back to article Victoria and Albert museum in narrow escape from Napalm Death

London's Victoria and Albert Museum has canned a planned performance tonight by Napalm Death, amid fears the Brummie grindcore outfit might literally bring the house down. The band were scheduled to play "a special live set through an experimental sculptural sound system" built by the V&A's resident ceramic artist Keith …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The name of this group is just sublime, the music though is crap.

    1. DrBobK

      Re: Sublime

      Music? I thought the bloke at the font made a croaking scream and the other blokes hit things (some of which may be guitars) hard for about 10 seconds and then they stopped and then they did it again and so on. I agree about the name though.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Sublime

        "Disaster Area, a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones, are generally held to be not only the loudest rock band in the Galaxy, but in fact the loudest noise of any kind at all. Regular concert goers judge that the best sound balance is usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles from the stage, whilst the musicians themselves play their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stays in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

        Their songs are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.

        Many worlds have now banned their act altogether, sometimes for artistic reasons, but most commonly because the band's public address system contravenes local strategic arms limitations treaties.

        This has not, however, stopped their earnings from pushing back the boundaries of pure hypermathematics, and their chief research accountant has recently been appointed Professor of Neomathematics at the University of Maximegalon, in recognition of both his General and his Special Theories of Disaster Area Tax Returns, in which he proves that the whole fabric of the space- time continuum is not merely curved, it is in fact totally bent. "

        Thanks Douglas

      2. Alan Bourke

        Re: Sublime

        Often true although they did slow down into a more standard thrashy/doom gear in later life.

    2. Grave

      Re: Sublime

      yes we get it, you're too old and uptight, and you don't like the music. doesn't mean you have call it crap. different people like different things. live with it. (and enjoy your autotuned bimbo "music")

      i always liked their stuff, ever since their grindcore days along with CARCASS and BOLT THROWER, trio is the best thing that came from uk in a veery loong time :)

      anyway, i though this article was about actual napalm attack and was to make a comment linking NAPALM DEATH for all of you ignoramuses out there :)

      and sublime? if you think this is not music you should not even try listening to SUBLIME CADAVERIC DECOMPOSITION haha

      1. Grave

        Re: Sublime

        and how could i forget ANAAL NATHRAKH, just brilliant.

        stuff that makes even deaf people deaf :) (try Pandemonic Hyberblast @ full volume haha sound of armageddon)

  2. Admiral Grace Hopper


    They're loud, but they're not that loud. In my personal experience, Napalm, Death are quite loud, Motörhead are loud, My Bloody Valentine louder, Swans loudest.

    1. I like noodles

      Re: Eh?

      You didn't see Accept at the Ulster Hall in 1985 then :)

      1. MrMur

        Re: Eh?

        Upvoted for mentioning "Accept" in a reg comment. Never did I think I'd see the day... \m/ \m/

    2. Adam W

      Re: Eh?

      Really? Having seen all of these, I'm going for MBV being loudest, myself, although Swans weren't far behind...

      1. I like noodles

        Re: Eh?

        For me at least yes Accept were immensely loud (and immensely good as well). Perhaps I've seen more raw power output elsewhere, but Belfast's Ulster Hall is a pretty compact venue and the accoustics always seem to make things a bit louder in there.

        Their sound was also brilliantly clear (the best I've ever heard by a distance) which meant it was pretty peircing as opposed to some loud bands' distorted muffle.

    3. Arnie

      Re: Eh?

      Research shows that the music noise level in the audience by the mixer position at pop concerts is typically 100 dB(A)

      The Who – 126 dB at 32 m from speakers 1976

      Manowar achieved Lp of 139 dB during sound check 2008

      The band my ears perceived to be the loudest were the Chemical Bros @ Brixton academy in 95/96

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Eh?

        A van we built for IASCA car audio shows did 165.8db @55Hz. It was a demonstration vehicle and sounded like shit but it was really loud and accomplished our goal of a vulgar display of power. Plus we got a trophy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        Oh god, Autechre at the Brixton academy, coming on in the small hours during a Planet Dog all-nighter.. waves of low frequency, pink noise and backwards explosions.. The shock made at least fifty people keel over, and there were people curled in a foetal position in the crush area outside of the main auditorium... completely brilliant.

        Probably not the loudest ever, but possibly one of the most startling sounds, it was like an angry Cray trying to make babbies with an aircraft carrier.

        South London jungle nights in the mid 90s OTOH, where the bass was like being punched in the stomach.. that was the sort of loud that felt like it should leave bruises.. no amount of recreational chemicals could lessen the initial shock each time.. That sort of energy distribution would do no good to the dear old V+A at all... :)

    4. Alan 6

      Re: Eh?

      I once saw a band called Purple Effect play the Derby Hall in Bury.

      They'd rented a rig from Johnny Roadhouse (rip) in Manchester that had previously been part of the system used at Live Aid.

