Browsing Tag NUTSMAG

The Excitements (Newbreed)

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Newbreed4

1. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

Adrià Gual and myself (Daniel Segura) started the band in early 2009, coming out of a more oriented 50s R&B band which I wasn’t enjoying very much. We wanted to get deeper into a more soulful type of music, still retaining the R&B flavour, which at the time (and still now) is a genre that we couldn’t find in a lot of current bands. We just started searching for people around our Barcelona area, and our first finding was Koko, which had just arrived to Barcelona some months before, and had posted an ad in the Internet about starting a band just to have fun. Afterwards the other members were put together by word of mouth, or maybe we knew about them through other bands, etc.

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

All the band members gravitate towards any afro-american music from the past century, being it blues, R&B, soul music, gospel, garage… and specially jazz, which is pretty much the only music we can listen to on the same room and not complain.

3. How would you describe the style you play?

We plant our feet deep into the zone where R&B was mutating into Soul music, which seems like a really narrow one, but in fact it is wider than other styles we may be compared to, specially the late 60s funk thing, which we actually are far apart from.

4. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Any greasy R&B artist influences us, from Andre Williams and James Brown to any artist from Fortune Records, Excello, Stax, Okeh, etc. We’ve played several covers through the years, ranging from Rufus Thomas to the Raelettes, The Falcons or Etta James. Common denominator is, when covering, try to get some original not-that-well-known tunes, plus they have to be good ones! We do not despise anyone specific, but we try to avoid any artist (being music, film or whatever other discipline) that isn’t right out sincere about what he does and how he does it. The thing is, when it’s meaningful, it shows, and again, it’s good!

5. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

In my case (and this is a personal opinion) I really enjoy “I’ve bet and I’ve lost again”, a classic southern ballad penned by our rhythm guitar Adrià Gual. It really makes a difference to play that tune every night, it lifts you quite a bit.

Other artists’ tunes, there are tons of them, but I’ll just pick up two that come to mind right now: Sam and Dave’s “Wrap it up”  (best bass line ever), and “Space guitar” by Johnny Guitar Watson (that IS crazy).

6. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Umm, tough question… Maybe just pushing the band forward when the going gets rough, which in our case has been more than half the time. It is funny that we play this kind of music in the 21st century, but the work on the road, conditions, personal and social problems do not differ that much from the ones of the chitlin’ circuit from back then. Yes, we are not black people in Louisiana, but we need the food and the bread to keep alive, and it’s as tough to get it as back then!

7. How often do you rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse only when we’re changing some song from the repertoire, which is rare during the time we’re presenting an album. That’s mainly because we’re constantly on the road, 100 shows a year more or less, so it is really not necessary (and healthy at the same time!) that we just rest a bit when at home. We’ve been recording every two years since we started, but maybe that changes and we try to do it more often, just a few songs each time, we’ll see. Right now we’re working on our upcoming third album, laying demos and arranging like crazy, we’re actually going into the studio with 4-5 songs next week, and we’ll keep the pace until we have enough to pick through and put an album out that we’re proud of. We’re also rehearsing Betty Harris’ repertoire, since we’ll be backing her up next August at Euro Yeye, a real treat and honour! Some of her songs are quite groovy and a bit different from what we’re used to, so it is really fun to work around those, this is an intense summer!

8. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We were thinking about bringing some of our favourite music legends and try to lay down a song with them, then release it either in an album or seven inches. One I thought about was Don Covay, but sadly he left us some months ago. He had some serious health problems so it wouldn’t have been a good idea to try it if he was still around. I consider him a genius, excellent songwriter and singer, arranger, and unique character. Mick Jagger copied tons of stuff from the guy for a reason.

9. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We’re very hard-working, we like to play live, we enjoy the communion with the people, and we’ll try to keep the pace playing as much as we can around the world. hopefully, after visiting almost every country in Europe, we’ll step into Japan, Canada and maybe the USA while presenting the next album, we’re working on that. Our ambitions are just to keep moving and alive, grow bigger and better as musicians and people, and making the audience as happy as we are playing this magical type of music.

That Betty Harris show is going to be pretty interesting, we’ll have more horns and hammond player joining us that day, and maybe we can play some other shows backing up other legendary singers/bands in the future, one-shot things, who knows.

We just want the people to join with us and enjoy all that this type of music and show can offer, thanks a lot!

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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

(Don Cherry & Ornette Coleman at Five Spot Café, New York, November, 1959)


On June 11, 2015, the world of jazz (and beyond) lost one of its most revolutionary figures of the past sixty years: Texas-born composer, saxophonist, occasional violinist/trumpeter and all-round visionary Ornette Coleman (1930-2015). Like John Coltrane and pianist Cecil Taylor, his major North American contemporaries in the foundations of what became known slightly problematically as ‘free jazz’, Coleman’s influence was enormous, his legacy both undeniable and at times controversial. This brief article (the first of two) does not attempt to cover his life or major works, though it examines recordings from 1958 to 1965. Readers looking for reliable general appreciations of Coleman can consult other recent obituaries:

Instead, through an overview of his earliest UK releases, coupled with some fascinating nuggets of information about key listeners, I will outline Ornette’s importance for British music during the first half of that decade. In part two, I will examine in more depth his importance for the specific shift in our beloved modernist world towards the experimentations of the counter-culture and underground scenes of the middle and later sixties.

1959. A pivotal year for jazz in Britain. The disbanding of the Tubby Hayes – and Ronnie Scott-led Jazz Couriers; the second UK tour by the Modern Jazz Quartet and the opening of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 39 Gerrard Street. It also signalled the first official British release of an Ornette Coleman LP: Tomorrow is the Question! (Contemporary/Vogue), described by blogger ‘London Jazz Collector’ as “Perhaps tame by future “free jazz” standards, but adventurous and uncompromising in its time”. This is a fair appraisal of a record which, like its predecessor Something Else! (1958), still provided (minus piano) a fairly conventional bop rhythm section to Coleman’s (and trumpeter Don Cherry’s) non-chordal harmonic and melodic improvisations. By the time his quartet had divided opinion with its residency at New York’s Five Spot (November 1959), Coleman’s first Atlantic LP, The Shape of Jazz to Come had appeared in the States (though its official UK release was not until 1966).


With Coleman’s quartet now featuring Cherry, Billy Higgins (drums) and dapper bassist Charlie Haden, The Shape of Jazz to Come is considered a major staging post on the journey from bebop to free jazz. Critic Piero Scaruffi writes: “The idea was to make every member of the band a soloist equal to the others and to free the improvisation from musical constraints: basically, each individual was only bound to the mood of the other individuals, not to the technical aspects of the music that they were playing” ( The music, though, was still rooted in the blues and even pre-blues forms (field hollers, laments). This is perhaps not surprising, as Coleman had paid his dues in various rhythm and blues combos in Texas and on the West Coast during the 1950s. For this reason alone (to say nothing of his band’s sartorial elegance c.1960-1962), the quartet’s LPs on Atlantic are required listening for today’s open-minded modernists. Take ‘Lonely Woman’, from Shape, for example, or ‘Ramblin’’ from its follow-up Change of the Century (1960). Both tracks are infused with blues feeling. The first is an impression of a rich white woman wearing “the most solitary expression in the world”. Of the second, Coleman wrote in the sleeve notes: “Ramblin’ is basically a blues, but it has a modern, more independent melodic line than older blues have, of course”. Perhaps music writer Richard Williams summed it up perfectly last week, reminiscing about his first encounter with the 1961 LP This is Our Music. Rightly hailing the “impossibly cool” cover appearance of the quartet (now with drummer Ed Blackwell), he wrote: “Nothing about it, the raw timbre of the horns, the lack of conventional chord sequences bothered me in the slightest. What it had, apart from undoubted modernity, was the “cry” that went back to the origins of the blues”.


Early receptions of Coleman’s music in the UK jazz press (Melody Maker, Jazz Journal, Jazz Monthly etc) were not always complimentary. Alun Morgan, in Jazz Monthly (June 1959), for example, remarked that he “appears to be handicapped by his own bad fingering in places and frequently produces two simultaneous notes an octave apart (in Claire O’Neal, Ornette Coleman, 2013, p. 22). However, for some young ‘in-the-know’ jazz musicians, this rejection gave him an appealing outsider status. Composer and double-bassist Gavin Bryars remembered “as a kid in Goole hearing the Ornette Coleman Quintet on the radio, 1958 or 1959, and thinking it was fantastic. I also loved it because it was being so much reviled by the jazz press, I thought this must be great” (Ben Watson, Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation, 2004, p. 82). The views of Morgan and Bailey encapsulate the divided opinions Ornette Coleman engendered throughout his career.

