Listen to rare recording of when Nirvana played in an Edinburgh pub

Dave Grohl (left) and Kurt Cobain (right) played Edinburgh's Southern Bar on 1 December 1991. Picture: Mary Boon
Dave Grohl (left) and Kurt Cobain (right) played Edinburgh's Southern Bar on 1 December 1991. Picture: Mary Boon
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A recording of Nirvana’s famous unheralded pub gig in 1991 at the Southern Bar before a handful of punters has been found and posted on YouTube.

Today it smells of cappuccino and gourmet burgers, but once it smelled like teen spirit.

Curiously nuzzled between a cobbler’s shop and the Edinburgh Himalayan Centre, The Southern Bar seems an unlikely mecca for those searching for the leading voice of Generation X.

But on a miserable, rainy night in December 1991 the faint essence of a singer whose stomach curdling scream gave meaning and expression to teenage torment could be heard.

READ THE FULL STORY: When Nirvana played Edinburgh’s Southern Bar

Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl, two thirds of one of the greatest, most influential rock bands of all time, Nirvana, played an acoustic gig at the bar when they were at the very cusp of their international breakthrough. Krist Novoselic took the night off, leaving future Foo Fighters frontman Grohl to take over bass duties.

Kurt Cobain with a Scottish Pound Note. Picture: Andy Bollen

Kurt Cobain with a Scottish Pound Note. Picture: Andy Bollen

The surprise show was a benefit gig to raise charity for the Sick Kids hospital and featured The Joyriders top of the bill, “plus ‘very’ special guests”.

Now, a rare recording of that legendary gig has been uncovered and placed on YouTube for fans to enjoy.

Amid some unmistakable ‘Edinburgh’ crowd chatter, a total of three songs feature in the recording; Dumb, Polly and around half of Nirvana’s version of The Vaselines’ Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. The pair played a fourth song that night, Twist Barbie by Shonen Knife, but it does not feature on the recording.

Nirvana had been in the Capital for a number of days and played a full concert at Calton Studios on 29 November.

The Southern Bar. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The Southern Bar. Picture: Phil Wilkinson