well, Its been two weeks since another fantastic Supersonic Festival. Memorable moments in the order of occurrence included…

Arrival on Friday to find the TV set in two pieces in our Etap ‘The key to a good nights sleep’ hotel room, which was a definite health and safety failure I think. The pies at the Old Joint Stock were as good as always, though I still miss Pie Minister.

On arrival at the Custard Factory the entrance and wristband situation was speedily delt with, they were even kind enough to cut off everyones over long wristband ends, though again, waving a pair of scissors at every patron seems to be asking for trouble, but with a weekend that involves glass, beer cans and blood being discharged into the audience from some of the performers, this has to be a small worry.

Drumize we’re great, I was disappointed that they weren’t a band as such but a collective as other bands, as this meant there was no record to buy and my chances of hearing hem again we’re poor. Having said that I see they have a myspace page so I guess you never know. Dalek were enjoyable though I found standing at the back of the Medicine Bar Factory Club Stage to watch the Osaka Invasion uninvolving, If I’d’ve arrived early enough to be stood at the front I dare say I’d’ve felt different. We’d been looking forward to DJ Rupture who came on stage a little before 2am. Strangely the entire place emptied at this point, I’m still not sure why. I guess a lot of people had come from work or maybe people don’t stay up that late in Birmingham, see Sunday night, either way it meant the atmosphere was lost somewhat. Rupture played on and seemed to enjoy himself none the less, its just a shame there were so few left to see it.

Saturday kind of drifted in, there we’re some nice folk acts but in the bright light of day it you could see it was hard to really get the audience involved. The Courtesy Group got things going in the Warehouse/Space 2 Stage. With a front man Part Beefheart and Part Mark E Smith. They were great fun and very entertaining. We then watched Justice Yeldham, which really defies description. Oxbow were a definite highlight for me this year, I only caught part of their set in the Medicine Bar, as it was then, last year and again, I was at the back so it was hard to enjoy, this year we had a decent view and the set was pretty amazing. You can view a recent live set online, here, and also buy a recording from last years show from Capsule themselves. Harvey Milk we’re also worth a mention, I confess that despite the fact the bars ran out of draught beer, the end of the evening did become a bit of a blur, but I do remember it being a very enjoyable blur

Sunday was quite noisy to be sure. Never have I seen so many earplugs employed at a festival.

Max Tundra was good fun, a good way to get some energy back into the proceedings. I confess having seen him a couple of times before, we moved toward noisier climbs. Pierre Bastien and his wonderful machines, image, were very entertaining, creating a kind of noir soundtrack from the clicks and ticks developed by his models, and a few instruments, was also nice to sit down for five minutes! Fucked Up were great fun, image, noisy and raucous and a little scary, well, at least when you find yourself stood next to the front man as, like many bands at this years festival, he decides to perform in the crowd rather than on the stage. Earth sounded fantastic, I confess I didn’t watch that much of the set as its more music to listen to than to watch and there was so much else to do. Julian Cope gave everyone something to gossip about by not playing with Grave Temple as advertised, none the less they we’re most enjoyable, I can still taste the dry ice while I remember it. Harmonia finished things off and then if was round the corner to the Rainbow for an afterparty that petered out after about an hour. Probably for the best, it was a very tiring weekend all in all.

Next year I hope another Supersonic occurs in Birmingham and

  • a. The acts are as well chosen, obscure and entertaining
  • b. The venue remains the Custard Factory complex
  • c. The Staff/Helpers/Volunteers are as helpful and friendly as this years were.
  • d. Me and my mate at least discuss staying somewhere other than the Etap [though the random meetings in the coridors and lifts in the early hours almost made up for the stange aray of stains in our room. Almost.]
  • e. The Draft beer supply lasts longer than eight hours

Actually, it was enough fun to ignore points d and e, but you can always hope…