Swans pictured at Supersonic by Hugh McCabe


We’d like to thank photographer Hugh McCabe for sending through this seductive and striking image of Swans taken at Supersonic last month. Hugh was specially invited by frontman Michael Gira to photograph the band using his unique double exposure technique, in which the film is exposed to different viewpoints for considerable time. This is a simplified explanation, so if you’re interested in hearing more about Hugh’s methods you can do so by reading his blog here.

Hugh, a musician as himself, has also written up an interesting piece on Swan’s latest offering ‘To Be Kind’ which can be read here


Image courtesy of Hugh McCabe


To Be Kind – Swans’ latest album streaming online



Festival headliners Swans are streaming their entire new album, ‘To Be Kind’, online at NPR Music. Listen HERE

Here’s what a few others have had to say about this 121 minute epic, but why not head on over to NPR Music and make up your own mind, before having your mind blown all over again when Swans take to the main stage at this years festival!

Last handful of tickets now on sale HERE.

“…‘To Be Kind’ is another remarkable achievement from a band that deals in nothing else.”4/5TimeOut 

“To Be Kind is the kind of record that Jim Morrison never lived long enough to make- a record of maturity after the madness, a record of exploration, extremes and subtle beauty and is the kind of record that the modern loveable Iggy is too scared to immerse himself in. It’s also a great glowering, rumbling two hours plus of music that you can get lost inside. A perfect soundtrack for late night drives and the solitude of the soul and also a very listenable journey into a heart of rumbling darkness.”  10/10 – LouderThanWar

“Frontman Michael Gira’s ever-abstract lyrics give plenty of room for interpretation throughout. Imagine Karlheinz Stockhausen’s jarring classicism, Captain Beefheart’s twisted blues, and the industrialism of Einstürzende Neubauten coalescing into a swirling musical miasma. Near perfection.” 9/10 – Clash Music


Buy tickets for Supersonic Festival 2014 “Ltd Edt” HERE.


The Mother of all Swans interviews – Gira talks to Doran



In the Mother of all interviews Michael Gira (legendary frontman of Swans) talks to journalist and music-enthusiastic John Doran of The Quietus (a legend in his own right). This is an extensive and fascinating interview which covers everything from Howlin’ Wolf to Haiti to Francis Bacon and well beyond…

Get a glimpse into Michael Gira head by reading the interview in full over at The Quietus. For fun, we’ve picked out a couple of quotes for you below. Swans bring their monolithic live show to Supersonic’s main stage in just a few weeks. Having just released their thirteenth album in just over three decades, To Be Kind, (which has been received rave reviews: 10/10 – LouderThanWar ; 4/5 – TimeOut etc.) our audience can expect a bold and uncompromising show from one of the world’s most powerful live bands. Don’t miss your chance to see these musical titans, the last few Supersonic tickets are available from HERE.


JD: Having attended Swans gigs between albums and the Kickstarter-style demo albums, you can hear this natural kind of evolutionary process taking place. What’s interesting to me is that although it’s undeniably an organic growth, there are things that do stand out to me on the new album. Yeah, sure, it’s still monolithic, but I think the grooves are maybe funkier, maybe even sexier… is that kind of a fair comment?

MG: Yeah, that was the intent, we did sit down and say ‘lets make a sexy groove’ because we’re so sexy…[laughs]

JD: Like Alexander O’Neal or something…

MG: What I discovered on the last record was that I wanted to push forward on this one. It was about this groove and how I could really focus on that, not necessarily these big sheets of sound, but more about the possibility to find something that could just keep going forever, without feeling mechanical. So we pushed that aspect. We often focused in on the rhythms, but the idea of us actually getting funky is pretty preposterous. It’s some kind of idiosyncratic version of that I guess, but it’s a fine line for us to tread, because I don’t want to be a white boy trying desperately to grow a big butt.


JD: Something that I think is really interesting about Swans, is that you clearly came out of New York City, but if you asked most music fans, 99 out of 100 to talk about the continuum of New York groups, people would say Velvet Underground, Television, Modern Lovers, Suicide, Sonic Youth, maybe Glenn Branca, maybe Philip Glass, people usually wouldn’t say Swans. You were obviously from New York but you weren’t really a New York group, if you see the distinction?

MG: Well, I made a point of that. Whether it was career suicide or not, I don’t know, but I made a point of separating ourselves from other people in the scene, very quickly. At first we played with Sonic Youth quite a bit, we were friends, but that didn’t work out after a while and I just wanted to separate ourselves from that because I felt that was just another straitjacket, another cliché, and I wanted to make something that was ‘us’ or ‘me’ and not be attached to that.


Read in full here. The last few Supersonic tickets can be bought HERE.


Swans – Q&A + new album review



Swans return to the UK this May for a headline slot at this year’s Supersonic Festival. Expect an epic set of pulverising tunes from the visionary frontman Michael Gira & his 6 man ensemble of music veterans. Having recently unleashed their extraordinary new album ‘To Be Kind’, we know it’s going to be one of this year’s highlights, so grab your chance to see them whilst you still can. Tickets here.

UNCUT recently reviewed the album giving it a highly respectable 8/10. They also had this to say:

“…these are not delicate symphonies. Nor do Swans jam, or employ anything as rhythmically complex as syncopation or tricky time signatures. Instead, these songs roll in like dark clouds, heave and grunt like a galley slave under the lash, or beat relentlessly, like a forehead hammering against a wall. It is much to Gira’s credit that he manages to make such music not just tolerable, but gripping.” – Louis Pattison, UNCUT.

Uncut also did a short Q&A with Michael Gira:

Q: When you were interviewed while touring The Seer, you were talking about writing ‘tender’ music…

A: “Exactly, that’s “To Be Kind”. It’s a song written for my fiancee. But whatever I’m doing, whatever I’m reading, whatever I’m watching, it all goes into the records. When I am blessed with a subject or a string of words that feel coherent, I get down on my knees and lick the ground in gratitude. For me, it ins’t an easy thing to write. Subject matter isn’t really an easy thing for me to control. I find it builds gradually over the course of the record.”

Q: Is “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” about Howlin’ Wolf?

A: “It’s not about him, no. I just kind of felt he was there with me as I was singing it. I don’t know what those words are, except me reaching back into this inner child place, which is not a sweet place necessarily. I noticed when I was singing, I was doing what the Wolf did, a bit – reaching into this unbridled id. And he did some really stupid things onstage, as did I. He’d do things like get down on the floor, get under some woman’s skirt and go like a-woooo! So I dedicated it to him.”

See Swans when Supersonic Festival returns next month! Due to the addition of a second stage and a whole new bill of exciting artists we’ve been able to release a limited number of additional tickets which have already selling fast. Don’t miss out on Swans and so much more this May 30-31st! Tickets here



Second stage added and extra tickets on sale



Following the initial announcement about Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014 where tickets sold out in a weekend we are delighted to be able to  make available another 200 tickets due to the opening of a brand new venue, Alfie Birds at the Custard Factory, we just couldn’t resist partnering with this new space and adding a second stage. BUY TICKETS


Adding to an already impressive line up (including Swans, Wolf Eyes, Matmos, Sleaford Mods and many more) are an array of weird and wonderful performers, and what band fits both categories “weird” and “wonderful” more aptly than Evil Blizzard, who shall bring their critically acclaimed, uniquely bizarre noise rock to the event. Meanwhile, Pharmakon’s confrontational power electronics and deathly industrial sounds will reverberate loudly around the Custard Factory, impossible to ignore. For something different, veteran performer/film composer and member of rock bands Codeine and Come, Chris Brokaw shall perform solo in support of his latest album.

Kubin Twins - by Dorle Bahlburg

Excitingly, Khünnt (featuring Richard Dawson and Pigs x 7) shall perform at Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014, exploring the boundaries of esoteric music, from minimalist noise and ESP screams to live improvisation, fog-beat and psychedelic city mantra. From these savage sounds we traverse to the futurist pop, electroacoustic and chamber orchestra music of Felix Kubin. And on another part of the musical spectrum, Sly & The Family Drone‘s egalitarian approach will propel the audience and band together into a shamanistic setting of catharsis and anarchic celebration.

Opium Lord

What Supersonic event is complete without something heavy? Enter Opium Lord, who’s desolate doom-sludge, filthy grooves and abrasive noise will satisfy those with a penchant for dark sounds. Also ticking the boxes for loud, visceral, imposing and intelligent music are Bristol based ANTA who have also been added to the line up.


To mark the release of their first record, a 10″ EP, on London -New York label care in the community recordings, Alien Whale have been added to Supersonic Ltd Edn, musically exploring their roots in free-form rock ‘n roll with an ecstatic energy.  Also taking to the stage at Supersonic Ltd Edn 2014 are Rattle, two of Nottingham’s most unique and recognisable drummers (Theresa Wrigley of Fists and Katharine Brown of Kogumaza) and aided by Kogumaza’s Mark Spivey shall perform their hypnotic and dance-floor filling music, that recalls This Heat or ESG.


And finally, Capsule add two exciting local bands to the Supersonic Ltd Edn bill which includes, Birmingham based, Youth Man who shall present their hyperactive, non-stop form of post-punk which sounds like the Pixies playing Minutemen covers, heavily influenced by the Dead Kennedys. Also added are Backwards, featuring ex-members of Beestung Lips, Una Corda and Napalm Death – who serve up a heady brew of distortion with two bass guitars, drums, voice and electronics.


