Laura Cannell: Fragments

“Laura Cannell conjures a sonic portal between the past and present.”The Wire

Critically acclaimed instrumentalist Laura Cannell deconstructs her bow to produce haunting melodies from her violin and deconstructs our stuffy view on the recorder by blowing through two simultaneously and harmoniously with gusto. In doing so, she constructs a flourishing fragmental sonority heralding the ancient, traditional music of the instruments into the present through experimental improvisation.

Her sensitivity, emotiveness and wild flare will transport you into a new realm of tranquil solitude. 2016 saw the release of Laura’s third solo album Simultaneous Flight Movement to critical acclaim, appearing in numerous end of year lists.

Where did she come from? Based in rural East Anglia, Laura Cannell’s work draws on the emotional influences of the landscape whilst simultaneously breathing new life into lost and forgotten melodies from the 5th – 14th centuries.

Long self-taught sessions alongside dedicated training gave Laura a foundation to build upon, but it is her fearless strive to break away from rules and tradition and her thirst for collaboration and experimentation that elevates her body of work to courageous peaks.

“At school, I used to play for medieval banquets in a haunted pub in Bungay. But I just get bored of there being rules, I don’t like being told what to do. And I’m really anti-twee. People think: ‘Recorders, how lovely!’ But they’ve got balls and energy – they can really bite.”

For more on the Woman blowing Recorder prejudice away click [here]

With longstanding time spent in the highly regarded Horses Brawl duo as well as her Early Music missions, Laura then went on to pastures new. She has since collaborated with electronic musician Hoofus, plays in new trio Oscilanz with Ralph Cumbers (aka Bass Clef) and has worked with renowned drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat) to name but a few. She even founded her own record label Brawl Records in 2005.

“She is uniquely able to fuse inspiration with interpretation, delivering scintillating, programmatic works in miniature based on everything from Homerically florid psalms to the pioneering music of the 12th century apothecary, scientist and theologist Hildegard von Bingen. Obscurity is no boundary here.”The Quietus

For an interview with Laura from The Quietus click [here]

Laura’s dexterity, determination and devotion to seeking the new is culminated in her all encompassing 3 solo albums. Beginning with Quick Sparrows Over the Black Earth released in July 2014 where haunting chords move the heavy air of the church as fiddle drones drift across the flatlands of East Anglia in single-take atmospheric improvisations, she has continued this stylistic approach to recording.

Her latest release Simultaneous Flight Movement was recorded on the day of the EU referendum in single takes inside Southwold lighthouse.

“I went to the Methodist chapel round the corner to do my vote, and then stood in this enormous tower that looks out over the sea, playing fragments of music from all over Europe. Thinking about it going up through the tower, going out past the prism in the top, I just thought about all these ridiculous borders we’re putting up between each other. I was standing there, firmly planted, thinking, ‘Please don’t go!’”

“As soon as something begins to sound like a genre, I begin to lose interest.”

This March sees the launch of a new performance series at Cafe Oto [Modern Ritual] exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes. Featuring solo sets from Charles Hayward, Laura Cannell and Hoofus and a new collaboration between Laura & Charles. More info [here]

Then this June, Laura Cannell graces us with her glorious sound at Supersonic Festival – a performance not to be missed!

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Jenny Hval: Fluidity

“NOT SAFE IS HOW ART EXISTS. NOT SAFE FOR WORK IS THE WORK.”Jenny Hval

Returning to our stage once again with her rapturous sound, Jenny Hval. She is an artist who’s extensive archive projects a stunning mass of expression; music, literature, visual & performance art, all coalesced into one body.

The New York Times defines her writing as “taking a scalpel to the subjects of gender politics and sexuality.” and with her most recent album ‘Blood Bitch’ co-produced by noise artist Lasse Marhaug, she boldly continues on with her incisions with delicate precision.

Gender fluid, Art-form fluid and Physical fluid. Fluidity itself is an ideology which flows through Jenny’s artistry.

With early beginnings as vocalist in a gothic metal band called Shellyz Raven, to studying creative writing and performance in Australia, Jenny arrived back in Norway in 2006 and released her debut EP Cigars which was nominated for a Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of Grammy awards).

Adopting the name Rockettothesky, she then went on to release two studio albums – To Sing You Apple Trees in 2006, and Medea in 2008. This is where we could try and define the earlier albums and their genres and outline the progression into the mix of genres Hval has arrived at now…but this would be counterintuitive to the representation of Jenny as an artist, as her interdisciplinary art cannot simply be pigeon-holed into music genres, or even ‘experimental’.

“…it’s a disease to call everything experimental because everything is experimental…I mean, it’s experimental to live! So that’s why I keep returning to ‘I make pop music’. It’s also because I’m not so interested in being put anywhere, and that’s not because I think it’s wrong to be put in boxes when an individual writer says something about my work. That I don’t think about so much. The fact that I’m asked so much and people seem to be so in need of placing music on a map….you can ask me but I think it’s maybe more fruitful to turn around and ask why do we need to? And why do we need to say ‘Jenny Hval is not pop music?’ Why is that so important to us?”

Rather than genre, there are coherent themes in Jenny’s work, spanning the audio and visual. Her artistic voice is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time. Much like in her interviews, she turns and questions the audience.

Her live show has gradually progressed from a more traditional live band set up to an avant-garde performance with costumes, dancers, speeches and live DJ. This seems to be a return to the art forms she originally studied and a more organic vehicle to deliver the messages within Hval’s complex art; as a performer, she seems totally free.

Under her own name, the prolific artist has released 4 more albums, Viscera (2011), Innocence Is Kinky (2013), Apocalypse girl (2015) and in 2016 most recent album, Blood Bitch. The latest release seemingly encapsulates many of her previously visited themes; artistic ritual, failure, capitalism, blood – but this time through a different, more positive, playful gaze.