One important audience for this new music comprised intellectuals, poets and beatniks associated with Michael Horovitz’ New Departures, a new poetry journal emanating from Oxford. A student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, Horovitz, alongside Liverpool poet Pete Brown and David Sladen, played a key role in introducing readers to beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. In June 1965, he would also be one of the brains behind The International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall, often claimed to be the birthplace of the British ‘Underground’ counter-culture and (less plausibly) ‘Swinging London’. In volume 4 of New Departures (1962), a number devoted to jazz, Coleman’s work was appraised seriously alongside contemporaries Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor. Dolphy, who played UK dates in 1961, had appeared as part of a double quartet on Coleman’s extended improvisation Free Jazz (1961), which was initially only available in Britain on import. However, specialist jazz record shops in major cities were not slow to meet the demand for the new experimental forms of jazz. Furthermore, the case of London-based West-Indian sax player Joe Harriott, whose Free Form (1961) was recorded just before Free Jazz, shows that British modern jazz was undergoing its own revolutionary changes.


Between 1962 and 1965, despite a self-imposed two-year break from live performance and recording, Coleman was gaining significant attention in Britain on the fringes of beatnik and mod circles. In Cambridge, where the New Departures crowd would stage readings and ‘happenings’, future Pink Floyd members Rick Wright, Syd Barrett and their entourage were fans. In Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (2010), Julian Palacios paints a vivid picture of free-jazz-loving ‘hip undergraduates’ rubbing shoulders with Vespa-riding mods, Barrett seemingly with a foot in each camp. In Canterbury (and later Mallorca), Australian beatnik Daevid Allen shared his love of Ornette with Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge (who in 1966 would become Soft Machine). Wyatt, who in Jonathan Green’s essential Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground, describes his mod youth in the early sixties, recently paid generous tribute to his hero: “His voice is immediately unique, as if he were the last surviving speaker of an ancient language”.

By the time of his first UK concert, at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, August 29, 1965, hastily organised by Horovitz, Brown and promoter of experimental music Victor Schonfield, Coleman’s music enjoyed currency not only among jazz and improvisational avant-gardes, but also the more searching elements of the rhythm and blues/nascent rock world. Two further Atlantic LPs (with bassists Scott LaFaro and Jimmy Garrison) had appeared in Europe: Ornette! (1962), recorded just five weeks after Free Jazz in January 1961 and Ornette on Tenor (1962), the latter of which Richard Cook and Brian Morton say “hooks Ornette back into the raw R&B of his Texas roots” (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 2000, p. 300). His new trio, featuring Charlie Moffett on drums and David Inzenzon on bass, had recorded Town Hall Concert (in December 1962) and a June 1965 soundtrack with free tenor player Pharaoh Sanders for the film Chappaqua (though director Conrad Rooks would ultimately use music by Ravi Shankar). The Kinks (minus Ray Davies) had seen the new Coleman trio perform in Greenwich Village in February 1965, while bands from the emerging American rock underground (Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground, The Fugs) were incorporating elements of his free improvisational styles into their own blues, folk and European-based music. Part two of this article will return to Ornette Coleman’s influence on the psychedelic and underground British music of 1965-1970.

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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,

Le Beat Bespoké 6 LP Preview

I recently caught up with NUTs Head Honcho and DJ Dr Robert and spoke to him about the 6th in the series of the mighty fine Compilations Le Beat Bespoke. You can also get the latest Mousetrap Anniversay Single here at the NUTSTORE!

01 When did you first start on the road to becoming a DJ?

My interest in Djing started in 1985 at our local Cool Running Scooter Club nights in Ditton Community Centre. The system was rudimentary with two old hi fi turntables wired together to an amp and some old 100 watt speakers. No one really wanted to DJ back then everyone just wanted to have fun and get trashed but I got the bug and never looked back.

02 Le Beat Bespoke is an Event that it now in its tenth year, tell us about it?

The story begins in 2004 after a highly successful Modstock that celebrated 40 years of Mod. John Reed at Sanctuary records had contacted me about putting a compilation together of popular dance floor winners from the Mousetrap and New Untouchables events for his discotheque series. John had picked up my earlier compilation series on cassette called Hipshakers during the mid nineties. The New series would be on vinyl and CD and called Le Beat Bespoke. After the success of the Modstock I wanted to do an annual festival with a similar format but a wider musical and cultural compass.

With Pip! Pip! on board the first Le Beat Bespoke event was held at the Rocket over the Easter bank holiday 2005. The live music highlights included Love with Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols together for the first time in eons. It also turned out to be the last time Arthur would perform in London. A personal blow for me as I never managed to get my records signed by the great man as he locked himself in the dressing room before the performance and disappeared immediately afterwards. Two U/S garage heavyweights from different eras the Chocolate Watchband and The Fuzztones also performed. However the live music is just part of the LBB philosophy, International DJ’s and guest club nights at the top of their game feature at the allnighters. Other attractions include a market, record fair; go go dancers and light show. We also programmed a sorta pop-up cinema showing long lost vintage cult flicks!

03 How many LPs are there in the series?

There are six albums in the series available on both vinyl and CD except Le Beat Bespoke 4 vinyl which has sold out. We offer deals on the full set from the NUTSTORE.

04 Any personal favourite tracks that stand out?

Too many to mention as they are nearly all songs that have featured in my DJ set over the last decade. Right now I would say Jerry Holmes, Samurai or The Tears from the new LBB6 album. You always think the current tracks you spin are the best of course but I believe the new comp is the strongest collection so far.

05 How has your approach to compiling these collections changed over the years if at all?

The concept was to try and recreate a DJ set with songs sequenced like I would in a live DJ setting with short gaps between the tracks. I wanted to make an album that could also be played in a house party as well as your car and personal hifi. With the advent of downloads the new album will also be available on I-Tunes but the bespoke artwork from Pip! Pip! is part of the LBB experience IMO.

06 How do you technically set up for the Studio sessions, how does that develop over time?

I learnt a lot of valuable lessons over the years when compiling these albums. I have a good idea after researching and compiling several versions of the album at home before going to the studio. Getting masters for all the tracks is impossible so a studio with good restoration skills is important when using original vinyl.

07 If people are yet to explore the series, how would you describe the concept behind the sounds and why should they buy them?

I may have touched upon this one earlier but he overall concept has been ‘all killer no filler’! I remember buying many comps down the years and only listening or buying for a couple of tracks often. Well it’s a good way to listen to a few thousand pounds worth of songs often never compiled before for a tenner. They might be songs you have enjoyed from my DJ sets or a good introduction to what you can expect to hear at Le Beat Bespoke.


08 Are there any themes that root into each individual compilation or are they quite freeform?

My tastes are always changing there is more Garage sounds on Le Beat Bespoke 6 but still plenty of Psych, Girl Groups and Funky Rock sounds.

09 How difficult is it to continually source quality tracks to include?

As every year passes since the golden era and more comps are released it gets more difficult to source interesting tracks of the same standard. I had a three year gap since LBB5 which is why I feel this is the best compilation so far.

10 Le Beat Bespoke 6 is just about to hit the shelves, tell us the story on this one?

As I mentioned above after a three year gap gave me that extra year and more time to compile a set list largely based on what I have played out over that period and given those songs more time to gain popularity.

11 You have tried various different labels to spread the good word about Le Beat Bespoke?

Sanctuary done an amazing job on the first New Untouchables production which set the bench mark for the series but they went bust shortly before LBB2. The series moved to new home fellow NUT’s DJ Speed’s Circle Records for the next four releases. Pete’s knowledge and meticulous standards helped the series develop with artistic freedom. The Modstock project on Detour Records worked very well together last summer so a move to Detour for Le Beat Bespoke 6 made perfect sense.

12 How tried and tested are the tracks that make the final selection, what is the process?

Many of the tracks are tried and tested on the dance floor at Mousetrap first and then other events I DJ at around Europe before being compiled. One or two have great potential and a couple have been revived from the past that deserved another lease of life.

13 How do you see the market for CDs against say Vinyl and downloads in today’s world?

I’m very happy vinyl is having a renaissance it’s the best way to experience music IMHO. CD sales are falling all over the World and won’t stand the test of time like Vinyl has but are useful for the car especially. Download is killing music in some respects and takes away half the pleasure of experiencing music, but it’s the twenty first century and you got to work with it.

14 What types of tracks tend to work in the UK as opposed to the European dancefloors?

In the same way as different regions and crowds in the UK have varying styles and sounds; there have always been fads within the scene.

 15 You did the Rolling Stones post Glastonbury set a while back; can we expect anymore non-scene sets such as this?

Yea that was a real eye opener it was like watching a heard of wildebeest with all the dust and noise getting ever closer when The Stones finished their epic set, a real honour to be asked to DJ at Glastonbury. I have played Japan, Canada and the USA including events with a wider audience. The thing I always notice when playing these festivals/clubs is that the crowd dance to the beat and if it has a good groove it doesn’t matter if it’s fashionable on the scene they will dance.

16 Any future plans that you wish to share or talk about?

The new Mousetrap 45 is out now and features a mind blowing Psych track from San Francisco in late sixties by Dirty Filthy Mud and on the flip from just down the Californian coast Judy Hughes groovy tune ‘Fine, Fine, Fine’. Two tracks that will take you well over your overdraft limit if you can find a copy.

