When Nirvana arrived in the UK, they arrived with little fanfare and a wide-eyed Kurt Cobain ecstatic to finally be landing on British soil. The singer had been a huge fan of British bands throughout most of his life, so performing his first shows in Britain with Nirvana would be a memorable moment. One of those early shows was captured by Richard Davis, and now the photographer has shared the previously unseen images.
Davis had attended the grunge kings show at Manchester Polytechnic Students Union on October 24, 1989. A full two years before the band released their seminal record Nevermind and before Dave Grohl joined the trio, the show was only their second date on British soil. Davis has now shared the images from the gig online for the first time.
Also featured in the Manchester Evening News, the images depict a band in their infancy, a two years before they blew-up and became the biggest band on the planet and tragically only five years before Cobain’s tragic suicide.
“For years I was convinced that someone had nicked the negatives,” he explained to MEN, “But about two months ago I was going through my kids’ stuff and found it among the old primary school photos.
“I looked at it and thought ‘Oh my God, I thought I’d lost them’.”
It’s rare to find previously unseen images of one of the biggest bands in modern memory and it’s hard not to see the potential of the band in focus, especially with the benefit of hindsight. Considering they were likely performing for a crowd lacking in numbers, the performances appears as visceral and riotous as ever.
Find the previously unseen images of Nirvana form 1989 below.