Supersonic 2012 – Here’s To Another 10 Years!


It’s hard to believe that almost two weeks have passed since we were all frantically rushing around the Custard Factory, putting the final touches to the various wild man posters around the site and screwing in the last few records to the Vinyl Rally’s MDF floor before hordes of music fans rushed in to bask in the eclectic and adventurous sounds that Capsule had loving curated this year – and what a lineup it was! There was truly something for everyone, as Friday ran the gamut between JK Flesh’s absolutely punishing industrial dub, the surreal electronica of the Small But Hard showcase, the free-wheeling cosmic riffery of Hey Colossus, the toy tinkering soundscapes of Modified Toy Orchestra, and of course, the triumphant return of drum’n’bass dark lords PCM to the Supersonic stage.

Saturday brought even more surprises, from the gentle folk strains of Dylan Carlson’s new material to the unholy combination of Merzbow and Oxbow’s Eugene and Niko, a full-on audio explosion that wiped clean the mental state of everyone in attendance. I also have to give praise to the incredible drummer that accompanied Masami Akita’s astonishing feedback theatrics, augmenting the sonic devastation with some jazzy splashes, tribal belligerence and even some well timed blastbeats without ever failing by the wayside of Akita’s incendiary slabs of twsited sonic debri, which is no mean feat! A rare UK showing from Bohren & der Club of Gore was utterly captivating, enveloping the Boxxed venue in a dense, melancholy atmosphere and transporting the audience into the starkest of film noir settings for the entire duration of their set.

Meanwhile, Drunk In Hell’s molasses thick sludge onslaught and Zeni Geva’s vitally intricate sonic attack provided a satisfying ammount of musical filth to wallow in, forcing heads to bang and mosh pits to errupt. Zeni Geva may only exist as a two-piece now, but that hasn’t hindered KK Null and Yoshida’s fury at all, with Null especially firing off an arsenal of bewildering noise outbursts alongside his standard riff warfare via a series of baffling pedals. The icing on the cake was undoubtedly the astonishing avant-electronica of Hype Williams; bathing the entire Warehouse in a thick, eerie fog, the enigmatic duo proceeded to fuse together dub, noise, jazz, musique concrete, electro and garage influences into an uncategorizable and unforgettable performance. As Copeland’s beautiful tones danced across the bizarre volley of sounds emanating from Blunt’s corner of the stage, in which gullet-rattling dub basslines collided with squealing trumpets and reverb drenched car alarms, it was hard to shake the feeling that we were witnessing something of a musical revolution!

In keeping with Supersonic’s inclusive ethos, even youngsters were catered for with this year’s kid’s gigs, in which we bore witness to the heartwarming sight of a room full of children grooving along to the expansive psych voyages of Flower/Corsano Duo – and who knows? In 10 years time, some of these children may be taking to our stages themselves to blow your mind with their sonic wares…

Sunday boasted perhaps one of the most spectacular running orders in Supersonic’s illustrious history, with all manner of heavy weights awaiting today’s eager audience. Gnod’s triumphant set in Boxxed was astonishing, the over-powering throb of their sublimely heavy krautrock-isms gradually reconfiguring the pulse of each listener, unwittingly tuning into their psyche and forcing them headfirst into a cosmic thrill ride the likes of which would make even Timothy Leary baulk at the sheer intensity of it all. Elsewhere, Justice Yeldham revealed to us all the mind mangling sounds that lay dormant in a single piece of glass, Lash Frenzy created an imposing and lucid arena in which achieve total sensory overload, and the mighty Ufomammut invited us to accompany them on a voyage deep into the heart of their latest two-record opus, ‘ORO’. Once these guys peak there’s no force in the universe that can restrain them, and the riffs are flowing thick and fast (or should that be slow?) tonight. Whilst both the ‘ORO’ records are impressive in their own right, combined they are a true force to behold, and to witness this incredible odyssey in the flesh is an awesome experience!

A tough act to follow indeed, but mysterious Swedish voodoo merchants Goat were more than up to the challenge. Taking to the stage in colourful robes, ritualistic gaments and erm, a golden robot mask, the band’s vibrant psych-rock/afro-beat concoction instantly whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Racing through all of their ‘World Music’ debut (including instant classics like ‘Goatman’, ‘Let It Bleed’ and ‘Run To Your Mama’) but allowing their songs a bit more room to breathe, the Swedes kicked out the jams with an infectious energy and by the time the extended version of ‘Det som aldrig förändras / Diarabi’ brought their revelatory set to a close, you’d be hard pushed to find a single member of the audience who wasn’t sporting an enormous ear-to-ear grin. Incredible!

Finally, the Oxbow Orchestra provided an enthralling end to this year’s celebrations, reinterpreting some of their classic songs and even treating us to some choice cuts from their upcoming full-length ‘The Thin Black Duke’. Their performance was at once intimate and gripping, but without losing any of the potent intensity that has made the band such a force to be reckoned with over the years. This was due to be Supersonic 2012’s final performance, but it seems you, the audience, had other ideas, as an impromptu and sublimely hypnotic drum circle erupted in the beer tent just outside. As the ringing in our ears began to subside, the communal and strangely rhythmic clinking of pint glasses against benches and a sea of warm smiles was a perfect finish to this year’s festival.

