GIG 163: Restoration II / Redemption, Nottingham Rock City, 9th April 1994

I’d been out at the Electric Ballroom until late the night before and woke up to the news that Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, had been found dead at his home. It was seismic news as Nirvana were one of the biggest, if not the biggest, alternative bands on the scene at the time.

I met up with the guys from Restoration II around lunchtime outside Steve’s house. The minivan was there and everything was being packed in for the journey up the M1 from London to Nottingham. I’m not quite sure how I’d blagged my way on to the minivan with them, but it was my first time travelling with a band to a gig and, I think, my first time with a back stage guest pass (although I’d been backstage at The Marquee a few times for friends bands).

The trip up to Nottingham was interrupted by pit-stops at a number of service stations for games of pinball I seem to recall. The talk in the van was about a variety of things, including Kurt’s death which was all over the news with latest reports seeming to confirm it was suicide.

We got to Nottingham Rock City, the first time I’d ever been to the venue (or Nottingham for that matter), got the gear in and the band started their sound checks for the nights entertainment. The venue, devoid of anyone who wasn’t with the bands or venue staff, had MTV on all it’s screens showing reports live from Seattle scattered with interviews with stunned looking celebrities and fans.

The doors eventually opened, the venue filled up, and Redemption took the stage to warm things up. They were perfectly fine, but I don’t remember much about them.

Restoration II followed, headlining the night, and put on a good gig. Equally as good as the previous time I’d seen them a few months earlier (GIG 147). We all ended up back stage, getting our way through a fairly big rider of beers and ciders – I’m not entirely sure it was all ours to be honest. Music from the club night above filtered through to where we were and I suddenly realised that the DJ had been playing a load of dead musicians – Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Queen, etc… and then they finished off with Nirvana.

I think we finally left the venue about 3am and got back into London, and my house, around 6am.

A great night, and some great memories.

Restoration II – Come Close My Eyes

Restoration II Back Stage Pass

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