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Victoria and Albert museum in narrow escape from Napalm Death

Fragile London landmark dodges Brummie sonic weapon

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London's Victoria and Albert Museum has canned a planned performance tonight by Napalm Death, amid fears the Brummie grindcore outfit might literally bring the house down.

The band were scheduled to play "a special live set through an experimental sculptural sound system" built by the V&A's resident ceramic artist Keith Harrison. Napalm Death's website elaborates: "Clad with ceramic tiles, the structures will potentially disintegrate as the performance progresses."

Singer Mark Greenway said: "Sound as a weapon - or a weapon of change - is a very interesting concept and I think that the whole process of our sound gradually degrading clay sculptures is captivating. The noise element of music should never be understated and this exhibition at the V&A will hopefully demonstrate that music can do interesting things beyond the realms of clipped production techniques."

Sadly, heavy metal fans won't get to enjoy this ground-breaking shaking demonstration of sound as a weapon, as the V&A explains: "This was due to take place in the Europe Galleries which are currently being refurbished and a further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building."

The Victoria and Albert Museum officially opened in 1852, which makes it only marginally more historic than Napalm Death, whose roots can be traced back to 1981. ®

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