Big Lad is a two headed trigger-synth party-noise machine made up of Henri Grimes (ex Shield Your Eyes) on drums and Wayne Adams (ex Death Pedals) on synths. Signed to Sapien Records, the duo is renowned and cherished as an unforgettable live experience having played extensively in the UK’s exceptionally healthy and thriving underground scene.
blanket started as a bedroom project from Blackpool boys Bobby Pook and Simon Morgan. Later recruiting Steven Pellatt and Matthew Sheldon to form a live show. As their name suggests, the guitar-led quartet envelop listeners in a comforting quilt of sound, transporting them to dreamy landscapes of sweeping, celestial beauty. With honeyed vocals immersed in soaring guitars, tinkling piano, warm bass and propulsive drums – this is a cinematic experience.
BodyVice is a new project by Natalie Sharp (Lone Taxidermist), an accomplished sound & stage designer, performance artist and make-up artist whose design practices converge around sound and the body. Featuring wearable, playable body-sculptures and interactive video combined with performance, BodyVice takes a biological and calculated approach to sound art, investigating how chronic pain experienced by the artist, can be communicated through a variety of mediums. Here at Supersonic we expect nothing less than effortlessly blended songwriting and multi-instrumentalism with a mastery of non-standard instruments like Musical Saw and Theremin.
Supersonic is proud to reveal the return of Daniel Higgs, musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland. His artistic output – spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings simply defy classification. Known primarily for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the band Lungfish, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that are worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band, weaving meditative, casually ruptured drones using acoustic and electric guitar, upright pianos, banjo and jew’s harp. His wonderful storytelling shall no doubt win over the audience, and we cannot wait.
Based in the Shropshire Hills, the core of Haress consists of guitar duo David Hand and Elizabeth Still. Haress bring to Supersonic an expansion of their duo, including additional drums from David Smyth (Kling Klang, Mind Mountain), guitar and Echoplex from Chris Summerlin (Kogumaza, Grey Hairs, Hey Colossus), vocals from Thomas House (Sweet Williams, Charlottefield) and trumpet from Nathan Bell (Lungfish, Human Bell).
Hey Colossus are a six piece who have long specialised in concocting an unholy racket. Forging a completely idiosyncratic combination of power, control, tenderness, miscontrol and more power. Active since 2003, the band acutely channels the best of your record collections and spit it back out into memorable live shows and releases.
HHY & The Macumbas‘ intense concoctions of harsh brass sounds, cyclical percussion and idiosyncratic dub techniques mark this elusive Portuguese ensemble out as one of a number of pioneering groups to have emerged from the progressive, experimental music scene in Porto. This music stems from a deep connection with the streets of Porto and its undertones, nights and drags. Emerging from SOOPA, an art and music production unit based in the old harbour city, band leader, Saldanha has been a leading force in the Portuguese experimental music scene since the early 2000s, through which he coined a name for their signature sound; “skull-cave echo.”
Matters formed in 2015 in the old factory spaces of Digbeth. The three piece utilise synths, guitars and drums to create expansive music, blending Krautrock, psychedelic, post-rock and techno into a rich and powerful sound. Their debut was released on Static Caravan Records in 2018. If you’re into dark and eerie instrumentals, give Matters a listen. Their complex and frantic sound wouldn’t be out of place as the backdrop to an intense movie scene.
Composer and performer Sarah Angliss presents Air Loom, distilling a lifetime’s work with ancient instruments and extraordinary electroacoustic techniques. Centre stage is the clavisimbalum, a sonorous, fourteenth-century cousin of the harpsichord. Its plucked, soft iron strings ring with a rich, dark reverberance – a sound that hails from Eastern European folk and the Renaissance court. Angliss is joined by vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock. As they play, their sounds are deftly contorted, fragmented and recombined using Angliss’ digital inventions.
It’s hard to be a god in a Savage Realm. Mind-warping music from five individuals who have stared deep into a portal to an ancient (or is it modern?) parallel universe where the Demigod ’91 demo is the only remaining cultural artefact of a putrid battle-torn existence. Taught the ways of the post-nuclear mutant warrior people of this land, the band returned from their mystic voyage to the future (or was it the past?) with four relics. They call it “Nocturnal Savagery” but only you, the listener, can decide whether you are capable of making it out the other side alive. Absolutely essential listening for all fans of heavy music.
The Seer presents a mystical anarcho feminist multimedia sound art performance, devised and directed by artist and filmmaker Conny Prantera. Exploring the mythical figure of Cassandra and her modern reincarnation as visionary, healer and political dissident.
EXTRA CURRICULAR HAPPENINGS…
Monster Chetwynd: Hell Mouth 3 opens at Eastside Projects as part of the Supersonic weekend and the Home of Metal programme. Chetwynd’s fascination with Penelope Spheeri’s three-part film series ‘The Decline of Western Civilisation’, from 1981 to 1998, featuring many of the ‘most influential and innovative musicians and groups of all time’, has informed many of her works over the past decade and will take centre stage in this large-scale sculptural and performative spectacle set in the industrial space of Eastside Projects in the heart of Birmingham. Monster Chetwynd (aka Spartacus Chetwynd and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd) is a British artist, based in Glasgow, known for re-workings of iconic moments from cultural history in elaborate, compulsive and evocative performances. Chetwynd’s practice intertwines performance, sculpture, painting, installation and video, incorporating elements of folk plays, street spectacles, and popular culture.
Also during Supersonic Festival, patrons are encouraged to explore the various Home Of Metal exhibitions curated and produced by Capsule – the good people behind Supersonic Festival. This will include Black Sabbath 50 Years at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, as well as related exhibitions at The New Art Gallery Walsall, MAC (Midlands Art Centre) Eastside Projects, and Centrala. This huge season of exhibitions and events throughout 2019 pays homage to Black Sabbath – the forefathers of metal, and should at last confirm Birmingham’s place on the music map.
Limited capacity weekend tickets are now on sale here: www.supersonicfestival.com