Tag: Birmingham (Page 1 of 3)

Supersonic is coming soon…

I never did finish a write up for last years Supersonic festival in Birmingham and with this years, the 10th anniversary/birthday no less, just a few weeks away I should at least put up some photos from the 2011 weekend.

For the record high points for me* were the double bill performance of Pharaoh Overlord/Circle over two nights and seeing (and meeting) Mike Watt on the Friday night who was everything you’d want Mike Watt to be.

I will miss our ‘time out’ for a pint in the The Old Wharf this year though, even if the writing was clearly on the wall there last year its a shame to see it gone. Changes this year to our plans? Well I’m thiking of going vegetarian for our pre festival curry as, while I enjoyed the food there iteself the meat was… well… And of course a post festival pint of Guinness in The Kerryman is a must, was nice to see a couple more festival goers wander into the early hours madness there last year as to me, like any great festival, Supersonic isn’t just about the music*** and the art its about the environment around too.

Read more about Supersonic Festival (And buy tickets and records) Here.

Supersonic Festival 2012

*I should also add a big thank you to the volunteers and the bar staff who I believe were also all or mostly volunteers last year, it made for a great friendly environment and watching a young lady shocked at the bargain end of night £1 a pint real ale sell off** impulse buy nine pints that she didn’t then know what to do with was quite priceless.

**Me and my drinking colleague also found a packet of monster munch on the bar at this point. We left it along for the best part of half and hour but that was as long as we could wait. If this was your packet of Monster Munch please allow me to apologise here and now.

***The music is usually pretty awesome mind.

Take a look at the photos below the jump…

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Beer and bands in Birmingham

…Or Supersonic Festival 2010

right, I’ve got the CD player loaded up with the excellent Barolo CD, (First heard on the equally excellent Brumcast) and a couple of cds from the 3 for £20 Dirty Water Records Sale. I’ve got half a bottle of wine and a tube of Pringles. God damn it I’m going to finaly finish Supersonic Write up.

You could actually skip this review and head on over to Russ L’s [of Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands fame] and read his recently posted write up, as he both has a better memory and a more eloquent way with words than myself. Nonetheless, I’ve started so I’ll finish, this write up is brought to you by the photographs I took, the Supersonic Festival brochure and my very poor memory.

The Victoria

I met up with my regular supersonic attendee mate for a beer in The Victoria, a place that always has a decent selection of beers and it didn’t disappoint, one drink turned into four(-ish) and we headed off to check in to our accommodation for the weekend. This was to be the Arc Apartments, same as last year, as it was nice to have some extra space – living room/kitchen/tv/dvd area at not too much extra cost. Check in was confused by the fact I was apparently supposed to bring £200 cash with me to check in, well either that or a credit card. I had neither – there was nothing on any of the booking documents about it – so they agreed to charge my debit card it, this I apparently will get back at some point over the next couple of months, not yet mind, this being further worrying given the list of charges on the table for ‘breakages’ and also the list of charges should you check out more than five minutes late aannnd also given the painting in the room that had been glued back together, the smashed cooker top and the marks all over the walls. Not the most relaxing welcome though the check in staff and the place itself was nice enough.

Anyway, bags dumped we raced off to the Symphony Hall to catch Big Man Clayton who was doing a free show as a part of Birmingham Jazz’ rush hour jazz series of free gigs. It sounded good, and was nicely busy with an open bar – didn’t know what to expect, I’d been aware of the rush hour events for some time but didn’t know it was literally wander over and have a gander. Would definitely go again. That said while it was nice to get a taste of the music it would also have been good to see it in a ‘proper’ venue. After a quick hello to ace photographer and fellow Dirty Bristow contributer eight8all we headed off to the festival. Stopping on route at the recomended, to me, Manzils for some food. Previous Supersonics have always been heralded by some kind of event for us, the fabulously odd ‘school trip-like’ coach trip followed by the exelent Home Of Metal talk in 2008 and then last years free screening of Suspiria. While there were indeed some film screenings on it was nice to have a sit down and a decent meal before proceedings. Food was mostly good, my starter was a bit overdone(and my mate managed to order something which was a scotch egg deep fried with an omelette on the top – but then he always does find these bizarre combos so its no real surprise) the price was right and we both had no ill effects so it was a win overall.

We still had an hour or so to kill so headed for a quick pint in The Old Wharf. Ordering a Guinness we watched a very young band soundcheck. They were pretty good and while clearly heading in different directions genre wise they were a talented bunch. The Guinness had a rasberry tinge as its is oft served in rock venues, we cut it short and headed to the festival.

Okay, to be honest there was a tiny que when we arrived at the Custard Factory, so we headed over to the Spotted Dog for a quick half.

