Home of Metal presents ‘At The Mermaid, a four part podcast series and limited edition publication. The Mermaid was a large, dilapidated pub in Sparkhill, a working-class neighbourhood three miles south of Birmingham city centre. 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. The Mermaid became a hub of DIY music scene in the 1980s, with £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.
In creating this podcast series, we 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.
Music heritage is all about the stories we tell around these little scenes, shining a torch on underground histories that could otherwise be forgotten in a haze of scrumpy and mushrooms.
“everyone at the Mermaid hated Thatcher, everyone supported the hunt saboteurs. It was the one time in my life where I just knew I was aligned with everyone on politics” Tim Richardson
The podcasts + publication were produced by
Interviews, research, writing and podcast narration: Sarah Lafford
Artistic Director/founder Home of Metal: Lisa Meyer
Design: David Hand
Podcast Producer: Alice Rosenthal
Essay: Kez Whelan
Capsule Team: Kate Self + Rosie Tunley
Thanks to all the contributors
Alan Wedgbury, Ben Andrews, Chris Davies, Christian Burton, Derek Eynon, Ian Lee, Jason Hodges, Johnny Doom, Julie Barton, Justin Broadrick, Mark Farmer, Mark Freeth, Matthew Knight, Ming de Nasty, Nicholas Bullen, Paul Catten, Rik Smithies, Steve Charlesworth, Steve McCready, Steve Watson, Stig C Miller, Stuart Minal (Swag), Tim Richardson
Thanks to our Home of Metal volunteers and those that joined us for the co-creating session and helped to shape the direction/content for this project.
Funded by Historic England