Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's black and white and 40 shades of awesome?

If you have ever loved Sixties British psychedelia and wished you could stroll down London's legendary Denmark Street around the autumn of 1968, the answer would have to be the high-quality video of the British group Nirvana, shot for Danish TV, which can be seen large-screen on the group's new Web site.

I'm only sorry the clip doesn't include audio for the songwriting session that begins it. Instead, there are snippets of their mordant 1969 tune "Black Flower" and their 1967 classic "Rainbow Chaser." Overlaying the Denmark Street footage at the end is the sparkling "Orange and Blue," a tune the duo recorded circa mid-1990s that does an impressive job of recapturing their old charm.

About four minutes into the clip is an interview that gives a hint of Patrick Campbell-Lyons' and Alex Spyropoulos's depth and honesty, which was still very present when I interviewed them more than 25 years later. While they wore the Carnaby Street clothes and stoned appearance of their contemporaries, they would have been creative artists even if there had never been a Beatle bandwagon.

But I admit Alex's story of their pregnant cellist did make me think that Christopher Guest is going to steal that one, should he ever make a prequel to "This Is Spinal Tap."

MORE: Nirvana's site also features press clippings and contact forms for Patrick and Alex. But stay away from the press clippings if you are practicing custody of the eyes, as there is at least one "artistic" photo (though its inclusion is within a historical context, documenting the band's appearance on French TV with Salvador Dali).