Supersonic Festival returns

Supersonic Festival returns to Birmingham this May back at its original space, the Custard Factory and with a strictly limited to 400 capacity. Taking place over May 30th & 31st the line-up includes Swans, Matmos, Ex Easter Island Head, Wolf Eyes, Sleaford Mods, Agathe Max, Basic House & Jenny Hval. There’s also lots of other things going on including a Bill Drummong exhibition. For more info, see

Swans announce US & UK tour dates

Swans_PhotoCreditMatias CorralOne of our all time favourite bands, Swans, have just announced US and UK tour dates. This comes after the recent announcement that they have signed to Mute Records (for everywhere except America where they will continue to release through Michael Gira’s Young God imprint). The band release new album “To Be Kind” on May 12th. Special guests include Little Annie, St Vincent and Bill Rieflin. Once again, they are releasing an album on triple vinyl, double CD and limited double CD with a DVD. Fact fans may recall that Swans released their classic 1987 album “Children Of God” via a Mute imprint.

The Swans dates are:

14 May – Washington DC, Black Cat Mainstage
15 May – Philadelphia PA, Union Transfer
17 May – Boston MA, Royale Nightclub18 May – New York NY, Bowery Ballroom
19 May – Brooklyn NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
22 May – Manchester UK, Academy 2
23 May – Newcastle UK, Hoults Yard
24 May – Glasgow UK, The Arches
25 May – Aberdeen UK, The Lemon Tree
27 May – London UK, Brixton Electric
28 May – Bristol UK, Trinity Community Arts
29 May – Reading UK, Sub89
31 May – Birmingham UK, Supersonic Festival – Custard Factory
1 June – Leeds UK, Cockpit
2 June – Brighton UK, Concorde 2

Support comes from Jenny Hval on all the May dates.

As previously announced, Mr.Gira is also doing a solo tour of Europe.

1 March – Lyon, FR @ Les Abattoirs
4 March – Porto, PT @ Passos Manuel
6 March – Madrid, ES @ El Sol
7 March – San Sebastian, ES @ Andia Kuxta
8 March – Barcelona, ES @ Sala Apolo
10 March – Paris, FR @ Église Saint-Merri Church
11 March – Amsterdam, NL @ MC Theater
12 March – London, UK @ Church of St John-at-Hackney
14 March – Copenhagen, DK @ Hofteatret
15 March – Oslo, NO @ Blå
16 March – Oslo, NO @ Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum Museum
18 March – Warsaw, PL @ Pardon, To Tu
19 March – Warsaw, PL @ Pardon, To Tu
21 March – St. Petersburg, RU @ Dada
22 March – Moscow, RU @ Teatr Club
24 March – Odessa, UA @ Bernardazzi Wine Club
26 March – Bucharest, RO @ Control Club
27 March – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
28 March – Milan, IT @ Bloom
29 March – Berlin, DE @ Kantine @ Berghain

Fuck it, here’s a top ten releases of 2010

OK, said I wasn’t going to do it but, fuck it, I’m doing it anyway


An amazing new band, full of imagination and vision. Patient Zero is a dark concerpt record that brings the strangeness of our streets out into plain view.


2010 was a good year for Hibernate Recordings who put out such a string of stunning albums that it felt like you could sit and compile a top ten for Hibernate releases this year. However, it was the final pair of releases on the label that created the biggest impression. This one took the final post by the scale of it’s ambition and it’s psychotropic properties.


Not a cash on but a natural continuation of Gira’s recent direction with Angels of Light, the new Swans line-up brought back some old hands from their noisey days and kept on mighty percussion & dulcimer basher Thor. The results are a very 2010 album that blazes both an ecstasy of noise and deep, dark ballards.


Probably an album that will be in everyone else’s lists from NME to classic rock magazine to Mojo. Don’t care, it has to be in mine. Endlessly inventive, ambitious and accomplished post-rock explorations. A kaleidoscope of influences reimagined into a dramatic hold. This was something bold and fresh for 2010.


Mice Parade have been secretly brilliant for a few years now and this album is one of their best. Fresh, breezy, dreamy rock music with traces of African folk, Sonic Youth, krautrock and post-rock.


Stunningly beautiful as always, a satisying addition to Antony’s intimidatingly good body of work. Highlights include a duet with Bjork, a couple of orchestral collaborations and the hallucinogenic title track


It seemed a real shame when this classic Nurse With Wound album came out in 2008 but only on CD. Finally released on vinyl this year in a brand new mix. If the fans who pretend to be albinos down at the Slimelight were outraged by the demented 1950s swing vibe of the original mix, this new, mellower mix must have caused them to faint. This new version is the definite article: like the soundtrack to a film noir Chandler adaptation by Fellini on LSD. Delerious joy from England’s definite musical surrealists.


They may have just celebrated their 25th anniversary but their last three albums (including this) have been the absolute peak of their distinguished career. David Tibet’s vocals may divide like marmite but only an idiot would try to deny the sheer poetry of his visionary lyrics. His backing group are a force to be reckoned with too. Boasting James Blackshaw on guitar, Baby Dee on keyboards and Andrew Liles at the controls, the music could not be anything other than heaven. The essential companion album “Haunted Waves, Moving Graves” turns two tracks from “Baalstorm” into stripped-down, earth-stopping ambient tracks.


Oh, how this one has spun and spun and spun endlessly on my turntables this year. Amazing lo-fi folk and drone music. Just spell-binding. Once played nearly all of side 2 in one go in a DJ set..I would have managed it all but a band came on. Twinsistermoon has been a major discovery for me this year, will be watching her closely in 2011 and her main project Natural Snow Buildings.


One of those albums that just make you wonder why everybody in the world isn’t listening to it? This man is our Dylan and this album is perfect. Every song on here is a classic and with Gira on production bringing together a huge backing group, this feels like the most full, complete Wooden Wand release yet to date.

That thing I mentioned in the last podcast? The thing I was going to do instead of a top ten? I am still working on it…..

Swans new album details

“THIS IS NOT A REUNION. It’s not some dumb-ass nostalgia act. It is not repeating the past. After 5 Angels Of Light albums, I needed a way to move FORWARD, in a new direction, and it just so happens that reviviing the idea of Swans is allowing me to do that. “ Michael Gira

Swans have announced that their new album “MY FATHER WILL GUIDE ME UP A ROPE TO THE SKY” is coming out on September 20th on CD, LP & download. It features guest spots from Bill Rieflin (of REM, Ministry & original Swans) on various instruments, Grasshopper from Mercury Rev on mandolins and Devendra Banhart sings lead vocals, accompanied by Gira’s 3 year old daughter Saoirse, on the song “You Fucking People Make Me Sick”.

The band tour the UK with James Blackshaw in support, see this news item for more details.

For more info on Swans & the new album, go to