Today’s guest blog is by Capsule’s Sarah Lafford:
Pose outside the Chelsea Hotel a la Patti Smith, visit the home of underground punk, CBGBs, or go to the ‘most famous club in the world’, the Cavern Club. Paying homage to the music we love should surely be an opportunity to display a certain level of coolness. Not so much if you’re a Black Sabbath fan. I don’t think it’s too brazen to state that Sabbath are perhaps Birmingham’s biggest cultural export: the originators of Heavy Metal, they’re adored globally. But the most celebrated music venue from the band’s early days, Mothers in Erdington (John Peel’s favourite club) is long gone, and the four lads from Aston certainly didn’t hang out with beat poets and literary heroes in cool coffee shops and bars. We’re lacking a hip hangout in which to pay homage.
Rob Horrocks’ Crossroads of Sabbath walk through residential Aston might sound an unconventional homage to one of the biggest bands in the world, but it’s perfectly fitting.
Sabbath’s sound is inextricably linked to their upbringing in post-war Aston, and their work in the ‘metal bashing’ industries that dominated the Aston landscape in the 1960s. During the Crossroads of Sabbath we can retrace their footsteps, from their childhood homes, schools and factory jobs with ease, as it becomes clear that not a lot has altered in the area.
After working closely with Rob on Home of Metal I was fortunate enough to be invited on a rehearsal of Crossroads of Sabbath. A small group of us (I should stress, fans and non fans alike) enjoyed the exercise of casting our minds back to our own childhoods. Crucial for me was the exploration of an area quite unfamiliar to me, yet a mere stone’s throw away from the city centre.
I shan’t give too much away, but I’ll share a highlight. Before Ozzy was one of the biggest rock (and reality TV) stars in the world, he was a pretty unsuccessful criminal. Rob shows us the shop he attempted to burgle (which is behind his own house), and the pretty painful looking measures people put in place to attempt to keep the likes of Ozzy off their property!
Crossroads of Sabbath runs on Sunday (naturally) 2nd June at 12pm and tickets can be bought here.