Le Beat Bespoke 6 is out soon, available on CD and LP from the NUTSTORE.

Grab Tickets Here for Le Beat Bespoke 10!

You can also get the latest Mousetrap Anniversay Single here at the NUTSTORE!

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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March 31, 2015 By : Category : Beat Front Page Fuzz Garage Interviews Music Psych UK Tags:, , ,
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Wolf People (Newbreed)

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Newbreed4

Formed in 2005, Wolf People are one of an exciting crop of 21st century bands mining a rich seam of archaic influences for inspiration, from the psych folk of Jethro Tull, Pentangle, Tudor Lodge and Fuchsia (the latter of whom they played with in 2014 at London’s Strongroom Bar), to classic West Coast sounds, British psych-prog and popsike, library music, British and Italian horror movie soundtracks, cult TV, public information films, and the writings of Victorian authors like M R James.

Sharing a kinship with their (somewhat heavier) geographical neighbours Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Southend’s Purson, recently resurrected London folklorists Circulus, West Country glitter-kids Ulysses and Birmingham’s Exploding Sound Machine, they are proof that a healthy scene for intelligent psychedelic rock continues to flourish in the UK . And, whilst not Mods themselves, their sound has plenty for  the discerning Scene follower to embrace and enjoy, their impending debut appearance at Le Beat Bespoke proving yet again that diversity is still very much a key feature of the NUTs landscape.

Band Members:

Joe Hollick – Guitar
Jack Sharp – Guitar And Vocals
Tom Watt – Drums
Daniel Davies – Bass

Ex/former/occasional members: Ross Harris – Flute


Singles And EPS:
Wolf People EP (Sea Records) 2006, October Fires/Black Water (Battered Ornaments) 2007, Storm Cloud/Cotton Strands (Battered Ornaments) 2007, Tiny Circles/Mercy II (Battered Ornaments) 2009, Silbury Sands (Jagjaguwar) 2011, When The Fire Is Dead In The Grate (Jagjaguwar) 2013, All Returns (Jagjaguwar) 2013

Steeple (2010) Tidings (2010) Fain (2013) all on Jagjaguwar

Wolf People – Singles (Self Released) 2008

1. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We put the band together in 2006 just to play some songs that were about to be released. We started getting gigs before we knew what the hell we were doing, and then just sort of bumbled along from there. Dan joined in 2007 after seeing us at a medieval festival in Port Talbot.

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

Our main common ground is fuzzy rock records. Starting from Hendrix and Sabbath and going down into all the things that were influenced by them. So we love Mighty Baby, Mecki Mark Men, Baby Grandmothers, Variations, Iron Claw, Dark. Also a lot of folk rock stuff; Fairport, Pentangle, Trees. Anything weird and interesting really, preferably with fuzz and big drums.

3. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Stick in the Wheel from East London are probably my favourite current group that we know. Stark folk with dark themes and real accents.

4. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

If there is one in Bedford, I’m not aware of it, but that wouldn’t surprise me. There seems to be a strong surge of interest for good old fuzzy rock music across the country and I hope we’ll see more good bands popping up to meet the demand. It would be great to see a new wave of bands do something interesting with it beyond stitching influences together (which we’re probably guilty of to be honest).

5. How would you describe the style you play?

We’re a rock band. Sometimes folk-rock, but usually just a rock band.

6. What are your live shows like?

The aim is to be direct and honest, and carry the songs with some degree of heart without sounding just like the records or the last show. We don’t use a lot of effects or processing, and we try to leave some room for improvisation without overdoing it.

The stark approach can sometimes fall on its arse but we’re happier not hiding behind backing tracks or layers of delay. If we sound good, it’s because we’re playing good.

7. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We’ve only ever done a few covers. We used to play ‘Same Old Story’ by Taste, and ‘Why Am I So Short’ by Soft Machine, that was fun. We’ve tried Mighty Baby covers before too, and there’s a Trees song we want to try.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

I’m interested in oral history, mythology and folklore, and nature, I love birds. As a band probably our main mutual interests outside music is food, and skimming stones.

9. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

They tend to start with me (Jack) or Joe. Then we’ll all work out arrangements together. I tend to base the lyrics on stuff I’ve been reading about. Lots of the newer lyrics are about Earth if humans left or suddenly died out. I’m not sure why though, I didn’t really plan that.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

The one we’re working on at the moment, ‘Not Me Sir’. We were trying to be like an English version of Ersen or Erkin Koray, but our failure to play like that makes it quite interesting. We recorded it in Devon a few months ago after only rehearsing it about twice and Joe’s guitar playing on it is fantastic. So I’m enjoying listening to that.

As for other people’s stuff, I’m still obsessing over ‘I Found You’ by The Tops. It’s pretty much the perfect record.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

I don’t go to a lot of gigs anymore, but it seems like there’s plenty of exciting bands out there, I’d just say it’s a pity that so many of the more interesting psych bands are from the States or Australia. I hope there’s a new crop of UK bands on the horizon who can take the reins and produce some truly exciting psych rock music, and do something new with it. We could do it, but we might be too old and stuck in our ways now!

With our band we’ve always skirted the edges of quite a lot of different scenes, so we feel quite lucky in that respect. One year we played a folk festival and a heavy/doom rock festival back to back, and went down pretty well at both I think.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Without a doubt, the biggest challenge is trying to create interesting music and sustain a music career while working full-time. I don’t want to start moaning about it, because I feel very privileged in a lot of ways, but it simply isn’t feasible for us to make a living out of creating music, so we feel like we’re constantly on the back foot. You feel like you’re having to force yourself to do something you actually enjoy after working for eight hours, and that’s not right somehow.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

About once a month we do a weekend of recording/writing/rehearsing. I try to play, write and record at home whenever I possibly can, I don’t like to go a day without doing something. We’re not really playing live at the moment while we’re writing and recording the next album.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

I don’t really read reviews or check blogs or whatever as I tend to go on word of mouth recommendations these days. I feel there’s a definite gap in the market for good live music on UK TV though. Jools is the only thing on offer and it’s appalling. Radio seems to be better. Marc Riley features sessions by most of the interesting groups touring, with more fringe shows like Freakzone or stuff on Resonance picking up the weirder things that fall off that radar.

I like the way a lot of people seem to be taking matters into their own hands and providing good music content on the internet, but of course it’s a bit of a minefield and you need time to find the good stuff. Or a good guide.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Like I said, I really love Stick in the Wheel. Psych rock wise, I love Morgan Delt. Klaus Johann Grobe are an amazing group we like from Switzerland. And I love Ariel Pink and Cate Le Bon and Chris Cohen.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

If we could record anywhere I think we’d all choose Sweden. We’re pretty fixated on Swedish rock music, and the country is so beautiful. I often feel like I’m on another planet or in an alternative reality in Scandinavia.

We’d love to record with Martin Stone from Mighty Baby. We spent a day playing with him a couple of years ago and he’s such an instinctive and unique musician. We had some genuine spine tingling moments listening to him play. We were coaxing him to rock out and he just completely blew us away.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We’re in the middle of writing and recording an album in our own way, just chipping away at it. I think we’re all very excited by how it’s progressing. We’re going to take our time and put it out when it’s ready then start doing some shows.

We’ve obviously got Le Beat Bespoke coming up which we’re really excited about, then we’re going on a short tour with Mudhoney, which should be amazing.

18. Unlike many bands featured in NUTs, you are totally open about your love of – for want of a better term ‘prog rock’. But what do you personally take to be the meaning of that term right here and now, in 2015? Do you see yourself as part of that or any ‘scene’, and what would you say to those who would suggest that playing 60s and 70s influenced music is by definition not ‘progressive’ but ‘regressive’ or ‘retro’?

I’ve never felt like we were progressive, but then I’ve always felt that as the ones making the music, we’re probably the least qualified to label it. So I’ll let people describe it how they like. It’s a paradox to make retrogressive prog I agree, but that’s never been our intention. We’ve always just followed our noses with the kind of music we were making and tried not to over think it. We get so little time to play together that we just like to switch off and enjoy playing when we get together, without really worrying about what it might be called.

We’ve made a conscious effort to shift away from lengthy arrangements with our new stuff though. We want each song to sound like a great 45 side.

19. Until less than ten years ago, things such as folk-rock, European prog, library soundtracks, occult-based music and film, rural imagery, and so-called “hauntology” were still very much fringe interests, with most tastes still shaped by post-punk and indie rules.  Yet now, many bands openly share your influences, clubs with similar themes have sprung up across the capital (and other cities), beards and long hair are sported by ‘hipsters’ everywhere, and there are even pubs, such as Hackney’s Hand Of Glory, that proclaim a “Wicker Man theme”. So, is this a good thing, finally bringing the inspirations that have shaped your work to greater public attention? Or do you think that maybe, as with other fashions, they will ultimately be treated as a bandwagon, briefly ridden then swiftly abandoned by trendsters with no understanding of their actual meaning? And if so, has returning to Bedfordshire after a spell in Bethnal Green kept you separate from such things?

