On Saturday 25th of October at our Open day at Wolverhampton Art Gallery we have some special guests in conversation with Kerrang! Radio DJ – the legendary Johnny Doom, a stalwart of the Midlands Metal scene.

Jim Simpson 12am – 1pm in conversation with Johnny Doom

Jim Simpson
Birmingham-based Big Bear, so called after the nickname given to Simpson by legendary DJ, John Peel, runs one of the oldest independent labels in the UK, specialising in jazz, blues and swing artists, although it has also been successful in other music genres.
Jim is the unsung hero of Heavy Metal, he ran the progressive club, Henry’s Blueshouse where he inspired Robert Plant, Jon Bonham, Judas Priest and a plethora of others all of whom came see the legendary American Blues artists Simpson programmed back in the day.
He managed Sabbath for their first three albums, which included the seminal ‘Black Sabbath’ album, then Paranoid and Master of Reality.

Digby Pearson, Earache Records founder 2pm – 3pm in conversation with Johnny Doom

The label has made its name releasing some of the most brutal albums of the past two decades. Earache has been home to such outfits as the legendary Napalm Death and Godflesh as well as a host of other extreme bands. Earache’s artists have set the standard for cutting-edge, uncompromising music.
But just as inspiring is the story of how it came to be. Nowadays, internet wizardry or a truckload of cash can be a band’s best friend, but in the early days, Earache had neither. All it had was one man; founder, patriarch and self-confessed obsessive, Digby ‘Dig’ Pearson.

Dig built Earache the old-fashioned way – through word-of-mouth, determination and an unswerving belief in his bands, though his outlook on the last two decades is a tad modest under the circumstances.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery – Open Day Saturday 25th October 10am – 4.30pm
Free Event – refreshments provided – all welcome


New Capsule shows

Tickets are now on sale for a host of new and exciting shows we have coming up at Capsule.
Just confirmed a new signing to Constellation Records ( home to GYBE! and A Silver Mnt Zion) are Seattle based The Dead Science with support from Worcester based Theo who will be performing at the Hare & Hounds on the 5th of Nov.

Another treat on the horizon is Racebannon, a genre-defying avant hardcore punk band from Indianapolis who formed in 1996. They begun as a screamo band on Witching Hour Records and have now evolved to produce bone crushing riffs and manic vocals, a kin to Melt Banana. Support for this comes from Dream Dreams The Dreamer (aka Matt from Esquilax who we should add is a wonderful illustrator and has designed covers for Gallows to name but a few) and the infamous casio-grind trio, Trencher. It should be noted that Lyam from Trencher is himself a talented artist and a member of Drumize along with DJ Scotch Egg, who performed at Supersonic 08.
Check out this amazing video by Trencher, it will melt your mind!


Heavy Metal tea parties – Capsule feature in Saturday magazine

“As Birmingham’s creative revival gathers pace, look out for events run by DIY promoters Jenny Moore and Lisa Meyer, aka Capsule. Champions of all things avant garde, they’ve hosted events at SXSW in Texas and Sonar in Barcelona as well as the annual Supersonic Festival nearer to home at the Custard Factory . Meanwhile their latest project Home Of Metal at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery , celebrates the West Midlands as the birth place of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppellin and Judas Priest. ” People will bring collections of memorabelia relating to the bands,” says Jenny Moore, “like the Antiques Roadshow of Rock.” Artefacts and stories will be recorded and uploaded onto permanent online archive. Capsule also take an original approach to hospitality – rather then snakebite ‘n’ black, they serve tea and cakes at their events.”


Brums abroad…well in London

Last week we were at The Joyful Bewilderment exhibition opening at Rough Trade East in London, it was like Birmingham on sea, well not quite but a good percentage of Birminghams’ creative community were either exhibiting their work or had just come down for support – safety in numbers as it were!!! The event was a total success with absolutely loads of folks in attendance, at one point they had to stop the crowds coming in.

Our contribution to this shindig was Einstellung performing in the later part of the evening, the band played a storming set which was well received by all. As you can see from the photo the band had a hoot.

Here is Log, one of the Out Crowd founders and co-curator of the show looking slightly fearful, which is either due to being surrounded by so many ladies or the free dodgy Lidl beer.

French, Marcus, Peplow and Ben, perhaps slightly concerned that the dodgy Lidl beer may run out at some point.

Jenny and I on the other hand were fine, enjoying seeing friends including the lovely Fuck Buttons boys who made a special trip to pop in and see us, surrounded by great art work and the bright lights of London.

And most importantly the art work, which you can read all about on The Joyful Bewilderment blog, and I believe many of the pieces are for sale, so go and check them out.

Some of the brummies exhibiting were Lucy McLauchlan , Rik Cooper, Lee Basford, Stef Grindley, Ben Javens Tsz and Log Roper.

Photos by our very own Jenny Moore


Home of Metal on Facebook…

The snowball begins…

Wednesday night saw the official launch as it were of the HOME OF METAL project with our first training session for our volunteers, to our delight we have a fantastic group of over 20 people, who are all fired up and ready to go, working with us to achieve what is to be a huge and quite honestly, daunting task. No longer is this a just an idea we’ve been toying with over the past 9 years or so, now it’s a reality and we have to see it through!