Of course, I’m only scratching the surface of Supersonic 2012 here; beyond the numerous delights of this year’s musical lineup, there was a whole plethora of extra-curricular activities. The sight of a fresh-faced individual feverishly clutching at a copy of their own recently pressed Kim Gordon collab on their way back from the Reverse Karaoke installation become a pleasingly common sight over the weekend, and the procession of startingly costumed members of the Outcrowd throughout the festival site on Sunday was a source of much ceremonial excitement. The ear mutilating sounds of Lucas Abela’s Vinyl Rally were a definite highlight, featuring one of Lucas’ most ambitious track layouts to date. Volunteers hastily scrambled alongside the track as Lucas himself sat within the makeshift nerve centre of the rally, tinkering away whilst the assembled throng routinely found themselves astonished by the sheer spectacle of it all.

And of course, there’s the massive contribution that you yourselves paid to the festival, by arriving in your dozens and flooding the Custard Factory with enthusiasm, joy and good vibes. This year’s edition of the festival was one of the finest of the past 10 years, a truly excellent way to celebrate a decade of passionate experimental arts programming – here’s to another ten years!


Supersonic 2012 merch for sale


Visit our shop to get your hands on the merch from this year’s landmark edition of Supersonic. This year’s festival tote bag has already sold out so act fast to purchase the limited edition skull t-shirt, the official wire yeti’ t-shirt and the Kids Gig t-shirts.
All designed by David Hand


There are also lots of post festival bargains to be had in our sale area and don’t miss out on previous live recordings on heavy weight vinyl of sets from the likes of Tweak Bird, Harvey Milk + Iron Lung. Great Christmas shopping for that special person or just treat yourself:)



Noise Box auction


To celebrate 10 years of Supersonic Festival, musical instrument designers MortonUnderwood have created ten unique noise box synths for Capsule to auction. Each one is hand-painted by a talented designer in the Supersonic 2012 colours. The result is a beautiful set of bespoke synthesisers, which capture both the visual and sonic aesthetic of the festival.
After being on display during the festival, the Noise Boxes are now individually up for auction via ebay. All proceeds will go towards future Capsule projects, helping us to deliver more extraordinary events for adventurous audiences.

Stephen O’Malley

A musician, predominantly a guitarist, producer, composer and visual artist  from Seattle, Washington who has conceptualized and participated in numerous drone doom, death/doom, and experimental music groups, most notably Sunn O))).

Simon Fowler

London based Illustrator and Print-Maker. Working typically in pen and ink and traditional print making techniques with an enthusiasm for experimentation and combining Western and Eastern print processes. Working in collaboration with a wide array of contemporary musicians and artists including Boris, Earth and Wolves in the Throne Room.

An Endless Supply 

A design studio and independent publishing activity organised by Harry Blackett and Robin Kirkham. Working in many roles — as designers, editors, printers, researchers, writers — a primary objective of the studio is to support the production of new art and writing.


Sarah Coleman (Inky Mole)

“Nibs and ink are my thing. I draw on paper and ink-heavy, word-soaked imagery is my trademark. Though I creep into fashion and beauty, the worlds of advertising, fiction, packaging and music are where my work seems to fit most snugly. If ‘snug’ is the right word..”

Conny Prantera

An artist and illustrator who lives and works in London. Through her intricately detailed drawings, she tells us a story of disquieting and disturbed beauty, a collection of relics from a world of wonder which is suspiciously seductive and disturbing at the same time, but while with one eye she winks, to reassure us all is well, with the other she threatens with a baleful presage. Conny performed as part of Moonn0))) at Supersonic 2012.

David Hand

A graphic designer and sometime illustrator who currently resides in the Shropshire hills. David works on a broad range of projects of any size, shape or form including music / typography / branding / identity / surface decoration inspired by original crafted design. David created the identity for Supersonic 2012.

Ben Javens

A Birmingham based illustrator who has created many wonderful gig posters for Capsule events, other clients include The Guardian, Warburtons and Static Caravan. Ben is also a member of the Outcrowd Collective who created this year’s Festival of the Rea exhibition, which inspired the above design.

Ben Sadler (Juneau Projects)

Sadler is a member of artist group Juneau Projects, formed in 2001. The majority of their work includes participatory elements and involves projection, sound, music, animation and installation. Much of their work examines equipment-fetishism and the DIY processes which facilitate their electronic music.


London based freelance artist / illustrator. A great deal of the illustration he has created has been for the skateboard industry, as well as music (Heavy Metal mainly) advertising, print, fashion and publishing. More recently he has been art directing and also curated a number of exhibitions.

Thomas J Hughes

Horror films of the 1970s, Marvel comic books, space travel, trading card graphics, traditional doom metal, twentieth century science fiction television serials and Yes album covers are just a few of the things that inspire Thomas in the making of his work. His work is created using a variety of materials, with an emphasis on hand-drawn illustration and typography.


