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!