To kick start the proceedings we invited up the great oracle himeslf, John Doran, a music journalist who writes for a number of publications including Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, WIRE, Plan B, Stool Pigeon, Drowned In Sound, Playlouder, Disorder, Bizarre and more. He also edits his own website The Quietus. John gave us a fascinating potted history of music starting with Black Sabbaths’ early beginnings and blues influences right through to Napalm Death. Despite being rather poorly and suffering from a liver infection he had us all on the edge of our seats.

The group of volunteers will be keeping a record of their experiences on the HOME OF METAL blog, which will be set up next week, so I thought that it would be useful to keep you updated with what we discover and try and keep a record of our journey, as even within the last 7 days we’ve uncovered so much.
* Last week we went to London and met with Julie Weir and Lisa Bardsley, both key members of the music industry whom have been incredibly generous with their time and contacts, and will serve as great advocates to the project.

Myk in one of his many Napalm related garments.

* We were put in contact with Myk Bastard, a guy from Vestal, New York, whom has amazingly collected everything Napalm related, with over 200 T-shirts and clothing , not to mention the back catalogue of all their releases and related projects. Myk is now going to start photographing his collection so he can add them to our archive. What a star!

* Midge from DIABOLIK at the Custard Factory, has kept every issue of Sounds Music paper from 1984 – 1991 and has leant them to us to scan and serves as a wonderful archive of news relating to the bands of that period, loads of great reviews and news stories. A legacy of Sounds was the creation of the Heavy Metal/Rock magazine Kerrang!, which was originally issued as a supplement before being spun-off as a separate publication, which continues to this day.

* Richard Short has been in touch, he’s been documenting Digbeth over the past 20 years and has photos from all the venues in the 80’s and 90’s, mainly taken at the coach and horses, barrell organ, kalidiscope and edwards or nameless digbeth pubs and include some fantastic Godflesh photos.

* We went to Nottingham, home of Earache Records, and spent the afternoon with label founder Digby Pearson, luckily for us Digby has been a great hoarder, and has kept a wealth of treasures which relate to Napalm Death and Godflesh. He has kindly agreed to start digitising them for us to add to the archive. Most fascinating was his memories of early shows when people like Vic Reeves were big fans of the bands and the way the late great John Peel was such an advocate for the genre. We’re hoping to go back and see Digby in a couple of weeks to rifle through more of his collection, as well as inviting him to be interviewed at our first open day in Wolverhampton on Saturday 25th of october.

* We have recieved permission from Central TV to show a documentary made in 1992 by Roger Shannon and Jonnie Turpie entitled MOTOR CITY MUSIC YEARS. Part two of the documentary is about the 1970’s. It starts by charting the move from The Move into orchestral based pop music (ELO, Wizard etc) at the start of that decade, and then concentrates on heavy metal with great interviews, and music clips, with Black Sabbath, Ozzy in LA, Judas Priest, Magnum, and then Slade (filmed in the pub at the Black Country Museum).

Exhausting and thats just a weeks worth, the project is now in full swing, no turning back…start searching in your attics!


Think Antiques roadshow for fans of Metal

Saturday 25th October : Wolverhampton Art Gallery 10am – 4.30pm
Lichfield Street
Wolverhampton, WV1
01902 552 055

We launch the first series of open days at Wolverhampton Art Gallery as part of Hello Digital Festival. Home of Metal is a brand new project aimed at creating the first digital archive of metal music, memorabilia and fans stories, to tell the story of this unique moment of Midlands’ musical heritage. Launching at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday 25 October, 10am – 4.30pm, the project coincides with the 40th anniversary of when the term ‘heavy metal’ was coined by music journalist Lester Bangs when describing Black Sabbath.

The launch event at the city centre Art Gallery encourages fans of Judas Priest, Napalm Death, Godflesh, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to come along and share their experiences of their favourite band. Fans are encouraged to bring memorabilia along with their personal stories to the gallery to be recorded – all of which will go towards the new digital archive, which aims to tell the true story of the birth place of metal. – Think antiques roadshow for Metal fans!

Each open day will be hosted by Kerrang! Radio DJ – the legendary Johnny Doom, a stalwart of the Midlands Metal scene, accompanied by special guests from industry or genre. A selection of memorabilia will be on display as well as screenings of film documentation and interviews from the bands. Refreshments will also be provided. Dig out your old ticket stubs, T-shirts, fanzines and bring them along, its a FREE EVENT so everyone welcome, curious folks too!

Next open days: Thursday 6th November at New Art Gallery Walsall 6pm – 9pm (with special performance by Einstellung) and then Saturday 7th Feb at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.


Capsule in the Birmingham Mail ‘100 Great Things About The West Midlands’

So what does Black Sabbath, Jasper Carrott and the Capsule Grannies all have in common?
Well we’ve been given a mention under the Custard Factory heading no.37 in the Birmingham Mail’ s 100 Great Things About The West Midlands.
“The campus also contains a first-class music venue, bar and theatre, all of which are fully used by leftfield promoters for nights of alternative mayhem.
Most established of these is Capsule, two switched on women, who constantly host nights of the world’s most cutting edge music and provide a platform for local bands.
Capsule’s Supersonic Festival, held every July at the Custard Factory is a world-class event and perfectly sums up the whole Custard Factory Vibe.”