Supersonic 2012 – collective memory


Body/Head at Supersonic 2012 by Katja Ogrin

Supersonic Tea Party with The Outcrowd by Katja Ogrin

Merzbow joined by Eugene + Niko from Oxbow by Katja Ogrin

Supersonic Kids Gigs

Supersonic Sonic Feast

This year was a very special edition of the festival, marking our 10th anniversary and we were delighted by so many unexpected moments which made this our most memorable event to date. Over the next couple of weeks we will begin to collate a collective memory of reviews, photos and video footage, please feel free to add your own highlights and photos etc.
From all at Capsule HQ a massive thanks to our wonderful audience, artists and team x

The Guardian – “Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival has quietly been doing its thing for 10 years. One imagines that’s the way they like it, but theirs is work that should receive all the acclaim possible.”
Culture 24 – “It seems clear that once again the Capsule arts and music organisation have ensured that their autumn festival, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, retains the commitment to outsider creativity in all its forms that has made the event more than just another blip on the crowded UK festival circuit.”
Culture 24 – “Supersonic is perhaps the British festival of choice for your discerning underground listener, and their art programme is equally distinctive for 2012.”
Clash Magazine – interview with Lisa co director
The Line of The Best Fit – “The festival has always showcased an impressive, obscure, challenging and fascinating range of acts, and also offers festival-goers the opportunity to attend a range of classes on everything from fanzine-making to electronic instrument creation.”
Stool Pigeon – “Now a decade in the running, the Birmingham festival has helped foster a new tradition of experimental and avant-garde music, with artists and fans both from the UK and further afield making an annual pilgrimage to the site in Digbeth.”
Brum Notes – “Supersonic is a festival that will surprise and astonish, so expect the unexpected…”
The 405 – “There’s a multitude of reasons why music and art fans travel from across the world to Birmingham’s oldest quarter for Supersonic each year; adventures in sound and vision delivered by some of the most exciting and imaginative artists performing and practicing only just begins to describe this live and electrifying festival experience.”
Trash Hits – “Supersonic pushes the boundaries of what you can do with a music festival in ways that traditional metal fests can’t even dream of.”

Feel free to add your photos to our Flickr pool
Greg Neate – incredible photos of the fest
Katja Ogrin – our official Supersonic photographer has yet again done us proud
Mike Modular – an amazing set of images of artists performing
and there is also Festigram full of wonderful photos taken by you at the festival
e-festivals – have created a gallery of images taken at the fest
Stéphane Emanuel Schneider – has taken a beautiful set of photographs over the festival weekend
Drowned In sound – Supersonic in photos
Dummy Magazine – Incredible set of portraits of some of the artists who performed including Jarboe, Lichens and Tim Hecker
Staf Magazine – The wonderful Spanish magazine collates a overview of the fest in photo form

Stool Pigeon – “Evolving, challenging music that demands interaction from the audience is Supersonic’s speciality.”
Quaint Living  –  Explore both the festival and city
Beard Rock – “the best experimental music festival in the world right now.”
Lumber Jack Joe – Created one of our fine Supersonic illustrations this year
Totally Dublin – an overview of all that they saw & heard
Domestic City – “For a festival that maintains a consistently prolific line-up, it’s quite hard to believe that they’ve hit this milestone so soon.”
Nine Hertz – “And what a way to celebrate ten years of diverse, unique and bonkers music than to fill it with one of the most engaging line-ups yet. ”
Culture 24 -“Much like the festival itself, it’s loud, innovative, occasionally disorienting, and very enjoyable – the perfect way to celebrate ten years of sonic and artistic adventure.”
Musique Machine – “Contrast, without which we cannot perceive the world, is a phenomenon that defies homogenisation, where pleasure is relief from pain, and pain can be a prime for pleasure; where art is opposed to commerce, and the mundane is pushed back, often all too temporarily, by creativity. Capsule, the curators of the annual Supersonic Festival clearly understand this: from the coarse granularity of its urban, industrial environment so strongly set apart from the fallow fields of most other festivals, to the finer details of its handpicked programme of new music, installations, workshops, walks and talks, all deftly juxtaposed across a long weekend, the festival never fails to nurture new connections and rupture old ones.”
Kindermuzik – a Dutch magazine “What festivals – a few exceptions, such GOGBOT in Enschede and the Tilburg Roadburn – here in the Netherlands their ear increasingly hanging to commercial interests and thus come up with a program that correspondingly more to the larger denominator is directed, find in Birmingham a highly fertile ground for a wide selection that even the most die-WIRE reader can pick up the heart.”
Louder Than War – “Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham returned to Supersonic Festival for the third time this year. As ever (and as anyone who’s ever been) he was utterly blown away. Here’s his review.”
Vice –  John Doran writes another edition of Menk from the festival
Felix – “Since the line-up was announced some months ago, I had been excited about attending. The slogan on a lot of the commemorative t-shirts was ‘celebrating 10 years of adventurous music.’ My experiences ranged from the obscure to the experimental to the just plain weird, so the slogan seems apt.”
KYEO.TV – “It’s hands down the most musically adventurous and enjoyable festival I’ve ever been too, and it’s friendly, well-run and inventive to boot.”
E-Festivals – “The music is definitely only half the story of this festival though, it was hard to find time over the weekend for many other parts of the programme that sounded appealing; notably the talks, theatre, historical walks and hands-on workshops.”
Happiness In Uppsala Part 1 + part 2 – French Magazine review of Friday + Saturday at the festival – They particularly love Richard Dawson from what I can translate
Sleeping Shamen – The writer is less than keen on Birmingham itself but has nothing but praise for the festival “Salutations to the organisers and all the superb bands who truly make it (drum-roll for the appallingly cheesy ending) both SUPER and SONIC.”
Art Rocker – “whatever shape Supersonic takes we are confident it will remain the very best place to discover and celebrate pioneering experimental music.”
Area Magazine – Read the magazine online and on page 34-35 there is a review of the Sonic Feast created by Companis with photos by Katja Ogrin.
Brum Notes – Read the November issue which includes a review of Supersonic by Ross Cotton
The Quietus – “To imply that Supersonic 2012 was the best ever would imply that the festival has nowhere left to go or nothing else to improve upon. To have reached its second decade is precisely the challenge that Capsule is more than capable of meeting.”
Drowned In Sound – “We thrust ear-plugs into our pockets and head to a Custard Factory in the hope of feeling something, anything, for a taste of the experimental, the inspirational, the innovative, the…”
Ponto Alternativo – Portuguese magazine covers day 1 + day 2 + day 3 of the festival
Thumped – ” Refreshing, challenging, thought-provoking and a whole lot of fun, Supersonic 2012 was the best festival I’ve attended in a long time. Ten more years of this please.”
Link 2 Wales – “This eclectic, eccentric weekend festival celebrates its tenth year and I join them for my third one-day-only visit over that decade.”
Raw Nerve Zine – “The only criticism I could make of Supersonic is there is almost too much. And that isn’t really a criticism at all.”
Middle Boop Mag – “The amazing festival was over, leaving everyone craving for more Supersonic goodness.”