“where Apocalypse dealt with, ‘you look at yourself in the mirror and you fail’, this one is like ‘oh, but I can walk through the mirror’ and there’s a crazy, creative realist world there I can partake in instead.”

With the release of numerous captivating online video’s to accompany the tracks and a newly curated show, Hval has innately created an alluring atmosphere around this album with her collaborators.

For an in-depth interview with Jenny visit [here]

Jenny Hval and co. brought the new show to UK audiences last night in London and collaborated with the incredible make-up artist Lone Taxidermist. Check out the Instagram [here] for a sneak peak into what’s to come at Supersonic Festival this year.

We anticipate that after her performance this June we will all be in awe and questioning, in the words of Jenny herself taken from her last tune on the Blood Bitch album, ‘Lorna’:

“Does anyone have any language for it? Can we find it?”

Do not miss her set at Supersonic. Tickets on sale now. With group ticket offer available: 5 for the price of 4. [here]

SEE YOU THERE!

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Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam

Over the weekend of 23-26th Feb – the Capsule team took a trip to Amsterdam to explore Sonic Acts Festival. Since the first edition in 1994, over the years it has established itself as a thematic festival with a strong focus on contemporary and historical developments at the intersections of art, science, music and technology.

Each festival edition explores the chosen theme by means of an international conference, a wide range of concerts and performances, exhibitions and screenings, and embraces a broad spectrum of fields, practices and disciplines.

This year’s theme was ‘The Noise of Being’.

Arriving a day late to the party on Friday (due to Doris day) we wondered through an abstract dystopian world of exhibits and sound art installations in the stunning setting of the Stedelijk Museum. From glitchy Electronica, to a Microtonal Tuba ensemble with an incredible performance from Jennifer Walshe and the Arditti Quartet in between (a particular highlight), our senses were not just tingled but tossed, turned and tangled in the most invigorating way.

Our evening ended with some VR, AV, DJ madness in the beautiful converted church building, Paradiso – concert hall, cultural centre and club.

Across the rest of the weekend we visited Flemish Arts Centre De Brakke Grond for seminars combining modern scientific research and contemporary art forms and admired the work of emerging new artists at Arti et Amicitiae. 

Other photography exhibits we saw outside of the festival was the evocative collection of Ed van der Elsken and the alluring ‘An ode to slowness’ by Tom Callemin. We also got lost in the vast Rijksmuseum for a few hours.

We had a blast in Amsterdam and think you should definitely check out Sonic Acts Festival if you get the chance next year. Now, our brains need a quick cat nap before we continue on with Supersonic Festival proceedings…

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HelloCatFood: ReRightingCopyRight

“Everything is a remix. Lots of people’s ideas are always formed from others.” – Antonio Roberts

This Saturday, March 4th, in association with Hare & Hounds 10th Anniversary Series, we bring you Steve Davis DJ set with support from Graham Dunning and his Mechanical Techno Set and local producer/DJ – Rocky Steps. Such a stellar, alt-DJ line-up would not be complete however without some mind-bending live visuals to boot.

Hellocatfood is the alias of Antonio Roberts, a New Media artist and Curator based in Birmingham, UK. His artwork uses glitch art, hacking and technology-driven processes to explore issues surrounding copyright, remixing and free culture.

Roberts’ technically complex and playfully innovative work combines programming, video and collage (both digital and physical).

He has provided visuals for the likes of MTV, Com Truise, Elmo Sexwhistle, Henry Homesweet, My Panda Shall Fly and has exhibited work at Loud Tate 2014. Aside from shows in the UK, Roberts has exhibited his animated GIFs and audio-visual works as far away as Iran, France, and the United States. He is an Associate Curator at Vivid Projects and Lecturer at University of Westminster.

Roberts is involved in the debates around Creative Commons and sharing upon which the Open Source community is founded. 

“I think Copyright is a mess because it tries to dictate how we should be creative. Creativity is free-flowing. Copyright, and its cousins patents and trademarks, justify their existence by saying that these restrictions encourage innovative new ideas but what they do is just stop us.”

For an in-depth interview with Antonio regarding What rights in Copyright? Click [here]

Antonio is also a part of Algorave: The Live coding movement that makes next-level electronic music. Although not a music creator, the artist generates responsive visuals that keep in line with the coding aspect of Algorave. As he writes, “the main point is that it’s all crafted live.” To understand more visit [here].

As if all this wasn’t engaging enough, the highly-active artist has also just announced a new exhibition which he is Curating at Leicester’s Independent Cinema, Art Centre and Café Bar – Phoenix – this April/May.

Delve further in to Antonio’s archive [here].

We’ve no doubt that HelloCatFood will elevate this night of weird and wonderful music to an all encompassing, SUPERsonic and visual experience – so come get your glitch on.

[Here] is the Facebook event page

GRAB YOUR TICKETS [here]

and don’t miss out on our 4 for £40 offer available online only!

 

 

 

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Graham Dunning: Mechanical Techno Set

“IT’S LIKE A BADLY-OILED MACHINE, A MACHINE THAT IS ALMOST FALLING TO PIECES.”Graham Dunning

On March 4th in association with Hare & Hounds 10th anniversary series we bring you the ultimate alternative DJ night. With headliner Steve Davis, snooker champion turned Alt-DJ cult hero paired with live visuals from HelloCatFood and support from Graham Dunning with his Mechanical Techno Set, we’ve no doubt this avant-garde-discotheque will exercise your body and your brain.

Graham Dunning works with sound, processes and found objects visually drawing upon dirt, dust and decay, evoking notions of memory, collecting and archiving. Dunning’s work sonically remixes cultural off-cuts, often utilising the unwarranted noise inherent in vinyl and cassette playback.

A self-taught artist and musician, his work explores sound as texture, timbre and tactility, drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects.

Dunning’s background in experimental music informs his approach into whatever audio, visual, physical piece of art he is creating; experimentation and play being a main part of the process.

“My work explores time and commemoration: How people store their memories, in personal archives – photographs, audio journals, post-it notes – and what becomes of those archives. I find discarded objects interesting in themselves, for the stories that they suggest or that can be read into them. Collecting things has always held a fascination for me, both to do myself and to look at the way others do it.”

This enthusiasm in ‘the way others do it’ is probably what makes this artist such an avid collaborator. From musicians, to producers, to multi-disciplsinerary art groups such as A.A.S – Dunning, in his art-form fluidity, has created a patchwork quilt-esque archive: offering something for all kinds of art-appreciators.

Flick through his website [here]

Recently Dunning’s performance project Mechanical Techno – a teetering stack of collaged vinyl interspersed with physical interventions and extended phonograph needles – has drawn accolades from sound art and music festival scenes.

The installation of the Mechanical Techno set is an incredible thing to watch come to life; Graham is gradually joined on stage by some abstract lo-fi R2D2 sound machine, fully responsive but slightly out of whack, with it’s own chaotic wit. 

Dunning speaks fondly of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who referred to dub as “the ghost in me coming out” and with his own brand of techno he certainly unleashes a whole new entity into the a-typical DJ night.

For an in depth interview with Graham from ATTN Magazine click [here]

This is set to be an unmissable, mind bending night of dance. For more info. click on the Facebook event page [here].

[TICKETS ON SALE HERE]

AND DON’T MISS OUR EXCLUSIVE OFFER OF 4 FOR £40Limited online only so get in quick!

 

 

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Colin Stetson: Musical Athlete

‘…feels like music I’ve been subconsciously craving without even knowing it exists.’ – PITCHFORK

Colin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor and spent a decade in San Francisco and Brooklyn honing his formidable talents as a horn player eventually settling in Montreal in 2007.

From early beginnings in experimental jazz group Transmission Trio:

 

Stetson has gone on to collaborate with artists such as Tom Waits, Arcade  Fire,  Bon  Iver,  TV  On  The  Radio,  Feist,  Laurie  Anderson,  Lou  Reed,  Bill  Laswell,  Evan Parker,  The  Chemical  Brothers,  Animal  Collective,  Hamid  Drake,  LCD  Soundsystem,  The  National, Angelique Kidjo, Fink, and David Gilmore – to name but a few.

But above all, he is a solo artist in his own right, who has crafted a unique sonic & visual experience through avant garde and extended techniques, equipped with an eclectic musical palate.

On his solo work, The Quietus says Colin ‘has totally eclipsed the flare of these heavyweights with a series of brutalist yet ambitious and exhilarating records’. He produces enigmatic, physical, strenuous music which courses and caterwauls through a reminiscence of dark jazz, post-rock and industrial electronica.

Colin has perfected the technique of circular breathing and with his live shows, literally ties himself to the grizzly beast; as the performer and instrument grapple together in a hypnotic whirl they almost blur into one.

I guess where it started to get interesting for me was when I realised you didn’t have to only learn from or mimic other players of your chosen instrument, regardless of what it might be. So much more can be gleaned if you do the same thing with other instruments and different sound sources entirely.”– Colin Stetson

For an fascinating interview with Stetson about Mastering the Flow click [here]

Considered a prodigy in his teens, Colin was thrust in to the limelight; in freshman year he was instantly playing in a sax quartet and the main symphonic band whilst majoring in visual art. He speaks of how during this time ‘the challenge to live up to the hype is quite real.’ and as a result he has maintained a solid work ethic throughout his life, ‘it was just an all-intensive and personally challenging regimen, which pretty much sets you up for a lifetime of living that way.’.

When it comes to mastering an instrument in the way Colin has, many may envisage a vitamin D deficient recluse locked away in a dark room running scales until their fingers drop off. Practice is of course a huge factor but also the physical demands of performing in this way requires peak fitness – and Colin is something of a musical athlete.

Natural ability, practice, eclectic palate, work ethic and artistic collaboration are what contribute to creating this intriguing, well rounded musician but something which ties this all together beautifully is the immediate emotivity you hear when you put on a Colin Stetson record or watch him perform.

It was his long standing dream to work with musical hero Tom Waits. One hazy early morning in his San Fransisco home at the age of 23 the phone rings, Colin drearily answers and it’s Tom Waits on the line. He’s got his number through a mutual friend, bassist Matthew Sperry. This friend had changed the course of his life. For the next year and a half Colin and Matthew played regularly in Tom Waits’ band until one day, Colin received another life-altering phone call saying Matthew had been hit by a car on his way to work and had been killed, leaving behind a wife and 2 year old daughter. The much-loved Matthew’s untimely death had a profound effect on Stetson as he states:

“I tell the first part of the story to set up the second part of the story – what we think is all important and life-altering events when we’re young, they pale in comparison to the things that actually do touch us on a real meaningful level and change us in ways that I think are long lasting and are actually what we should be looking for in our lives.”

Such sentiments and sensitivity can certainly be heard in Colin’s rich, all encompassing sound.

Listen and watch his most recent release from the forthcoming album ‘All this I do for Glory’

Out April 28th 2017

[pre-order here]

 

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Arbouretum: Mystical Landscapes

About to release their 6th studio album ‘Song of the Rose’, the prolific Arbouretum continue to wonder on through the wilderness of rock. Since their first release in 2004 the band have been perfecting their craft of storytelling in song, both lyrically and sonically.

Signed to the fiercely independent label Thrill Jockey records, Arbouretum have been called “the best of the millennial classic rock bands, a guitar-fuzzed powerhouse.” Hailing from Baltimore US, the band travels through the ever changing landscape of alt-rock with effortless motion. From brooding Americana, to dark folk, sludge, doom, psych-rock and a fleck of prog, the expanding structures lead us from the mystical, poetic lyrics of David Heumann, told over grinding grungy riffs, into guitar solos which wind into improvisations between a group of respectful players painting a vivid sonic picture in homage to their predecessors.

THE QUIETUS described 2013’s album ‘Coming out of the Fog’ as ‘..the album Neil Young and Crazy Horse should have delivered instead of the disappointing Psychedelic Pill.’

Arbouretum’s lyrics explore elements of philosophy, mysticism, redemption, and the implications of human “progress.”

“Heumann is the kind of songwriter who, when he slips in a lyric about a tree or a bird or a running river, seems to have actually observed such objects, not just read about them in books. There’s something elemental about his fuzzed-drenched, Americana-infused anthems, something both grounded and deeply mystical.”- Jennifer Kelly, Pop Matters

2011’s album The Gathering was part inspired by the ‘The Red Book’ written by philosopher Jung in 1913 and throughout the course of his writings Heumann has continued to muse over the bigger questions whilst meandering through picturesque landscapes which his Instagram mostly reveals.

“If you look at creative people throughout history, one thing that many of them have in common is going on walks. I like to put myself in that company. I prefer the scenery of the natural world than that of the human-made world. So, in that sense, it does inform my writing, though not in a literal way.” – David Heumann

From their forthcoming release, titular track “Song of the Rose” completes a trilogy of songs from past records, calling back to “Song of the Nile” and “Song of the Pearl,” which have their roots in examining Taoist and Gnostic mythic traditions. Fittingly, “Rose” is also a nod to Heumann’s ancestor Richard Lovelace, a 17th century poet who penned “The Rose.”

The glimpses you can hear of the forthcoming album sound like a scrap book of all the best tales the band have delivered so far on their 5 previous albums, woven together with a new, contemporary finesse, having recorded for the first time with Kyle Spence at his studios in Athens, GA (Kurt Vile, Luke Roberts, Harvey Milk).

Click [here] for a more in depth interview on the new release.

So, Supersonic Festival goers, come and venture through the mystic landscapes of Arbouretum this June – we know you’re bound to get lost!

Preview full track ‘Fall From an Eyrie’ off their forthcoming album, ‘Song of the Rose’


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Listen back to The Supersonic Take-over Show

On Friday night we hosted our first Supersonic Take-over Show on Brum Radio.

Over 2 hours we delved in to the first 10 acts to be announced for this year’s festival. Listening to tunes from the artists, their influences and interesting sound bites & interviews.

This is SURE to get you in the mood for our festival this June!

Big thanks to Brum Radio for hosting: www.brumradio.com

REMEMBER, tickets on sale NOW!

AND we have a special group ticket deal on with 5 weekend tickets for the price of 4 – so round up the troops!

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Supersonic Take Over Show on Brum Radio

Tonight, at 10pm, listen LIVE to Brum Radio for the Supersonic Take Over Show.

For two hours we explore the first 10 acts to be announced for this year’s festival. We play tunes from the artists, listen to their influences and inter-splice interesting sound bites and interviews we’ve discovered along the way.

You can listen along [here]

Or listen back on [mixcloud] or [soundcloud]

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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Associate Producer – Supersonic Festival 2017


Masaki Batoh at Bring to Light

Job Description: Associate Producer – Supersonic Festival 2017

Fee: £3,200 35 days + 5 flexi days freelance contract (40 days max)

  • 2 days per week March – May
  • 3 days per week May – July to include a full working week 12-18 June

Term: 21 Mar – 7 Jul 2017

The Associate Producer will work closely with the Executive producer to support the delivery of key aspects of the festival relating to workshops, talks and the Supersonic Marketplace – a space for independent distributors, record labels, poster artists and others to sell their wares and network with each other. They will also play a role in managing and delivering Supersonic’s Kids Gig – created for children under seven, the aim of our Kids Gigs are to introduce children to experimental music at an early age, nurturing the audiences of the future.

This post is offered as a fixed term freelance contract until July 2017. The fee will be £3,200 inclusive of VAT. The starting date is Tuesday 21 March 2017.

 

Schedule: 35 days plus 5 flexi-days (40 days max) until 7 July 2017

  • 2 days per week March – May
  • 3 days per week May – July to include a full working week 12 – 18 June

 

This role will be based at the Capsule office in Birmingham – Unit 316, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA. The role is not suitable for remote working.

 

To apply for this post please read our Associate Producer Application Pack February 2017 and then send:

 

Deadline Thursday 9 March, 6pmSend by email with subject header “Associate Producer” to Felicity Alwell, Executive Producer, info@capsule.org.uk

 

BACKGROUND
Named by Stuart Maconie, BBC 6 Music as ‘the UK’s premier experimental music festival”, listed No.2 in The Times guide to the 50 best events of the summer (2015) and one of the 10 best European festivals by Momondo (2015). Since 2003, it has grown in scale and ambition becoming the UK’s go-to event for experimental, collaborative and otherwise out of the box musical thinking. Combining today’s burgeoning talent with legendary, one-of-a-kind performances, it creates a sense of spectacle that electrifies Birmingham.

The successful candidate will be an organised and proactive individual. They will work closely with the executive producer and the rest of the festival team to ensure the smooth delivery of this flagship festival event. This is an exciting role for an up and coming producer who wants to mark their mark and develop their career in festivals, music and live events.

 

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Call out for workshop proposals


Stephen Fowler wildman life drawing workshop

The UK’s premier experimental music and arts event, Supersonic Festival 2017, returns this June from the 16th to the 18th and we’re on the hunt for some creative minds to bring us unusual, imaginative and engaging new workshops as part of our festival weekend.

For facilitating a workshop you will be given a budget of up to £150 and 2 weekend tickets to the festival.

From high-brow to indulgent fun: we want you to craft something extraordinary so we can offer a variety of inclusive workshops for our curious audience.

Whether you’re flying solo, a group or an organisation, we want to hear ideas that embrace our passion for collaboration between both artists and audience alike, in a bid to reveal the otherwise indescribable connections between art forms and champion the unclassifiable.

So send us your proposal!

Deadline for Applications: 20 March 2017

The successful proposals will be from contributors who present an innovative idea, show a clear understanding of all-things-Supersonic; a festival which celebrates the expressive, challenging and generally out-there whilst remaining inclusive and engaging to varied audiences.

 

If you are interested in contributing, please complete this form Workshop Proposal Form and email to info@capsule.org.uk with ‘Workshop Proposal’ in the subject line.

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Steve Davis: Cued Up

 

(photo credit: Matt Bohill)

‘Steve Davis makes the point that if anyone ever tried to push him off balance, he would waver not to the left, right or backwards, but only forwards.’

– Steve Davis on snooker stance at http://www.fcsnooker.co.uk/

Steve Davis – the legendary sporting phenomenon from the 80s who took snooker to new heights and as presenter of The Interesting Alternative Show on Phoenix FM brought prog and jazz oddities to his cult audience, now turns his hands to the decks. A real game changer: a real forward thinker.

Listen back to the archive of The Interesting Alternative Show:

We at Supersonic began to wonder about the science, the physics behind being both snooker champion and superstar DJ.

An insightful article on snooker technique at http://www.fcsnooker.co.uk/ assists with this comparison:

‘Players should not be bound by principles generally laid down in previous books. If need be, they should experiment and find out if they can achieve their objectives in other ways.

“What suits one player will not automatically suit another”.

Discover the stance that works best for you and do not copy others. Try and focus on what is happening on top of the table and not what is happening beneath.’

From snooker, to turn, the table is a place Steve Davis is well on top of. He is certainly not bound by previously laid principles and experiments with an atypical approach to bringing the party.

It’s a hobby which he claims has spun out of control. His 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, Steve 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 spins together a unique set in his quest to deliver the music he loves to lovers of the party.

For an article on the 10 records that changed Steve’s life, click [here]

According to http://snookerdelight.com, here are the steps towards taking the perfect snooker shot:

[or as a DJ: the perfect drop]

(we’re really enjoying this metaphor)

Step 1: Determine where you want the cue ball to go

Step 2: Determine where the cue ball will strike the object ball [audience]

Step 3: Determine how to strike the cue ball – pace and position [pretty clear]

Step 4: Stand behind the intended line of the cue ball (NOTE: this is where a lot of amateur players get into trouble) [DJ booth]

Step 5: Walk into the shot in a specific consistent way [finger point]

Step 6: Feather and pause as needed […]

Step 7: Strike the cue ball [DROP]

OK I think we’ve laboured the point long enough. This is going to be a championship worthy set.

Get your tickets for Steve Davis, in association with The Hare & Hounds 10th Anniversary Series, on sale NOW at:

https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/Hare-And-Hounds/Super-Sonic-Festival-Presents-Steve-Davis-(DJ-Set)/12910549/

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Anna Von Hausswolff: The Pipes are Calling

I see it coming closer now

I see it very clear

The tree, the spring, the history, the spirits that are there

I see it coming closer now

The picture of a place

I see myself inside the house

I’m covering my face

– Evocation, Anna Von Hausswolff

Seated at the historic 1834 organ, the launch of this year’s festival in Birmingham’s Town Hall is lead by the formidable fingertips of Anna Von Hausswolff.

Since her debut 2010 album ‘Singing from the Grave’, she has gradually developed from a more self-contained, intimate chamber-pop sound to a gargantuan, ethereal beast of sonority which totally envelops the listener, evident in most recent 2015 album ‘The Miraculous’.

“The genesis of The Miraculous is a tangled backstory. Inspired in parts by a previous song she had written (the 20-minute epic, ‘Källan’), a book by the same name (by Swedish author Walter Ljungquist), a Russian war film (1985’s Come And See) and, most intriguingly, a magical childhood place that Anna still visits regularly and that she calls the ‘miraculous’. Anna talks about the place with a sense of wonder; the unnamed spot is an area of breathtaking natural beauty and once provided the backdrop to a bloody uprising, and is now entwined with fantastical stories created by family von Hausswolff.”

For a fascinating insight into the conjuring of ‘The Miraculous’ album, courtesy of The Quietus, delve [here].

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Anna Von Hausswolff is the daughter of avant-garde sound artist Carl Michael Von Hausswolff. Surrounded by art and creative minds all her life, Anna began singing in choirs and attended music high school where she studied music in a very traditional classical setting. In the spring time, her family would listen to Tchaikovsky and eat waffles. At 15 she began blending classical music elements into pop structures and wrote her first song at the piano. She released her debut single ‘Track of Time’, on 5 February 2010.

Although she says that now, in some ways, she is not so far away from that 15 year old girl – 15 years on it is clear how her compositional approach has broadened as she speaks of capturing the sound of tree-bark on her latest album, not by recording the sound but by creating an image through musical interpretation. Her music has become even more sonically aware & sophisticated – perhaps an influence of her fathers? Or too, the masters of noise rock SWANS whom she toured with last year?

