Show Cancellation! Reason: Potential Destruction of the Facility
It is one thing for a corporation like Disney to cancel Machine Head show for whatever fucked up reason I can’t even remember now. It is another thing to have a gig cancelled for weather, sickness, and death, but what if you were in a band and were told “sorry guys you can’t play here because you might destroy the building!” Seriously, this is what happened to the mighty grind-masters Napalm Death. For some strange reason they were involved with some kind of artistic experiment at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, England.
Based on what I read…and you can read it here for reference, it looked like the intent of the show was to have the band play at normal concert decibel levels in the historic museum while ceramic “things” would (hopefully) disintegrate from the decibel level of a Napalm Death set. Vocalist Barney Greenway stated after the cancellation “Sound as a weapon – or a weapon of change – is a very interesting concept and I think that the whole process of our sound gradually degrading clay sculptures is captivating.”
Here is what I know of the museum. On one of our first trips to London, we went to the Science Museum just down the road. As we were walking in South Kensington, I noticed a building with a lot of outer damage. I ended up finding a plaque that stated the structural damage was from the German bombings during WWII. This was our first serious piece of history during our stay in England. It turned out to be the Victoria and Albert museum. Interesting! So, if the Germans couldn’t take the building down raining bombs on London, how was Napalm Death going to ruin it with decibels? I guess the curators heard a sample of Greenway’s signature growl and had second thoughts. In all seriousness, there were concerns that the noise level would, in fact, damage historic stuff. As I appreciate history, I can’t say I blame the museum, but what a damn cool idea! Maybe they can move this experiment to a more stable facility.