The Hub – Get your aural 5-a-day!- write up about our Art of Listening Panel
World of Fox – talks about his experience of being part of the Lash Frenzy performance
Toastie Music – The guys from Jabberwocky describe their weekend selling toasties & our crowd
Ore – Tour diary rehearsing with the Oxbow Orchestra + performing with KK Null
Felix – The student voice of Imperial College London since 1949
Stranger Passing – ‘‘Festival’ could be interpreted as a slightly patronising term for Super Sonic Festival because its ambitions go well beyond the boundaries and resemblances of the summer festivals we have all become accustomed to seeing.”
Stephen Fowler – Describes his experience of bringing the Wildman life drawing class to Supersonic
Mr Underwood – an epic tale of creating our birthday noise boxes, performing as Ore, collaborating with KK Null and then joining the Oxbow Orchestra – boy we make him work hard!
Crossroads of Sabbath – Black Sabbath historian Rob Horrocks has collated some short reviews of his walking tour
Rocket Recordings – home to the likes of Goat + Gnod pull together a round up of their artists at Supersonic
French – aka Richard Sayer describes the work he contributed to our exhibition + his noise box design
Free School – A round of acts that Free School saw at the festival after they performed on the Friday night
Creaking Hovel – “A sonic accumulator that awakens once a year in the form of Supersonic festival, and spews forth an extraordinarily diverse spectrum of innovative and adventurous sound.”

Films / video footage

Supersonic 2012 film by HTF Media

Timelapse of the Vinyl Rally installation by This montage has been created by a member of the audience
Lau Nau
Lash Frenzy – Vir Heroicus Sublimus
Modified Toy Orchestra
Goat- Let it Bleed
Kevin Drumm
Bohren & Der Club of Gore Six Organs of Admittance- One Thousand Birds
My Disco- Young/With Age
Zeni Geva

Hey Colossus
MC Sensational, Koyxen and DJ Scotch Bonnet
JK Flesh
Lucas Abela having a go on his own installation, Vinyl Rally
Oxbow Orchestra
Free School
Hype Williams
Kevin Drumm

Here’s a lovely montage put together by scott.simpson99


The Vinyl Rally: Behind The Scenes Timelapse!


With Supersonic Festival well under way, most of you will already be familair with Lucas Abela’s (AKA Justice Yeldham) fantastic Vinyl Rally, which is currently kicking out all manner of filthy vinyl destroying noise in Digbeth’s Custard Factory. For those of you are curious about how this incredible installation was constructed, Cathy Soreny has documented the Rally’s construction with this awesome time lapse… Enjoy!

Vinyl Rally build timelapse – rough edit from Tinnitus Jukebox on Vimeo.


The Vinyl Rally Is Almost Up And Running!


Lucas Abela’s (AKA Justice Yeldham) Vinyl Rally has come on in leaps and bounds since yesterday; the track has been fully constructed (including an all-new underpass and multi-tiered section that Lucas has lovingly nick-named the “Wheel of Death”), the records have been fixed onto it and the remote controlled cars are ready and raring to go!

The Rally is gearing up to be something truly spectacular, and no visit to the festival this year will be complete without racing a few laps around this fully interactive installation. If you don’t believe us, just feast your eyes on the images below and try and contain your excitement!

The Vinyl Rally will be on show this weekend at Supersonic festival, and Justice Yeldham will perform on Sunday 21st October at 19:30.

Photos by Eduardo Pinto.


