I only managed to get to the Saturday of Supersonic this year, although given that my head still feels battered on Monday morning that may have been a blessing for my sanity. Supersonic, of course, is the mad as hell festival of avant garde noise-making that blesses Brum with its presence on a yearly basis.
Manchester has built up an industry around a Sex Pistols gig that supposedly kick-started their entire culture — but that was just one gig, with about ten people there. Capsule bring the most inspiring bands to Brum all the time, without you having to stand next to Mick Hucknall to see them. If there’s any evolution in music then the coming years should see Birmingham becoming the world centre for beguiling noise, and we’ll have Lisa and Jenny to thank.
That said there weren’t too many impressionable youngsters there (if the glut of facial hair was anything to go on), we should be sweeping up the emos and nu-ravers and depositing them in front of the stage.
I’m not going to review the bands, others will do that with more in-depth knowledge and without the spurious asides (feel free to post links in the comments), but Battles had me giving out involuntary yelps of sheer joy in a way that a band hasn’t for some years. Others made me excited for the future of music — listen to radio and you would be convinced that there wasn’t any decent music being made any more.
I don’t think there was anything to moan about (although apparently the beer ran out on Sunday). It was a supreme disappointment, however, to the singer of Oxbow that, in the home town of UB40, there was a lack of Red Red Wine. He was still smarting at having forgotten his kit and having to perform in his vest and pants. (I don’t have a photo of this to hand, but am reliably informed that Pete Ashton has an extreme close-up.)