Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Super Sonics: Lisa Meyer’s Bakers Dozen

From bar room brawls at SXSW to seeing giant legs of ham being smashed onstage in Barcelona, artistic director of Capsule and founder of Britain's best underground music festival Supersonic, Lisa Meyer, takes Stephanie Phillips through the records that have shaped her

There were many casualties of the past two years, but one of the biggest losses had been the disappearance of in-person festivals. There were many attempts to recreate that favoured British past time with livestreamed content and online performances, which although innovative and a welcome distraction from the unpleasantness of the time, wasn’t the same. I mean, you can’t really recreate the unique sensation of vibing with a sweaty, tattooed lad over an artist you’ve both connected with while chugging warm beers side of stage, before running off to do the same thing over and over again that day.

Now with the world opening up and live music back on the cards again, 2022 has seen the return of small independent festivals, including the Midlands-based experimental art and music festival Supersonic. As artistic director and CEO of Capsule, the arts organisation responsible for numerous live music events and exhibitions including Supersonic, Lisa Meyer is ready to bring the festival back, as it makes it post pandemic debut from 8-10 July in Birmingham.

“This will be the first one since 2019,” Meyer explains, “We had quite a shock to the system in 2020 when we had to pivot and reimagine the festival and did Sofa Sonic [an online version of the festival], so it’ll be really exciting.” Although it is still a risky venture since the threat of Covid means artists may have to cancel at a moment’s notice, Meyer remains positive. “It just feels very exciting to reconnect with our audience and reconnect with artists in real life, having spent such a long period away from everyone.”

Meyer chats to tQ today from her adopted hometown of Birmingham, shooing her dog Herbie out of the room for gnawing loudly on Othello gameboard pieces at her feet. Reflecting on where Supersonic began, the roots of the festival lay in the need to bring music and art into the same space, as well as youthful naivety and the freedom that existed in Birmingham at the time. “Places like the Custard Factory [an arts and culture space] and Digbeth in Birmingham, no one really went there so they were really free spaces where you could make anything happen. That was a really exciting time to be making Capsule. There a culture of people moaning about what isn’t around and what should be happening, there are only a few people that then say, ‘let’s just make something happen’.”

Meyer’s Baker’s Dozen selection looks back on almost 20 years of Supersonic history, covering the bands that influenced her approach to DIY culture and the artists who have graced Supersonic’s stages over the years, as she jokes, “I thought that would be more appropriate rather than my love for Lionel Richie."

Supersonic Festival returns from 8-10 July, guest curated by Jerusalem In My Heart and Decolonise Fest. For the line-up, tickets and full information, click here.

Click the portrait of Lisa Meyer below to begin reading her Baker’s Dozen

First Record

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