The Quietus Chat To Nic Bullen About Supersonic 2012…


The fine folk over at the Quietus just had a quick word with sound artist and original Napalm Death bassist/vocalist, Nicholas Bullen, about all things Supersonic. For those curious as to what Bullen has in store for them this weekend, Nic dropped this tantalising little hint –

[It’s] predominately geared towards sound – the development of my electronic composition, which is what I focus on in the main – so I’ll be playing a 35 minute composition which has a loose base structure, but for the most part is live improvisation and processing. And that ties into the film which I’m going to show which is an excerpt of a much longer film called The Inverse Heliograph, which is predominately constructed from super 8 film, which is re-photographed, processed, overlaid and altered in terms of duration. Really it’s an audio-visual set I suppose.

Bullen goes on to discuss The Inverse Heliograph in more detail, his early days with Napalm Death, and who else he’s looking forward to seeing at Supersonic this year in the rest of the interview, which you can read in full here.

Nicholas Bullen will perform on Saturday 20th at 20:45 in the Theatre at Supersonic.


The Vinyl Rally Takes Shape…


Construction is well under way for Lucas Abela’s (AKA Justice Yeldham) Vinyl Rally, a large-scale installation combining sound art, video art and kinetic sculpture into every kid and kidult’s dream-hybrid; an immersive participatory play-set playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports in a video game played within a real world setting!

The structure of this particular rally is one of Lucas’ most ambitious yet, and as you can see from the photos below, it looks like it’s shaping up to be one of this year’s festival highlights!

The Vinyl Rally will be on show this weekend at Supersonic festival, and Justice Yeldham will perform on Sunday 21st October at 19:30.


Supersonic 2012 – FAQS


Each year we receive lots of emails asking lots of questions, so to make life easier, we’ve collated all of the information here into the Supersonic Festival Frequently Asked Questions List. If you do have a question, check the list. If it definitely isn’t answered here, info[at] is where you can send it.

So, what do I do first? Box office opening times.

You get your wristband! Box office is located on Floodgate St, this is where you can exchange your tickets for wristbands or purchase festival tickets. This is also where press and guests should come. We are opening doors on Friday a couple of hours early on Friday, so you can have  a drink, check out our Superstar DJs and have a go on the Vinyl Rally before the live music begins.

Opening times are:

Friday – 7pm – 11.30pm

Saturday – 4pm – 11pm

Sunday – 2pm – 10pm

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 number of lovely drinks available on site including a selection of Purity Ales and The Kraken Rum
Supersonic Festival bars can be found in the Old Library + Boxxed and in the tea room.
We have a food court on site located in North Yard, which will cater for vegetarians and vegans alike as well as meat eaters. There is also Yumm cafe and Bay Leaf restaurant on site.

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 is one cash machine on site at H&S News – this machine will charge you £1.78 per withdrawal.
There are also two free cash machines located near-by at:
Nisa | Digbeth High Street | B5 5NR (about a 3 minute walk from the Custard Factory) and Birmingham Coach Station.
Children can come along, but it is essential that you contact us beforehand and they usually have to leave the festival site by 9pm. info[at] ‘under 18’s) in the title
Directions: “How do I get to Supersonic Festival?”
Supersonic Festival is held at the Custard Factory | Gibb Street | Birmingham | B9 4AA

Lost Property: Lost something at the festival?
Any lost property found by Supersonic staff will be safely stored in the production office; lost property found by Custard Factory or Factory Club staff will be stored in their office.
If you lose something over the weekend, contact a member of Supersonic / Security Staff. If you realise you’re missing something after the festival contact info[at]

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, however at this point in the proceedings we’re already fully booked so please refrain from emailing us, we welcome suggestions via our recommendations blog post and refer to these when programming the festival so please use this as your first point of call.

Performance Times
Stage times for each artist can be found at
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

Supersonic Festival Footage by HTF Media


For the past 4 years Birmingham based filmmakers, and music lovers HTF Media have been documenting the festival, from live performances to interviews with artists such as Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Godflesh and William Bennett. Here’s a selection of some of the Supersonic highlights captured on film. A lovely opportunity to relive previous editions of the festival and get you hyped for the rest of the weekend.



Drag City shorts


A collection of music shorts from the mighty Drag City label.

Among the bands that have released material on Drag City are Cave, Joanna Newsom, Pavement,[1] Royal Trux, Cynthia Dall, Faun Fables, Scott Walker, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham , Jim O’Rourke, Six Organs of Admittance, Loose Fur, Scout Niblett, David Grubbs, U.S. Maple, Alasdair Roberts, Papa M, Pearls and Brass, White Magic, The Renderers, Espers, Silver Jews, Monotonix, Nig-Heist, Michael Yonkers, The Red Krayola, Om, Sun Araw, Baby Dee and William Basinski.


Birthday Thumps and Bumps


Birthday thumps, bumps, pinches, etc., were said to bring luck and send away evil spirits. Party snappers, horns and other noisemakers were also intended to scare off bad-luck spirits.

Bunny Bissoux

Artist,illustrator and “obsessive fanatic”.  Recurring themes include music, teenage angst, animals and idols. Previous collaborations with Capsule include a solo exhibition at Supersonic 2009, the official t-shirt design for Supersonic 2010 and the creation of the ‘Home of Metal’ project family tree.

Daniel Margetts

A Worcester based illustrator, who would like to welcome you into his world of worm-infested lands. He is inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, 80’s prosthetic horror films, lowbrow art, Alejandro Jodorowsky, J.G Thirlwell and Roky Erickson.

