Home of Metal’s entry point to the Mermaid was the punk/metal crossover, which came to be known as grindcore, that emerged from the Mermaid scene in the 1980s. Spending time talking with regular gig goers, it’s clear there was an impressive range of underground music showcased at the pub. Indie bands like Primal Scream, post punk bands Au Pairs and World Domination Enterprises, power electronics and harsh noise like Whitehouse, even blues rock band the Groundhogs played there.
“at £1.50 you could afford to take a punt”
The crowd at the Mermaid would vary from gig to gig, Chumbawuba gigs would look different to Antisect gigs, a Cardiacs gig or a Circle Jerks gig would look different again. The Mermaid was a melting pot of underground subcultures.
“we played very regularly to the point where it was almost as if we were the house band……I think on a purely musical level, playing so regularly at the Mermaid did allow us to really tighten and refine and give some degree of power to the sound of our band. We rehearsed, but then we did so many concerts there, sometimes three a week that they were almost another level of rehearsal. So we became tighter and tighter and because we were doing something that very few groups were approaching at the time, that had extra power as well.”
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