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28th Nov 2014

Video: 23 years ago today Nirvana gave this defiant performance on Top of The Pops

This is a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit that has seldom been heard...

Paul Moore

This is a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit that has seldom been heard…

With news of an impending HBO documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain, now seems like a good time to revisit one of the worlds most seminal bands giving their most ‘rock n’ roll’ performance.

All music lovers will know that Top of the Pops is a much missed institution but the Seattle band’s protest at the shows policy that required artists to sing live vocals over pre-recorded backing tracks is still as defiant now as it was then.

It’s either this or they were just really pissed off that Michael Bolton was ahead of them in the charts at the time.

Taking his lead from Morrissey singing into a bouquet of flowers when he performed with The Smiths, Cobain produced his own version of a middle finger to TV executives.

Take a look as the Nirvana frontman deliberately sings an octave below his usual tone and he even attempts to eat the microphone at one point.

Dave Grohl’s performance on drums is more akin to a backing dancer revved up on Red Bull while Krist Novoselic wildly swings his bass above his head.

Still, the crowd absolutely adores it…