Well I moved to Bedfordshire about ten years ago, while Tom and Dan still live in London and Joe lives in Lancashire, so I guess that helps us keep a degree of perspective. The older you get, the more able you are to completely ignore everyone else and delve on with your own interests regardless of trends.

None of the surface stuff matters anyway, if you’re really into something and feel a deep connection and sense of love and respect for it, it’s easy to recognize others that feel the same way, and ignore those who are along for the ride. I’m certainly not going to stop liking something because too many people are into it. Art and culture are there to be shared and enjoyed and the good stuff will always still be there when the tourists have left.

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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, was born in East London in 1974. As a small child, both parents inflicted their musical tastes, from The Beatles and The Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, on him, and he was never the same again. Despite being born and bred a 'Cockney tosser', Drewe actually spent his teenage years in and around Birmingham, attending his first 60s/50s-themed nights there at The Ship Ashore, before "coming home" in 1993 to the South, where, with the exception of three years spent in Glasgow between 2007-2010, he has remianed ever since. In the almost two decades that have passed he has trod a strange meandering path from a shy 60s/70s-obsessed teen with no 'scene' to speak of to a Metalhead, sleaze-glammie, Goth, indie kid, glam-punker, garage-rocker, eventual Mod and psych freak (first attending Mousetrap in 2000) In that time he's also written for Shindig! Britmovie, DarkSide, Black Velvet and Get Ready To Rock, promoted various vintage and veteran acts at Camden Underworld, Glasgow Ivory Blacks and several other venues, DJed everything from psych, garage and soul to Metal at practically every well-known club in central London. Drewe is trying to build a time machine that will enable him to visit any period between 1960 and 1980 but still be able to use a mobile and Facebook. His ambition, aside from directing films and building said machine, is to morph into a cross between Jason King, Timmy Lea, Jerry Cornelius and Richard Hannay, and drift about the ether having adventures in a kipper tie, pinstriped flares and camel hair coat.

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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, ,
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Les Grys Grys (Newbreed)

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Newbreed4

1. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We’ve been playing together for five years. We are playing gigs only since 2012.

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

The love for yellow socks, Joe Kelley’s haircut and the Netherlands.

3. How would you describe the style you play?

Rock and Roll. People may describe it as “Long haired R&B played loud on bended knees”

4. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We love the sixties blues. We cover that stuff. Thor’s Hammer, Q65, The Misunderstood… etc… We don’t like to cover “garage” songs; we prefer the R&B feeling.

5. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

We cover “You Said”. Original is by The Primitives. Sounds brutal. Favorite song is “Long Tall Shorty” by The Rhythm Checkers.

6. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Wake up the drummer.

7. How often do you rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We try to rehearse everyday at Subsonic in Montpellier. We play live quite often, like one live show a week. Recently, we have been recording with Jorge from Circo Perrotti in Spain. It’s out soon. Maybe on a London record label… More info coming up soon!

8. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Anyone who is cool and has the same love for rock and roll as us. However we prefer to play live than recording.

9. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We will tour soon in March and April; it includes Le Beat Bespokè in London and a lot more. What should you expect from us? Man, we don’t have any plan. Just stick to the rock and roll. Hope to have fun.

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Discography: 2014 – SINGLE ‘Hoy Gully Wind/Neighbour, Neighbour’


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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Fogbound (Newbreed)

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Newbreed4

Fogbound from A Coruña is the John Colby Sect labels first release with the fantastic Purple Wax/Kicking Eucalyptus Seeds housed in a beautiful picture sleeve. We caught up with Fab to find out what delights they have in store for us on their UK debut show at Le Beat Bespoke 10.

Band Members:
Fabio: Vox and guitar
Borja: Bass guitar
Fernando: Hammond
Pibli: Drums and back-vocal

2014 – SINGLE ‘Whispering Corridors’.
2015 – SINGLE ‘Purple Wax’.
2015 – SPLIT  Fogbound/ Mega Purple Sex Toy Kit – ‘Castles in a sand box’/  ‘Your Song’

To buy our singles: New Single:

The John Colby Sect underground record label is the new reference for lovers of spacey, reverb-drenched sounds. Somewhere between A Coruña and Madrid, the label’s heart resides in the musical and artistic underground. They specialize in limited editions releases on Vinyl with a unique identity.

1. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We’ve been playing together for 3 years… We started off with covers of British psych songs and the love for this kind of stuff brought us together.

2. What influences do the band members have in common?

The common link is the classic pop from the 60s but Fernando enjoys heavy prog psychedelia, Borja is a power pop fan and I personally love popsike.

3. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Yep, I prescribe a big dose of ONE OF THESE DAYS & Thee Heavy Random Tone Colour Lab they are the best band around here… totally dope prog psych!

4. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

It’s small but cozy and warm.

5. How would you describe the style you play?

If freakbeat means obscure psych, then it’s what we do.

6. What are your live shows like?

I’d say our live shows are raw, powerful and passionate.

7. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Zombies sounds like clichéd…but they are a big influence. Obscure bands from the first UK psych era like The Attack are a massive influence on the sound and attitude of Fogbound.

8. What are your main influences outside of music?

Our song Come & See made reference to a Russian film with the same title… so the cult films are another influence.

9. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

This is Fab the composer… the songs are about oneirism and reality in near equal measure.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

“Castles In a Sandbox” is a top fave and I’ll choose “From The Pipeline” by King Midas.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

The psychedelic music has embarked on its second youth thanks to bands such Temples, Tame Impala, The Black Angels… they have commercial pull and people seem to be more interested in this kind of music. Wish us luck!

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

I think the lack of stability is the biggest challenge for a group.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

The three of us try to rehearse twice a week and then Pibli (our new drummer) makes a quick review of the set list before the gig. This situation is difficult to sustain, but we do it for the future of the group and because from the first moment we hit it off with Pibli.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

It’s poor and commercial.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

As I said in question number eleven psychedelic music even shoe gaze, post punk, noise pop are trendy. And we celebrate to hear more bands with these tags.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We think Liam Watson is the perfect producer to record us. We have similar tastes and he owns one of the best analog studios in the world.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

This year we’ll release our second single Purple Wax, promoted with a glorious psychedelic clip, and then a split with Mega Purple Sex Toy Kit featuring Castles In a Sandbox that will delight the dancers. The future is unstable, so we tend to live in the present and go step by step conquering small goals.

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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, ,
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Dedicated Followers of Fashion: 1964-1970

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Fashion Scene


For me, the 1960s was the decade where fashion and music really became the fabric of life; where purchasing that new record by The Kinks, or buying that new shirt like the one worn by Steve Marriott on the front cover of Fab 208, became more important than eating or sleeping. From John Stephen’s forward-thinking and quite brilliant kick-start to men’s fashion at the start of the decade, to Tommy Roberts’ wild and often ‘off-the-wall’ pop art creations towards the end, it can safely be said it was the decade where the clothing certainly did the talking.

As the ‘60s started to gain momentum, men’s fashions were changing at a rapid speed of knots. This was helped by the fact that television sets became a lot more accessible to the masses, and teenagers were exposed to many varied and informative music-related newspapers and magazines. With such an explosion in sight and sound, it was perhaps inevitable that impressionable young men were going to take heed. It is also important to remember that this was a worldwide phenomenon.

As the ‘British Invasion’ took hold of America, and eventually all four corners of the world, young men also wanted to wear the same clothing as sported by their musical heroes. This led on to a colossal increase in demand for fashionable clothing for the modern man. This in turn would influence and inspire the designers on their never-ending quest to find the new look.

With hindsight, you can now see what was happening once this fashion explosion took a firm grip all over the world. It could be described as almost like a cross-pollination of styles, fabrics and prints from all around the world, and all at once. And it could be argued that the bands were the catalyst for all of this happening.

The Beatles were/are the perfect example of how music and fashion really evolved throughout the decade in perfect harmony. From their early collarless suits, designed by Pierre Cardin and Douglas Millings, to their mid-60s pin-striped suits, designed and provided by the King’s Road boutique, ‘Hung On You’. The Beatles took a firm grip of what they wanted to wear, and got to know many of the main designers of the time. This would come to an obvious conclusion, when they decided to open their first clothing enterprise in December 1967. Unfortunately, this business venture would only last until July 1968. The Apple Boutique is certainly a topic I will cover in more depth in a future article.