Of course as well as adding more performers we also have a number extra curricular happenings across the weekend at the Custard Factory and other locations also. Don’t forget to check out the Bill Drummond exhibition at Eastside Projects, he shall be leading a re-enactment of two historical performances given by The17 choir. The first was in Moscow on the 28 September 2006, the second in Saint Petersburg the following day. The re-enactment will involve 34 people, 17 of whom will act the part of those that were The17 in Moscow, the other 17 will act the part of those who were The17 in Saint Petersburg.   The17 choir creates music that follows no musical history, or necessarily has words, melodies or rhythms. This is a ticketed event taking place at Eastside Projects on Saturday at 2pm.

Still to come in the near future…more information about Capsule’s inaugural ‘Labs’ (artist development and commissioning scheme) devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art, which Capsule intend to launch at Supersonic Ltd Edn.



Supersonic 2014 “Ltd Edt” playlist



It’s that time again to get curious, to get adventurous and to get ready. After taking a year out to re-imagine the festival following our tenth anniversary, Supersonic Festival is now back and going old skool in special two-day “Limited Edition” format this May 30th-31st. Tickets HERE.

The line-up so far includes post-punk legends SWANS, avant garde rockers WOLF EYES, multi-instrumentalist ensemble EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, straight-talkers SLEAFORD MODS, sonic explorer BASIC HOUSE, Baltimore duo MATMOS, electro-violinist AGATHE MAX, Norwegian songwriter JENNY HVAL and more…. For a taste of what’s to come have a listen to our Supersonic 2014 playlist featuring these artists:

Supersonic Festival’s playground for 2014 will be the iconic Custard Factory, home of Capsule HQ. This ever-evolving industrial arts complex will shapeshift once again this May to play host to Supersonic’s enticing programme of experimental music, film and art. But this is Supersonic “Limited Edition” don’t forget, so expect a few extra special treats… and remember tickets are limited to 400 so do not miss out. Keep your eyes peeled for further line-up announcements over the next few weeks.
Tickets are available from HERE.


Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014


Supersonic Festival 2014

Back by popular demand and after a successful 10 years of existence, Supersonic Festival return and are taking the event back to its core values by curating ‘Supersonic Festival Ltd Edtn’ an intimate two day event. On 30th and 31st May, Capsule present Supersonic Festival Ltd Edtn and shall return to the Custard Factory where it all began.

Since the inception of Supersonic Festival in 2003, Capsule have firmly established the event as a unique,  inner-city festival, with an undeniably vibrant atmosphere, always presenting a variety of performers – the inaugural event featured the bewildering blend of Coil, DJ Food, LCD soundsystem, The Bug and more – and where the film programme, workshops and exhibitions are as paramount to the event’s atmosphere as the live performances. Year in, year out, Capsule unite discerning music fans, embracing eclectic tastes and have over the years adapted a creative space for music lovers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, record stalls and independent businesses to thrive.

As this is a limited event, there are only 400 weekend tickets available at just £45 and they will be going on sale on Friday morning at 10am, so grab them while you can via the www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Swans/ Matmos/Wolf Eyes/Ex Easter Island Head/Sleaford Mods/Agathe Max/Basic House/Jenny Hval more tba


Supersonic have already confirmed the billing for the event, which will take place at a new space within the Custard Factory, and are delighted to welcome back Swans. Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica are no strangers to Supersonic Festival, and are thrilled to play host to their infamous, dominant and strikingly powerful live show.


Baltimore duo Matmos shall bring their dizzyingly diverse assemblage to Supersonic Limited in support of their 2013 album. Their music comprises stomping techno, eerie synth jams, musique concrete, Latin rhythms, and Ethiopian music, at once at home in the academy, the art gallery, the nightclub and the noise warehouse, perfect fit for the festival then.


Liverpool based ensemble, Ex Easter Island Head, will bring their expanded Large Electric Ensemble which includes twelve prepared electric guitars and drums to create a maximalist wash of amplified strings and droning overtones. The ensemble adopt a new vocabulary of playing based around various guitar preparations, from billowing harp-like arpeggios to ‘bowing’ the strings with allen keys to produce luminous upper register drones. Microtonal intervals create shimmering tones akin to the struck metallophones of Balinese gamelan, whilst the thrum of electrified strings creates a dense undertow of singing harmonies. Scored in custom notation the piece places free flowing passages alongside conductor cues, allowing the players to collectively create a distinctive sonic landscape. What Supersonic event would be complete without something special such as this?


Supersonic are pleased to welcome back, the infamous blistering noise of Wolf Eyes.  From touring with Sonic Youth and Andrew W.K., Wolf Eyes have crossed borders into popularity which few other such confrontational units of their ilk have been able to and kept straight and narrow on their blazing path, and are on top form. The overwhelming force of Wolf Eyes must be seen to to be believed.


Sleaford Mods will bring their aggressive verbal onslaught to the Custard Factory, a great setting to spout about all that is contrived and connected to the day-to-day hammer of low paid employment and domestic situations arising from that trap.


Also returning to the festival, is French artist Agathe Max. With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max creates dynamic, fast-flowing loop pieces that encompass noise, post-classicism and krautrock with nods to the High Lonesome Raga as filtered through Henry Flynt.


We warmly welcome a rising talent to this rich mix in the form of Basic House, the work of the UK’s Stephen Bishop, the man behind the ever more impressive label that is Opal Tapes and also vocalist of Drunk In Hell who played an unforgettable set at Supersonic in 2012. His textural and rhythmic explorations are fast growing in acclaim, described as “somewhere between Kassem Mosse, The New Blockaders and Zoviet*France.”


Finally, provocative Norwegian singer, composer, lyricist and writer Jenny Hval shall perform at Supersonic. Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Despite her young age, she has already infused, carved and modulated an artistic voice that is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time. We cannot wait!


Let’s not forget the other elements which always make Supersonic so special, the workshops and participatory events. Supersonic have selected If Wet to feature at the festival. If Wet is a monthly event of sonic exploration, usually held in a rural village hall; chaired by musical instrument designers MortonUnderwood. Part show and tell, part test bed, part salon. A place for artists to showcase their latest sonic works and research. A place to revel and discuss. After a successful inaugural season MortonUnderwood have decided to extend the reach of If Wet beyond the village hall and it is with great pleasure that they will transport their distinctive event to Supersonic 2014.

Supersonic Ltd Edtn will launch Capsule’s inaugural ‘Labs’ (artist development and commissioning scheme) devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art. More information about this will be coming soon.


Bill Drummond: The 25 Paintings
Legendary musician and artist Bill Drummond will begin a twelve year ‘World Tour’ under Spaghetti Junction marking this momentous event with an exhibition at Eastside Projects.
The exhibition focuses on ‘The 25 Paintings’, a series of artworks that signpost actions Drummond will perform across Birmingham during his three month stay in the city including, but by no means limited to, giving away bunches of daffodils, discovering Dead Oak Rings, building rafts, hiding in cafes, making beds, sweeping the streets clean and brewing tea. Also on show will be The SIXTY Posters, The 25 Sixty Second Films, an evolving selection of photographs, a globe of the world and a large map of the city.





Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica are no strangers to Supersonic Festival, and are thrilled to play host to their infamous, dominant and strikingly powerful live show.

Swans infamous and powerful live show was described by the New York Times as “an act of generosity”, by Time Magazine as “a force that jolts you into focus ” while Spin.com asked “Are Swans the best live band in the world right now?” and it was on this recent 2012/2013 tour, Gira explains, that “a good portion of the material for this album was developed live”.


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.



A Brief History Of Justin Broadrick


Justin Broadrick will be making his fourth appearance at the Supersonic Festival this year, unveiling his new solo project JK Flesh – a dense, atmospheric endeavour that feels like the culmination of all his previous projects combined. This seems like a fine time to glance back over Broadrick’s long and eclectic career, and celebrate one of Birmingham’s finest musicians in the process…


In 1982, a young Justin would take his first musical steps with his friend Andy Swan under the name Final. The endlessly prolific Broadrick would release no less than 50 Final cassettes within the next year and a half, and would later resurrect the project in order to continue his soundscape experiments.

Fall Of Because

Two years later, Broadrick would sew the seeds that Godflesh would eventually grow out of with Fall Of Because, alongside future Godflesh cohorts G. Christian Green and Paul Neville. The trio, taking their name from a Killing Joke song, recorded several songs that would go on to become known as Godflesh classics (including ‘Life is Easy’, ‘Devastator, and ‘Merciless’) before calling it a day a few years later, around the same time that Broadrick met fellow Brummie and sonic visionary, Nicholas Bullen

Napalm Death

After a chance meeting at a local flea market, Broadrick would join Bullen and wild eyed drummer Mick Harris in a fledgling anarcho-punk band by the name of Napalm Death. The three-piece refined their sound over the course of three demo tapes, before recording the A-side of seminal grindcore classic ‘Scum’ in 1987 and changing the face of extreme metal forever. Evidently life in the fast lane was not Broadrick’s cup of tea, and he and Bullen left the band before their debut album was completed, feeling that they had pushed this extreme sound as far as it could possibly go (‘You Suffer’ is still credited as being the shortest song in the world by the Guiness Book of Records!).

