It’s staggering to think that Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival returns this year for its 20th inspirational iteration. No wonder it’s been called ‘The Mother of British underground festivals’. Here is an event of significance dedicated to championing those sonic explorers who occupy the outer fringes of noise, rock and experimentation. Expertly curated, proudly inclusive and defiantly unorthodox, going to Supersonic seems not so much about being ahead of the curve as experiencing another trajectory altogether.
This year running from 1st to 3rd September, the celebration looks set to elevate the event’s already stellar reputation with a bill to warm devotees’ hearts and tempt new punters to join the Supersonic community. There’s the return of two of last year’s jaw dropping bands, Divide & Dissolve and Big|Brave to deliver more elemental, symphonic distortion rock. This time around avant violinist and soundscaper Jessica Moss will be joining the Big|Brave trio for a collaboration exclusive as well as performing a solo set herself.
Supersonic will also welcome back after a slightly longer sabbatical London’s dynamic psyche providers Hey Colossus as well as the industrial metal legends Godflesh, who promise to debut new material for this seminal hometown gig. With founding member Justin K Broadrick describing the festival as ‘a unifying experience of this culture I exist within’, you can feel the anticipation and energy ramping up months ahead of the weekend.
Elsewhere on the eclectic bill much lauded Dublin dark folk experimentalists Lankum will make their first Supersonic appearance as will leftfield electric blues and more duo from New York ,75 Dollar Bill. The prolific and unique Josephine Forster will offer her spell binding take on Americana to the weekend while Shovel Dance Collective bring their youthful exploration of traditional music once again to the Digbeth streets. At the other end of the ensemble dynamic to Shovel Dance, the immersive post rock multi-membered Ex Easter Island Head renew their acquaintance with the festival and doubtless defy all attempted descriptions.
Of course it’s also the stuff that goes on at the fringes, the for-now lesser known musicians, the workshops, the talks, the films, art and installations that give Supersonic an additional edge. We are promised more details in the weeks to come but for now get to know the rest of the line up (Ashenspire, Avalanche Kaito, Blacks’ Myths, Horse Lords, Ragana, Taqbir, Un.Procedure plus MC Yallah & Debmaster) and make sure you don’t miss out on a weekend that regularly rises above the bedlam.
Get your tickets for Supersonic 2023 in Birmingham HERE