Whatever Anna’s sonic choices, she remains entirely emotive. Relying on intuition to guide her through the song-writing process. It starts with a pattern on her synthesised organ, if it settles it repeats, a pattern then grows and if the urge takes her she sings but if it doesn’t the piece remains instrumental. Quite simple really. The complexity that follows is in the intricate arrangements and carefully positioned microphones to capture the necessary frequencies from the pipe organ to create a vast sonic landscape. And this is what is so captivating about Anna’s music; the simplicity juxtaposed with ornate detail.

Having toyed with organ synthesisers, it wasn’t until the first day of recording ‘Ceremony’, her second album released in 2013, that she played a real pipe organ for the first time and then went on to write 2 albums with this instrument at the helm. She’d also entered the world of Drone music, listening to the likes of Earth and Barn Owl. Her first live performance on a pipe organ was at Lincoln Cathedral that same year and in rehearsal, the church staff voiced fears her playing was too loud for the legendary Henry Willis organ, and banned her from playing on certain reed pipes, which meant rearranging the 20minute long piece ‘Källan’ entirely. Then, just 30 minutes before the show after practicing again she was banned from using any of the reed pipes at all.

“It was the first time I was going to perform my pieces in front of an audience on a real pipe organ and I panicked. I needed to accept what the staff were saying as if I broke the organ I wouldn’t be invited to play a pipe organ show ever again. I totally improvised the second part of the piece ‘Källan’ in front of the audience and, while it was very scary, it went really well. It was a new kind of audience for me as it was an experimental music festival where I thought people might be listening in a more thorough way. I thought they might see through me and think me an amateur, but I was very focussed on the sounds I was making, and as ‘Källan’ is quite a slow piece, I had time to think about the next part. I learned that in those situations even if things take an unexpected turn, you can work your way from that point.”

With great skill, comes great improvisation. A key feature now in Anna’s music. Her live shows are an ever changing exploration of her songs and their structures. With ‘Ceremony’ she explored themes of Death and the dominating, heavy sound of the live organ. Anna says, ‘Death is a good reminder of what you should be concerned about.’ and nothing summons up this sentiment more than the sound of the pipes calling.

And they called her back for third album ‘The Miraculous’.

Another totally enigmatic element to Anna’s sound which is important to note is – her voice. And it seems with her most recent output it has been unleashed to it’s full potential. Moments of Bjork-esque cascading fragility are soon upturned with bone-shattering shrieks and growls, harking the influence of Diamanda Galás.

Upon reflection, Anna describes ‘The Miraculous’ as conceptual in the sense of capturing the atmosphere of ‘a place’ but equally a very emotional, personal endeavour. To understand this album is to somewhat understand the artist as a whole and her journey to date. It is how she sees ‘the place’ today and how some things have lingered on and some things she’s left out purposefully as they’re no longer ringing true.

In interviews, Anna doesn’t want to get in to the geography of ‘the place’, ‘The Miraculous’; she is more interested in preserving it’s sanctity. It is sacred. Much like her choice of instrument in the pipe organ. Both ‘the place’ and the organ are somewhere Anna embarks on a pilgrimage to; unmovable, abstract yet tangible. And when she arrives she sees ‘the history present itself’ to her which she then interprets into something new and deeply fascinating.

We at Supersonic cannot wait to bear witness to what this gothic tour-de-force will present us with this June as she launches this year’s festival.

Weekend Plus tickets include her opening concert on Friday night at Town Hall – they are on sale NOW!

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Supersonic Festival 2017 – weekend tickets on sale

We are very proud to reveal the first line up announcement for Supersonic Festival 2017, taking place in the cultural hub of Digbeth in Birmingham, with a very special opening concert performance on 16 June in the Grade I listed Town Hall, featuring Anna Von Hausswolff performing on the venue’s famous pipe organ. The pipe organ played a huge part on the Swedish singer/musician’s latest album The Miraculous (2015), and in forming the colossal sound that Anna Von Hausswolff has become known for. Expect drama, brooding drones, dreamy soundscapes and sublime storytelling.

On the 16th June, Supersonic Festival continues in the heart of Digbeth, with performances taking place across the weekend, from Arbouretum, Colin Stetson, Jenny Hval, Laura Cannell, Melt Banana, Oxbow, Princess Nokia, Raime, ZU and more to be announced in the coming months. Here’s some more information about the performers in today’s line up announcement…

Supersonic Festival are delighted to invite Arbouretum back following their 2009 performance, this time in support of their new Thrill Jockey album, Song Of The Rose. Arresting, thoughtful and masterful, Arbouretum’s music takes philosophical ideas and transforms them into a sonic experience that is at once contemplative and emotionally affecting.

Colin Stetson‘s astounding physical engagement with his instruments (chiefly bass and alto saxophones) produces emotionally rich and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like, an experience to behold.

No Jenny Hval performance is ever the same, which is why we can be sure that her follow up performance at Supersonic (having previously perfromed in 2014) will be special. Across six full length albums, Jenny Hval crucially brings to light issues of both male and female gaze, which for years had been swept under the rug and/or denied all together. We look forward immensely to seeing Jenny Hval perform again.

Laura Cannell is an extraordinary musician, performing with a deconstructed bow and the curious sound of double recorder. Exploring the spaces between ancient, improvised, traditional and experimental music, Laura Cannell creates a solitary minimalist chamber music where one player makes all the harmonies.

Melt Banana will bring the fun with their high energy hybrid of experimental noise music, pop, and electronica. For over twenty years, across a vast array of albums, well executed cover songs and an unrelenting tour schedule, the Japanese duo are infectious to experience. This is one heady trip well worth taking.

