It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
As Napalm Death recently proved during a recent visit to AV Club’s HQ, they do whatever the hell they want. However, that’s always been the case with the grindcore pioneers, as proven during the band’s 1989 appearance on the BBC kid’s music educational show What’s That Noise?
First off, yes you read that correctly: Napalm Death actually once played on a TV program (one that aimed to teach kids about music, nonetheless). Bassist Shane Embury is the only current member of Napalm Death actually featured in this appearance (with the band’s lineup at that point consisting of drummer Mick Harris, singer Lee Dorrian and guitarist Bill Steer, the latter two shortly after quitting to focus on playing in Cathedral and Carcass respectively). The band had released From Enslavement to Obliteration just a year before UK youngsters were suddenly introduced to them by What’s That Noise? host Craig Charles (also known from sci-fi cult favorite Red Dwarf).
Just imagine what it must’ve been like for British kids in 1989 to suddenly hear the guttural noise of Napalm Death, or even just to hear a TV host read the band’s lyrics in front of a camera. Yet what makes Napalm Death’s appearance on What’s That Noise? truly unbelievable is the fact that they kicked off their TV appearance by playing “You Suffer”… the classic off of 1987’s Scum that literally clocks in at one second… only in the 80s, right?
It’s the type of TV performance that’s almost hard to believe ever existed in the first place… but thankfully, there’s video proof that it did. Relive Napalm Death’s appearance on What’s That Noise?, where in addition to “You Suffer” they also played the title track from From Enslavement to Obliteration and talked about the length of their songs and lyrics with Craig Charles, below.