Mario Batkovic: A Technical and Aesthetic Triumph

“The seated audience rise to applaud at the close, euphorically greeting an utterly captivating set.”The Skinny


Transcending the traditional into the modern day is hard to do well. In an ever-changing, high paced world continuously pushing for the new and original (something Supersonic certainly celebrates), the classical is welcome if it can keep up.

It is true innovators like Mario Batkovic, bridging the two so effortlessly, who recapture the joys of experimentation in music. Pushing the accordion to the unthinkable limits of its capabilities the Swiss-Bosnian artist is no doubt a master of his chosen instrument, with his proven ability to create the work of a full band of synths with a single apparatus.



“I chose the path of greatest resistance for my music voluntarily”, he admits, being on a mission to not only expand the possibilities of the instrument but to show how the accordion has enabled him a channel to explore and express a freedom that he has been denied through the various physical, social, cultural, and political borders that have existed in his life.

Signed to Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records label, Batkovic’s music refuses to be pigeonholed. Within his work he creates a staggering range of pitch, volume and timbre unknown of the instrument, immersing the listener in a whole new sonic spaciality and vivid, intricate soundscape: a technical and aesthetic triumph.

Think Yann Tiersen- delicate and melodic- meets visions of Viking warriors sailing across oceans; it’s by turns light, heavy, minimal and virtuosic, particularly when he plays so quietly you can hear nothing but the percussive tapping of his fingers on the keys.

Watch Mario below perform and discuss his work and process whilst on a beach, at Into The Great Wide Open Festival in Vlieland, the Netherlands, and experience his remarkable practice for yourself at this year’s Supersonic Festival. TICKETS ON SALE HERE



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YOUTH MAN: Destructive Brummie punk

“what you get here is the visceral punk spirit alive, kicking and sounding fresh for the 21st century.”Already Heard




Boldly dubbing themselves “the loudest live band in the U.K.,” Youth Man stand in sharp contrast to the indie rock crooners. With their brand of punk leaning heavily toward early Californian hardcore, the band have refined their sound into an uncontrollable maelstrom of aggression that culminates and runs wild on stage.

Their Wax EP was recorded in just one session, giving indication of this band’s philosophy: to be as raw and frankly honest with themselves (and their own innate angst) as possible. Youth Man have achieved huge rock success on their own terms, whether people like it or not.

The start of 2018 saw Youth Man return with a bang – with a new record deal, a new song, and a bunch of tour dates.

The Birmingham band have signed with Alcopop! Records, and unleashed a new track called ‘I Don’t Know’. It’s taken from an upcoming EP, which will be announced later this year.

Label boss Jack Clothier commented on the signing: “Youth Man are a band we’ve been excited about since my partner, who basically oversaw the Birmingham scene back then, told me about them, and we’re absolutely delighted they’ve agreed to work with Alcopop! on this new EP. One of THE most exciting live bands around, this EP soars to new heights and will definitely tear your soul apart before patching it together way better than it was before. They were on an Alcopop! compilation back in, like, 2016 – and we’ve been chasing them ever since. Finally got ‘em. FUCK YES!”



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GREY HAIRS (and existential Angst)

“they channel their smarts into ultra-stoopid riffery and obtuse chord patterns, and the results are just brilliant.”The Skinny




From the fertile Nottingham DIY scene, sharing members of UK underground bands as diverse and respected as Lords, Fists, Cult Of Dom Keller, Fonda 500 and Kogumaza, come Grey Hairs.

Returning from their Supersonic performance in 2017, the band seem to getting louder, faster, and a bit louder again year by year. Their latest LP “Serious Business” matches the band’s love of volume to a new-found directness and power. Every song is like a miniature world in itself, taking unexpected twists and turns that mean just when you think you’ve got them pinned they wriggle free.It’s raucous energy and quarrelling male/female vocals recall everything from the Stooges to Status Quo, from The Birthday Party to Black Sabbath but it never feels like a re-tread. Live, these songs take on a life of their own. The band might only just about stay in the saddle but it’s always a thrilling ride.



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PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS: Bringing Sabbathian riffs back to Brum

“This is classic 70s heavy metal deep-fried in iron and blood.”The Quietus




The pig, across many cultures and histories, holds differing connotations. From symbols of strength and abundance to being lustful and unclean, the pig is multifaceted and indefinable, just like the sounds of Newcastle born Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

As you might expect from a band who share members and circles with the likes of Blown Out, Haikai No Ku, Terminal Cheesecake and Luminous Bodies, performers Matt Baty, Sam Grant, John-Michael Hedley, Ewan Mackenzie, and Adam Ian Sykes deliver on a live experience which send audiences into a heavy, trance-like state, with their album Feed The Rats on Rocket Recordings taking clear influences from doom metal and psychedelic rock music.

With amps and brains alike, these psychic omnivores bring seven times the joy, seven times the pain, seven times the dementia and deliverance.

Feed the Rats is getting a repress over at Rocket Recordings. A limited run of 500 on ‘Molten Acid’ (orange/grey) vinyl. The repress of the album still comes in a luxury diecut sleeve. It’s released on 30 March however you can preorder a copy via bandcamp!

AND GET YOUR TICKETS NOW for a gig that promises to be an gargantuan April shower of distortion.



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OUTLANDS: Matana Roberts

“The spokeswoman for a new, politically conscious and refractory Jazz scene”Jazzthetik




Matana Roberts is an internationally renowned composer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner on Constellation Records. Listed as part of The New York Times’ Best Live Jazz Performances of 2017, she is perhaps best known for her acclaimed Coin Coin project, a twelve album saga which weaves together visual, musical, and personal material in an experimental tapestry of stylistic and historical breadth- a process referred to as “panoramic sound quilting”.

In addition to her work as a solo artist, she has collaborated with dozens of musicians and ensembles, from her own trio Sticks and Stones to groups including Burnt Sugar, Exploding Star Orchestra, and Supersonic favourites Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Be sure not to miss her at Centrala on May 18th in collaboration with Kelly Jayne Jones for an evening of deeply expressive playing, tactile electroacoustic interplay and a shared politics of resistance and defiance.


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OUTLANDS: Kelly Jayne Jones

“Kelly Jayne Jones works with sonic textures from her sound archive that is constantly evolving. Inspiration is taken from the recording of concrete sounds, building up compositional balance / unbalance, harmony / disharmony and experimenting with the combinations of sounds.”Metanast


+ workshop delivered by Kelly Jayne Jones on May 25th at BIMM, Birmingham. Further details below.



Using inspired combinations of prepared recordings, text, rocks, found sounds and flute, Kelly Jayne Jones beckons a tussle with uncertainty, inviting exposure and vulnerability in performance. Kelly’s work revolves around the humble principle of connecting with others in the same space/ moment through physis and sound, customary experimental play, with threads and beads of improvisation and interactivity. ​


Along with her solo cassette release on the label Winebox Press, she has collaborated with Sam Weaver (Cusp Editions), Andie Brown and Hannah Ellul from Psykick Dancehall (White Death), and this May brings a very special collaboration with US mixed-media composer and saxophonist Matana Roberts as part of the OUTLANDS tour to Centrala, Brimingham.

In addition to this performance, Kelly will be leading a series of group workshops as part of OUTLANDS, sharing the methods, approaches and inspirations present within her ​sound making practice. Taking inspiration from ​John Zorn’s Game Pieces ​the workshops will take an experimental and collaborative approach to composition with participants drawing upon a range of objects, methods, activities and processes along with mindfulness techniques to consider what it is to create sound together. Exploring ​the spaces within and between improvisation and composition​ as a means of collective creative expression​, ​workshop participants will engage in processes of communal creativity inspiring interpersonal transformation as a political act.

On May 25th Kelly will be delivering a workshop at BIMM for students. Spaces to the wider public are limited and on a first-come-first-serve basis, so to submit your interest please email with the subject title ‘Kelly Workshop’.


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Supersonic Podcast no.4- First 10 acts announced for 2018

Join us for Supersonic Podcast no.4 as we unveil the first 10 acts to be announced for this year’s Supersonic Festival! Weekend tickets are on sale now! And what better way to celebrate than to listen to JUST SOME of the awesome music headed your way this June?


You may know some, you may know none.
Hosted by Anna Palmer and Alice [with the facts] Tomlinson, talking you through the line up with selected interviews and audio docs to delve deeper into the minds of the artists.

Supersonic Festival 2018
Returning this June 22nd – 24th to the cultural hub of Digbeth, Birmingham.
Get your tickets NOW at:

Featured interviews available at:
Andrea Belfi – Speaks about ‘Ore’:

Gazelle Twin talks to The Seventh Hex:

i-D Documentary – Mykki Blanco Celebrates Johannesburg’s Born-Free Queer Artists and Activists – Full Film:


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Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits

In Collaboration with mac Birmingham, Supersonic proudly presents Here To Be Heard : The Story Of The Slits. Tickets available here for April 17th screening and Q&A.

This special screening is accompanied by a Q&A session with both Tessa Pollit and Palm Olive, of The Slits and the film’s director, William E. Badgley.

Here to Be Heard tells the story of The Slits, the world’s first all girl punk rock group, from their original formation during the pioneering days of punk rock in mid 70s London, through their individual stories of struggle, to the reformation of the band in 2005… a time period that ends in 2010 when singer Ari Up died of cancer while trying to make this film.
This story; a mix of archival footage, never before seen images, and interviews with the Slits along with Punk Rock royalty, extraordinary producers, scholars and those influenced by The Slits, can be best described by a quote from Ari Up herself: “I’m not here to be loved, I’m here to be heard”.

Plus Supersonic DJ’s spinning tunes before and after.

Limited capacity – act fast!


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Supersonic Festival 2018 – Weekend Tickets NOW ON SALE

“Supersonic reasserts itself as the best European festival for new music” –THE QUIETUS

Supersonic Festival 2018 returns to the cultural hub of Digbeth in Birmingham between 22nd and 24th of June. Following our sell-out early bird ticket release and the unveiling of our Dennis McNett project, we can now reveal further delights in the shape of our first ten acts:

Gazelle Twin // Andrea Belfi // Daniel Higgs // FAKA // HOUSEWIVES // Mario Batkovic // The Ex // Vanishing Twin // Wolves In The Throne Room // Yves Tumor // + Dennis McNett

This year Supersonic is championing an array of ambitious, fiercely independent, and progressive artists, each committed to doing things in their own unique way.


Having first appeared at Supersonic in 2015 as one of the Festival highlights of that year, we are delighted to invite Gazelle Twin to perform this year. Supersonic shall play host to the UK premier of brand new material.


38 years strong, innovative Dutch group The Ex form a riot of sound and fury that’s both sonically adventurous and feverishly compelling. They incorporate a wide array of influences, often from non-Western and non-rock sources, which include Hungarian and Turkish folk songs, and more recently music from Ethiopia, Congo and Eritrea. Supersonic are inviting them to perform this year’s Kids Gig (following Melt Banana’s wild show last year). The Ex will also perform as part of the main festival programme. We couldn’t be more delighted, and we’re certain the kids will feel the same!


Supersonic Festival are especially pleased to invite MARIO BATKOVIC, the Swiss, Bosnian-born accordion player, who shall continue his mission to expand the possibilities of the instrument to its very outer limits. Through the accordion he’s been able to channel an unbound desire to explore and express, a freedom that he has been denied through the various physical, social, cultural, and political borders that have existed in his life.

Edging, shifting, and ultimately detonating the boundaries of electronica, soul, rap and rock music into a liberated wilderness of intrepid pop, YVES TUMOR impresses a chaos that is at once memorable, unquantifiable and signature to front man Sean Bowie’s genius. His music and performances show equal reverence for light and dark, weaving between sounds of melody and harshness, creating a brave narrative which transcends existing definitions of sound and culture for all to discover.


FAKA is a South African music and performance art duo comprised of best friends Fela Gucci and Desire Marea. The artists explore a combination of mediums ranging from sound, live performance, and video to create an eclectic aesthetic with which they express their ideas about themes central to their experience “as black queer bodies navigating the cis-hetero-topia of post-colonial Africa”.

Berlin based drummer ANDREA BELFI presents a sound-world that artfully combines embellished percussive textures mutated through electronic manipulations and dark, eerie sonic details.

London based experimental four piece HOUSEWIVES create music on the boundary between noise and sound. Their austere, rhythmically charged music has a distinctively cold, minimalist edge; abrasive guitars blend with droning bass lines and propulsive, relentless drums. Their live approach is ‘anti-performance’, using a stark and minimal aesthetic coupled with intense and powerful compositions, often using home made instruments.

London ensemble VANISHING TWIN marry oblique English pop with a palette of arkestral sounds. Drawing on sounds outside of the usual pop vocabulary, the group use forgotten drum machines, home-made electronics, vibraphones, tablas, and harp to invoke the esoteric psychedelia of lost soundtracks, radiophonic experiments and minimal music orchestras

WOLVES IN THE THRONE THROOM re-imagine black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies  of the Pacific Northwest. The listener encounters crystalline metal riffs and ritualistic laments that sing of endless rain falling upon ancient cedars. Their music is a doorway into a mythic ethereal heathen landscape entered through music, magic and dreams. Wolves shall share their blazing, furious and potent form of Black Metal that they alone can create.

We count ourselves very fortunate to have Baltimore native, and lyricist/frontman of Lungfish, DANIEL HIGGS perform at the festival. With three decades of artist output, his art is of the cosmos, we on Earth are merely lucky that it happens to be confined to our atmosphere, in our lifetime.

DENNIS MCNETT – Help bring the beast to life!

This June, we bring to the back streets of Digbeth the FIRST EVER major project in the UK from prolific artist, DENNIS MCNETT. Our Artist in Residence, Dennis will produce a NEW large-scale work to embody the beating heart of this year’s festival, using Supersonic musicians and audience alike.

Find out how you can get involved and help support this MAMMOTH project HERE!

…Plus there’s still many more acts, and extra curricular activities to be announced in the coming months. In the meantime, please find ticket purchasing info below, and feel free to get in touch with any questions.


“Whilst Supersonic deals superbly in experimental music, it also doesn’t take itself too seriously and alongside the mind-altering music, record fairs and pop-up stalls, activities such as black-metal life drawing or Black Sabbath karaoke are offered, as well as events and gigs for children. This thoughtfulness leads it to be a deeply experimental weekend but also a genuinely accessible one too. During a period in which many line-ups of alternative festivals are becoming increasingly uniform, Supersonic brightly stands out as a true alternative to the alternative.” – INDEPENDENT 4*



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Supersonic 2018 FAQ- The news so far…


Welcome to Supersonic FAQ 2018. We will be updating more info as things develop closer to the festival, but here’s everything we can tell you now. For any further queries, please email


When will General Tickets go on sale?

Stay tuned for further announcements and ticket release at the end of Feb.



Whist Supersonic Festival doesn’t have a specific children and young people offer, children aged 10 years and under are welcome to accompany adults attending the festival for free. If you are planning on bringing children with you please contact us in advance via and we will reserve sufficient numbers of wristbands at our festival Box Office. We request that all children in attendance at the festival must be accompanied by an adult at all times, have their own ear defender equipment and be off site by 9pm.

Supersonic Kids Gigs are perfect events for children and their families. More information about events taking place later this year will be available soon.


Accommodation: “Where can I live for the weekend?”