This first article is an attempt at giving you an overview of my thoughts on the decade that shaped my own way of life. Throughout future articles, I intend to highlight the clothes worn by bands, film stars and the fashion-conscious man on the street, in more detail – from designer to retailer, including closer examination of the shops and boutiques, underground and short-lived ventures to household names, for example ‘Granny Takes A Trip’. This isn’t only going to be a history lesson. I also want to bring things bang up-to-date, by featuring recent and current designers and proprietors, both in new and vintage clothing. It is very important for me to acknowledge how all of this fits in to our 21st century. I will sign off with these appropriate lyrics: “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world”…


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Peter Feely

Married to Susie, both actively involved in the UK 60s scene for many years. My personal interest in 1960s culture goes back over 30 years, with my main two passions being music and fashion, both in equal measure. I run my own menswear label – ‘Perfumed Garden’ clothing, catering for the discerning dandy male - in addition to sourcing and selling vintage mens’ gear, with a particular interest in those hard-to-find jackets and shoes! I also run the Facebook group, ‘Psychedelic Clothing for Men: Then and Now’, with 2200+ members. Although I have no formal training in the fashion industry, what I do possess is a real passion, and through the years I have gained valuable knowledge of many areas of mens’ fashion from the mid to late 1960s. I’m also a musician and have played in many bands in my younger years. I’m an avid collector of music and music-related paraphernalia. I started running my own club nights back in the mid-1990s, and at present I run a psychedelic night in Derby – ‘The Perfumed Garden Of Musical Delights’. Through this I also get to DJ at many exciting events up and down the country

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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , ,
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Newbreed – The Loons

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Newbreed4

Band Members:
Mike Stax (vocals)
Anja Stax (bass,vocals)
Marc Schroeder (guitar)
Chris Marsteller (guitar)
Mike Kamoo (drums)

1998 LP ‘Love’s Dead Leaves’ (Get Hip)
2004 CD ‘Paraphernalia’(UT Records)
2010 LP ‘Red Dissolving Rays of Light’ (Bomp! Records)
2012 7” ‘If You Could Read Your Mind’ (split single with Clinic) (UT Records)
2015 LP ‘Inside Out Your

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

The band first formed in 1996. There were a lot of lineup changes early on. Anja arrived from England in 1999 after leaving the Diaboliks, Marc joined in 2000, Chris around 2002, and Mike Kamoo in 2005, so we’ve had the same lineup now for ten years, which means we’ve developed a genuine bond as friends and chemistry as musicians.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Between us, I’m sure thousands of influences can be factored into the equation, but there are many that are common to all of us, primarily the Pretty Things, Love, the Yardbirds, the Who, the Kinks, the Outsiders, Q65, the 13th Floor Elevators, MC5—you know, the GOOD stuff!

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

The Schitzophonics are the best band to emerge from the San Diego area in a long time. They’re like a super high-energy cocktail of early MC5, the Sonics, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Little Richard.
The Neumans from Orange County – archetypal 60s garage, Vox amps and black roll-necks, great music and great people. We love them.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

The scene in Southern California has been undergoing a resurgence in the last few years with the appearance of bands like the Mystic Braves, the Allah La’s, the Sound Reasons and the aforementioned Schitzophonics and the Neumans as well as the return of the Unclaimed, who kicked off the entire West Coast garage revival scene in 1979-80. There’s also the all-girl garage band the Rosalyns (which includes Anja) and the Diddley Daddies (with Mike on bass). We see a lot more younger people at our shows now, which is really encouraging as it means the scene is regenerating rather than growing stale and grey.
There are also a few DJ clubs but it’s mainly about the bands and live music, a bit different from the European 60s scene. The scene is also a good mix so you have your Garage/Freakbeat people along with Scooterists, Mods and Punk Rock kids wanting a good time.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Psychotic Beat.

06. What are your live shows like?

Whether we’re playing to five people or 1,500 people, there’s a certain level of intensity we’re trying to bring to every show we play. The goal is to connect with the audience, engage them with our music, and hopefully have them leave the venue with our songs still ringing in their heads. We feel that, along with memorable songs, a band needs to bring some visual excitement to the stage. We’re never going to just stand there staring blankly at the floor, we’re going to be looking sharp, moving around and trying to grab your attention any way we can.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

I listed our main influences back in question #2. We do have a few covers that we’ll throw into our set list, according to our mood on the night: “Alexander” and “LSD” by the Pretty Things, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by the 13th Floor Elevators, “My Time” by the Golden Dawn, “All in Your Mind” by Stray, “I Unseen” by the Misunderstood, and even “New Rose” by the Damned, if we’re feeling particularly amped-up and anarchic.
We despise mediocrity in all its forms, bands who spend more time on their ‘look’ than their songs, musicians who use technology as a musical crutch, and people who are always chasing the next trend instead of trying to stake out something original of their own.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Mike Stax:”I’m a voracious reader. Kingsley Amis, Graham Greene, Ross Macdonald, John Le Carre, Lawrence Durrell, L.P. Davies, and Phil K. Dick are a few of my favourite writers and a constant source of inspiration.”
Anja: Also reading a ton but as far as other influences go I am always drawn to design and architecture. Obviously fashion, which I still continue to make and work on with my clothes label here in So Cal (I used to be part of Babzotica Boutique back when I lived in the 90s in London). And my friends!
Marc: Family, friends and surfing. Very simple.
Mike: Any art form that inspires and appeals to my senses.
Chris: Which do you mean sex or drugs?  (Sorry.  Spinal Tap moment = Poor attempt at being clever). Well… I suppose the only true answer would be life, right?

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

All of the band members contribute to the songwriting. Generally, one person will bring a riff, a chord progression or a basic song structure into the practice room; then we all put our heads together and shape it into a full-fledged song. I (Mike) come up with all of the lyrics and most of the vocal melodies. The songs are mostly drawn from personal experiences or observations of the world around us. Sometimes I get inspiration from historical events or personalities. For example, we just wrote a song called “Miss Clara Regrets,” which is all about the 1920s movie actress Clara Bow. It’s going to come out soon on a single on Dirty Water Records.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Mike: “My Desolation” is my current favorite, because it’s a lot of fun to sing live. Favourite song by another artist? “Can’t Stand the Pain” by the Pretty Things – I never tire of that song.
Anja: I like “Miss Clara Regrets” right now; it’s back to the basics and super tribal, really fun to play. Also “My Desolation” for its intensity. By another artist, wow, so many….let’s say top three are MC5 – “Lookin’ At You,” Rupert’s People – “Dream In My Mind” and 13th Floor Elevators – “Slip Inside This House.”
Marc: My favorite song right now from the Loons is “As the Raven Flies”. Probably one of my favorite songs of all time is “Signed DC” by Love. Also “Bo’s Bounce” by Bo Diddley.
Mike: I’m really enjoying ‘Miss Clara Regrets’ at the moment. ‘Dead End Street’ by the Kinks is high on the list currently.
Chris: “Heyday”, and of course, ALL of The Misunderstood set we’re doing with Glenn!  What great songs! What’s your favorite song by another artist? I apologize, but this is an impossible question to answer.  How do you think I fell for music in the first place?

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

I think the current underground scene is in a reasonably healthy state at the moment, and, yes, we actively participate whenever possible. Of course the scene is clogged up with a lot of mediocre bands, narcissists and bandwagon jumpers, but that’s always been the case. There are also some great bands who are contributing with some potentially timeless music – I hope we’re one of them. Luckily we have a few great life clubs/club owners here who genuinely support bands for the love of the music.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

It’s always been a challenge getting the media over here in the States to give us any attention. Too often they write us off as some kind of ‘60s revival act, because we dress a certain way and utilize vintage equipment and instruments. It’s only in recent years that they’ve begun to take us seriously and realize we’re creating music that is new and reflective of our own personalities, not some kind of nostalgia trip or historical reenactment.

13. How often do you rehearse? Play live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse about once a week. As we rehearse at Mike Kamoo’s recording studio, Earthling, we can record as often as we want—whenever we feel inspired. Our new album, Inside Out Your Mind will be released on May 27. We play live about twice a month on average. We have a couple of exciting upcoming shows: first our album release party on May 28 in San Diego, then of course our set at Le Beat Bespoke in London on April 3.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

There’s not an active national music press in the States like there is in the UK, so the only media coverage most bands get is either through zines and blogs or in the local media. It’s only in the last two or three years that the local media has begun give us any significant coverage. We appreciate all we get because it really does make a difference.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Mike: Nothing mainstream. But I like quite a lot of underground bands from around the world including the Sadies, the Schitzophonics, the Higher State, the Beat Pack, Los Grys Grys, Clinic, the Flowers of Evil, the Royal Flairs and the Maharajas.
Anja: I really like Clinic, The Sadies, Fogbound, the now defunct Soundtrack Of Our Lives, plus the bands we already mentioned from here in California.
Marc: Graham Day and cohorts Allan and Wolf have continued for 30+ years with a singular vision of quality rock ‘n’ roll. I think they sound about as good today as they ever have. Gives me hope.
Mike: Deerhunter, Tame Impala, Caribou, and Viet Cong
Chris: Another difficult question to answer without proper discussion.  I will say… I’ve always liked The Church.  Not sure if that qualifies as current or mainstream or underground (I think they’ve been all the above), but nevertheless they’ve been making good records for 35+ years.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Mike: I’d like to record with Dave Hassinger at RCA Hollywood in 1966 – with Jack Nitzsche helping out with the arrangements. Why? Aftermath, Between the Buttons, and “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night.”
Anja: For a treat I would love to record with Liam at Toe-Rag again; good times! Jorge from Dr. Explosion is also doing some great work, someone get us back to Spain fast 😉
Marc: I would love to record with Kim Fowley, a great supporter of the Loons. Unfortunately we lost our chance. Liam at Toe-Rag would be cool; I love the sounds from that studio.
Mike: Jorge Explosion – Circo Perrotti. I heard the Fogbound recordings and would like to see what’s going on over there!
Chris: Holy Sh*t!  Is time travel possible?

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Our goal is to keep getting better – write better songs, make better records, play better gigs, and reach as many people with our music as we possibly can. In the immediate future, we’re looking forward to collaborating again with our friend Glenn Campbell of the Misunderstood, and to bringing our music to London for Le Beat Bespoke.

Web Links:


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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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February 1, 2015 By : Category : Bands Interviews Music Scene USA Tags:, , ,
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Fontana nuggets Part 1

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Collectors Corner

The magical worlds of The Misunderstood and Kaleidoscope

Whilst it’s fair to say that most of the prime British collectible 45’s from the golden age would have been released on either the Decca or EMI group of labels, the Philips group wouldn’t have been far behind in the label pecking order. The Philips group itself was founded in the late 19th century in Holland originally specialising in X-Rays, Television, Radios and electric shavers! The record label itself was founded in Europe in 1950, and finally launched in Britain in 1953. Early Philips releases for Johnnie Ray, Doris Day, Winifred Atwell and Frankie Laine resulted in massive number one hits and the label soon flourished into a major player in the UK by the late 50’s. In January 1958 French label Fontana (part owned by Philips) was launched in Britain with Jimmy Jaques  “Come walking” (Fontana H100) its first release. Early records were usually pressed on 78 rpm only with an eclectic mixture of UK singers (Matt Monro), US easy listening (Johnny Mathis) and sublime R’n’B, including Screamin’ Jay Hawkins sole UK 1950’s release “I put a spell on you” (TF107). Between the late 50’s and 1963 Fontana pressed some amazing 45’s, resulting in some great rarities including Tamla Motown productions, UK jazz from Tubby Hayes, doo-wop from Little Joe and the Thrillers and early recordings from James Brown and Aretha Franklin. In 1964 with both beat and soul music exploding in popularity in the UK Fontana began to throw out classic releases every month until the TF series came to a halt in 1970 and the label was split with pop returning to the Philips fold and the progressive artists relocating to the new, hip Vertigo imprint. It’s the golden age of Fontana between 1963 and 1970 we’ll be concentrating on over the next few months and two of the labels greatest artists, who both co-incidentally will be onstage this Easter at Le Beat Bespoke, Kaleidoscope and The Misunderstood are the focus of our first article.

misunderstood 1  misunderstood 2

The Misunderstood have a long and very mixed up history. They were formed in California back in 1963 originally playing surf music but soon becoming something altogether more sonically adventurous, particularly in thrall to sounds of the Yardbirds et al. By 1965 band members Glenn Campbell’s incendiary steel guitar playing and Steve Whiting’s bottleneck bass came to the attention of the then-unknown legendary UK DJ John Peel, back then based in the USA. By now feedback, raga and burgeoning psychedelia was present in their way out music, so in 1966 John and the band decamped to the then swinging UK. Initially minus vocalist Rick Brown who couldn’t escape the US draft, the band arrived in London in 1966. Brown eventually made it over but then Guitarist Greg Treadway was called up to the US navy and was replaced by Englishman Tony Hill. Promptly signed by Fontana in late 1966, under the eye of great underrated UK producer Dick Leahy the band set about recording there debut 45. Released in December 1966 “I can take you to the sun/Who do you love” (Fontana TF777) is one of the crown jewels of British psychedelic singles. Way too complex for British chart tastes it sold poorly and is now a prized item, copies usually change hands between £60-80. Continuing line-up problems involving visas and dodgy managers meant the follow-up 45 didn’t get released until 1969 but what a masterpiece it was. Recorded much earlier than its release date, “Children of the sun/I unseen” (Fontana TF998) literally explodes out of your speakers and the guitar squall is like being punched in the face by sound! Yet again the British public didn’t agree and this is arguably harder to find than the first 45 changing hands for around the £100 mark. One note to be wary of are bootleg pressings of both the above singles, easily identifiable by a large centre hole and the lack of a grooved ridge on the outer label rim. In 1969 Glenn assembled a new version of Misunderstood and soldiered on with no success, releasing two last singles under the name: “You’re tuff enough/Little red rooster” (TF1028) came out in May 1969 and Fontana even wrapped the 45 in a picture sleeve (their cheapest 45 at £25 – £40) then finally in July 1969 “Never met a girl like you/Golden Glass” (TF1041) was released, prices hover anywhere between £40 – £80 for this understated beauty. As the new decade began the band morphed into heavier territory under their new name of Juicy Lucy, finding a new home on the Vertigo label…. but that’s another story!

kaleidoscope_1  kaleidoscope_2

Of all the UK groups that never tasted chart success, along with The Action, you would have to place the majestic Kaleidoscope in amongst the most baffling musical failures. Between 1967 and 1969 the band managed to release five ridiculously great singles and two perfect albums and all to no avail. They were so good it took years for the public to realise their greatness and they are now held in the high esteem they deserve. Originally known as The Key, band members Peter Daltrey, Danny Bridgman, Eddy Pumer and Steve Clark were signed to Fontana in early 1967 where they adopted their new moniker Kaleidoscope. “Humbly, we offer you the colours…and more”, or so said the beautiful full colour picture sleeve to the debut 45 release in September 1967 “Flight from Ashiya/Holidaymaker” (TF863). Although it’s a wonderful psychedelic track, the A side was probably a bit too strange for mass consumption and the single flopped. It’s priced at around £50-80 now, this does usually depend on the condition of the picture sleeve, which is very flimsy and easily tearable. At the end of 1967 the band were afforded a full-blown album release “Tangerine dream” (S/TL 5448 mono and stereo versions were produced), a perfect mixture of melody, great lyrics and psychedelia it bombed upon release making it a top end UK collectible in years to come. With LP’s, condition is paramount, meaning an original pressing of this beauty would cost over £500 for a very good condition copy, rising to way over £1000 for a mint copy with an undamaged sleeve. Into 1968 the group moved back to the singles market hoping to make a breakthrough. January 1968 saw “A dream for Julie/Please excuse my face” (TF895) followed in September by “Jenny Artichoke / Just how much you are” (TF964). Then in March 1969 “Do it again for Jeffrey / Poem” (TF1002) was followed by “Balloon / If you so wish” (TF1048) in September of that year. All four were perfect commercial tracks and any of them, to these ears anyway, should have been nestling in the UK top ten with the other great late 60’s pop classics. But due to a mixture of bad luck, promotion and management all sold zilch and all are prized collectors items nowadays. Prices for these singles range between £30 – £100, “Balloon” is especially hard to find, particularly as a stock copy. The final release as Kaleidoscope was the majestic album “Faintly blowing” (STL5491).  I can’t put into words how magnificent this album is but it is a travesty that such a musical masterpiece didn’t catapult the band to fame. As usual though, the album sold so poorly it’s impossible to find today in any sort of condition. Most copies have a watermark at the start of the track one on both sides but this doesn’t affect the value too much. The gatefold sleeve is prone to damage and ring-wear but prices easily fetch between £700 and £1000+, condition being very important here! After this lack of success, one last hurrah was the I Luv Wight 45 “Let the world wash in” (Philips 6006 043). Housed in a fetching picture sleeve in 1970, the single was supposed to receive lots of airplay due to its tie in with the Isle of Wight festival but this didn’t help it up the chart. As ever, sales were minimal and the record flopped leaving one last great Kaleidoscope rarity for you to collect. As the new decade dawned Kaleidoscope became Fairfield Parlour and decamped to Philips records groovy new progressive label Vertigo… but as I said earlier, that’s yet another story!!!

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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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January 27, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Masters – Kaleidoscope

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Masters2

Peter Daltrey of UK Psyche Icons Kaleidoscope, took some time out of his busy creative day to answer some of our questions prior to the Band’s appearance at Le Beat Bespoké 10 at Easter in London.

01 Are you happy and exciting to be invited to play at the 10th anniversary of Le Beat Bespoké?

**Ha, ha…! I’m happy and excited to be invited to play anywhere! Look, I’m an old geezer who thought he and his psychedelic ditties had been dead and buried for decades – so to find that new fans are discovering our music and enjoying what they hear is a massive shot in the golden arm for me. My band was fortunate enough to be creating our music in that short window of opportunity that presented itself from around mid ’66 to the end of ’67: the short-lived but much-loved blossoming of psychedelia. The fact that the genre is garnering new adherents in the 21st century is astonishing. Perhaps as the world turns darker with grim and terrifying incidents turning nightmare into reality the need to turn again to more innocent times is inevitable. And music itself has lost its way some would say, with commercialism dominant and creativity and inventiveness overshadowed and certainly undervalued. OK, the commercial needs of the music business have always been there, but when we were recording our albums we were allowed free rein in the studio to allow creative ideas and envelope-pushing to flourish. So to be able to stand up on stage and perform these pioneering songs to a new audience is very rewarding. And goes some way to compensate for the cold shoulder we were shown back then. The sound of applause for these songs is sweet sure enough, balm to my tinnitus-riddled old ears.

