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KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour biography
The English band KALEIDOSCOPE (not to be confused with American band KALEIDOSCOPE which existed at the same time and played basically psychedelic rock too) is an almost forgotten band from the late sixties and early seventies.

The band started its recording activities in 1967 as KALEIDOSCOPE, but the band was formed back in 1963 with the name THE SIDEKICKS and changed to THE KEY later. In the beginning, the line-up was Eddie Pumer on guitar, Steve Clark on bass and Danny Bridgman on drums, but they later needed a new vocalist and Peter Daltrey joined (he played keyboards too). They played local venues and released singles, but when they signed a contract with Phillips, they changed the name of the band and started playing their own psychedelic rock compositions instead of the covers they used to play before. The combination of Pumer's musical arrangements and Daltrey's lyrics was the main power of the group.

In 1967 was released their first album, 'Tangerine Dream'. The album comprises fine psychedelic songs with experimentations and arrangements like many of the top psychedelic and early progressive bands from that age (THE BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, THE MOODY BLUES). They got lots of airplay and recorded many BBC sessions, but didn´t sell well. They eventually released more singles, like 'Jenny Artichoke', which was a success, but sold poorly, and another album, 'Faintly Blowing'. It was released in 1969, showing a progression of it's predecessor in terms of sound. Although still psychedelic, the compositions were getting more progressive. The album unfortunately failed to chart.

They released a final single, 'Balloon', before changing the name to FAIRFIELD PARLOUR and becoming totally progressive oriented. The band didn't achieve success and they were unlucky at the time, failing to chart and having problems (including some sabotage) in all great gigs they had, including the famous Isle of Wight, which they were the responsibles for the 'Theme Song' of the festival (released under the name of I LUV WIGHT).

WHITE FACED LADY was their last album, recorded in 1971 partly with the help of Mike Pinder, from THE MOODY BLUES. The album was a conceptual double-album with many orchestral arrangements. The band had a deal with Vertigo at that time, but the responsible quit Vertigo and moved to CBS. So they were to release it on CBS, but CBS refused to release their album and it stayed shelved for twenty years, being released in 1991 by a lab...
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White Faced Lady / From Home To HomeWhite Faced Lady / From Home To Home
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Pilot 2001
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KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR discography


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KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 32 ratings
Tangerine Dream
1967
3.23 | 22 ratings
Faintly Blowing
1969
3.34 | 23 ratings
From Home to Home
1970
4.17 | 20 ratings
White-Faced Lady
1990

KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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3.05 | 3 ratings
Dive Into Yesterday
1997

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KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR Reviews


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 Faintly Blowing by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.23 | 22 ratings

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Faintly Blowing
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by SpecialKindOfHell

5 stars Magic Zoo and Electric Midnight Mist

Faintly Blowing, the second full-length LP from Kaleidoscope, released in 1969, is arguably the finest LP from the British Psychedelic era. Pussy, Pussy Plays and The Open Mind's self-titled LPs are classics, but not as transcendent as this release. One could say it's on par with the equally amazing Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies, no easy task.

There are many reasons for this, should one try to pinpoint just why this record is so good. The opener "Faintly Blowing" should have been a hit, catchy, psychedelic, powerful. Same with the majestic, poppy "Black Fjord". "Snapdragon", "Story From Tom Blitz", "Feathered Tiger" are all just as good as well, there's not a weak track on the LP. "(Love Song) For Annie" has an addicting heavy pounding guitar bombast, that at first seems very un-love- song-like, that is then is repeatedly offset against the acoustic guitar interludes that invest a quiet sincerity to the ode. The end of the song is almost post-punk rythmically. "If You So Wish" has a Beatle-esque melodic quality with the orchestration of the era's pop groups. A solemn, introspective and quiet number, "Bless The Executioner" is a song waiting to be covered by some hipster, indie-folk-rocker.