This lineup would reconvene in 1992 for Scorn’s debut album ‘Vae Solis’, an oft overlooked industrial classic that pits crushing Swans worship against tribal electronic beats – it’s sometimes hard to believe this was the work of the same three musicians responsible for blistering grind outbursts like ‘The Kill’ and ‘Siege of Power’!


Following his departure from Napalm Death (and after a brief stint drumming for industrial pioneers Head Of David), Broadrick reconvened with G.C. Green to form Godflesh. Using their old Fall of Because songs as a starting point, the pair would fuse the hard hitting gut punch of metal with the harsh, mechanical qualities of industrial music, creating another legendary band and redefining a genre in the process. Over the course of 7 full-lengths and numerous EPs, singles and remixes, Godflesh drastically reshaped what many people thought a metal band could sound like, and influenced a plethora of other artists from across the musical spectrum. At the height of their infamy, Broadrick politely turned down offers to join Faith No More and Danzig – one can’t help but wonder how different the musical landscape of the 90’s would have been if he’d accepted…

Techno Animal

London based producer Kevin Martin had promoted Godflesh’s first show in the capital city, sparking a long lasting friendship between the pair. Justin eventually contributed to Kevin’s band God, and in 1991, they released their first record under the moniker Techno Animal, a startling concoction of industrial, hip-hop, dub and noise that still sounds fresh to this day. Broadrick and Martin would go on to collaborate many more times over the next few years, and even invited Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire to help them out with the manic breakcore of their Curse of the Golden Vampire project.


Godflesh eventually imploded shortly after releasing their 2000 swansong ‘Hymns’ (featuring ex-Swans sticksman Ted Parsons in place of the drum machine that had provided the bleak, mechanical pulse for previous records), but out of their ashes rose Broadrick’s new project, Jesu. Over the course of four full-lengths and numerous EPs and splits, Justin would forge a more ethereal, optimistic sound that has more in common with the shoegaze movement than it does the harsh industrial feel of his earlier works.


Broadrick crossed paths with Aaron Turner when Jesu toured with Isis, and the two joined forces with occasional Jesu cohort Diarmuid Dalton and ex-Head of David bassist David Cochrane to create Greymachine, a stark, rhythmic juggernaut amidst wastelands of barren noise that almost sounded like Godflesh being re-imagined by Whitehouse. Greymachine would only release a single eponymous album, but the record still stands as one of the heaviest and most uncompromising monoliths in both Broadrick and Turner’s back catalogues.

JK Flesh

‘Posthuman’ is Justin’s first official solo album, and it feels like a comprehensive combination of all the different sounds and styles he’s previously worked with, fusing together to form one imposing industrial behemoth that doesn’t really sound like anything else being produced in 2012. The cathartic blend of dubstep, industrial, metal and noise could be seen in some ways as a spiritual successor to the Greymachine album, but the project casts quite a distinct shadow over Broadrick’s extensive back catalogue.Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess…

Of course, this is only the most basic overview of Justin’s long and storied career; there are many of his projects we’ve left out here, such as the harsh power electronics of White Static Demon, the twisted breakcore of Krackhead and the vast, Throbbing Gristle-meets-King Tubby soundscapes of Council Estate Electronics. And this is all before we’ve even mentioned his recent venture into the great unknown as Valley Of Fear (alongside Skullflower’s Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies), and of course, the feverishly rumoured and much anticipated Godflesh comeback record…

With all these projects on the go simultaneously, it’s a wonder Justin finds the time to play live at all, making it all the more special when he does. It’s a real pleasure to have this visionary artist bringing his latest project to Supersonic this year, and promises to be an experience that no self-respecting Broadrick fan is going to want to miss.

JK Flesh will perform at Supersonic Festival on Friday 19th October.


Supersonic: A Decade Of Championing The Avant-Garde



For 10 years now, Supersonic has been tirelessly emphasising the importance and beauty of the independent spirit; one need only glance through the reams of musical mavericks that have graced the festival’s stages to see how successful their efforts have been. To celebrate, Capsule have planned a couple of events to highlight the free-thinkers that have helped turn the festival into the glorious tour-de-force it is today.

In keeping with Supersonic’s tradition of featuring enlightening panel discussions, ‘You Can Be You’ promises the audience one of the most intruiging and horizon broadening conversations to ever take place in the Custard Factory, as The Quietus Editor, Vice columnist and all-round music enthusiast John Doran takes the chair to quiz Jarboe, Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson and Crass co-founder Penny Rimbaud on how these extremely accomplished artists have maintained their integrity and independence whilst operating in the furthest regions of the avant-garde.

