Review of 'Territorial Musings' event in London

As mentioned earlier, In Bloom: The Nirvana Nevermind Exhibition has been on display in London for the past couple of weeks at The Loading Bay Gallery. The exhibit (which closes today) hosted a special event this past Thursday, featuring an album playback and a Q&A session.

NFC visitor Fiona sent in a review of the Thursday event, and recapped some of the other celebrations of Nevermind's 20th anniversary:

Territorial Musings: We Love You Nevermind!
- By Fiona Verran

Today, the 24th of September, we celebrate 20 years since the release of Nirvana's legendary album; Nevermind. Nevermind rapidly became a major success and was to be the moment grunge went global. Smells Like Teen Spirit captivated and excited millions of growing fans across the globe with energy like no other. So it is no wonder celebrations have this week been rippling through the online world.

The week prior to Nevermind's anniversary has been a busy one with countless celebrations of all things Nirvana. Tuesday treated us to an evening of live Nirvana covers from bands and artists who have both been influential and influenced. The line-up featured Krist Novoselic and Duff Mckagan's Loaded, all in aid of the industry heroine, Susie Tennant. The Susie Tennant Benefit Show was streamed live from Seattle, with at least 3,000 viewers at any one time watching over the internet.

By midweek, Nirvana were gracing magazine covers all over from The Guardian to NME as well as dedicated radio shows. Nevermind 20 was big. Being in the UK, I wasn't fortunate enough to see the Susie Tennant Benefit Show live, or see the Nirvana: Live At The Paramount TV showing on Friday, but London had their own exclusive celebration taking place, which I was lucky enough to attend.

To add to the Nevermind celebrations, on Thursday the 22nd, a relatively small number of fans and supporters got the exclusive opportunity to witness a Nirvana experience like no other. In the lively heart of the East End of London, just off Brick Lane, In Bloom: The Nirvana Nevermind Exhibition sits modestly in The Idea Generation Gallery. For two weeks only, the exhibition itself is an incredibly exclusive highlight of Nevermind 20. However, this Thursday, the exhibition was transformed for one night only into the perfectly intimate, Nevermind celebration.

100 Nirvana fans of all ages gathered outside the Gallery at about 7.20pm on Thursday evening. Doors opened around 20 minutes later to 'Bleach' blaring out the speakers and the entire first floor of the exhibition behind black curtains. There was time to find a seat, get a drink and take a look around the rest of the wonderful exhibition before Colleen Murphy introduced herself to the audience. We took a seat on a colourful cushion in the front row of the subtly lit room. Colleen works for Classic Album Sundays, she told of her experiences with Nirvana, having met the band a few days before Nevermind's release.

Keith Cameron spoke next, he works for Mojo magazine and has met the band on numerous occasions. He was asked how he first heard about Nirvana, Keith spoke of listening to the John Peel Show, Nirvana on the Sub Pop 200 compilation album and working for Sounds Magazine. Somebody mentioned Kurt's unpredictable temperament, Keith told of how the band were in 'good spirits' whilst speaking with them shortly before their iconic Reading Festival performance. When asked; "Why do you think Nevermind is still talked about?" Keith replied, "The music speaks to us all still... The songs deal with issues which are universal... The guy [Kurt Cobain] happened to be a pop genius, that's what he did and that's what he gave us".

James was introduced as editor of Kerrang Magazine, he spoke of this week's Kerrang Nirvana special and described the band as "The only real way to connect with people like you" and '[Nevermind] Mental, fresh sounding". The room nodded with approval when James commented on how Nevermind can never sound the same by anyone else, and he described Nirvana as a 'one-off spark'.. Explaining many bands are as good, but will not make it.

The floor was opened to questions, one audience member asked when things became 'bad' for Kurt. Keith explained he reckoned Kurt "Started to feel shit" around two weeks before 1991, and that he found there was a bad atmosphere in dressing rooms backstage at Nirvana shows.

Colleen read out an interview with Butch Vig (Nevermind's producer); "Kurt was very moody, I knew from the Smart Studio sessions he could be very difficult to work with.", before ending the Q&A session. Not too long after, we were called back into the seated area where the never publicly heard before remastered version of Nirvana's Nevermind was played on the Linn turntable. The room fell silent as the first two chords of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' bared out of the speakers. The air was electric as everyone began to loose themselves in what they were hearing. By side two, there was a small group at the front dancing and mouthing every word. When Nevermind's last song finished, "Something In The Way", the whole audience was totally captivated. There was a feeling of united-ness, a feeling that we'd all shared this magical moment which perhaps can only be understood by those there.

As Colleen had said, Nevermind "Can't be more perfect". I'm sure nobody could disagree, well for now at least, we were all convinced. Nevermind is still affecting us all, 20 years on and shall do so for years to come. Let's pay homage to three guys from an ordinary town who made Nevermind as it is today. We say thank you for changing music as we know it, happy birthday Nevermind.

Thanks Fiona! You can view some pictures from the event here.

Posted in NFC news section at on 09-25-2011 @ 8:02 AM (GMT).

Return to main page.