black midi

Wednesday, June 14
Doors: 7pm : Show: 8pm

Five facts about black midi
“We’d end up in a groove in the rehearsal room for 10 minutes, or an hour. We didn’t really notice time, or that we were supposed to be working.” 

One. black midi are: Geordie Greep (guitar, vocals), Cameron Picton (bass, vocals), and Morgan Simpson (drums).

black midi’s studio albums are Schlagenheim (2019), Cavalcade (2021) and Hellfire (2022). Further recordings include standalone singles Cruising, 7-Eleven and track drops like ded sheeran (ed sheeran send). Other notable releases are Cavalcovers EP, black midi live in the USA and The black midi Anthology Volume 1 – Tales of Suspense and Revenge.

Two. Coincidentally, Morgan and Geordie both played in church bands growing up – Morgan in Hertfordshire; Geordie in Walthamstow.

Geordie discovered music through:
Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out on Guitar Hero
His dad’s prog rock, folk and hard rock albums
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. “It’s hypnotic, like a car crash. You want to look away, but you can’t.”
The first Star Wars film

Three. The band met at the BRIT School. Fellow pupils were… not in black midi. Geordie and Matt borrowed the name from a Japanese music genre where a MIDI file is stuffed with so many musical notes that its visual representation looks solid black. MIDI files do not contain sound.

Four. After leaving school Cameron worked in the Wimbledon branch of stationery store Ryman. Geordie taught music. Morgan briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a professional footballer but eventually chose drumming, also teaching music.

Five. black midi got their first gig two weeks after leaving school, in June 2017, at south London’s renowned Windmill venue. It led to a Windmill residency, and a publishing contract, and a record deal, a Mercury nomination for Schlagenheim, and you reading this.

“They say, ‘what you’re doing should be bad, how come it’s not?!’”
Some myths about black midi

Six. black midi don’t expect, or want, you to take themselves or their music too seriously. black midi music can be exuberant, cathartic, theatrical, comic, absurdist, over-abundant, intense, cinematic, brutal, restlessly brilliant. It’s almost always fun.

Six. None of black midi’s released music is entirely improvised. They did spend a long time jamming at the start, but would record the jams and select the best bits to replay as part of structured recordings. “It didn’t take as much time to record Schlagenheim as it does to listen to it. We wish it were true! We also say we should swap and play each other’s instruments, but we never get round to it.”

Six. The BRIT School’s importance in the black midi story can also be overplayed. Yes, the school was where they met, and their generous facilities afforded the group time and space in their final year to experiment and rehearse until they had a better idea of what they could become. But the school didn’t force anyone to describe black midi as “the best new rock band in Britain”.

“Geordie had a dream that we called the album Hellfire, he kept saying it all the time”

‘Hellfire’ has long burned in black midi’s world. First, Geordie imagined it was the title of their debut album; Cavalcade was mostly recorded at Hellfire Studio, Dublin; then Cameron dreamed it should be the title of their third.

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