Anyone who’s ever been moved by Eugene’s feral howl and imposing stage presence, Jarboe’s dulcet tones and emotive range, or Rimbaud’s energetic drumming and sneering social commentary will not want to miss out on this. These are artists that divide opinion with their untameable drive to create, and are united in their refusal of musical standards and any perceived rules or guidelines that others may wish to impose upon them, but how is this passion sustained through times of difficulty? Will there ever come a time where this deep-seated desire to create is satiated? There’s only one way to find out… See you there!

Running with this theme of independent creators, Jason Forrest of the new online TV site Network Awesome has curated a film prgramme entitled ‘3 ______ And The Truth’, a loving tribute to the maverick minds that created things that only they ever could, ranging from the ingenious to the downright bizarre! The Network Awesome site features a number of specially made programmes, curated by visionaries like John Zorn and Barry Adamson, and is well worth checking out!


The Living Jarboe




With visual arts being such a huge influence on how I receive live music, I will be awaiting Jarboe’s performance at the festival with extreme trepidation. Also known as The Living Jarboe, she practices what she preaches. As a member of Swans, and consequently Skin, Jarboe’s warbling yet emotive vocals are sure to be situated within a visual atmosphere that will make any attendee weak at the knees. Her performances invite you to be a part of her particular moment, creating shockingly powerful visions through the music itself. It will undoubtedly be one of the performances to watch and I have no doubts that we will be subject to a feast for the eyes and the ears. ‘Lavender Girl’ is within the upper echelons of my favourite tracks of all time, with its ability to create an atmosphere that I feel is almost unique amongst musicians. Examples such as  ‘Totem’ and ‘Miracle of Love’bring a slice of the ungodly down to us mere mortals, proving why Jarboe’s career has been such a long and healthy one. Make sure to watch this interview with Swans which dates back two decades!

If you are a fan of Jarboe, then be sure to check out the equally as enchanting artist, Lichens. Lichens is the name of Robert A. A. Lowe’s musical project, that needs to be seen live to be believed. With tracks that trick the mind into a sense of suspension in time, through seamlessly looped wordless vocals, instrumental intersections and a beautiful layering of sound, Lichens epitomises transcendental sound. For Supersonic goers who haven’t listened to his music before, ‘Faeries’ and ‘Shore Line Scoring’ are two of my favourite tracks, and I would urge any fans of Jarboe to check out the music of Lichens before the festival to make sure you do not miss out. Having collaborated with the likes of Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Tyondai Braxton and Genesis P-Orridge, this guy certainly knows what he is doing.

Also make sure to check out his fascinating blog, at www.lichensarealive.com.


Also check out the video for an example of Lichens collaborative work with White/Light.



Jarboe presents songs of Swans and World of Skin


Jarboe will be bringing her “Intimate Indemnity” tour to Supersonic Festival 2012. This tour will feature Jarboe and classically trained pianist Renee Valentine Nelson performing songs of Swans and World Of Skin and solo Jarboe songs from her newest records entitled Indemnity 1 and 2 and will focus on singing, melody, intimacy.

World of Skin was a project by Michael Gira and Jarboe born out of Swans.



Supersonic in photographs by James Robinson


Supersonic in photographs by James Robinson

Supersonic photographer James Robinson has captured some amazing images at the festival in the past couple of years. (That’s Kristoph Hahn of Swans above, a man who practically defines the dictionary entry for ‘craggy’.) Robinson has been able to not only shoot live performances , but also develop an on going set of portraits of the artists off stage.

In a time when (for some folk) it can be difficult to think of musicians as people, when popular culture elevates artists to such inaccessible places, Robinson’s photographs get to the core of these musicians as real individuals.  His photographs maintain integrity and lose the myth-making nonsense.  The exhibition ‘Incarnate‘ at Supersonic 2011 reveals more of Robinson’s work.

To see more of Jamies Supersonic photos check our Flickr group






Photographing Supersonic for the past 2 years, James Robinson has been able to not only shoot live performances , but also develop an on going set of portraits of the artists off stage.

It can be difficult to think of musicians as people, popular culture elevates artists to such inaccessible places, it is often easy to forget that they are real.  Photographers rarely get the opportunity to interact with musicians, restricted to press pits and passes, blocked by security and reduced to paparazzi.

The beauty of the ‘alternative’ music scene is that it’s about creating, doing and making music that is to be thought about, enjoyed, sometimes maybe even not enjoyed. These are the people who are making without a shadow of a doubt, the most interesting, challenging music anywhere in the world. These artists maintain integrity. These people are real.




Supersonic 2010 – fun n games


Video by HTF Media

Here’s a reminder in a mere 90 seconds of all the fun and games that we got up to at last years festival, which included the first UK show of GODFLESH in over a decade, the almighty SWANS, with honourable mentions for incredible performances by NISSENMONDAI, LICHENS and ZENI GEVA.
We’re getting pretty psyched as we put the finishing touches to this years festival line up – keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming announcements in the next few weeks.