      This 15kW system was installed in a room that holds less than 500 people.

      The venue witheld the band's fee as they need it to repair the front of the building as the noise had loosened the stone cladding.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        If it was the same type of stone cladding that Jack & Vera had in their Manchester 2-up 2-down, then the band should've got a bonus payment.

      2. ChrisM

        Re: Eh?

        I was in a room with a 13k sound system, tuned just right, standing st the apex point (only way I can describe being equidistant from all the speakers) with Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon at full volume.... All in a too. That was about 30x20 (feet)....

        The purest sound I have ever experienced in my life!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          You're all wrong!

          Everyone knows that Spinal Tap is Britain's loudest bands. I saw it on TV somewhere, so it must be true.....

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Swans loudest.

      What, as in Flanders and Swan?

      You mean... people used to roll about, in pain, hands clasped over the ears, when the hippopotamus song was performed?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      My wife can be much louder, even publicly, and I would never take her to museums (old).

      Anonymous for obvious reasons, coward too, and there is no suitable icon anyway.

    7. Spider

      Re: Eh?


      left my ears in tatters.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Saw Judas Priest at the original Wardour Street Marquee where they had their full PA, it's the only gig I've been to where a significant proportion of the punters walked out because it was just too loud, I only survived by sneaking side stage behind the stacks where it was only moderately painful.

        A lot depends on the quality of the sound system, the Misery Ministry of Sound might be an appalling tourist trap but the PA in the main dance floor is superb, very very loud but clear as a bell. (well it was last time I went there, probably about 15 years ago)

        1. Vic

          Re: Eh?

          > A lot depends on the quality of the sound system

          *Everything* depends on the quality of the PA. And the bloke driving it, of course.

          People seem to get obsessed with the power rating - that's power *into* the speakers, not SPL out. There is a *huge* variation in the efficiency of different makes of driver.

          Additionally, many people cannot tell the difference between "loud" and "clipped"...


  3. ukgnome

    At least let them play their masterpiece - You Suffer

    At just less than a second I am sure it will be fine.

  4. Bottle_Cap


    Do it anyway - get Carcass in as well and do it properly ;)

  5. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    Hopefully ND will do the gig somewhere else It'd be cool to see ceramics slowly shake apart during a gig. Need to add Boltthrower as well as Carcass, in fact bring back the Grindcrusher Tour. If yer not an ND fan then don't go see them. Go see your beloved Justin Bieber instead. I like early ND for it's sense of fun but prefer their more "melodic" stuff like Suffer the Children.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shame

      "If yer not an ND fan then don't go see them. Go see your beloved Justin Bieber instead."

      Sure, because of course there's nothing in between....


  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    In case of Sonic Attack on your district....

    ......follow these rules.

    If you are making love it is imperative to bring all bodies to orgasm - simultaneously

    Do not waste time blocking your ears.

    Do not waste time seeking a soundproof shelter.

    Try to get as far away from the sonic source as possible

    1. Scott Green
      Thumb Up

      Re: In case of Sonic Attack on your district....

      ..upvote for Hawkwind reference..must dig that album out when I get home..

    2. IT Hack

      Re: In case of Sonic Attack on your district....

      Way things are going Damnation Alley is far more apt I reckon...mind you Needle Gun is a rather enjoyable ditty....

  7. Alan Bourke

    Harmony Corruption


  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Psymon

    Was I the only person who read this article, and heard the voice of Nathan Explosion screaming "It's gotta be brutal!"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This "louder is better crap"

    This "louder is better" crap needs to be brought to a swift end.

    I propose organ pipes on the exhausts of jet engines and MOABs for percussion. Let's just get it over with, and move on.

    (and let's reserve the far end of the periodic chart for performances by the Beiber and the other manufactured crap out there.)

  11. LinkOfHyrule

    I did wonder why there was scaffolding outside with a big sign on it saying...

    Napalm Death Demolition LTD.

  12. Triggerfish

    Moss side carnival.

    One tent about thirty foot long, step in less than thirty foot of space, the rest is taken by two opposing walls filled to the top with speakers, some sort of heavy dub jungle thing.

    It wasn't noise so much as two shock waves trying to pass through you in opposite directions.

    I'm still amazed people were dancing in there.

  13. Marvin the Martian

    "Sadly, heavy metal fans won't get to enjoy this"

    Yes, but Heavy Metal fans wouldn't in any case; they won't listen to hardcore like ND.

  14. Rick Brasche

    loudest music?

    the sound of all 4 of the Concorde's engines at full takeoff power. Music to me ears

  15. nsld

    Pongmasters Ball Brixton Academy

    Early hours I was wandering past the speaker stack as one of the many bands kicked off and then I was lying on the floor, literally floored by the bass.

    I was struggling toi hear properly for a couple of days afterwards.

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