At The Mermaid podcast celebrates Birmingham’s 1980s underground music heritage

At The Mermaid is a four-part Home Of Metal podcast series celebrating Birmingham’s 1980s underground music heritage. The Mermaid was a large, dilapidated pub in Sparkhill that became a DIY music scene hub in the 1980s.

Situated three miles south of Birmingham city centre, The Mermaid offered £1 gigs, punk all-dayers, zine and tape swapping. It was also a site of political education for many, and hunt saboteurs gathered at the Mermaid before taking direct action.

The Mermaid Flyers courtesy of Nicholas Bullen
The Mermaid Flyers courtesy of Nicholas Bullen

The laid-back landlords welcomed teenage punks, hippies and rockers to play weirdo music in the upstairs room, charging very little money for very bad cider.

In creating this podcast series, the team at Home Of Metal interviewed people who were part of the Mermaid scene, featuring contributions from Justin Broadrick (Napalm Death, Godflesh, Final), Nicholas Bullen (Napalm Death), Stig C Miller (Amebix), Steve Charlesworth (Heresy), Steve Watson(Cerebral Fix), Mark Freeth (Ausgang) and more musicians and fans who made the Mermaid scene a vital place for underground music.

Home of Metal is devoted to the music that was born in and around Birmingham. Music that turned up the volume, down-tuned guitars, and introduced a whole new meaning to the word ‘heavy’.

The previous project, Black Sabbath, 50 Years exhibition which celebrated Black Sabbath, who forged, a new sound, a new aesthetic, and a new musical culture, their impact on music and their dedicated global following. The exhibition saw 24,000 visitors from over 52 countries.

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