It has been at least five years since Oxbow performed live in the UK, and with hints of the release of a new album this year, anticipation is intensified further. We look forward to welcoming the ever-evolving group back, and to see what they do next…

We’re so excited to announce Princess Nokia as part of Supersonic Festival 2017 – taking inspiration from 90’s Rave, Drum & Bass, with a nod to the raw New York & U.K. underground, the duo perfectly encapsulate the hedonistic spirit that have made past additions of Supersonic so memorable.

London based duo Raime, offer an urgent and focussed futurism, in the shape of fiercely uptempo, minimal, meticulously crafted electro-acoustic rhythm tracks. The DNA of dub-techno, garage/grime and post-hardcore rock music spliced into sleek and predatory new forms.

Ambition, aspiration and deep soulful explorations are crucial for Zu, who have been broadly questioning and evolving their musical identity for almost two decades, developing their musical vocabulary with every release and collaboration, never allowing their personal and creative freedom to be suffocated by imposed structures and labels. On the cusp of releasing their brand new album on House Of Mythology (31st March, 2017), their Supersonic performance promises to be something entirely new from the trio.

Nowhere else will you find a festival experience quite like Supersonic’s – since 2003, we have been hosting superior weekends for the adventurous listener, taking care to present only the most artistically relevant and irreverent acts from the UK and across the globe, while simultaneously making sure to fill every moment with the opportunities to let loose and party, or sit down at engaging talks, discussions and workshops, or take in exclusive screenings and exhibitions.

Stay tuned for the preceeding line up announcements in the coming months.
Weekend Tickets can be purchased from HERE

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Post launch party

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Thanks to all who performed and came and joined us for our Supersonic 2017 launch party, it was a blast. A big thanks to Centrala for hosting us and for Milque & Muhle for co-programming the event. Photos by the super amazing Katja Ogrin
Dates for next year 16-18 June 2017, mark them in your diary.

You can read all about our launch via The Arts Desk
Regular subscribers to the Arts Desk may have noticed a certain view from some of our number that the Glastonbury Festival is the annual musical and social high point of the year in the UK. On this subject, I would beg to differ and instead claim Birmingham’s wilfully uncommercial celebration of the weird and the wonderful, the Supersonic Festival, to be my most eagerly awaited annual sonic celebration.

There’s also a good write up via our friends at Hickeysonic

Supersonic 2017 Launch Party

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Sex Swing

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Xylouris White

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Jim White

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Xylouris White

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A choice selection of merch courtesy of Milque & Muhle

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Rainbow Grave

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Agathe Max – Kuro

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Kuro

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Bismuth

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Ben from Ex Easter Easter Island Head – solo set

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Stinky Wizzleteat

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Rattle

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Giant Swan

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Sausage finishing off the night with #no gimmicks

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Timings for launch party

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We’re delighted to have added Ex-Easter Island Head‘s Benjamin D. Duvall to the line up for Saturday he will present a mesmeric new work for Prepared Guitars and AM Radios, tuning into the furthermost territories of the groups’ unique vocabulary in pursuit of resonances sympathetic or otherwise.

Timings for the weekend
Friday doors 19.30pm
Upstairs
Mothwasp – 20.00
Sex Swing – 21.00
Xylouris White 22.10

Downstairs
DJ’s

For those of you visiting Birmingham for the weekend we recommend you visit Digbeth First Fridays – loads of great free arts activities taking place around the area.

Saturday doors 18.00pm
Upstairs
Rainbow Grave 18.30
Kuro – 19.30
Bismuth 20.30
Rattle 21.30
Stinky Wizzleteat – 22.30
Giant Swan – 23.30

Downstairs
Craug – Distorted Minds Crew 18.00
Ex Easter Island Head (solo) 20.10 (short set)
Ex Easter Island Head (solo) 21.00 (short set)
Sausage 22.10 – 01.30*
* In between bands followed by last hour of party fun

Remaining tickets can be purchased from
www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Please note there is no cash point near by so best bring enough cash with you for the bar/merch/cake.

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Supersonic Festival 2017 suggestions

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We know you love this bit! Post us your suggestions for next year’s Supersonic. We always like to hear your wishlist, and don’t be afraid of being bold and brazen, heck one year we had Goblin AND Corrupted AND Thorr’s Hammer perform.

Here’s one from the archive Zombi performing in 2006 – 10 years ago!!! To see more films from our archive see HERE

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Support our local food bank

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Notice – food bank collection at our Supersonic Festival 2017 launch party on Friday 4/5 Nov.
With your help we want to support our local food bank in Sparkhill for those who need it most. If you are able to bring along and donate items of tinned or non perishable food items we will be very grateful. If you can’t, then that’s fine too.
ANY donations will be gratefully received in a box by the door and delivered on Monday.
Thanks.

URGENTLY NEEDED FOOD ITEMS
TINNED FRUIT (400GMS)
LONG LIFE JUICE
SPONGE PUDDINGS
UHT MILK (1 LITRE)
SUGAR
https://sparkhill.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/

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Digbeth First Fridays – November

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Simon Bayliss

For those of you visiting Birmingham for the weekend of our Supersonic launch party we recommend you check out the events taking place as part of Digbeth First Friday, when the area comes alive with exhibitions, late-night openings, special events, culture in unexpected spaces, live music, street food and more.

Centrala Gallery
Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS
Opening evening from 5 – 7pm on November 4th as part of Digbeth First Friday.
Saturday November 5th informal Artist and Curator Tour November 5th at 2pm.
www.centrala-space.org.uk

Presenting for the first time in the UK the work of Aleksandra Natalia Koper. Koper is an emerging Polish artist working in Painting,Computer Graphics and Sculpture, a Graduate of the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and The Polish – Japanese Academy of Information Technology. She finds her Practice and Philosophy straddling the European East and Far East. Her large scale banner works will fill Centrala Gallery walls using the techniques and practices of advertising while her imagery subverts the the de-personalization and commercialisation of youth cultures.

