Courtney Love at Riverside, Newcastle on 22nd May 2014

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When Hole released ‘Live through This’ on April 12th 1994 there was major criticism directed towards both Geffen Records and Courtney Love herself. Following the death of Love’s husband, Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain (who himself appeared twice on the album, albeit unaccredited) on April 5th there was a feeling that the release had been pushed forward purposely to coincide with the huge media publicity generated by his suicide.

The album, which had been recorded in October 1993, also featured the contributions of bassist Kristen Pfaff – who herself would be found dead of an overdose in June 1994 and was ready for release perhaps long before the events of April 1994. In essence, a decision had to be made, and if it was Love herself who made the decision to release the album (which is highly unlikely) it was a decision made at a time of unimaginable grief in a split second forever remembered.

Fast forward 20 years and Love celebrates the 20th anniversary of the albums release, as well as commemorating the memory of her husband, with a rare UK tour. There is no doubt this album has achieved a status all of it’s own on popular culture – with Kirsten Wiig even playing the track “Violet” during a scene in the 2011 movie Bridesmaids. And who could forget Jason Bateman performing “Doll Parts” in 2007’s Juno?

Newcastle’s Riverside (albeit as a different venue) once housed the first performance by Nirvana outside the United States. It’s unclear as to whether Love or anybody in her promotions team realised this when booking said performance and if anyone who attended the October 1989 performance will be coming along on the night.

Newer Courtney tracks like “You Know My Name” and “Wedding Day” (audio link above) suggest a return to glory days and Love looks to be making some of the best material of her career. There are also the obvious Nirvana connections and the fact that Love represents a physical link to a fair proportion’s “idol” which will sell tickets on this basis alone. The rather large price of £38 isn’t likely to put many off as this is an intimate show with a chance to see either a train wreck of a performance or the most unexpected turn around in rock and roll.

Previewer: Wayne Madden

 

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