Photos: Rob Dann & Simone Ribeiro
In 2012, Supersonic has completed 10 years of existence and there’re loads of reasons to celebrate. Once again, its line-up delivered what we all expect from Supersonic: a variety of bands and artists from all over the planet. A truly adventure through the underground music!
A three day of festival- taken place from 19 to 21 October- with several events such as printing screen workshops held by Get a Grip shop; as well as art interventions that included exhibitions, films and documentaries, speaks and so on.
A walking tour through the city to unveil the first steps and history of Black Sabbath and an art installation made by ex- Sonic Youth Kim Gordon were highlighted in the event’s program.
It was a cold weekend, to say the least, in which Midiativa moved to the coolest area of Birmingham- Digbeth- to check another year of Supersonic Festival; having some ( many) drinks and eating- the already traditional between us- veggie pizza at Yumm Cafe.
To start with, we’ve interviewed the brummie band Modifield Toy Orchestra, well before the festival begins, to get a taste of what would be their gig on Friday, first day of event and you can check the result here.
As might be expected in this 10th edition, the public in the festival has increased. Something noticed on Saturday, around 5 pm, when Custard Factory was already packed. The sound coming from the three festival’s venues, the turmoil in the local bars and shops already indicated that the second day would be pretty interesting. And it was!
A quick stopping by at Vinyl Rally, one of the most interesting event facilities, and a sort of "racetrack" made with vinyl discs where sound and visual art mixed perfectly. Created by Lucas Abela, Vinyl Rally was a success on the weekend among those who wanted to spend a bit of adrenaline racing through this pretty unusual racetrack.
Another very popular area during the event was the Tea Room, with fanzines, posters, illustrations, vinyls, Cds and of course, tea and cakes. Highlighted for the presence of Leeds illustrator (raised in Birmingham) Bissoux Bunny, who came especially from Japan to expose her incredible work in Supersonic this year.
The first performance to be highlighted on Saturday was the one of the Finnish singer Lau Lau at Warehouse stage. A very sweet voice; keyboards; nice conversation with the public and some good Scandinavia folk songs.
Another Folker was in the Boxxed stage thereafter, the British guitarist Dylan Carlson also did not disappoint.
Psychedelic rock with a touch of jazz musicians made the performance of Flower- Duo- Corsano, one of the most exciting of the night. First signs that the combination of music styles was already spreading at the festival stages.
Perfect time to check what was going on Old Library stage.
Two great gigs, actually. Starting with The Warm Digits, the best performance of the night, by far. The duo composed by the keyboards and drums of Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis brought some experimentalism with influence seventies, powering the audience and headbangers.
It was around 10 o'clock when the Californians of Carlton Melton also had debut on stage Old Library. Quality psychedelic space rock performance!
With the last day of Supersonic scheduled to begin around 2 pm, we have our traditional Graffiti hunting in Digbeth. Impossible not to walk around the area without seeking new walls painted. We also spent some time at a pub crawl on that Sunday with no high temperature.
Islaja was another interesting Scandinavian on the festival, while some exotic experimental music took the Warehouse stage, with American guitarist Ben Chasny (aka Six Organs of Admittance), the hardcore of the Ruins Alone attract those interested in some quality noise, at the Old Library.
Between one and another performance I have fit a visit to the Custard Factory's theater to check watch some short films presented at the event and it was glad and surprising to see that there was Música da Lagoa by Hermeto Pascoal was on the programme.
The highlight of the day was supposed to be the gig of ex-Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, with his project Body / Head, if there wasn’t the incredible performance of Swedish psycho-collective Goat on the way.
I stand in front of the stage while they were rehearsing and it was enough to spot the excitement of the public and press. A promising performance and what else to say about an impeccable instrumental that recalls the good old Black Sabbath, but also incorporating elements of tribal percussion that make me think they reincarnated Secos e Molhados and Mutantes, right there. Fantastic! Voodoo magic is not enough to describe Goat! Best gig at Supersonic 2012!
I wish I had not left the stage before the gig ends not going to Wahehouse to go check out the salt less and not exciting at all performance of Kim Gordon, in Boxxed. Without seeming too interested in playing, but in making shrill noise (nothing resembling the old Sonic Youth, by the way), Kim presented her set without communicating too much with the public. But even so it was a surreal experience to see one of the most influential indie voices so close, making some noise to celebrate 10 years of Supersonic.
This way Mídiativa ended its coverage of this amazing festival in 2012! Cheers Supersonic, see you next year!
Check out more photos of the festival here.
The amazing performance of Goat at Supersonic 2012: