The Green Nuns of the Revolution
The Green Nuns of the Revolution, referred to sometimes just as the Green Nuns or GNOTR, were a English psytrance group that was formed in 1994 and releasing music till 1999. The Green Nuns released five 12” EPs in Triupmph, TIP, Dragonfly and Flying Rhino and one album – “Rock Bitch Mafia” – in 1997 in Flying Rhino. There were also few excellent remixes to other artists, notably Prana (‘Scarab’) and Tufaan (‘Tufaan’), and compilation tracks.
Famous for their full-on acid drenched psychedelic trance, the core band was Composed of psy-trance veteran Dick Trevor (Dickster), Matt Coldrick (a guitarist who later became a prolific ambient producer), and Neil Cowley (who played keyboards for the Brand New Heavies and today has his own Jazz trio).
Green Nuns live in South Africa, 1997. Photo by Adam Deschamp.
The Green Nuns of the Revolution – How it all began
The Green Nuns were initially formed in 1993 when Matt Coldrick and Sev Burden were sharing a flat. Coldrick was working as a session guitarist and composing soundtracks for natural history films, while Burden was a psychedelic trance DJ. Together they made their first recording, ‘The Whirling Dervish’, which was produced by Pete Smith (The Hypnotist) and released on Triumph Records, before Burden left the country to travel. In the meantime, Burden had introduced Coldrick to the sound engineer Dick Trevor, who had been on the techno/trance scene since the days of Castle Morton. Having established their Blaglands Studios, Coldrick and Trevor released a series of recordings that began with ‘Conflict’/‘Cor’ (TIP Records 1995) and included ‘Atomic Armadillo’ (on Flying Rhino’s compilation Boyd In The Void). Radio exposure from such DJs as Danny Rampling, Annie Nightingale and John Peel broadcast their sound around the UK.
Green Nuns live, 1997. Photo by Adam Deschamp.
While performing on a session for soul singer Gabrielle, Coldrick met the keyboard player Neil Cowley (ex-Brand New Heavies), who soon joined the group to work on new tracks for a debut album. Released in October 1997, Rock Bitch Mafia featured more of the band’s muscular psychedelic trance, with an overall Rock’n’Roll feel to it, but still drenched in quirky funky melodies, acidic sounds and ever present head spinning trippy spiraling sounds. A video clip of Rock Bitch featuring the band as mad geeky scientists (which they probably were…) even made it to MTV.
Check Rock Bitch MTV video clip:
From all the Psychedelic Goa Trance of the 90s it seems that GNOTR music aged the best. It might be the production and musical skills of its members, or the fact that it sounded like nothing else when it was released, and still sound like nothing else ever made- it’s very easy to recognize a Green Nuns track.
Have a listen to the full Rock Bitch Mafia album: