A Supersonic 2008 round-up

So the krautrock legends of Harmonia brought Supersonic 2008 to a suitable end – by turns soothing, pulsing and hammering.  My review (to go up on Birmingham Live) is almost finished but music reviews are a little constraining content-wise so here’s the other stuff.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend.  The whole thing was impeccably organised, the atmosphere was friendly, the rain stayed away and I saw loads of great bands, a couple of really interesting talks and the odd film.  The mix of bands was perfect – complimenting and contrasting each other to a bafflingly excellent extent, now I stop to think about it.

Higlights were:

  • Efterklang
  • The stir fry beef in oyster sauce on Sunday night (when I realised just how hungry I was)
  • Yukio Fujimoto playing a beautiful tune using three calculators with a hushed crowd packed around him
  • Parts & Labor
  • Being able to hop between stages so easily
  • Nosferatu with live score written by Grandmaster Gareth (Mistys) and Matt Eaton (Pram)
  • The map in the programme specifically pointing out where cake could be purchased
  • Being able to drop into Steve Gerrard‘s studio/office, right in the middle of the Custard Factory (here I am on video, although Red Sparowes drown me out)

Low points were:

  • Few and far between
  • A lack of red wine.  Didn’t vex me too much cos I was driving but the singer of Oxbow wasn’t happy and when he’s not happy everyone knows about it
  • Actually I hear the beer situation wasn’t great either
  • Although there was no lack of appreciation, he crowds were often a little inert – there was little in the way of dancing/moshing/general kinetic involvement.
  • Gravetemple turned up later than advertised and then bored me to tears
  • I missed the Friday

So the pluses were many and good; the minuses were few and piffling.  On the very slim chance that Lisa or Jenny from Capsule (or anyone else involved in organising the festival) happens to read this I’d like to say a hearty congratulations and a big thank you.

I’ll now be spending the next week or so compiling as much content (blogs/reviews/photos/videos) as possible in the Created in Birmingham Supersonic 2008 collective memory.  I’ve started already but I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.  I might even talk through the process of gathering all that info at some point.

Finally, and more for personal reference than anything, here’s a list of what I saw:

Saturday – Cath & Phil Tyler, The Owl Service, The Courtesy Group, Magnetophone, Efterklang, 7 Inch Cinema (films), The Heads, Oxbow, Fuck Buttons, Battles, Harvey Milk.

Sunday – Einstellung, Max Tundra, Parts & Labor, Yukio Fujimoto and Brian Duffy (talks and performances), Earth, Red Sparowes, Fucked Up, Nosferatu (film with live score), ZX Spectrum Orchestra, Gravetemple, Harmonia.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

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