Nirvana in 1989
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Photographer shares amazing unseen pics from Nirvana’s second-ever UK show

Check out photographer Richard Davis’ never-before-seen snaps from Nirvana’s 1989 gig at Manchester Polytechnic.

Though most Nirvana diehards will feel as though they’ve probably seen pretty much everything ever to do with the grunge legends by this point, photographer Richard Davis has just unveiled an amazing treat for fans: four never-before-seen pics from a super-early live show.

In support of debut album Bleach, the band – at the time featuring drummer Chad Channing instead of Dave Grohl – performed their second-ever UK date at Manchester’s Polytechnic Students Union on October 24, 1989, and were joined on the night by Tad.

Read this: Nirvana: The stories behind every song on Bleach

In attendance was snapper Richard, who was also reviewing the gig for Pulp. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News today, he reveals that he only found the photos a couple of months ago, thinking they had been lost all these years having never actually been used in the magazine at the time.

Though he wasn’t particularly in-the-know about Nirvana back in 1989, Richard recalls of the gig: The thing I remember most about the night was there was lots of stage-diving. Punk had spitting, but grunge’s big thing seemed to be stage-diving. 

Both bands were good, but the funny thing is I think if you’d have asked everyone who was there that night who was going to be the bigger band and go onto global stardom, I think most would have said Tad,” he jokes.

Here’s the real kicker, though: I laugh about it now, but afterwards one of Nirvana’s team asked me if I’d like to interview the band and I turned them down because I was knackered,” Richard reveals. Ouch.

Check out the badass photos below:

Posted on January 4th 2021, 1:30p.m.
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