Gigs · Music · Pubs

Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain!


Kurt Cobain Happy Birthday Nirvana at the Southern Bar Edinburgh


Kurt Cobain would have been 46 today and probably would have been on American Idol giving career advice. Which is better than being in Foo Fighters, you’d have to say; a band so thunderously dull you hope and pray it’s a conceptual joke by Dave Grohl, who by all accounts seems like a good and honourable guy. If that lot and Red Hot Chilli Peppers played a gig together, there wouldn’t be a call centre in the land with any staff…
Nonetheless, I thought I’d share the picture from 1991 of the time Nirvana played in The Southern in Edinburgh; there are few places in Edinburgh that are not actual venues with any claim to rock and roll fame, but this is one.
People of a certain age will claim to have been there; it’s a bit like all the people who claim to have seen Sex Pistols at the 100 Club – it must have been the size of an aircraft hangar.
I have it on good authority (because I know most of The Joyriders, who were the band actually playing at The Southern that night) that by the time Cobain and Grohl came from the Nirvana gig at Calton Studios, it was getting on and there were only a handful of people hanging around to see the promised American guests; fair enough, because by that time it had been announced that Nirvana wouldn’t be playing.


The Southern, Edinburgh - Kurt Cobain Happy Birthday

The Southern is pictured above as it was a few year ago; in the noughties it was quite often between owners. The boarding is probably there to keep people out, but it might be to hold in the atmosphere.
The Southern used to be quite rock and roll, definitely studenty and really quite skanky in a good way. Now it’s…A GASTROPUB…yes, one of these joints that sells hand fried potato wedges and beer battered haddock instead of fish and chips, all day brunch and has the beer pumps on the wall behind the bar. Shame, another good pub down. Recently joined by The Old Toll at Tollcross, which has become The Blackbird…
But I digress.


The Joyriders and Kurt Cobain at the Southern Bar Edinburgh


The Joyriders were doing a benefit show for Edinburgh’s Sick Kids hospital and a family connection with Nirvana’s management lead to the invitation to the very special guests to come along for a few tunes after their own gig. I think the wooden rail to the left of Cobain’s left knee is still in situ, but apart from that, he wouldn’t recognise the pub.
As is clear, I’ve taken the Cobain and Grohl picture (by one Mary Boon) from the wonderful website called The Edinburgh Gig Archive, whose site you can find here. The picture of The Southern is also from there, so thanks to Simon who runs the site, and for giving me permission to link to it …Edinburgh Gig Archive is fantastic if you’re interested in music and Edinburgh, but it seems to eat time – once you’re in, it’s really hard to get out…

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain!

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