At the Mermaid

Home of Metal are excited to be doing a brand new project – ‘At the Mermaid’. The Mermaid pub on the Stratford Road in Sparkhill, Birmingham was a hub of punk, metal, rock and noise gigs in the 1980s. It was steeped in DIY ethics, with hand-drawn flyers, free and cheap all-dayers and tape swapping. This scene at the Mermaid was the birthplace of grindcore. Grindcore takes some of the classic elements of metal and pushes the sonic boundaries, experimenting with speed and intensity.

Napalm Death – Nicholas Bullen, Mick Harris, Justin Broadrick MERMAID 1986

The Mermaid has since closed down and grindcore has spread in popularity across the world. We’re now shining a spotlight on this important chapter of metal history. We’re collecting stories, photos and memorabilia from musicians and fans, documenting the DIY, underground scene in the 1980s and the importance of this venue. These stories will form a publication and podcast that will celebrate grindcore, the Mermaid and DIY scenes.

“The Mermaid was great, you could see 10 bands for £1.50” Shane Embury from Napalm Death.  

This project has been generously supported by Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories

Contributors – We Need You!

Did you attend gigs upstairs at the Mermaid, Stratford Road, Birmingham in the 1980s? Did you swap tapes? Collect hand-drawn flyers? Spend £1.50 to see a whole day of bands? We want to hear from you. 

If you attended/organised/performed at gigs at the Mermaid, we’d love to talk to you about your memories of the venue, bands, audiences and the DIY, underground scene. These interviews will then inform a publication and podcast to celebrate this important chapter in music history. 

Please fill in this form and we’ll contact you —

Volunteers – We Need You!

We need a small dedicated team of volunteers to help deliver this project over the next 6 months, to support a live event and to help collect stories, photos and memorabilia from musicians and fans, documenting content for our project which aims to celebrate an important chapter in music history.

Apply by the Wednesday 19th October by filling in this form
We’ll be in touch by the end of October