All throughout, Peter Daltrey's vocals are perfect for the ethereal, storybook fantasy feeling that pervades the songs. The instrumentation is clear and precise, not overwhelmingly psychedelic initially perhaps, as acoustic guitars are present through much of the LP, but just when you think it may stay within a traditional 60s pop format, it opens up into something much wilder ("Music"). Awash with overdrive and phase, ambient ringing clear guitar notes, crashing chords? the album is a milestone for the band, they unfortunately didn't have the financial success to keep it going. The cover art I might add, is an astounding and strange piece of British rock mastery. A third excellent album as Fairfield Parlour was issued, From Home To Home, and a fourth double LP, White Faced Lady, that was unreleased initially, then finally made it out in the 90s. They mastered a musical body of work that is romantic, fantastical, and adventurous? and that's a damn good thing.

Of the highest recommendation to fans of British Psychedelia. Their performance at the 2013 Austin Psych Fest was one of the highlights of the weekend.

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 Tangerine Dream  by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.07 | 32 ratings

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Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

2 stars Ok, this is proto-prog and it's 1967. The album is a collection of songs without a concept so going track by track is a natural thing to do.

"Kaleidoscope" sounds like the Byrds of Mr. Tambourine Man or Turn, Turn, Turn. I don't know if the guitar is a Rickenbaker but this is how this two minutes song sounds.

"Please Excuse My Face" is a bit more British and with a light psychedelic mood, but in the end it's just a two minutes song made of voice and guitar.

"Dive Into Yesterday" is the first song that's clearly psychedelic. Closer to the Beatles of Sgt Pepper than to Syd Barrett anyway.

"Mr Small The Watch Repairer Man" is on the same mood of the previous. A Barrett theme on a Beatles/Byrds base.

"Flight From Ashiya" is the first track almost floydian (this is the same year of The Piper at the gates of dawn). If they only had a Rick Wright....

"The Murder Of Lewis Tollani" makes me think to the WHO. Of course can make us think to a lot of bands as this album is very stuck into its age. However this is another light psychedelic track, like Arnold Layne was for PF.

"In the Room Of Percussion " is like early Caravan with Robertson at guitar.

"Dear Nellie Goodrich" is another kind of Byrds song.

"Holiday Maker" is opened by seashore/beach sounds and effectively is like the Beatles singing the Beach Boys. However it's a nice short song.

"A Lesson Perhaps" is made of speech over classical guitar. Interesting, the most experimental (the only let's say) track.

Finally a 8 minutes song: "The Sky Children". Very flower-power has a good melody and is different from the rest of the album. In my opinion the only track that's worth a listen.

It's nice thinking that this album can have inspired the band's name to Edgar Froese, but I don't believe so. It can be a documentayr value but there's a lot of stuff from the same era that's surely more interesting. A collector's item.

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 Faintly Blowing by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.23 | 22 ratings

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Faintly Blowing
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by Dobermensch

1 stars This is the album that started my long-term hate affair between myself and Kaleidoscope. 'Faintly Blowing' starts things off - and it's an an interminable opening track that seems to go on forever in it's four minute duration. It's so.... ordinary.

Kaleidoscope were clearly influenced by many contemporary psychedelic bands of their era. It's just a pity they didn't have an original idea in their heads.

Peter Daltrey isn't big enough to fill the boots of Syd Barrett or whoever else he's plagiarising and lacks any semblance of presence or gravitas. Basically 'Faintly Blowing' is an empty retread of their previous album and that ain't up to much either, but at least it's a damn sight better than this.

An album so dated and derivative, it has no function as a piece of entertainment. Jeez - and that's me only at track four out of eighteen! How am I going to get through this? That's it, I'm off for a bottle of wine...

At last it ends... although it doesn't so much end as collapse in a heap of its own ineptitude. Really dull with very little imagination. The highly effected vocal melodrama makes things even more painful and I find myself with furrowed brow, scowling at my evil computer wanting to punch it in the screen. Baah!