Lichens performed in the Old Library creating a mesmerising improvise set

Melt Banana headlined Saturday night with a riotous performance

Nisennenmondai wowed crowds with their awesome danceable beats

Photos by Mark E Rhodes

Weekend tickets are just £75 for 3 days – you can get them from HERE
Hotel info with special Supersonic rates is available from HERE


Supersonic portraits in NY show


Christoph Hahn of Swans fame

Robert Lowe aka Lichens

Congratulations to Supersonic photographer Jamie Robinson, who for the past couple of years has helped to capture some amazing images at the festival, a few of which will be on display as part of a group show in New York.
The show opens on the 23rd of June – for more details check

To see more of Jamies Supersonic photos check our Flickr group


Swans first show


Swans deliver a blistering set from the Trocadero on the first day of their tour and record release in Philly. We can’t wait!


Goblin footage from 2009


Just online, footage of Goblin from last years Supersonic Festival – re-live their incredible performance. 2010 Supersonic is of course headlined by Swans, Hallogallo and Godflesh.
Limited weekend tickets are still on sale HERE


Mark Titchner recommends


In the lead up to Supersonic (just over 3 weeks away) we have asked regular visitors to tell us what they’re most looking forward to seeing this year. Contemporary artist Mark Titchner who contributed to our Home Of Metal symposium back in 2007 and will be exhibiting as part of our celebrations next summer at New Art Gallery Walsall, had this to say:

“As ever at Supersonic 2010 there is more to see and do than there is time but I’m particularly looking forward to Khyam Allami and Master Musicians of Bukkake, Lichens and Zeni Geva and then there is also the small matter of….Swans! Godflesh! Napalm Death!  On consecutive nights!  Yes this is really happening.  Yes I’m excited.

There have been numerous highlights for me at Supersonic over the years, Harvey Milk, Corrupted, Dalek, Om, Earthless….but my fondest (?) memory is of the Oxbow Duos performance with Justin Broadrick, Stephen O’Malley and Dave Cochrane in 2007.  A show that was so intense that I had a panic attack afterwards! ”


The Quietus talk to Swans


Michael Gira says that being in Swans used to be like “trudging up a sand hill wearing a hair shirt, being sprayed with battery acid, with a midget taunting you”. In which case, why has he resurrected the project, asks Frances Morgan

“Well, first of all, the correct term is disinter,” says a deep-pitched, sardonic and instantly recognisable voice in response to my first question about the reappearance of Swans, over a decade after their last album and tour. “Re-form… I mean, re-animate… er, re-start?” I flounder, stumbling over semantics, before I realise that the band’s originator, Michael Gira, is having something of a laugh with me.

This is something I never expected. From their formation in New York in the early 1980s with albums like Cop and Filth to dissolution in 1997 after live album Swans Are Dead, Swans’ music certainly changed and grew, the band’s sound spreading and blooming from dense No Wave assaults to sprawling, haunted songs, like ivy climbing and eventually claiming a derelict factory building. But it never let up: viewed in retrospect, Gira and his band were remarkable in being not only prolific and experimental – delving into different sounds, characters, atmospheres – but also remaining steadfastly intense, rarely sounding tired or predictable. Something big is always at stake in a Swans record, whether Gira or former co-vocalist Jarboe are roaring in anguish, hammering out a deadpan chain-gang chant, or steering a wistful melody with lyrics touching on pain, performance, sex, blood, God, power and control, damnation and redemption. But beyond the lyrics – and the stories of dysfunction and self-destructiveness within the band – it was the sound of Swans that hinted most at what that something might be. Gira has always been a brilliant arranger, adept at juxtaposing dissonance and almost sentimental melodicism; visceral intimacy and alienated machine-noise. As far back as 1987’s Children Of God, every song has its own well-defined world, every corner obsessively shaded in, whether a waterlogged country lament like ‘Our Love Lies’, Jarboe’s silvery psychedelic ballad ‘In My Garden’, or snarling, vast tour de forces ‘Sex, God, Sex’ and ‘Beautiful Child’. Later, field recordings would be added to the picture, but not necessarily in the ambient way the term suggests: taped conversations, overheard dialogues from parents, lovers, strangers, appeared in the mix, the effect both poignant and unnerving.