02 What special songs are you planning on playing during your performance?

It’s very important to me that the set list is crafted to supply what the audience want. I’ve released eighteen solo albums since the band broke up back in ’71 but sadly no one wants to hear any of those songs! So all the Kaleidoscope favourites will be played with the emphasis on our brand of poppy-tinged psychedelia. We will also perform some Fairfield Parlour tracks. Allowing for time constraints if we played all the favourites we’d be there all night! Fan’s will get to hear everything from Flight from Ashiya to Dream for Julie – from the mellow Monkey to the mayhem of Music.

03 How important do you think live events such as this are in todays wider music scene?

The income stream for musicians has dried up. Although the internet and this crazy digital world in which we live, together with innovations in recording technology have all contributed in musicians being able to become their own masters, to shrug off the multi-national record company yoke, there has been a massive price to pay. With the welcome demise in the universal power of the big labels a new dawn signalled hope for the fortunes of musicians and bands who realised they could grasp the nettle of control for themselves. Which many of us did – only to find that with the catastrophic decline in physical record sales streaming and downloads raised their ugly heads. The digital dawn brought with it the ability for file sharing, piracy and unfettered copying of music. Even allowing for the fact that CD copying was once rife, now it is so much easier to literally steal music off the internet. As soon as you release an album some misguided fan will think he or she is doing you a big fat favour by uploading it to YouTube or wherever for everyone to hear. And for many to simply copy. Even going down the legitimate road brings few rewards for the musician. The earnings from downloads are minimal; the earnings from streaming are miniscule. So having the opportunity to play live is also an opportunity to recoup some losses. But music is always more exciting and more visceral live. The interaction of the audience with the performers is what gives music its magic. To be in the centre of that, to feel all that energy as you stand on stage is a privilege. Special interest festivals of music like Le Beat Bespoké play an important part in disseminating styles of music to new ears, turning people on to music they might otherwise have missed. Particularly if it came out half a bloody century ago…!

04 Le Beat Bespoké brings together a lot of different styles and type of people, do you think this helps your own approach to playing there?

I’m not sure if it helps my approach to playing. But it is amazing to see ageing hippies with wispy white hair rubbing shoulders with neat young Mods in sleek Italian suits, pensioner flower-children singing along to Faintly Blowing alongside teenage Mary Quant lookalikes. I noted the same at the Euro Ye Ye festival we played in Spain a couple of years ago. It really is heart-warming and rewarding to meet fans in the flesh after the gig. At the end of the night I always leave the venue with a big humble smile on my old boat race.

05 Tell us about your early Mod years in the early 1960s?

After a short spell as a rocker with full leather gear and slicked-back hair I became a Mod. Some guys went for chubby Vespas, but I always preferred the sleek Italian lines of the Lambretta. Fashions changed monthly, weekly: one minute everyone had chrome bars and carriers front and back, then just on the front, then the back, then no bars, but with chrome side panels. I had my panels sprayed racing green with a big white number on. We wore USA Army parkas and Pork Pie hats, loafers and short, dyed slacks. Then Fred Perry shirts with close-cropped hair. It was a nightmare trying to keep up.

06 You were known as The Sidekicks, then The Key before eventually forming as Kaleidoscope?

We had played our first gig at a nurses’ party at Fulham Hospital on the 26th June 1960 something, but the next day we had our first public booking playing for kids at the Cinema: Saturday Morning Pictures; a British institution. I remembered it fondly myself: off to the cinema via De La Mura’s to watch cartoons and space serials and the Lone Ranger, yelling and chewing and punching. We got a gig playing in the interval. We set up in front of the stage at the ABC cinema in Edgware, north of London. The kids didn’t shut up for a minute. But we got a taste of what it was like playing in front of an audience.

By August we had gained enough confidence to book ourselves into Central Sound Studios, 6 Denmark Street in London. We recorded ‘House of the rising sun,’ ‘Mona,’ ‘Hi Heel Sneakers’ and our very first self-penned composition, ‘Drivin’ around.’ We wanted some songs of our own; we wanted to rise above being just a covers band. Ed and I just fell into writing without anyone ever discussing it: Ed wrote the music and I wrote the words. Terrible bloody songs to begin with! But we had all gradually become ambitious, driven on by the encouragement of friends and family. Around this time we had a name change to The Key.

As The Key we played many of our own songs in a set. We were quite creative on stage. We used to have a cute girl in a mini skirt sitting on stage with us. She sat there reading a book of poetry throughout our set. Ed and I would eat an apple during one number. Probably meant to be very symbolic and mysterious but just made it difficult to sing with a mouthful of apple mush. And then during our finale number – the explosive and now long-lost ‘Face’ – I bit on a plastic blood capsule and collapsed on stage just as the last chords were fading. It caused a right old riot and we were chased out of the building by the gig organizers who had called an ambulance, completely fooled by my Oscar-winning on-stage death and they felt pretty silly having to explain their donkey-brained mistake. We were pushing at invisible boundaries.

07 What other bands did you admire and how did you hear them and their music?

We were Beatle nuts, simple as that. The Beatles were our musical gods. It’s been said so many times but the Sixties really was a magical time in many areas, music and fashion in particular, but also film and photography.

We measured everything we did against the Beatles. We had our own style but we were attempting to always achieve their standards. They set the bar for so many bands. I also liked Donovan, Leonard Cohen – Dylan, of course. He was my ultimate hero at the time along with the man who invented great pop music, Buddy Holly.

08 What was the nightlife and live circuit like in those heady days?

We were so focused on our own band on our own quest that we didn’t go to gigs or clubs. We were obsessed with only one band, Kaleidoscope.

09 What shaped your song-craft?

The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ changed everything. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was the catalyst. I was never entirely happy as the lyricist writing endless soppy love songs. The Beatles showed us all the way, followed closely at the time by the Bee Gees who wrote amazingly weird songs like ‘Lemons Never Forget’ and the flawless ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941.’ It didn’t kick start me into writing songs like ‘The Murder of Lewis Tollani’ and ‘Dive into Yesterday,’ as I used to assume; I have since found out that ‘Horizontal’ came out after we were writing such songs – but it did show we were heading in the same direction. But don’t forget that Psychedelia was very short-lived. It lasted not much more that eighteen months. It was that truly magical period between late ’66 to early ’68. Fortunately for us this was the time we hit gold, securing our first recording contract with a major label, Philips/Fontana, and getting all the time we needed in a professional studio.

10 What were your thoughts on the emerging UK psych scene at that time, the girls, cars, fashion, clubs and drugs?

By now Carnaby Street had properly erupted in a florid flush of boutiques with loud music and mini skirts and Mary Quant rip-offs and lace shirts and high-heeled boots for men and see-through dresses and it was spend spend spend! Teenagers had money and they were going to spend it. Records. Clothes. Alcohol. Cigarettes. Drugs. Holidays in Spain. Hairdos. Cheap food. Magazines. The tide was turning. The old school grey drab Fifties establishment was drowning. We were going to change the world. And we had our own leaders, thank you very much: John, Paul, George and Ringo.

11 What kind of pressures, challenges and expectations did signing for Fontana and the music industry at large provide for young bands like yourselves?

On the 24th February 1967 we had our first recording session as Kaleidoscope at Philips’ Stanhope Place Studio just a giant leap for mankind from Marble Arch. Although nervous, entering this mysterious, subterranean dimly lit cavern, we knew that we could not allow anything to go wrong. We recorded ‘Holiday Maker’ and ‘Kaleidoscope.’ Unlike every recording session we’d ever had before – in egg-box dives – we were not disappointed with the results. In fact we were stunned by the clarity of the results, fascinated by the recording process and pleased to find that the engineers were friendly and co-operative. The actual recording process was taken out of our hands and was something of a mystery: we did what we were told in terms of levels and retakes. The arrangements were down to us, although Dick did have some input via carefully phrased suggestions. We were always willing to listen and incorporate inventive ideas. But all the songs went into the studio fully formed. We never wrote in the studio like some bands. Our songs were very carefully written, rewritten, arranged and polished long before recording sessions. Dick produced, obviously aware of the beating of our novice hearts, allowing us time to settle down, to accustom ourselves to the cathedral studio. In fact, the studio was so enormous that when we set up our equipment we only occupied a small area, but this was how we preferred it – reminiscent, perhaps, of our nights rehearsing at the school hall in Acton not so long before.

12 You released 6 singles for Fontana in a short period of time, were you happy with them as a collection or set of work?

We always approached singles in a different frame of mind to writing for albums. In fact most of our singles never appeared on our albums. I’m very happy with the singles – but still frustrated that we came so close to chart success but never close enough. The songs were finely honed to be radio-friendly. Both ‘Jenny Artichoke’ and ‘Bordeaux Rose’ came so close to providing us a hit record. Both were what we referred to in those radio-dominated times as ‘turntable hits’.

Our career was scuppered by our own record company whose distribution was so lousy it was legendary in the business – a fact unbeknown to us upon signing our contract with them.

13 You also released 2 seminal LPs around this time, what was that studio experience like and the entire writing and production process?

They were magical days in the huge Number One studio at Stanhope Place. Our second home. Dick was always willing to open his door to Ed and I. He was always asking us for new songs. In the studio itself he took subtle control but always allowed our creativity to rule the sessions from the studio floor. We often recorded all afternoon and long into the evening.

The entire writing and production process…?! I’ll have to bow out of that one. There’s only twenty-four hours in the day and I ain’t getting any younger. Suffice to say it was exciting, exhilarating and rewarding.

14 This set you on the way to being well-known in the ‘Swinging London’ period, how had the clubs, culture and scene evolved in this short period?

No idea. We never went to clubs. We were far too busy gigging and writing. The ‘scene’ in any era is often vacuous, and then and now holds no attraction for me. Sorry, were you hoping for ultra-colourful anecdotes of swinging London….? * (Editor – yes but the truth is more rewarding by far!)

15 Jagger and McCartney were big fans, your lyrics were evocative and painted pretty and vivid milestones?

Jagger and Pauly… Were they really? I doubt it. Probably something an interviewer said to heighten interest in his piece.

Looking back it’s easy for new generations to ridicule the style and lyrical content of music from way back then. It was a colourful burst of fashion in music. And as we all know fashion comes and goes swiftly. Fortunately for us it is also true that there is nothing new in this world and fashion styles always return. Psychedelia is again enjoying a substantial revival — and it is great to have caught that wave.

We were certainly not writing to appeal to the druggy crowd. At this point we had very little experience of drugs having dabbled frighteningly in the early Sixties’ purple heart period and being put off pills for life. Younger people look back and think there were drugs and free love available on every street corner. Nope. We weren’t particularly interested in the former and the latter didn’t come up and offer itself to us. Besides, we had total tunnel vision: we lived for our music. Nothing was going to make us waver from our righteous path.

16 Your sense of harmony and melody and ability to create memorable tunes meant that your horizons were moving constantly?

‘Faintly Blowing’ showed our maturing as writers and musicians. It also showed that the record company were still fully in support, willing to invest a lot of money in studio time and orchestral arrangements. Yes, of course, we were looking for a hit record. Dick Leahy wanted to release ‘If you so wish’ as a single — possibly as a double A-side with ‘Black Fjord’ but he lost his sense of direction and went for the more immediately commercial ‘Jenny Artichoke.’ Although ‘Jenny’ was a massive radio hit being played constantly on our one radio station at the BBC, it failed to sell for the same old reason: poor distribution. With hindsight that single should have been followed by the ‘If you so wish’/‘Black Fjord’ single. If Philips/Fontana had then got there act together properly with better distribution and promotion, we would have had a hit that would have really stood the test of time, more likely to endure than ‘Jenny.’

As writers Ed and I were always seeking the perfect song and this inevitably lead to us improving over time. We were always pushing ourselves further.

17 What was the final straw for Kaleidoscope and how did you evolve into Fairfield Parlour?

We then changed our name to Fairfield Parlour after we shrugged off our Psychedelic colours and embraced the progressive folk sound that was fast approaching. We didn’t feel the name Kaleidoscope was appropriate for our new sound and image. In retrospect I guess it was maybe a bit of a mistake. We should have stuck to our guns, proud of our name. But at the time it still seemed the right thing to do.

We had fallen out with the suits at Fontana/Philips because we had failed to produce a hit single. These were executives that thought, at first, they had the new Beatles. They gave us an ultimatum: record the songs of some hit writers -Tin Pan Alley hacks – or your days with us are numbered. We went into the studio under protest and attempted to record two songs that had been scraped from the bottom of a bucket that a publisher was chucking out. The sessions – fortunately – were a disaster!

The Radio 1 DJ, David Symonds had noticed our slightly rudderless ship passing through his studio on numerous occasions and now approached us with a proposition: Let me manage you and get you away from this blindfolded record company. We jumped at the chance to try something new. Ed and I were writing differently. Gone were the battalions in baby blue and in came the lonely old spinsters cutting up pictures of wedding dresses and photos of Marlon Brando. A name change was therefore suggested.

As Fairfield Parlour Farm – yep, we dropped the ‘Farm’ bit in the cold light of the next morning – we, or rather our shiny new manager, approached Fontana and demanded a new contract where we would record independently of the studio and simply lease the tapes to the company, retaining copyright. They agreed, but suggested we climb aboard their new label, Vertigo. Which would best suit our more progressive music, that being the way musical fashion was heading after the short-lived Psychedelic flower withered and died.

18 This period saw you invited to enter into the world of film with the ‘Eye Witness’ soundtrack which housed the new bright young thing Mark Lester?

An up and coming Director offered us the job of writing and recording the theme song and incidental music for a feature film, ‘Eye Witness.’ From the depression and dejection of just six months previous, we were now on a high, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of our former selves. 1970 was clearly going to be an outstanding year!

19 Eventually you were invited to play one of the key events of this entire period, The 1970 IOW Festival?

This really was going to be ‘the big one.’ Not only had we secured ourselves a place on the billing for the 1970 Isle of Wight festival – our manager had persuaded the organisers to let us write and record a ‘theme song’ for the festival. We cut a demo of the song, ‘Let the world wash in,’ at the Livingstone Studios in East Barnet. The Foulk Brothers loved it and so we spent two nights at Sound Techniques in Chelsea recording the song. Lennon’s classic, ‘Across the universe’ is a little too obviously the influence for the song, but nonetheless, the resulting track is warm and sincere. It is one of my favourite recordings of the band, featuring a full, well-produced sound, focusing quite correctly on the chorus.

From the 16th to the 20th of August we rehearsed at a pig farm in Woking. Yes, that is right. In the height of a sultry summer we were in a narrow tin-roofed pig hut strutting our stuff. (All right it was a new building that had yet to see a poor porker.) We’d discussed our set, arriving at a list of songs that reflected our more pastoral side, as some of the critics liked to call it. We would play more of our acoustic songs, the ones we often left out of college gigs. We realised from the outset that we were likely to be dwarfed by the physical dimensions of the gig and the stage itself. We would look ridiculous if we went out there in the middle of the day with our heavier material. We all agreed we would be grass- chewing-folk-loving-bucolic-gentle-rockers for the day. But the pre-gig excitement had already permeated the pig hut. This was going to be enormous.

The day after we left Woking, ‘Let the world wash in’ was released. The rest is history as they say – well our nadir, perhaps. You will have to buy a copy of my book, ‘I Luv Wight’ to read the whole sorry saga. Suffice to say the single bombed and our experience of the festival was tainted by the raging politics behind the scenes concerning the fate of the record at the festival itself.

20 What was the come down like post IOW Festival, what happened next?

‘White-Faced Lady’ shelved for two decades. Disillusion, despair, heartbreak – and rebirth…

21 As a Solo Artist you have been very productive indeed, releasing 19 or so LPs on various labels?

I can’t stop writing and recording. A creative person can`t simply turn off the tap – although having said that the bloody tap occasionally turns itself off. Yes, plenty of albums to choose from for those fans of the band who might be tempted to dig into my own body of work.

I have two albums (one with Damien Youth) currently available on GRA Records in America: and a third due for release soon…

And another on Rocketgirl Records, a double CD with Damien Youth: 

And a fab collaboration with US Psyche-Masters Asteroid#4 called ‘The Journey’:

If all goes to plan I will be joining Asteroid#4 on stage on the 20th of October to premier a few of these songs:

22 What about your various books and work as an Artist?

I have six books out at the moment – available here, – with a seventh on the writing & recording of ‘The Journey’ album coming shortly. And my continuing passion is photography which currently takes up more of my time than music – although that is about to change…

23 What have you got planned for the future?

A great deal. No time like the present. Strike while the iron is hot. Best foot forward. Nothing ventured etc etc. You get the secret picture.

24 Can you tell us a joke please?

A guy walks into a Bar and takes himself a quiet seat. Before he can even order a beer, the bowl of pretzels in front of him says ‘Hey, you’re a handsome fellow!’  The man tries to ignore the bowl of pretzels, and orders a fine Pilsner beer. The bowl of pretzels then says ‘Ooooh, a Pilsner, great choice. You’re a smart man!’  Starting to freak out, the guy says to the bartender ‘Hey what the hell, this bowl of pretzels keeps saying nice things to me!’ Bartender says ‘Don’t worry about it, the pretzels are complimentary!!!’

Web Links & Credits
For all things Peter Daltrey go to:
Thank you To: Anna Pumer Photography:

See more interesting interviews and reviews on Eyeplug Magazine.


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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , ,
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