Birmingham Custard Factory
Friday 22nd June 2018
Fighting Boredom’s favourite festival is here again. Set in the Custard Factory in Birmingham, Supersonic festival is where we come to hear old favourites, discover new inspiration and immerse ourselves in the best place ‘for curious audiences’. Martin Ward and Adrian Bloxham can’t wait to see what this year has to bring us.
It’s the day after the Summer Solstice so the sunshine’s going to last a while. Fighting Boredom are once again embarking on our annual pilgrimage to the wonderful Supersonic festival, new venues this year for two of the stages and an old faithful for one. There’s a lot of people about tonight, My Bloody Valentine are playing an unexpected but very welcome date just around the corner and it’s also party central for groups of teenagers heading out for a Friday party.
But we’re here for Supersonic, it’s our festival of choice and to not make too much of a deal about it, Supersonic Festival is the reason that we set up and keep Fighting Boredom going. It’s what shocked us into discovering all the mad and underground music that we spout on about all the time. It’s where we go to discover sounds and as I have said before it’s pretty much our spiritual home. I’m not sure how many years we have come now but it never gets tired and it never gets old. Supersonic Festival is where you come to find stuff, listen to music you already know and discover things you never expected.
We are at Stage 2, which is a wide open warehouse space with picnic benches and skylights across the roof through which the light is streaming in. Croww looks young, thin and focused as he stands behind a table full of electronics and wires. We walk into a room already full of heavy beats, squelches and an unutterably deep bass sound. His music is intense and mesmerising, you absorb it. You take it inside yourself and digest it, nobody is dancing to the claustrophobic massive sound. The track slides effortlessly into something that sounds like he has taken Heavy Metal and distorted and messed with it to make a sound like thrash electronics. Like the guitars and screams are distilled, focused and distorted into something new but almost recognisable.
The noise moves between high and low staying steady and repetitive until all the strobes go off at once and we head into the metal wave again. There’s a smooth pop interlude that is broken by the sound of buildings falling into darkness so intense that you can almost taste the brick dust. He slips into creepy crawly horrorshow sounds that have you looking over your shoulder and cringing. An excellent start to the weekend.
Wetware are a one woman mosh pit in the middle of the crowd and one man making a throbbing electronic groove that plays under her ranting, talking and raw emotions. She is giving it her all as he stands and creates the growing sound. It’s an intense shifting behind her intense loosing of fury. The music hits more of a groove and then shimmers away into more throbbing and pulsing drum patterns that is both exotic and infectious. It brings to mind the spirit of the brilliant Slits, not with the music but more with the rawness and abandon that is taking place in front of me.
She is all the way across the floor of the space now, people are joining in and the claustrophobia in the music grows. This isn’t music to dance to, it’s insular and dark. The throbs goes lower and suddenly they are both singing. The music stops, she shouts ‘Fuck You!’ and static and radio interference scream in along with the strobes again, faster and faster. They are only the second act we have seen and they are stunningly good.
Croww’s record label The Death of Rave have a Facebook page
All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward