Fresh from catapulting Kings Heath into the cosmos courtesy of Chrome Hoof a mere two days beforehand, Capsule returned to terra firma to give us a much earthier proposition this time round. On an oppressive, balmy Saturday evening the Hare & Hounds played host to the intriguing lineup of Tweak Bird and Wolves in the Throne Room, both of them playing their sophomore gigs for the Capsule ladies. A curious lineup on paper, with the stripped down stoner of Tweak Bird up against WITTR’s heady, trance-inducing spin on black metal, but in practise it worked splendidly.
Tweak Bird took to the stage at the almost ungodly hour of half past seven in front of a crowd who were appreciative of their efforts from the get go, certainly none of the stereotypical BM arms-crossed, brow-furrowed ‘grimmness’. After their blow-away slot supporting Lightning Bolt at the tail-end of last year it was satisfying to discover that nothing had changed from what struck me so much at that particular show, and most importantly there was a sense of familiarity with the material that I didn’t have last time round.
Blessed by a full-throttle, take-no-prisoners sound mix, the sheer volume forced people to take notice, never mind the fact that it was impossible to peel your eyes away from the absolutely powerhouse drumming from Ashton Bird, coming across like a hyperactive cousin of Keith Moon and Wizard-era Mark Greening.
Capsule zine no.4 – this time put together by Mark Murphy
Containing interviews with Nicholas Bullen about Zine culture and sound artist Jony Easterby.
Independent Culture for Independent Students: ENGAGING NEW AUDIENCES IN BIRMINGHAM
Arguably, one of the biggest influxes of new people to the city of Birmingham is the thousands upon thousands of new students arriving here every September. In September 2007, I was one of them.
Upon arrival, I had very little knowledge of the city and what happens here apart from the events the student union were relentlessly promoting during freshers week. With loans providing a new found, short term wealth, the general consensus suggests to quickly consume as many £1 pints and 2 for 1 shots you can whilst vertical, and then pay a visit to the nauseating glamour of broad street (amongst others) to waste some more of that cash you’ll long for a few months down the line. Sure, the big night out, club culture clearly appeals to many and seems to do well at catering for much of the student population. However, I soon found myself becoming quickly disillusioned with a student lifestyle that I wasn’t interested in being a part of, yet seemingly was all that was presented to me. Something that I now understand to be a fallacy, but why didn’t I then?
The university I attend, without naming names (although I’m sure you can guess) has campuses across the city and whilst it offers a wide range of courses, it’s probably fair to say that many come under the general brackets of the creative arts and media. The students of which are exactly the sorts of creative types you’d expect to see filling live music events and engaging with the local cultural community. So why don’t they? Why do the West Midlands have much lower attendance for cultural events than other regions?
Well, there is the lack of late night public transport in the city, the actual geography and location of many of the better independent venues, making getting to and from particularly difficult for some (for piss poor students, a taxi fare is usually out of the question). What about the potential apathy of Birmingham audiences? This is something particularly noticeable in my fellow students, but perhaps, through no fault of their own.
It’s taken me the best part of three years here in Birmingham to fully discover and become involved in its vibrant, yet hidden underbelly of music, art and creative culture and I love it. Prompting discussion among peers however often results in blank faces; they don’t know it exists, just like I didn’t. Its not the fault of the city’s independent promoters or venues, they do the best they can with what resources they have, and in most cases they do a bloody good job that goes unnoticed. But Birmingham’s creative sector needs help with the students. Universities – open up the gates for access; let non-union posters go up around campuses, allow flyer distribution and evangelise about the city’s creative networks and many events. It’s no surprise that attendance figures in the union are dropping when all that’s offered is a spotty DJ with the latest Kaiser Chiefs record. Unions need programming and promoters need audiences. Opportunity knocks? We also need a council that does the same. Instead of attracting kids to Birmingham because they can spend their money in the same clubs, bars, restaurants and shops as any other large town in the country, sell Birmingham because it’s offering things that are unique to here.
So, to all the higher education establishments of Birmingham and to BCC, lend us a hand will you? Let’s grab these new audiences before they get lost in the chaff and show them all the real reasons to stay in Birmingham on completing their studies.
Taken from our latest Capsule Zine
What are your thoughts?
If you fancy something along the lines of this…
…then be sure to come by the Hare and Hounds on Wednesday, 26th May and witness it in the flesh!
Get your tickets here
Acid Mothers Temple
Gum Takes Tooth
@ Hare and Hounds
Kings Heath, Birmingham
The rapturous applause that greeted the eight-strong collective as they snaked their way from dressing room to stage was deafening, and by the time the jittery keyboard intro to ‘Crystalline’ had shifted into the glam-math stomp of its main riff, not a single eyeball was diverted anywhere other than the otherworldly, shimmering spectacle onstage. Within their number they boasted the talents of a violinist and bassoonist amongst others, giving the band a really vibrant and authentic sound, with doses of electro, old English prog and mathrock jostling for attention within just the first sixty seconds alone.
With the band uniformly clad in matching silver robes (‘Sunn 1999’ perhaps?) and shrouded in heaving dry ice they looked like the resident house band from George Clinton’s mothership, having been lost through time and space for years, honing their skills – but turning them just a little bit insane. Vocalist Lola Olafisoye manages to be sultry, scary, endearing and terrifying all at the same time; her futuristic shades, figure-hugging catsuit and finger extensions giving the appearance of a particularly hard end-of-level boss in some Japanese sci-fi video game.
Read full review by Duncan Wilkins on Brum Live
photos by Katja Ogrin
Next up ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE this Wednesday at the Hare & Hounds
Tickets for this show can be purchased from www.theticketsellers.co.uk
Polar Bear on York Rd in Kings Heath + Swordfish in Birmingham city centre
JAILBREAK FEAT. CHRIS CORSANO + HEATHER LEIGH MELT BANANA
VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS
NECRO DEATH MORT
BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI
Following the news that the 2010 edition of Birmingham’s acclaimed annual Supersonic Festival will be headlined by Michael Gira’s massively influential NYC band SWANS, Capsule are excited to announce a first round of live acts who will also perform at this year’s festival, including a rocking free jazz fire in the form of JAILBREAK FEAT. CHRIS CORSANO + HEATHER LEIGH, the screeching hyper frantic sounds of Japan’s MELT BANANA, the understated beauty of 12 string guitar virtuoso JAMES BLACKSHAW, plus the mesmeric psych jams of Explosions in the Sky touring sidekicks LICHENS.
Add Eastern-inspired space rock doom from BONG, “tribal drumming, grunge and utter filth all pushed along with a Krautrock like pulse” from GNOD, Rick Tomlinson’s latest incarnation, the bewitching VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS and psychedelic guitar drone from BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI, and many more special live guests plus art, film and panel discussions to be revealed. READ MORE
Capsule have donated a pair of weekend Supersonic Festival tickets to an art auction taking place this week in aid of Cure Leukemia. The auction takes place this Thursday at Wragg & Co on Colmore Row in Birmingham, if you are interested in going you can RSVP here.
It’s all in a very good cause and there’s some really fantastic work on offer by a selection of artists including a piece by our good friend Lucy McLauchlan ( who designed our Einstellung double vinyl LP)
RIP Ronnie James Dio who lost his battle with stomach cancer on Sunday 16th May 2010. We had the honour of meeting him at Tony Iommi’s walk of stars presentation in Birmingham, he was a true legend and will be missed.
You can leave your condolences on Facebook
Sent to us by our friend Chris Herbert aka @cjherbert
We promise our interview technique is slightly less daunting.