Read full interview – The Quietus


Individual day line up


Friday 22nd October 9pm – 2.30am
Tickets £20 BUY NOW
Headlined by Napalm Death
with Dead Fader, Demons (feat Sick Llama), Devil Man (feat DJ Scotch Egg), Drumcorps, Fukpig, Gum Takes Tooth, Necro Deathmort, PCM

Saturday 23rd October 4pm – 1.30am
Tickets £35 BUY NOW
Headlined by Godflesh + Melt Banana
with Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, Cave, Cloaks (DJ set), Dosh, Eagle Twin, Gnaw, Gnod, King Midas Sound, Lash Frenzy vs KK Null, Lichens, Melt Banana, oVo, Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides, People Like Us, Steve Troman & Dan Nicholls Duo, Stinky Wizzleteat, Tweak Bird
+ talks, films, workshops, market place, tea room

Sunday 24th October 2pm – 12.30am
Tickets £35 BUY NOW
Headlined by Swans + Hallogallo
with Barn Owl, Black Sun Drum Corps, Bong, Factory Floor, Jailbreak feat. Chris Corsano + Heather Leigh, James Blackshaw, Master Musicians of Bukkake + Khyam Allami, Mugstar, Nisennenmondai, Peter Broderick, Pierre Bastien & Male Instrumenty, Voice Of The Seven Thunders, Zeni Geva
+ talks, films, workshops, market place, tea room

Weekend tickets £75 BUY NOW


Capsule zine no5


Welcome to Capsule zine no. 5, this edition has been designed by our brand new intern Tom J Hughes, a mighty fine illustrator who has done us proud. As ever you’ll find some info about all things Capsule, as well as Supersonic Festival news and how it feels to be a quiz show champion. We’ve got some great pieces from local illustrators and a spot of colouring in too plus another great cake recipe. Enjoy!

We’re always looking for submissions, so feel free to get in touch via admin[at]capsule.org.uk with your articles, rants and doodles.


Day tickets released for Supersonic 2010




KING MIDAS SOUND / ZENI GEVA / CLOAKS (exclusive solo DJ set) /

Joining confirmed acts including:
HALLOGALLO – Michael Rother + Friends present the music of NEU!


Tickets on sale now from:

Friday: £20, Sat/Sun: £35, Weekend: £75

Following the news that the 2010 edition of Birmingham’s acclaimed annual Supersonic Festival will be headlined by NAPALM DEATH, SWANS, GODFLESH and HALLOGALLO, Capsule are pleased to announce that a limited number of individual day tickets are now on sale, priced £20 (Friday) and £35 (Saturday/Sunday), with weekend tickets on sale at £75.

Friday night will be headlined by Birmingham extreme metallers Napalm Death, Saturday by Godflesh, for their first UK appearance in over 10 years, and Sunday by two equally unmissable acts, Swans and Hallogallo 2010 – Michael Rother + friends play the music of NEU!

Supersonic are also excited to reveal the final round of incredible artists who will be appearing at this year’s festival. From Doom to dun step and folk, Supersonic 2010 is set to cement the festival’s reputation as one of the most original and eclectic music festivals in the UK.

Regarded as pioneers of experimental music by the likes of Sonic Youth and Merzbow, KK Null’s incredible collective Zeni Geva will be bringing their prog-hardcore to the Supersonic stage, and KK will also be appearing alongside Birmingham sound artist, Lash Frenzy, in a truly unmissable performance. Also confirmed, Kevin Martin, creator of experimental dancehall project The Bug, with his incredible, critically acclaimed new project, King Midas Sound.

Aggressive, noisy and hailed by many as the successor to Napalm Death, Fukpig will be playing their new breed of Birmingham grindcore, along with heavy, heavy dub from Devilman aka DJ Scotch Egg and Dokkebi Q. Also confirmed, Monarch, with the demonic, throat-shredding shrieks of Emilie, whose petite appearance belies one of the harshest throats in the underground Doom spectrum.
Following a knock-out 2009 performance, Nisennenmondai return, bringing their driving rhythm section and metallic guitar sound, along with Mugstar, who will be playing their unique underground mix of psychedelia and krautrock.  Also confirmed, the most exciting new band to come out of London, Factory Floor, who will also be putting in one of their legendary brutal, live performances, and there will be an unmissable Cloaks DJ set from Steve Cloaks, who will be playing strictly Cloaks material only, in an exclusive performance for Supersonic 2010. There will also be heaviness, good times and volume a-plenty from Birmingham’s very own Stinky Weezleteet and distorto-death groves from Brighton’s Dead Fader.
World music meets psychedelic rock in a unique performance from Khyam Allami and Master Musicians of Bukkake, combining the sublime Oud playing of Iraqi musician Khyam Allami with the 7-piece out rock unit, Master Musicians of Bukkake. French composer and surrealist inventor Pierre Bastien will also be bringing his musical machinery, which he has been making since the 1970s, and will share the bill with Male Instrumenty, the fantastic five-piece orchestra of toys and small instruments from Poland. Also, the “painfully young and unnervingly talented” American multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick, who will be exploring minimalism and instrumentalism with tinges of folk.