did a perfromance by PTV.

2005 Supersonic short film
In 2003, our very first Supersonic Festival took place over the water at the Custard Factory, with live performances by Coil and a very early live show by LCD Sound System. Happy days!

Coil Supersonic 2003

Let us know what your highlights have been…


Follow Supersonic on Twitter

We are trying to keep up with technology by signing up to Twitter, feel free to follow us with all the latest news to do with Supersonic Festival and of course if Frank ( the puppy dog) does anything amazing like looking cuter than normal.
Twitter illustration by Ben Javens, part of his bird and pattern series. Cute dog courtesy of Frank (Capsule head of security)