V&A ditches Napalm Death gig over noise damage concerns
London museum pulls plug on 'grindcore' concert after report suggests building and artefacts at risk
THE Victoria & Albert Museum has cancelled a gig by British 'grindcore' band Napalm Death over fears that the "historic fabric" of the building, and the artefacts inside it, would be damaged by the massive decibel count.
The one-off concert was billed as a collaboration between the V&A's ceramic artist in residence, Keith Harrison, and the Birmingham band whose 1987 debut album, Scum is regarded as "hugely influential".
Harrison intended to surround the band with clay sculptures of Birmingham's tower blocks. When the volume of the music reached a certain level, the vibrations would make the towers explode, symbolising the "breakdown of inequality".
The result would have been a "unique live installation", says The Independent.
Sadly, Friday's free concert will not go ahead, after a safety inspection raised concerns over the "potentially damaging effect such loud music could have on both the building and artwork".
The museum said in a statement: "The V&A is committed to an exciting programme but the safety of our visitors and building remains our priority."
Napalm Death's singer, Mark 'Barney' Greenway, told The Times he was not entirely surprised by the V&A's decision to pull the plug. "They [the museum] started asking the sound guy fairly nervously: 'What will the volume be like?' He was like, 'What can I tell you? They make a lot of noise'."
It is understood that museum officials were particularly concerned about a hanging sculpture located near the temporary stage where the performance was due to take place. "Obviously, if we cranked [the music] out and it [the sculpture] detached from the ceiling, that would be embarrassing," said Greenway.
Napalm Death hope the experimental gig may still go ahead at a new venue, or at the V&A, if the museum is able to "shore up its most vulnerable areas".
Earlier this week, the V&A announced that one of its less threatening rock projects – an exhibition celebrating David Bowie's life and music – had set a new record for advance ticket sales. ·