Idiot’s Pasture

A “strictly lowbrow” illustrator, printmaker, drawer and youth worker from Halifax (everybody’s favourtie industrial town). Idiot is a proud conveyor of nonsense and failed his art GCSE due to missing out the letter “R” on a Jimi Hendrix poster.

Joe Stephen Taylor

Deep down in the depths of the jungle they call Birmingham, Joe Stephen Taylor AKA LumberJackJoe planted his roots into studying illustration Let Joe lure you into the dark forest of his limitless imagination. You never know what quirky creatures you will encounter.

Sam Wiehl

Having co-run Burneverything art and design studio Sam continues to work as an illustrator, designer and artist. Part of the music/art collectives Behind The Wall of Sleep and The Hive Collective, Sam also regularly creates light shows for the band Mugstar.

William Daw

Illustrator creating prints, gig posters, comics and zines as well as doing drawings and designing stuff and coming up with stupid jokes all day.


Kino 10: A Ritual of Flame


Short film specialists KINO 10 join us at this year’s festival with a specially curated programme of short films, exploring bizarre rituals, strange traditions, mythical beasts, peculiar creatures and fantastical folk tales. Highlights include the magical Oh Willy… in which Willy, a middle-aged man grieves for his late mother, but finds protection from a big gentle hairy beast, and The Last Norwegian Troll which tells the animated story of just that, the very last Troll of Norway, voiced by everyone’s favourite Jesuit exorcist Father, Max von Sydow. There’s also some gems from the archive with a selection of shorts from as early as 1927 which look at Britain’s eccentric rural traditions and rituals, with footage of children playing with burning barrels in East Devon, Dwile Flonking in Harleston, and some amazing pictures from Stonehaven’s New Year Fireball Festival in 1965.


The Quietus Grill Jarboe On Supersonic, Swans & Solo Performances


It sounds like Jarboe’s upcoming tour is going to be a truly special experience, as the singer recently revealed some further details about her Supersonic performance to the Quietus

The interesting thing about the whole European tour, which includes Supersonic, is that it’s an example of my own stretch or eccentricity as a performer, in that I’m doing it with a classically trained pianist and vocalist, Renee Nelson. We’re going to be reinterpreting Swans and World of Skin classics in a very beautiful way. When that’s done, we’re coming home and then immediately going on tour with Nachtmystium, a black metal band. I don’t know how many people there are that do that kind of stretch, but I’m in my element. I’m 100% punk rock and experimental and will remain true to my roots. That’s what you get with me – you’ve got to be an adventurous audience!

You can read the full interview here, in which Jarboe also talks in depth about her contribution to the new Swans record, life on the road with Micheal Gira, and writing her memoirs…

Jarboe will perform at Supersonic on Saturday 20th October, as well as taking part in our ‘You Can Be You’ panel discussion alongside Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson, Crass’s Penny Rimbaud and the Quietus editor John Doran.



Savage Pencil In Conversation At Supersonic!


With less than a week to go until Supersonic’s 10th anniversary celebrations, the festival’s running order has almost fully taken shape and is gearing up to be one of the best editions in Capsule’s illustrious history. We can now unveil the icing on the cake of this year’s delicious looking lineup; an exclusive Q&A session with artist Edwin Pouncey (AKA Savage Pencil). Pouncey’s lurid, halucinatory artwork will be familiar to any readers of the Wire, as his intensely vivid and sharply satirical Trip or Squeek strips have been gracing the publication’s pages for over 10 years. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the Wire’s deputy editor Frances Morgan will be sitting down to quiz Pouncey on his artistic process.

Though his acerbic work can be seen as part of the rich lineage of satirical illustration, Edwin’s distinctive style is informed by a myriad of fascinating influences, assimiliating the ’60s freak scene, Japanese monster movies and the weird fiction of HP Lovecraft into own his eye scorching vision. Casting a wry and intoxicated eye at pop culture (and contemporary avant-garde music in particular), Pouncey makes use of a recurring cast of characters including such luminaries as Steve Reich, Stockhausen, Moondog, Mark E Smith, Sonic Youth, Robert Wyatt, Suicide, Kraftwerk, Crass, Lou Reed, Jandek, Throbbing Gristle and Sleep, weaving them into his obtuse visual tapestry with aplomb. In the process, Pouncey’s art itself has become as much a part of the current experimental art landscape as the artists he has paid tribute to, with the works of Savage Pencil adorning album covers and shirts from the likes of Sonic Youth, The Fall, Sunn O))) and numerous others.

With a career spanning almost four decades, Edwin is celebrating by compiling all of his Trip Or Squeek cartoons in one weighty tome for the first time. Containing over 100 comic strips, the book features extensive notes, a discography and never-before-seen preparatory sketches by Savage Pencil, in addition to an illustrated foreword by artist Gary Panter. The book is indenspensible for anyone with a passion for experimental art and psychedelic illustration, and it’s an honour to welcome him along to our tenth anniversary. We urge you to grab this opportunity to gain an insight into the mind that guides the Savage Pencil…


An Interview With Grey Hairs


Nottingham’s Grey Hairs have been causing quite a racket of late with their raucous, grungy rock’n’roll, leading some critics to describe them as sounding like “Pissed Jeans ripping off Status Quo!” Featuring ex-members of Skull Tanker, Harvey Half Devoured and Nervebomb, the band have paid their dues on the live circuit and are currently gearing up to put out their debut release. We caught up with vocalist James Finlay to find out what they’re looking forward to at this year’s festival…

Supersonic – Could you tell us briefly about how Grey Hairs came into being?
James Finlay – Grey Hairs came into being through just having lots of stuff in common. We all live really close to each other. We go to the same shows; we watch each others bands, we like having beers together and we’re all the same sort of age so it just kind of made sense for us to try and turn that common ground in to some sort of document of this part of our lives.