Anyway, we did eventually get to the festival, just in time for Necro Deathmort in the Old Library, which was the new stage for this years, it was a great improvement on both the old Medicine Bar room and the Kitchen as was. A nice space in general with its high ceilings and arches in fact it also had a bar, it would take us a day to figure out that this was in fact the ‘Capsule bar’ and as such, was cheaper, friendlier and had a better choice of beers(In fact by Sunday it was about the only bar with any draft beer left) than any of the others. I remember watching some of and enjoying what I saw of Fuckpig and then Drumcorps, in fact I remember realising it was Arron Spectre and all the great mixes I’d heard of his in the past – just about the time he was finished.

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Vague update

b ooked holiday last year. Holiday postponed a week due to unimaginative end of days type scenario, holiday taken a week later, arrived home to colossal cold. Now three weeks or so behind with various projects. More later…

Meanwhile this looks to be of interest at the newly reopened MAC arts centre in Brum. I spent much of my youth watching films at the MAC [and the Triangle], I still can’t watch Apocalypse Now without remembering the Chinese lady who screamed, shot up in the air and all but landed on my mate Phil when the tiger appeared during the ‘never get out of the boat’ scene at a showing there. Also remember seeing Clive Barker do a very entertaining talk there which we skived school to see if memory serves.

More recently I seem to recall their film program becoming quite mainstream so I’m hoping we might see a return to showings of the occasional obscure gem, or at least that I might get to see the next Alex Cox film when/if it gets a UK release. Certainly great to have the centre back and I look forward to a visit in the near future, not too sure on the new website, looks nice but not that great at delivering useful information, time will tell I guess…

I’ll certainly be tuning in to have a listen though as I can’t resist things regard local talk radio, well, apart from the actual Talk RadioSport station. I can’t see me making it along to the show, or to be a ‘performer’ , given the work backlog and the fact I’m aiming to get to the Screamin Festival in Spain at the end of the month, but you never know…

I should add some details;


Radio Z is the last station on the dial before the static and the microwaves and pulsar radiation.

The hosts of the night time show Tuning Out know all about facing down the void. Each night they start the show blank, with nothing planned, armed with just a stack of charity shop records and six hours in which to calm the world’s chaos and settle its people down to sleep.

This is a theatre show, which is also a radio show. You can listen to Tuning Out at home on-line via our website but true excitement comes when you visit its extraordinary studio in the theatre and become privy to presenter’s deeply compromised off-mic World.

Improvised afresh each night the show relies on content in part from messages and fragments of writing sent in during the course of the show by its listeners and audiences, both live and at home.

mac’s new Media Studio will be open for visitors wishing to contribute to the show and wireless facilities will be available throughout the building.

More about Tuning Out with radio z, which is on 13-15 May, here

i was just looking to book two tickets for the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, ticket price is fine, then on booking I get a Service Charge of £5.75 x 2 and then a charge of £3.25 for ticket postage or the same amount to collect them at the door. So I’m looking at £15 in charges just to book the two tickets. This is even worse than the Wolverhampton Civic Box Office charges of a couple of years ago, actually as this is split between two people its only about the same, either way its way OTT. I guess I could always get a taxi to into Brum and book them on the door, as it stands at the moment thats probably going to cost about the same.

Supersonic 2009

hmmm, its taken me a couple of days to get my thoughts together around this years Supersonic Festival. First up, I enjoyed it a lot. But, it seemed to end on a bit of a low for me and It didn’t seem as if I’d enjoyed it as much as I did last years weekend, nor the years before and I couldn’t really work out why. Actually, I’m not really sure you should compare one years to another, like most people I think my memory tends to improve on the reality highlighting the good and toning down the bad, but I couldn’t help myself, so here goes;

Tonight I was sat in my local arts centre, watching a band from the early sixties go through their paces, with a pint of beer at £2.10 [rather than £4.00!!!] and immaculate toilets [rather than, well, less said the better] Seven days before I’d been watching Light Trap, Thorrs Hammer and Monotonix. While the music I was sat watching, with my reasonably priced pint, was good, at some times it felt like watching a pub band, and not a good one at that. During the pub band moments I got my thoughts together on what I enjoyed, what I didn’t and why from the Supersonic weekend.

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Superosnic bound…

leaving on a jet plane. I don’t know when I’ll be back again*

*Well, actually it’ll most likely be an Alexander Dennis Enviro300 bus, and I’ll probably be back first thing monday. But hey, wheres the poetry in that.

Supersonic Festival

Superosinic Festival 2009 Poster

If you can’t make it along why not check out the excellent podcasts from Little Chris on the ever enjoyable Brumcast, here and here.

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All images and artwork copyright ©1998 - 2018 chris hathway, illustrator& Hathway/Creative