We have negotiated a number of special rates for Supersonic visitors, you can read all about that here


Alcohol: “Can I bring my own alcohol?”

Unfortunately not, you may be searched on arrival and if you are found to be carrying drinks, these will be confiscated. There will be licensed bars on the festival site. If you look under 21, please bring some photo ID along.



We have a food court on site located in North Yard, which will cater for vegetarians and vegans alike as well as meat eaters.


Cash Points

There are only a few ATM machines in Digbeth, so you might want to take out money prior to arriving at the festival site. There are two free cash machines located near-by at:

Nisa | Digbeth High Street | B5 5NR (about a 3 minute walk from the Custard Factory) which is open until midnight daily

Birmingham Coach Station which is open 24hrs


Directions: “How do I get to Supersonic Festival?”

The central hub of Supersonic Festival is held at the The Crossing Floodgate St, Birmingham B5 5SR. Details on further venues coming soon.


Playing at Supersonic – can my band play at Supersonic?

Capsule HQ receive tonnes of emails from bands wishing to play the festival, we wholeheartedly wish to encourage new artists and bands and work hard to ensure that the festival features plenty of new talent. Please email proposals to and we’ll do our best to get back to you.



Normal smoking rules apply: you can smoke in any outdoor area on site, you cannot smoke inside any enclosed public buildings, tents, portacabins, or near a fuel source.



There are loads of taxi firms in Birmingham – Here’s numbers for a couple of them:

Atlas Cars 0121-643-8888

Ambassador Cars 0121-449-8888

T.O.A. 0121-444-8888

Royal Cars 0121-444-8888


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Supersonic Presents…Matana Roberts & Kelly Jayne Jones

As part of  OUTLANDS, Supersonic presents…a very special new collaboration bringing together US mixed-media composer and saxophonist Matana Roberts and UK improviser and flautist Kelly Jayne Jones at Centrala on Friday 18 May. Tickets are now on sale and capacity is limited.

The artists will weave their own approaches into live collaborative works informed by deeply expressive playing, tactile electroacoustic interplay and a shared politics of resistance and defiance.

Read More

Matana Roberts photo by Paula Court 

Commissioned by OUTLANDS, produced by Qu Junktions and supported by Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
OUTLANDS is a national experimental music touring network. 

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Dennis Mcnett at Supersonic Festival 2018


Dennis Mcnett at Supersonic Festival 2018

2018 is a monumental year for Supersonic. This June, we bring to the back streets of Digbeth the FIRST EVER major project in the UK from prolific artist, Dennis Mcnett. Our Artist in Residence, Dennis will produce a NEW large-scale work to embody the beating heart of this year’s festival, using Supersonic musicians and audience alike.

Conjurer of the colossal, Dennis doesn’t just exhibit work in galleries, he parades it down the street. Sculpting full scale temples or engineering viking ships inspired by Norse mythology to cruise through New York City. Birthing a 16ft puppet operated by 20 people in elaborate masks with costumed dancers and caterwauling musicians. Whatever the setting, the results are astounding.

Combining design roots in traditional wood cuts with the raw high-energy imagery pouring out of the early 80’s skateboard and punk rock scene, Dennis has carved an intricate tribe of mythical entities and tales. His Wolfbat moniker, a symbol for rebellion against authority, brings to light our animalistic rituals, he brings to life our beasts.

It’s easy to be cynical in this world. For me, it’s not always easy to walk through life with positivity and try to offer that positivity back to the world. I find it fun and effective to offer it with characters, story telling, collaboration, made-up myth and meditation.” Dennis Mcnett


This work promises to be a spectacular, communal celebration. We always put audiences at the heart of our vision and love nothing more than bringing you exciting and innovative programmes.

We turn to you, dear audience, to help us make this ambitious work a reality – help bring the beast to life!

This year, you can opt for any of the following bundles released along side our Early Bird Tickets. You’ll be helping us raise funds for this monstrous project whilst bagging yourself some stunning limited edition merchandise created by Dennis himself.

Have a look at our Early Bird Ticket bundles


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Crimbo Limbo Podcast

Feeling that festive fatigue?

Had the wind knocked out of you by too many sprouts?

Just can’t seem to get drunk any more?


Here we are on the 29th of December. Chubby, limp and useless as we tumble around in the Crimbo Limbo in a state of flux. We hope you’ve had a jolly ol’ time but C’MON NOW SURELY THAT’S ENOUGH?!

Well, in any case, we thought we’d bring you another podcast to help pass some time and divert your ears and attention from the TV to another talky box for a whole hour – go on you can manage it.

In this instalment we look back at Supersonic highlights from over the years & check out which of our Supersonic Artists have ended up on The Quietus Albums of the year 2017

And we promise – strictly no WIZARD or mention of MINCE PIES or LOUD FAMILY DISPUTES

[just a slight potential of a Christmas competition…but with an edgy twist…because that’s just us]

With music from: LCD Soundsystem // Gazelle Twin // HAQ 123 // Laura Cannell // Jenny Hval // Colin Stetson // Hey Colossus // Snapped Ankles // Casual Nun // Big Joanie // Richard Dawson //


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RARE VINYL – Iron Lung Live at Supersonic 2009

Want to avoid the Christmas rush?
How about perusing on over to our ONLINE SHOP where you can please ALL the family with just a few clicks on tinterweb?
How about a fancy Supersonic 2017 ltd. edition brooch for Nan?
Please the youngsters with a Supersonic Kids Gig Tee?
And surely, nothing says ‘I LOVE YOU’ to that special someone more than an Iron Lung LIVE at Supersonic 2009 RARE VINYL?!
Go on, get it all over and done with.