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 Tangerine Dream  by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.07 | 32 ratings

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Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars This one's got every cliché in the book from 1967. Very whimsical, light psychedelic music that's vocal heavy. Peter Daltrey's vocals are pretty good - and the double tracking of them reminds me a lot of Syd Barrett . Unlike 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn' - this is a far more straightforward album. Don't expect anything groundbreaking.

Quite frankly, once you get past the nice 1967 Edwardian sound that many bands had around this time, it's actually boring, mainly because all the tunes start to sound very similar. The songs are just too simple and the lyrics are hopeless. In saying that, there are two excellent tracks. 'Holiday Maker' is undoubtedly catchy and a definite step up from the preceding tracks. Unfortunately the next tunes 'A Lesson Perhaps & The Sky Children' made me lose the will to live. Instantly forgettable.

Thankfully the best is left till last with the great ' Jenny Artichoke'. I can never get this damn tune out of my head each time I hear it, but it doesn't make up for the ordinariness of what's gone before. Two stars is maybe a bit harsh on this album, but I'm becoming more critical with each review. I'm sure lots of late 60's psychedelia fans would like this. If you like the look of the front cover then that pretty much looks how it sounds.

Give me 'Piper' or 'Saucerful' any day.

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 Tangerine Dream  by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.07 | 32 ratings

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Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very, very, very twee album of quintessentially psychedelic pop-rock, Kaleidoscope's debut album is an enjoyably lightweight slice of English whimsy that was released slap bang in the middle of the late 1960's psychedelic revolution. Similar to the likes of Yes guitarist Steve Howe's former band Tomorrow and the earlier material of both The Move and The Small Faces, 'Tangerine Dream'(an album name coined a little earlier than the more famous German electronic pioneers) is very much an album of it's time. Psychedelic music was, albeit briefly, the popular new fad towards the end of the 1960's but was quickly overtaken by the beginning of the 1970's by both prog and various, more muscular forms of rock music. Indeed, by the time Yes, Genesis, King Crimson et al had got around to unleashing their innovative early-seventies output, Kaleidoscope's brand of fluffy psychedelia already seemed dated, and not even a name-change(to Fairfield Parlour) could help them escape their roots. However, despite a sadly-truncated career, Kaleidoscope are fondly remembered by conoisseurs of psychedelic pop - or popsike as some call it today - and 'Tangerine Dream' showcased a talented group who managed to combine catchy pop choruses with genuinely psychedelic effects, such as Eastern-tinged modalities, sitar-esque guitars and multi-layered vocal harmonies that gives the material a vibrant edge lacking in many other so-called psychedelic bands from the era. The stand-out tracks include 'Flight From Ashiya', which features some marijuane-soaked guitar tones and was issued as a single(albeit fairly unsuccessfully), and the album's lengthy, eight-minute-plus closer 'The Sky Children', which again features some beautifully- constructed guitar-led choruses(courtesy of lead-guitarist and the group's main composer Eddy Pumer) and a rousing multi-instrument finale. The in-between material is sometimes a bit too simplistic, relying as it does on the boyish vocals of lead-singer Peter Daltrey, but for those interested in the lighter side of psychedelia there is much to cherish. 'Tangerine Dream' does sound very dated, and when compared to the classic American band's of the era - the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and The Grateful Dead - it seems very lightweight. However, multiple listens reveal a confident band at work whose style has often been aped but rarely - for this genre of music at least - bettered. The actual prog elements are few and far between, but it doesn't stop 'Tangerine Dream' from being a slightly-guilty pleasure from a time far, far away when this kind of thing really did seem new and groundbreaking. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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 Tangerine Dream  by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.07 | 32 ratings

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Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by Discographia

4 stars it is really very good, unfortunately the songs are very short, with the time, but it is a great album. Psychedelic progressive rock in all its splendor, near a 'piper at the gates of dawn' in mind. A Lesson is perhaps a little against-meaning, but the rest of the album is fine, psychedelic with go, this plane instruments and cats are really steeped in the magic that has unfortunately existed years 1967-1968 or the psychedelic reign in mairte absolute. The BBC version dates from 1968 but are no better. If we remove the Pink Floyd, the group has also drawn surement in The beatles a little like a time ... but has pushed the bottom side delusional wise.

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 From Home to Home by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.34 | 23 ratings

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From Home to Home
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by Kiwi1

3 stars This album has several virtues: the music is well-crafted and competently performed displaying an impressive variety of styles and atmospheres. It offers a pleasant listening and a prime example of the musical inventiveness that characterises the late 1960s and early 1970s. Undoubtedly, its comparative neglect is undeserved and should figure alongside the better known albums of the period. Yet, I cannot understand its designation as a work of progressive rock. No track provides the complex dynamics, cultural borrowings or anything else that defines the genre. I am reminded more of groups like The Move and other masters of psychedelic pop than anything truly Progressive. This is no criticism of the album: much psychedelic pop, like that on offer here, is highly original and well-played yet is distinct from anything identifiably progressive. If anything the first 'Kaleidoscope' album with its more overt psychedelic leanings, has greater claim to the progressive tag than the group's later offerings under their new moniker.

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 White-Faced Lady by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.17 | 20 ratings

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White-Faced Lady
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by iagoapcen

5 stars Interesting to hear that this was partly made with Mike Pinder as my first reaction on hearing it was This is the best Moody Blues album I've ever heard. True that it takes a few listens to hook. But let me say that once you bite, you stay hooked. This really is a brilliant beautiful and poignant album, and one of the best if not THE best in this style at this time. FIVE AND A HALF stars!!! no doubts

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 Faintly Blowing by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.23 | 22 ratings

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Faintly Blowing
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by jimidom

4 stars Kaledioscope's debut album, Tangerine Dream, was a trippy but mostly whimsical effort, more Magical Mystery Tour than Piper At the Gates of Dawn. However, with their second album, Faintly Blowing, they showed that their sound was evolving in a more experimental direction. Indeed, the realms of psychedelia and in turn progressive rock were about to be open for full throttle exploration.

Faintly Blowing contains music that openly cites the influences of the day, from the Beatles to the Bee Gees to Pink Floyd. However, what sets Kaleidoscope apart is how they are able to take what may sound familiar yet make it all their own. There are also happen to be some really great tracks on the album such as "Faintly Blowing", "A Love Song for Annie", "If You So Wish", "Snapdragon", and "Bless the Executioner". The quality writing of Peter Daltrey is apparent, and his gift of melody is complimented by great arranging and performing. Eddie Pumer's guitar work is incredible. As a result it is difficult to find a lackluster track. However, the real gem of Faintly Blowing is the lengthy "Music", which takes the listener from mind expansion to mind explosion. It is a heavy track with what seems like every psychedelic production techinique in the book, from heavy phasing and panning to the heavy use of tape loops. This tune is a far cry from "Jenny Artichoke" from Tangerine Dream sessions.

Kaleidoscope is one of those all too underappreciated bands whose mention seems to always pit them in the shadow of more recognizable bands of their genre and era, British psychedelic music during the late 60's. That's a real shame because they deserve better. Any discussion of British psychedelic music from the 60's will inevitably turn to the Big Three: Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, and Tomorrow. However, as shown with Faintly Blowing, Kaleidoscope turned in mind-expanding music worthy of the Big Three becoming the Big Four.

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 Tangerine Dream  by KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.07 | 32 ratings

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Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour Proto-Prog

Review by Deepslumber

4 stars My god, what great album is this! This is one of the first early psychedelic bands from the UK. You can definitly feel the touch of Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and generaly bands from that era. The compositions are great. You can listen to this cd just once, and then you can find yourself singin' the lyrics while shaving:) The new Repertoire edition is beautiful with lots of bonus material. Better be fast 'cause it is limited to 3000 copies. Maybe this album is not really prog, but who cares. 4,5 stars (it's not prog that's why rating it's not the highest).

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Thanks to Akin (Fernando Raffani) for the artist addition.

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