(This page is about the British band of 1960s. For the Seattle-based band of the same name, see Nirvana.)
Nirvana pentecost
Nirvana (the first band to go under that name) were a London-based group formed around the songwriting partnership of an Irishman, Patrick Campbell-Lyons, and a Greek, Alex Spyropolous, and including a classical cellist as well as standard pop instrumentation. They emerged in 1967 as one of the first groups to sign to Island Records (others were Traffic and Art, later Spooky Tooth). They released two singles, "Tiny Goddess" and "Pentecost Hotel", which both received plenty of airplay on pirate radio (Radio London and Radio Caroline respectively) without making the UK charts, and an LP, The Story Of Simon Simopath, one of the earliest concept albums of its era. A third single, "Rainbow Chaser", was a minor UK hit in 1968, which year also saw the release of the LP The Existence of Chance Is Everything and Nothing While the Greatest Achievement Is the Living of Life, and so Say All of Us, which is, understandably, usually known simply as All Of Us.
Nirvana (1968) - Rainbow Chaser

Nirvana (1968) - Rainbow Chaser

Rainbow Chaser

After this, the band left Island and issued a couple of lesser-known albums on Pye, with Campbell-Lyons leaving before Nirvana finally split up in 1972. They reformed in 1985, toured Europe, where, after cover versions of their songs by artists such as Francoise Hardy, their "baroque pop" style was still appreciated, and issued some new material. By the millennium their early recordings had been reissued on CD and they were popular with collectors of 1960s music. According to Wikipedia, a lawsuit brought by the group against the Seattle band Nirvana led to an out-of-court settlement in 1992. This meant that, until the death of Kurt Cobain, two stylistically very different groups called Nirvana were performing and recording.

Links To Peel

Nirvana (UK)-Pentecost Hotel

Nirvana (UK)-Pentecost Hotel

Pentecost Hotel

Peel was taken with Nirvana's first two singles, making "Tiny Goddess" his Radio London "Climber" [1] and giving high praise to "Pentecost Hotel" both in International Times and on the first Top Gear [2], where he called it "one of the most beautiful records you will ever hear". The band did a session for the programme in late 1967 and were interviewed as studio guests on the Night Ride of 18 September 1968; but they were a pop rather than rock band, unsuited to the harder and heavier music which was dominant at the end of the decade, so they never became regular session guests on Peel's shows.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


  • One session only (with Syd Dale Orchestra).

1. Recorded 1967-12-04. First broadcast 10 December 1967. Repeated ?

  • Take This Hand / Pentecost Hotel / Wings Of Love / We Can Help You / Satellite Jockey

Other Plays

  • 18 July 1967: Tiny Goddess (single) Island WIP 6016 (JP's "climber" of the week)
  • 22 July 1967: Tiny Goddess (single) Island (JP's climber of the week)
  • 01 October 1967: Pentecost Hotel (single) Island
  • 27 October 1968: The Touchables (All Of Us) (LP - All Of Us) Island
  • 06 June 1974: Pentecost Hotel (LP - The Story Of Simon Simopath) Island
  • 02 January 1989: (JP: "...and of course, older viewers will know there was an earlier Nirvana ... and back in 1967, when I used to do a programme called Top Gear on Radio One (pre-FM of course), this used to get played a great deal.") Pentecost Hotel (LP - The Story Of Simon Simopath) Island
  • 17 January 1989 (Radio Bremen): Pentecost Hotel (album - The Story Of Simon Simopath) Island

See Also


  • Wikipedia
  • [3] Interview with Patrick Campbell-Lyons on Radio London website
  • [4] Official website
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