Why should Supersonic attendees check out your set?
Supersonic is as much about new discovery as it is about watching stuff that you already know. I only know about 50% of the acts on the line-up this year but that’s what’s so exciting about the festival. You know that there’s going to be a load of totally mental, uncompromising, underground music that you never knew you loved until it’s melting your face off. I’d like to encourage the attendees this year to embrace Supersonic’s spirit of adventure and allow us the chance to hopefully melt your face off. We’ll be treading the boards at the Old Library at approximately 10pm on Sunday.

If time, money and space were no object, what would you do with your performance?
I’ve always wanted to try out some crazy quadraphonic sound system stuff with noise coming at the crowd from all around so that you feel kind of wrapped up in the chaos of the music. Other than that probably just sensible stuff like buying a gym membership and using it so I don’t feel like puking 15 minutes into our set.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
I’m really looking forward to catching up with my old friend John who I haven’t seen since Supersonic last year (another plus of the festival: catching up with old friends). Musically: Goat, Drunk in Hell, Hey Colossus, Hookworms, Oxbow, Merzbow, Dylan Carlson, The Bug, loads of stuff. I’m praying that we don’t clash with any of it.

Who would be the ideal artist for you to collaborate with at Supersonic 2012?
The Bug.

If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
I’d love to see Naked City era John Zorn, Lungfish, Pissed Jeans…I could go on.

Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
For Supersonic, a hotel! I almost slept in the back of a white van last year with our drummer just outside The Paragon. It wasn’t an especially exciting prospect for two, middle aged men. Thankfully we managed to sort something out.  Money and Alka Seltzer of course. Fuck earplugs. Actually maybe bring earplugs.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Grey Hairs?
We’ve just finished recording this week and plan to have the fruits of that session out on 7” through Gringo Records hopefully in time for Christmas. We’ve also got plans for a couple of split 7s early in the New Year and I expect we’ll be traversing the M1 quite a lot over the coming months for live shows too.

Grey Hairs will play at Supersonic Festival on Sunday 21st October.


Trebuchet & The Quietus Interview Hey Colossus


Hey Colossus are extremely busy right now; in addition to putting out their new record (‘Witchfinder General Hospital’), preparing for their set at Supersonic and being interrogated by us recently, they’ve somehow found the time to give some more interviews, for Trebuchet and The Quietus respectively. The Quietus asked guitarist Joe Thompson about clotted cream, the music industry and what we can expect from their Supersonic performance, to which Joe replied –

Crunkkkkkk…screeeeeeee, grrrrrrrrrr, eeeeeeeeeeek, thunkkkk, clunk clunk clunk…..muted clapping…..unplugging guitar leads, packing guitars away, carrying of amps.

You can read the full Quietus interview here, and head on over to the Trebuchet site to read their interview and find out what prompted vocalist Paul Sykes to utter the immortal line –

It’s not a show if people don’t enjoy it, it’s just a bunch of people turning up somewhere.

You can rest assured that Hey Colossus will be putting on quite a show indeed at Supersonic this year. You can catch the band perform on Friday 19th.


Dope Body Unveil Their ‘Weird Mirror’…


Baltimore’s Dope Body have just released the video for their song ‘Weird Mirror’ (taken from their new album ‘Natural History), a raucous noise rock knees-up set to some grainy, vaguely menacing VHS style footage of the band kicking out the jams and destroying their practice room in the way that only Dope Body can.

DOPE BODY – WEIRD MIRROR from dope body on Vimeo.

The band have garnered something of a reputation of late for their sweat drenched live shows, so if you’d like to experience Dope Body’s frenzied, mutant punk outbursts in the flesh, you’d better get yourself down to Supersonic this year! Dope Body will perform at the festival on Sunday 21st October.

SHARE: Preview Supersonic, And Drunk In Hell & Imperfect Cinema’s Visual Workshop!

..., the North-East’s arts & culture dispatch, have recently written up a preview of Supersonic Festival, which you can read in full here. Focusing on the local names that will be appearing on the bill, the preview features interviews with acoustic troubadour Richard Dawson, krautrock inspired electonica merchants Warm Digits and intimidating noise-rock terrorists Drunk In Hell.

In fact, it seems Kyeo are just as excited about the Drunk In Hell / Imperfect Cinema workshop as we are, describing it as thus –

The atmospheric festival setting – Digbeth’s appropriately named, post-industrial Custard Factory – lends itself to what they describe as a “stark, aesthetic that played such a pivotal role in the creation of Heavy Metal.” The footage that results will get used for a visual document but, more importantly, will also serve as a visual backdrop for Drunk In Hell’s performance the next day. So if having your face torn off by blistering hardcore while watching film of your friends filming you throwing up in a warehouse the day before is your particular cup of blood (and it should be) this is a must-see.

