Sunday, September 03, 2006

nirvana vs tad | birmingham | 1989

i didn't take a whole lot of notice of the indie-rock movement that was coming out of the american north west - you know, sub pop and all that.
i just didn't see anything in it that was new or exciting or, i dunno, fresh i suppose.
but a friend of mine dug it all to death and was buying a lot of 7"s and playing them to me whenever i saw him.

he convinced me to go with him to see nirvana play at edwards no. 8 in birmingham.
i'm guessing it was part of the "bleach" tour.
in preparation for it i bought "bleach" and it left me cold.
to me it just sounded like pub rock with american accents.

i wasn't holding out much hope for the evening - in fact i was more interested in seeing what the venue was like as i'd never been there before.
edward's was a nice place for gigs - a low ceiling meant not there wasn't the greatest sound in the world, but it had the atmosphere that i like to this day: a bit claustrophobic, sweaty, dark, you know.

tad | wood goblins

thing is, i wasn't really expecting what i got when the first band came on.
the tour was a double header with tad.
tad were FANTASTIC.
from the first chugging chords of the opening song i was enthralled.
everything seemed to be in E.
in fact the bass player did nothing more than dampen 3 of his strings and hit his E string hard for the entire set.
and tad doyle himself?
a huge man, he was witty, clever, and a little frightening.
AND he'd got a colgates sticker on his guitar!
to this day i've no idea where he got it from.

tad had stolen all their licks from early black sabbath and budgie albums and made the most wonderfully grinding noise.

the high point of their set was tad (who was, i'm guessing, about 20 stone of huge american flesh) stage-diving into the crowd of weedy, thin, pale birmingham indie boys who had mistakenly crowded the front of the stage.
i bet some of them went home broken.

after tad, nirvana just seemded pointless to me.
i watched them, i got bored.
20 minutes into their set someone at the front of the stage knocked cobain's microphone stand and it fell into the audience.
cobain, like a spoilt child, stormed off stage and refused to come back on for almost 15 minutes, until he had been assured that his performance wouldn't be spoiled again.

from that moment i hated him.
i thought him pointless.
by the time "nevermind" came out i couldn't care less.

hyped pub rock?
i'd rather listen to dr. feelgood.


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