Limited edition heavy weight vinyl recording of Iron Lung at Supersonic Festival 2009

Iron Lung are a two piece hardcore punk act from Seattle, Washington heavily influenced by power violence and grindcore. The band formed in 1999 in Reno and are currently in Seattle after spending some time in Oakland. They have released music on several labels including Prank Records, 625 Thrashcore, and their own label, Iron Lung Records.

“For those uninitiated, IRON LUNG are a two-man band from Seattle, WA that specialize in a brand of audio violence. Bearing marks of grind, thrash, and even old-school hardcore, 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. Their rumbling, yet raging, take on CROSSED OUT meets SWANS power violence is medically thematic in both lyrical and musical delivery. With the precision of a surgeon and the devastation of an unchecked disease IRON LUNG wreak havoc on any listener smart enough to tune them in and turn them up. It blows my mind that a band can sound both so primitive and so precise at the same time.” –Jeb Branin




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RARE Vinyl – EINSTELLUNG – Wings of Desire

From the deepest depths of the industrial heartlands of Middle England comes a small ray of light.

Last night saw the long awaited return of the Midlands own EINSTELLUNG. Supporting Touch my Secret from Japan at the Hare and Hounds Kings Heath, the band performed songs from their whole back catalogue: Wings Of Desire, And The Rest Are Thunder, All and Nothing.

We are very proud to hold some beautiful Limited Edition heavyweight double vinyls of the Wings Of Desire album AVAILABLE HERE with gatefold sleeve designed by the equally prolific Lucy McLauchlan.

Since late 2003 a warm glow has steadily grown into what can only be described as a fireball. Einstellung feature ex members of Sally, Katastrophy Wife, Cable Regime, Godflesh and Grover. Blending glorious monotonous Krautrock with melodic tones and heavy slabs of Sabbath riffage, whilst finding time to declare sonic warfare on those tinnitus victims who have passed the point of no return.

“If Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother had undergone their musical educations in 1990s Birmingham instead of 1960s Berlin, the music they would have made together under the Neu! banner probably would have sounded a lot like Einstellung’s debut, Wings Of Desire.” 
Drum Media, Sydney

Head on over to the Supersonic shop now to GRAB YOUR COPY!




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Listen in to Supersonic Podcast NO.2 where we announce dates for Supersonic Festival 2018…
Plus an, ‘In conversation with…Sam Underwood of ORE’ ahead of the Supersonic Presents ORE album launch show at Centrala, Digbeth Birmingham tomorrow night (Dec 1st) TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE HERE
Sam chooses some tracks and talks about his long standing relationship with Supersonic, the collaborations sprung out of it and the new ORE album ‘Belatedly’ out on Box Records NOW

Featuring music from: Moor Mother // Yves Tumor // Harvey Milk // Broadcast // ORE // Eugene S Robinson // Khyam Allami // KK NULL // Afrirampo // Vanishing Twin

Stay tuned for more in the coming months!



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RARE VINYL – Harvey Milk LIVE at Supersonic ’08


Who remembers Harvey Milk at Supersonic Festival 2008?

As we G up for Supersonic 2018 (exciting announcements coming soon, watch this space) we reflect on some of our most memorable performances over the years – this one, harking back to nearly a decade ago!

This was Harvey Milk’s first EVER UK performance.

After much discussion Capsule managed to coax Harvey Milk out of America to play in the UK for the first time. Saturday night on the outside stage at Supersonic 08 became a memorable occasion with this long awaited performance providing a suitably raucous climax to the festival’s proceedings…

They certainly didn’t disappoint then and we’re equally excited to have been able to record and package up this little piece of Supersonic memorabilia as a special souvenir, whether reliving the experience or wishing you’d been there, we’re sure you’ll cherish it.

Get your copy of this RARE VINYL today via our online shop!
Click the pic.





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Supersonic Podcast RELAUNCH



We are very excited to release our BRAND NEW PODCAST available now on Mixcloud!

We’ll be bring you a monthly dose of new music from here on out so stay tuned.

For our first instalment we bring you a 2 hour special hosted by our Programme Assistant – Anna Palmer.

We look back on the Experimental music calendar and talk this year’s Fat Out Fest, Supernormal, Tusk and of course, Supersonic. We tell you about the exciting shows still to come from Supersonic this year, playing tracks from the artists involved & a dig back through the Supersonic archive.
Featuring chit chat with Sarah Lafford of Arrhythmia on NTS & an interview with the legendary Steve Davis.

With tracks from: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Lone Taxidermist, Housewives, The Evil Usses, ORE & some old school Supersonic Artists such as Thrones & Hype Williams + much much more.





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Culture Feast – A menu of Contemporary Art

We’ve just announced our final show of the year – 1st December at Centrala in Celebration of ORE’s Album Launch. It’s a jam packed bill featuring performances from ORE, Adrena Adrena, Health & Efficiency and ILL. All for just a mere £5. With DJs til late it promises to be the ultimate closer to another Digbeth First Friday.

As if that wasn’t enough of a pull – our event provides the finale to a Guided Tour around a multitude of Digbeth First Friday events that evening, starting at 6pm, as part of brilliant new Arts initiative in Brum.


For just £25, sample the best in Birmingham’s contemporary scene with access to six events from Stan’s Cafe, DanceXchange, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and exclusive guided tours around Digbeth First Friday and Ikon Gallery. That’s six theatre, dance, music and art events all for £25 total.

It’s a truly unique experience – each evening you’ll be greeted by a member of the team who will welcome you to the event and afterwards you’ll get to let it all sink in in a post-event audience exchange, where you can chat to fellow Culture Feast visitors about what you’ve experienced (much like a “book group” for the contemporary arts).


The events included in Culture Feast are:

Time Critical – Stan’s Cafe THEATRE
Wednesday 8 November, 8pm at mac birmingham

Time Critical pits two performers against each other. She must compress 26 years of world events into 26 minutes; all the wars and elections, inventions and natural disasters, sporting successes and dance sensations. He has the same job for a theatre company, all timed by an ever-ticking chess clock. This fun, poignant and high-tempo theatre production invites us to consider how our personal histories run alongside and interweave with world events.

ZERO by Humanhood – DanceXchange DANCE
Thursday 16 November 2017, 8pm at DanceXchange, Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome

Submerge into Humanhood’s hypnotic and powerful piece ZERO. A visually and sonically mesmerising performance of immersive sound, hypnotising lights and movement. Experience a spiritual dance and be transported into a dream-like world of imagination and beauty.

Tuesday 28 November 2017, 7.30pm at Symphony Hall

A deserted Hebridean landscape, memories of a fatal crash, a book written by a dying man – explore a haunting, deserted, island shrouded in mystery in a live performance of the videogame Dear Esther.

Guided tour of Digbeth First Friday and Supersonic Festival presents…ORE album launch show ART & MUSIC
Friday 1 December, 6pm starting at Centrala

A guided Art-tour around Birmingham’s alternative scene; Digbeth First Friday. Exhibitions, late-night openings, special events, culture in unexpected spaces, live music, street food and more. Ending with the finale of ‘Supersonic Festival presents…ORE album launch show‘ at Centrala – event page HERE.

Ikon Exhibition Tour – Ikon ART
Wednesday 17 January 2018, 6pm at Ikon Gallery

Join Ikon for an informal tour and chat about their current exhibitions – including drawings, paintings and photographs by convict artist Thomas Bock (c.1793 – 1855) and photographs and installations produced by artist Edmund Clark in response to his residency at HM Prison Grendon.

Celebrating Carter – Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and THSH MUSIC
Sunday 28 January, 4pm at Town Hall

Composer Elliott Carter was a genuine living legend – the playful, brilliantly intelligent modern master who wrote his last pieces at the age of 104. This one-off celebration of his music at Town Hall brings together the very best that Birmingham has to offer, as we transform Town Hall with a performance on the flat.




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2 Minutes of Tusk

Last weekend, the Supersonic team descended on Tusk Festival at the Sage Gateshead in Newcastle.

Our brains have just about reset from being well and truly bombed.

We had a brilliant time and made some mind-altering new discoveries. Congratulations to Lee & the team for what they delivered across those 3 days.

In celebration of our time there, here’s 2 minutes of Tusk to wrap your head around. All recorded on the very high tech voice memo app of the iPhone 4.

If you missed it, be sure to head up north next time round. Find out more HERE


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BACK IN BRUM: Hey Colossus show review

We were at the Wagon and Horses in Digbeth last week for Hey Colossus, AJA, Bruxa Maria, Rainbow Grave, Squalor Fan and HAQ 123.

That’s a heavy 6 bands to fit in to 4 hours I must say.

And I forgot my ear plugs.

The night was put together by local Brums and Supersonic pals Lobeblender and Black Hole Promotions.

And my my, what a night.

HAQ 123 are Zac (9) on drums, Millie (8) on vocals and Dave (old enough to know better) on bass. The opened up our Supersonic Sunday back in June and it was an absolute joy to catch them again. Raised on the industrial sounds emitted from Brum, this heavy trio have beats, wails and tempo shifts the older touring band would spend years crafting; front woman Millie’s effortless cool and powerful banshee voice, Zac’s wild drum fills and playfulness and Dave’s ability to sit back and compliment the two young stars talents is a warm reminder to us all of what playing in a band should be about.

Next we venture upstairs and inside for Squalor Fan – a new project made up of Rob Arthur (bass) and Craig Earp (Electronics). Combining lo-fi industrial beats with more neatly produced electronics, live bass and some pretty gnarly high end creates an indiscernible mesmeric sound, like Beastie Boys meets This Heat – which is a very good thing. I just needed it to be cranked a little more. With talk of a drummer joining the duo soon for live shows i’m excited to see how Squalor Fan will develop.

I’ve seen Rainbow Grave a few times now. The more I see them, I die a little more inside. They are the constant reminder of your own mortality and the drudgery of life. They are the incessant hammer of noise pounding at your temple in the hangover. For some reason tonight though, perhaps it’s the outdoor air, they have a lifted energy on stage – like maybe, possibly, for at least some of it, they might be – dare I say it – enjoying themselves? I smile and cheer, go mad with applause for my particular favourite track Year Zero (akin to Dead and Gone’s, ‘Leave the dead to bury the dead’) and the adorning crowd are flipped the finger from Johnny Doom. F you Rainbow Grave, F you.

Then to a band i’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing before – Bruxa Maria – who absolute smashed it – no literally, smashed a glass off the table with their cacophony – a pummelling of post-hardcore. I love the dimension the synth and effects bring as the frequencies slice through the mass of distortion with precision. A triple stacked cymbal on the drums adds crunch to the perpetual crashing and the vocals somehow manage to penetrate through it all with fierce vigour. I’m in folks, please come back to Brum soon.

Upstairs in a darkened strobing room AJA enters through the audience to her table spread with delectable drum machines, effects pedals & synths – as if she’s about to feast upon what’s before her. Beginning with an enticing layered vocal loop into a throbbing mechanical beat the audience is put through their paces as AJA bears her soul. It’s a set of floor writhing, banshee screaming, speaker climbing, coma inducing strobe insanity – an assault on the senses. All tinged with a beautiful vulnerability in the way the dulcet tones of AJA’s voice sing through at intimate moments – only to be screamed at defiantly the next. It’s a whirlwind of emotion, take from it what you will.

And then we arrived at the final onslaught from Hey Colossus and I have to admit by this point I can’t remember song titles. But I can recall the visceral energy being thrashed about from stage to punter, stage to punter like playing tennis with a meteorite. I clambered up the stairs to watch it from above and witnessed a writhing dark mass below being swaddled in an unrelenting minimalist pounding of distortion with pulsating high hats (Back in the room?! I’m guessing…) interjected with terror inducing vocals.

I’m trying to avoid genre here as much as I can as Hey Colossus are a guitar band which essentially just play all the good bits of all the good guitar genres, averted to sitting still. To put it in movement terms, they induce from the audience anything from bottom-of-the-pint-staring-head-hanging to look-at-all-these-bright-lights-i-can’t-make-out-what-sounds-coming-from-where dancing. With that I look above in to the Digbeth sky at some ominous dark clouds eyeing us up for a pounding – but it’s alright I figure, what with the colossal onslaught being shot up into the air, no chance mate.

Great work Lobeblender and Black Hole Promotions – thanks for bringing such a top night to Brum. Here’s to more!


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Supersonic Festival 2018 – suggestions…

We know you love this bit! Post us your suggestions in the comments below for next year’s Supersonic. We always like to hear your wishlist, and don’t be afraid of being bold and brazen.

At Supersonic 2007 we had the likes of Mogwai, Chrome Hoof, Modified Toy Orchestra and Tuung along with OXBOW duo performing a one off rarity with Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu/Techno Animal), Stephen O’Malley (Sunn 0))) ) Dave Cochrane (Head Of David,Transitional) and Chipper (which you can nab a vinyl of HERE). And in 2017, ten years on, festival finale OXBOW choir brought tears to our eyes.

Check out this video of Eugene and Niko back then…oh, how they’ve grown!

& visit the extensive video back catalogue HERE!


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Surgeon | Steve Davis & Kavus Torabi | DJ Bus Replacement Service

HUGELY excited to announce another alt-club night in partnership with Hare & Hounds Kings Heath 10th anniversary series this November with DJ sets from: SURGEON, STEVE DAVIS & KAVUS TORABI, DJ BUS REPLACEMENT SERVICE
with visuals from EDWARDO TECH

Tickets will fly out for this 250 cap venue so ACT QUICK!




Surgeon, real name Anthony Child, has been at the forefront of UK techno since 1994.
His debut “Surgeon EP” is regarded by many as seminal, and along with several early Downwards releases, caused a ripple of excitement through the techno cognoscenti of the time. Surgeon released a further three albums on Tresor, numerous Counterbalance and Dynamic Tension EPs and LPs “Body Request” in 2000, “Breaking The Frame” LP in 2011, and “From Farthest Known Objects” in 2016.
Over the course of his career, the Birmingham resident has perfected a unique and uncommonly effective production style. His is a tough techno sound with an industrial murk about it but also plenty of funk, swing and a sophisticated sense of dub-space learned in part from his Chain Reaction contemporaries in Berlin.
Nov 10th this local legend brings his notorious DJ set to The Hare venue 1 – NOT TO BE MISSED!

RETURNING TO THE HARE after a killer show back in March this year is the one and only Steve Davis – this time with alt-music partner in tow – Kavus Torabi.
The legendary sporting phenomenon from the 80s who took snooker to new heights and as presenter of The Interesting Alternative Show on Pheonix FM with Kavus brought prog and jazz oddities to his cult audience, now turns his hands to the decks. As a hobby which he claims has spun out of control, their notorious 2016 Glastonbury set at the 500 capacity Stonebridge bar was mobbed by a curious turned shocked and enthralled crowd. With a packed out DJ diary since, the duo has continued to woo party goers from Bluedot to Bloc Festival. Drawing from an eclectic array of influences: Magma, Caravan, Oscar Perry, Soft Machine and Gong to name but a few – Steve & Kavus spin together a unique set in their quest to deliver the music they love to lovers of the party.
Listen back to The Interesting Alternative Show archive:

DJ Bus Replacement Service has been described by multi- disciplinary artist Russell Haswell as “evil” and “like a policewoman”.
Also known in Japan as DJ バスガス爆発 (BASU-GASU-bakahatsu).

Promised to be a night of mind-bending music as these 4 alt-techno party lovers take turns on the decks, heightened by the flashes, projections & firworks of EDWARDOtme

Tickets £12.50 advance–more/13050346/
£15 otd


Supersonic 2017 Collective Memory

Photos by Katja Ogrin, Joe Singh and Mark Rhodes

Wow! Supersonic 2017 was an absolute blinder. Our hearts are completely warmed. Thank you friends. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend full of mind bending, life altering music and art, paired with fun and frolics shared amongst a loving, open minded community – something much needed in our current times.

Huge thanks and congratulations to our hard-working Supersonic team and volunteers who all go beyond the call of duty to make it happen and to our incredible artists and audience alike who elevate the whole experience to something truly special.

We will start posting up our Supersonic Collective memory (first started in 2009over the next few days, so feel free to send your comments and blog post links and photos to us, let us know your highlights. Keep checking back as we add more content.

Supersonic photos should be added to our Flickr group (if you could tag them with band name & supersonic 2017 or ssfest17).


We know that people who come to SUPERSONIC are a knowledgeable and opinionated lot so we’d like to ask for your assistance to develop and improve the next festival by answering a few questions about you and your experience. This should take no more than a few minutes of your time, and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Your answers here will aid us in keeping our work going and in making sure new and interesting artists will keep coming to the festival – so your input really does matter in making SUPERSONIC work.



“A deeply experimental weekend but also a genuinely accessible one too. During a period in which many line-ups of alternative festivals are becoming increasingly uniform, Supersonic brightly stands out as a true alternative to the alternative..”

ARTS DESK –  5* live review 

“The Supersonic Festival is Birmingham’s annual gathering of the sonically weird and wonderful pitched at “curious audiences” happy to lend their ears to sounds that would ordinarily be difficult to discover without a lot of effort.”

THE QUIETUS – live review

“Supersonic reasserts itself as the best European festival for new music…..Show me a room full of Napalm Death fans singing Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ with tears pouring down their faces and you show me the very reason we gather to experience live music in the first place.””

NOISEY – Feature on Napalm Death and DIY culture

“No other city has played such an integral role in defining and shattering what heavy music can be.”

ECHOES AND DUST – live review

This year’s Supersonic Festival was an amazing experience with so much quality acts and so many forward thinking styles going on at a wonderfully organised event.”

DROWNED IN SOUND – live review

Britain’s premier experimental music weekender: three days of risk-taking, thought-provoking, genre-defying, toe-tapping, eardrum-popping sounds for the discerning.

FIGHTING BOREDOM – live review of Friday   / Saturday / Sunday 
“It wouldn’t be overstating things to say that Supersonic is our musical home. “

MUTUAL GRIMNESS – live review
“Supersonic Festival – Munificent. Mesmerizing. Mindblowing……Music is powerful. A platform to convey socio-political ideas. A tool to inspire and connect people.”



BBC RADIO 3 – Supersonic preview on Late Junction (14 June)

NTS RADIO – Supersonic preview (23 May)

BBC 6 MUSIC – Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone reveal

BRUM RADIO – Supersonic Take-over show




MIDLANDS ROCKS – initial announcement

GRAPEVINE BIRMINGHAM – initial announcement

BIRMINGHAM MAIL – initial announcement


GUARDIAN GUIDE – Preview (10 June) 

GUARDIAN GUIDE – Inclusion in the festival guide (6 May)

WIRE – Inclusion in festival listings (June issue)



GUARDIAN GUIDE – listed as the top experimental music festival in Europe

“Huddled down the canal from the retail palaces of central Birmingham sits Digbeth, an area permanently flirting with regeneration – making it the perfect place for the accessible yet decidedly off-grid lineup at Supersonic.”

THE QUIETUS – general Supersonic preview 

“Birmingham’s Supersonic festival is returning bigger, bolder and more experimental than ever this weekend (June 16-18).”


“It’s all back to Birmingham for round 15 of Britain’s best city fest.”

ATTN – Q+A with Khyam 

“Beyond the entertainment factor of it all and the generous support of those at that show, it meant so much to me because it was one of the few times in my life where I felt like I actually belonged somewhere and was surrounded by like-minded spirits. Since then I have always considered Supersonic my spiritual home.”

CRACK – news article 

“Boundary-pushing experimental festival Supersonic have completed their lineup for this year’s edition, adding a crop of new artists to a bill that already includes performances from Jenny Hval, Richard Dawson, and Raime.”


“Everything that Fighting Boredom love about music is captured by Capsule’s Supersonic Festival.”

GET INTO THIS – news article

“Where too often festivals can play it safe, settling for the same tried-and-tested headline acts guaranteed to swell ticket sales, Supersonic reads like a breath of fresh air.”

BIRMINGHAM WIRE –!/coming-soon-supersonic-festival-2017

“A truly avant-garde, tightly-curated and rightly exalted experience.”