We couldn’t agree more! There are still a few spaces left for this workshop, so book now if you’d like to get involved – you can click here for more information.


Exactly one week to go


With exactly one week to go until we open the doors to the 10th edition of Supersonic Festival, we partnered with the wonderful Network Awesome to put a selection of related films together from the last decade of Supersonic. It contains rare footage of Coil from our first ever festival as well as tracks by Broadcast, Nisenenemondai, Zu and a whole host of interviews. Enjoy!

Network Awesome is a new online TV site that curates the media film, documentaries, and video collections from all eras of broadcast history. It’s free, not full of junk, and it broadcasts 6 new shows each day. The archives are stand-alone repositories of media, available anytime and are, like, totally social so you can share it with your friends. Root around in there! You’ll be amazed at what you find.

If you haven’t bought tickets yet now is your chance, they can be purchased HERE


Savage Pencil Q&A



Ahead of the release of his new ‘Trip or Squeek’ publication, Edwin Pouncey aka Savage Pencil will make a guest appearance at the festival, in conversation with Frances Morgan of The Wire and Strange Attractor.

Savage Pencil’s Trip or Squeek strips have been appearing in music magazine The Wire since 2002.

Acerbic, lysergic and razor sharp observations on music, art and life, Trip or Squeek continues a tradition of satirical illustration dating back to the 18th century, albeit one that has been dosed up via the ’60s freak scene, Japanese monster movies and the weird fiction of HP Lovecraft. Musical guest stars appearing in the book include: Steve Reich, Stockhausen, Moondog, Mark E Smith, Sonic Youth, Robert Wyatt, Suicide, Kraftwerk, Crass, Lou Reed, Jandek, Throbbing Gristle, Sleep and many more. Containing over 100 comic strips, collected together for the first time, the book features extensive notes, a discography and never-before-seen preparatory sketches by Savage Pencil, and an illustrated foreword by artist Gary Panter.

Savage Pencil  has been writing and illustrating for music newspapers and magazines for almost four decades. His artwork has also appeared on album covers, posters and T shirts for bands including Sonic Youth, The Fall, Sunn 0))) and numerous others.





I dare you to type Hookworms into Google. What you will be treated with is a selection of images that will be enough to make you bring up your dinner. A Hookworm is a parasite that feeds off its chosen host, making them weaker and itself stronger; what an awfully fitting reference. Hookworms are a band that beat their audience down to the ground with noise, repetition and psychedelics. As their audience gets lulled into a state of confusion whereby they are unaware of which way is up and which way is down, Hookworms make their bass stronger, bounce their vocals around and create a tornado of sound that will suddenly and unexpectedly knock you off your feet.

Does this all sound slightly unfair? Being aurally abused by a band who have named themselves after something that may live in your intestines? Of course not. Because what Hookworms promise to bring to the stage is more than music; it is a cataclysm of sound itself, a ripping up of the rule book and a set of pure escapism.

The band hail from Leeds, a place where a new music act seems to pop up every hour, but Hookworms are different to other various incarnations of sound. For example, their first EP was released on cassette tape- an interesting choice as I think 95% of people have longed ditched their trusty tape recorder in favour of something slightly more 21st Century. You cannot help but respect their decision however, as it makes you think; it is only the people who really want to listen to their music who will go out, dig out a device to play the tape on, get some new batteries and sit back ready to revel in 8 minute tracks that will make them seriously wig out.

Catch Hookworms on Saturday at Supersonic Festival. For more information or tickets visit


Bring Out Your Dead



Friday 19 October, 7–8.30pm
Featuring Arc Vel, Papa November, Them Use Them and The Plague Doctor.

First Fold records artists will perform a spectacular audio visual response to Necrospective, an exhibition exploring theories in relation to violence and acting out, the suppression of our fear of morality and how that embodies itself in technological man-made structures.

Using the exhibition as a backdrop, artists Arc Vel, Papa November, Them Use Them,  The Plague Doctor and more tbc, will create their own layer of sound and vision in this pre-Supersonic Festival event.

First Fold is an independent record label and publishing company managed and funded by the individuals involved in developing the first fold product. First Fold’s focus is to maintain a self regulating and enthusiastic approach to the creation of music and visual media and aims to encourage a dialogue that constantly challenges the people involved to generate exciting and relevant work.

Grand Union
19 Minerva Works
Fazeley Street
B5 5RS




Open 22 September to 27 October, Thursday to Saturday, 12-5pm.

Featuring work by Craig Fisher, Thomas Johnson, Alexis Milne, Takeshi Murata and Motohiko Odani. Necrospective is a group exhibition exploring theories in relation to violence and acting out, the suppression of our fear of mortality and how that embodies itself in technological man-made structures.
Curator Thomas Johnson examines the relationship between Baudrillard’s notion that science and technology produce objects and experiences that embody the death drive, and Freud’s notion that the death drive leads people to re-enact and repeat traumatic experiences. This relationship can be realised by viewing technology as a form of performance or acting.
The works in the exhibition envision a sanitised invention of the world; a technologically mediated environment, in which mucky nature has been eradicated. This environment is presented as one in which the death drive is satisfied, where violence and the abject have been displaced through a technological, man-made infrastructure.

Grand Union
19 Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS