EP: Brain Food – Brain Food 13.03.20

Words by Ed King / Pics by Radek Kubiszyn (Psychedelic Eye)

‘According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history.’

I was Googling ‘Friday the 13th’ to come up with some witty framing technique, as Birmingham’s psych rockers, Brain Food, have ear marked this notorious end of the week to release their self-titled sophomore EP. But in the wake of a bulbous buffoon with his finger on the button and the grip of fear the world’s most popular sneeze has on half the planet…

A five track kaleidoscope of echoing psychedelia, Brain Food EP by Brain Food is indeed a tasty cranium treat – opening with ‘Poseidon’ and a surprisingly dirty riff, which had me fish hooked from the off, Liam McKeown’s perfectly lost vocals soon slide across the track.

An almost perfect front man for a band covered in the glow of a hyperactive lava lamp, McKeown sets the tone perfectly on the EP’s opener – sitting somewhere between a rock star joie de vivre and an introspective blotter acid trip in the dark corners of a Velvet Underground after party. Works for me.

But this is prog-something-psych-something-rock-something else… so, a small noodling siren is sounded as ‘Canyon Crawler’ sends seven minutes of blissed out guitar waves over a slowly marching tempo. It drags a little, to me. Today. If I was a younger man with a bit more mind left I’d probably be finding ways to lose it in this, but after about five minutes I’ll admit I’m swimming to the shore.

Then, as if my silent selfish prayer was answered, ‘That Feeling’ draws a sweet line down the middle of this Brain Food EP – in a surprisingly short (under four minutes??) foray into a more melody led track. It might be a bit too accessible for the prog purists, and you could be forgiven for thinking if psych rock was ever going to be radio friendly this is probably the closest it is going to get, but it’s still a damn fine few minutes.

‘Cosmic Jones’ takes us down the other side of the hill – opening with a cheeky little wah wah and keeping us cheerily on our toes for just over five minutes of soft crescendos and pretty nifty fretwork. Before the swan song of ‘Forbidden Tongue’ closes the show, which you can check out below instead of reading me try to be funny.

Which reminds me, where was I with that framing technique…

I’m not sure how many registered voters this EP will keep safe on its auspicious release day, but the idea (and to quote another LSD soaked ensemble) of encouraging the hope barren masses to ‘feed your head’ instead of panic buying toilet paper couldn’t be better placed.

And Brain Food by Brain Food seems to sum it up quite nicely this Friday the 13th… so, put that in your literary trope and smoke it.

‘Forbidden Tongue’ – by Brain Food

On Friday 13th March 2020, Brain Food release their self-titled second EP, Brain Food. For more on Brain Food, both the band and the extended play, visit www.facebook.com/brainfoodofficial

Brain Food are also hosting an EP launch party at The Night Owl on Saturday 14th March, with Cave Girl and Exhaler supporting. For more gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page.


NOT NORMAL NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual aggression in the music industry and beyond – from dance floor to dressing room, everyone deserves a safe place to play.

To learn more about the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here. To sign up and join the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here.

If you have been affected by any issues surrounding sexual violence – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL NOT OK website.

BPREVIEW: Sonic Gun Weekender @ The Castle & Falcon 17-19.08.18

BPREVIEW: Sonic Gun Weekender @ The Castle & Falcon 17-19.08.18

Words by Ed King

Sonic Gun are hold a mammoth weekend live music event at The Castle & Falcon – running from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August. And although we’re only giving you a few hours notice… it’s been one of ‘those’ weeks, we still think it’s something worth SHOUTING ABOUT.

Doors open at 6:30pm on Friday, with bands playing from 3:30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are a very kind £15 for the whole kit and caboodle, with individual day tickets also available for £8. Minimum age of entry is 14 years, with anyone under 16 needing a card carrying adult to pop along with them.

For direct information check out the Sonic Gun Weekender Facebook Event Page here, or go to the Castle & Falcon website here.

So, who’s on..? As if getting to spend the weekend in a pub watching live music for £15 wasn’t a compelling enough reason to drag yourself off the sofa. The whole line up is featured on the poster above and looks like a bit of a plate spinning/band booking miracle, especially considering you’ve got Project Soundlounge on one side of this event and the August Bank Holiday weekend on the other.

But hyperbole aside, some of the cream from Birmingham’s live circuit crop are playing at the Sonic Gun Weekender – with each day top, tailed, and stuffed like a pimento olive with bands well worth the daily door charge alone.

On Friday, the somewhat now past ‘rising balloon’ Riscas are headlining a bill, with local pop-rockers The Assist and Spilt Milk Society confidently chasing the top spot. Also appearing on this local yokel Friday night line up are Social State and Echo Beach – the one’s from Shrewsbury, not Liverpool or Quebec. There will also be a DJ set from one side of the main B Town see-saw, Swim Deep.

Saturday sees those cool kids Ivory Wave (…slow editorial hand clap) bring some multifaceted early 90’s indie to the top of the bill. A real Birmingham success story in the making, in my mind Ivory Wave just need to be locked in a room with Andrew Weatherall and given a good old shake. But for now you can watch them share their space with Sugarthief, The Cosmics, Violet, and a smattering of others including Cave Girl – who we are a little keen to see live, loud, and in the flesh. And completing my lazy metaphor, Peace will be delivering a Saturday night DJ set.

Then rounding off a pretty full weekend by any normal human standards, that rockabilly rockstar Harry Jordan will be headlining the Sunday setlists. Joining Jordan in a somewhat eclectic goodbye will be a bite of rhythm and blues from The Surrenders and The Good Water, with the rougher raucous coming from Bad Girlfriend, Kick the Clown (best band name ever) and one of our favourites at Birmingham Review, P.E.T. Paper Buoys will be DJing for the final day, sans wordplay.

There will also be beer from Dig Brew, who (after some extensive research) serve the city’s best rocket fuel in a glass by far, and food from The House of Hen – who we haven’t researched but we’re educated guessing serve chicken. Or houses.

But check out the banner above or visit the Sonic Gun Weekender Facebook Event Page for more details. Or just buy a weekend ticket and throw yourself in eyes wide shut – at £15 for a three day line up you can’t go wrong really.

The Sonic Gun Weekender comes to The Castle & Falcon – running from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August. For direct event info and links to online ticket sales, click here. 

For more from Sonic Gun, including further event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.facebook.com/sonicgunconcerts

For more on The Castle & Falcon, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.castleandfalcon.com


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.