The Black Country Weekender Round-up

People of the region rolled up and rocked on as the black country weekender came to their town

For all images of the weekender, please visit the Weekender Flikr Group!

Take a read about and see pics of the highlights of the spectacular weekend below…

rep1Gentleman’s Pistols | Between the Hammer and the Anvil | The New Art Gallery Walsall
(c) Katja Ogrin

A special event that included live music from Gentleman’s Pistols, a Silent Metal Disco, ‘Patch Jacket’ film programme of live footage, promos and cult shorts, tours of the ‘BE TRUE TO YOUR OBLIVION’ exhibition and a special performance by Mark Titchner.

Between the Hammer and the Anvil | The New Art Gallery Walsall

Bilston Home of Metal Family Fun Day | Iain D M Beck, Artist Blacksmith, Tinsmith and Designer

Bilston does Metal:  This fun-filled day celebrated all things metal. A Blacksmith (pictured) provided demonstrations with a back drop of live music by Black Country Brass. Storytelling brought to life Bilston’s metalworking trades and all ages got crafty with metal in hands-on workshops.

The Public

The Public hosted films from the Metal on Film Festival alongside an array of Really Heavy Family activities. In the Video Art Activity and Interactive Metal Special, participants added their very own performance to an ongoing video that was shown throughout the weekend. Members of the public also helped create, paint and build Heavy Metal themed interactive sculpture with lights, sounds and some digital surprises. The Public Photo Studio captured people rocking, jumping and banging their heads to their favourite classics and these images were put directly on display over the weekend.

One of the weekends films was SOUND IT OUT,  over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days. SOUND IT OUT (75 mins) is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England. A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, SOUND IT OUT documents a place that is thriving against the odds and the local community that keeps it alive. Directed by Jeanie Finlay who grew up three miles from the shop. A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives.

The creators want to bring SOUND IT OUT to your town, have bands from the film perform at screenings and help to promote the record store network across the UK. So they need to make additional master copies of the film, produce promotional materials and get the film certified by the BBFC. In return for your support they have some great perks! So got to for to help and for further information.

 1940’s Weekender | Bantock House Museum (c) Kate Andrews

Bantock House provided a weekend of nostalgia with music, stalls, displays and activities for all the family.

Black Country Weekender Opening Party | Wolverhampton Art Gallery | (c) Katja Ogrin

Wolverhampton Art Gallery celebrated the start of the Home of Metal Black Country Weekender with a talk by Napalm Death Founder Nic Bullen (pictured far right), drinks and music.

Charlie Woolley, Mark Titchner & Nicholas Bullen | Home of Metal Conference | (c) Katja Ogrin

Key figures in Heavy Metal academia explored and debated key significant themes and origins of the music in ‘Home of Metal: Heavy Metal and Place’. The event celebrated the music, its origins, legacy and influence around the world.

In Conversation: with Nicholas Bullen and Mark Titchner – Nicholas Bullen founded the band Napalm Death, creating the Grindcore genre and taking Heavy Metal in a unique direction. This panel invited discussion between Bullen and Titchner – internationally renowned visual artist and tuner prize nominee, who drew upon his genre of work. Titchner discussed his current solo exhibition at New Art Gallery Walsall, featuring a video portrait of Bullen. The panel provided a unique opportunity to hear a leading artist discuss the process behind these collaborations and the resulting work, which has all been presented under the Home of Metal Banner.

Exploring Heavy Metal: an insight into music journalism –  Budding writers found invaluable insights into the world of music journalism as the panel explored ways in which journalism has been informed by the oingoing evolution of Heavy Metal as well as te move from print to the use of digital media. The panel included ALEX MILAS, the Editor of the UK’s largest selling Heavy Metal Magazine, MetalHammer. Other panelists include MALCOM DOME, with a 30 year career as a Heavy Metal Commentator and Co-founder of online radio station TotalRock, JOHN DORAN who has interviewed everyone from Slayer to Judas Priest and the Editor of website The Quietus and former Plan B editor FRANCES MORGAN who has contributed to a variety of publications from Terrorizer to the New Statesman.

VMC wolves
The Vintage Mobile Cinema | Queen Sqaure Wolverhampton

As part of the Home of Metal Roadshow, people came onboard and watched archival and Heavy Metal related short films in the Vintage Mobile Cinema, a 22-seat picturehouse on wheels that has been restored to its former glory. Over the Weekender, the Vintage Mobile Cinema also visited Dudley, Walsall and Haden Hill House (as well as a surprise stopover at the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton).

Juneau Projects | New Art Gallery Walsall | Credit Katja Ogrin

Touring the Black Country alongside the Vintage Mobile Cinema was Juneau Projects, who helped people use cardboard to make their own personal guitar with added simple electronics to trigger sound samples.

Haden Hill House

As part of the Home of Metal roadshow, there was a rock concert in the park with local bands and rock star face painting. Was this a surprise visitor in the front room?


Selfless | Light House Wolverhampton | Heavy Metal Parking Lot
(c) Katja Ogrin

Wolverhampton celebrated 25 years since Jeff Krulik and John Heyn walked around the Capital Center’s parking lot in Maryland, interviewing boozed-up rockers before a Judas Priest gig. The resulting document has become required viewing on tour-buses across the globe. The night also featured live music by Selfless, Stinky Wizzleteat, film shorts, DJs and food.

Chris Needham | Light House Wolverhampton

The cult TV Show ‘In Bed with Chris Needham’, dealing with adolescent trials including women trouble, musical differences and an annoying little brother was followed by a Q&A and an unannounced performance by the star himself.

Vintage Mobile Cinema | Dudley

The Home of Metal Roadshow pulled up in Dudley, with young musicians performing while a Heavy Metal dedicated mural with links to the borough’s industrial past was unveiled.


Home of Metal let loose across the Black Bountry to continue the celebration of music that was born here. You joined the fun with Heavy Metal related activities, film screenings, exhibitions and live music across the bursting weekend inspired by Heavy Metal and its unique birthplace.