Grand Union
Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS
grand-union.org.uk/gallery/digbeth-first-friday-film-screenings/

Film programme curated by Mitra Saboury 6–8pm – Free
To close her exhibition Pulling Walls, Mitra Saboury will curate a programme of films to screen amongst the exhibition.
Eastside Projects
86 Heath Mill Lane Birmingham, B9 4AR
https://eastsideprojects.org/

For November’s Digbeth First Friday, Eastside Projects presents ‘VERY DISCO’ an evening of music performances by students from the Birmingham Conservatoire alongside the launch of ‘Frantic Romantic’, an exhibition by artist Simon Bayliss. ‘VERY DISCO’ will turn Eastside Projects’ main space into an echo chamber of the musically bizarre and the sonically surreal, beyond the confines of genre and style. You are invited to the gallery to come unprepared and be uninitiated to this very disco code for one night only, to dance to un-danceable music in the spirit of experimentation, exploration and discovery.

In the Second Gallery/Workshop artist Simon Bayliss presents ‘Frantic Romantic’, an exhibition of recent paintings, ceramic ‘pasties’ and poetry. Since coming out as a landscape painter last year, Simon has been pursuing outdoor painting as a mode of artistic enquiry. His relationship to the Cornish landscape and sea feature strongly in his work, juxtaposed with humorous erotically-charged imagery and text.

Vivid Projects
16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5RS
http://www.vividprojects.org.uk/programme/reimaging-donald-rodney/

Reimaging Donald Rodney, a programme of exhibition and events exploring digital legacy and identity through the work of Black British artist Donald Rodney (1961 – 1998). This is the first UK exhibition to specifically examine Rodney’s digital practice, and includes an events series to explore the potential of Rodney’s archive as a starting point for exploring cultural, physical and social identity.

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Supersonic at Fat out Fest

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We’re delighted to be one of the cultural collaborators for Fat Out Fest 2017.

Taking place at Islington Mill and two surrounding warehouses on Regents Trading Estate, Fat Out will curate a stage on each day of the festival, whilst opening up their festival to their collaborators giving them full curatorial control over the programming of their stages.

We’re in excellent company joining  Anthony Chalmers ( Baba Yaga’s Hut , London), Garth Be ( Sweet Sticky , Manchester), John Doran ( The Quietus ), Lovers and Lollypops ( Milhoes de Festa Festival , Portugal) and a collaboration between Le Guess Who ? (Netherlands) and The Basilica (Hudson Valley).

Festival directors Emma Thompson and Verity Gardner chose the 6 international curatorial collaborators to ensure a diverse and adventurous programme that will blur the boundaries between music, art and partying in true Fat Out style.

The Bug and Earth

The first announcement includes a performance by super heavy weights The Bug with Dylan Carlson of Earth, which was premiered at Supersonic Festival in 2015. More announcements coming soon.

In the meantime you can get early bird tickets and further info from
www.fatout.co.uk

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John Carpenter – essential listening

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John Carpenter: Live Retrospective
8pm Thursday 27th October 2016

Warwick Arts Centre

Box Office: 024 7652 4524 | http://bit.ly/JohnCarpenterLiveRetrospective

Tickets: £34.50 each. Meet and Greet Upgrade £125 each.

 

Warwick Arts Centre, in association with Supersonic Festival presents a live retrospective from cult film-maker, producer and composer John Carpenter.

To support his latest release Lost Themes II, The Horror Master, Carpenter will be accompanied by a full band, playing a selection of his own classic music alongside clips and excerpts from his films.

Known for his minimalist film-making style, Carpenter’s scores feature distinctive synthesized scores to some of the best known horror and science fiction films of the 1970s and 80s including Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China. His work has gone on to inspire a generation of filmmakers and musicians alike.

 

We’ve selected our top 5 John Carpenter pieces:


Halloween Theme


Big Trouble in Little China

Escape From New York

The Thing

Assault on Precinct 13

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Supersonic Festival launch mix

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John Carpenter – live at Warwick Arts Centre

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Supersonic Festival are delighted to be partnering with Warwick Arts Centre to bring to the Midlands a night with John Carpenter live, on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 8pm.
Tickets are available www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/choose-seats/?PerformanceId=13129

John Carpenter is a major cult film-maker, musician and film music composer. He is a true film polymath, often directing, screenwriting, producing, editing, composing and playing. His films have included; The Thing, Assault on Precinct 13, Dark Star, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, Escape from New York and Starman to name a few.

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Supersonic Festival 2017 launch party

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Capsule have been busy behind the scenes, and are happy to announce the return of Supersonic Festival in 2017.
There’s much more information to follow in the coming weeks, in the meantime, we’re pleased to announce an official launch party on 4th and 5th November in the intimate surroundings of the Centrala Gallery space in Birmingham to celebrate the return of the festival.

The launch, much like the festival, features a variety of exciting talent which Supersonic would like to shine the limelight on, including local musicians and artists from across the globe. This event is the first of manu collaborations with Milque & Muhle, be warned capacity is super limited and advanced tickets are advised.

Xylouris White

Details as follows:-
SUPERSONIC 2017 LAUNCH PARTY
FRIDAY NOV 4TH LINEUP:
Xylouris White (Jim White from Dirty Three + George Xylouris, Cretan lute player)
Sex Swing
Mothwasp

rattle
SATURDAY NOV 5TH LINEUP:
Giant Swan
Rattle
Kuro
Bismuth
Rainbow Grave
Stinky Wizzleteat
+ Sausage DJ’s
Milque & Muhle pop up record stall

Centrala
Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, B5 5RT Birmingham

Tickets – https://www.theticketsellers.co.uk/tickets/supersonic-mini-weekender/10042028

 

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