Kaleidoscope (Fairfield Parlour)

Kaleidoscope was a great English psychedelic rock/proto-prog band (not to be confused with the American band Kaleidoscope which existed at the same period and played basically psychedelic rock too) that was active between 1963 and 1972. The band was also known at various times as The Sidekicks, The Key, I Luv Wight and Fairfield Parlour. They had talent to be one of the major progressive rock acts of their age but they "died" prematurely due to bad luck in the crucial moments. Kaleidoscope were one of the first progressive rock bands that evoluted with the genre and made a fantastic work.


Having performed since 1963 under the name The Sidekicks, the band changed its name to The Key in November 1965, before settling upon the name Kaleidoscope when they signed a deal with Fontana Records in January 1967, with the help of the music publisher Dick Leahy. The group consisted of Eddy Pumer on guitar, Steve Clark on bass and flute, Danny Bridgman on drums and vocalist Peter Daltrey, who also played organ and joined the band in March 1964. Eddy Pumer composed most of the music and Peter Daltrey wrote the lyrics. The combination of Pumer's musical arrangements and Daltrey's fairy-tale lyrics was the main power of the group. While the group did not achieve commercial success in its time, it retains a loyal fan-base and its recordings are highly regarded. The band's first single "Flight from Ashiya"/"Holiday Maker" was released on 15 September 1967 by Fontana Records, a little earlier than the band's first album Tangerine Dream. The song Flight from Ashiya was about an impending plane crash. The single got quite an amount of radio airplay but failed to reach the charts. Years later, the song has appeared on many compilation albums. Two months later, Tangerine Dream produced by Dick Leahy was released. The album included "Flight From Ashiya", "Please Excuse My Face" and "Dive into Yesterday" which are now considered some of the band's best songs. The album comprises fine psychedelic songs with experimentations. Meanwhile the band was performing on several BBC radio shows.

Kaleidoscope-Dive into yesterday

Kaleidoscope-The sky children

Kaleidoscope-Flight from Ashiya / Holiday maker

Kaleidoscope-In the room of percussion

A new single was released in 1968 called "Jenny Artichoke" that was inspired by Donovan's, "Jennifer Juniper". After the release the band traveled around Europe, and when in Netherlands supported Country Joe and the Fish at the Amsterdam Concert Hall. Faintly Blowing, again produced by Leahy, was released later, in 1969 by Fontana Records. This time the band's sound was heavier but the tracks still included psychedelic elements with notable lyrics, showing a progression of it's predecessor in terms of sound. Although still psychedelic, the compositions were getting more progressive, but the album failed to reach the charts. After the failure of Faintly Blowing, they released two more singles which were cover songs and, after a radio session in BBC Maida Vale Studios, the band never again appeared as Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope-(Love song) for Annie

By the end of the decade, failing with their last single "Balloon", the band moved on with their new manager DJ David Symonds -whom they met during the BBC sessions- as Fairfield Parlour, with the same line-up becoming progressive oriented. Despite the fact that they were now being called a progressive rock band, their music didn't change much and still included fairy-tale lyrics with psychedelic harmony. The band's first single as Fairfield Parlour, "Bordeaux Rosé", was released on 17 April 1970 on the Vertigo label. It got a considerable amount of radio airplay, but failed to achieve success. After releasing several singles, the album From Home to Home was released on 14 August 1970 with Symond's production. While the band was getting ready to release the album, they again used another name for themselves, I Luv Wight, as they were asked to record the theme tune for the Isle of Wight Festival, "Let the World Wash in", which got released a week after the release of the album From Home to Home. They made the opening for the festival as Fairfield Parlour.

Fairfield Parlour-In my box

I Luv Wight-Let the world wash in

Fairfield Parlour-Sunny side circus

The band's next album, White-Faced Lady, which they financed independently, was recorded in Morgan Studios in London, 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 the label refused to release it. Attempts at finding a record company failed and the album was shelved until 1991 when it was released under the name Kaleidoscope (although it was recorded under the Fairfield Parlour name), on the band's own label. The group's last appearance was at a concert in Bremen, Germany, in 1972. In 1997, 23 Kaleidoscope's original recordings were released on Fontana label on the compilation Dive into Yesterday and in 2003, the independent record label Circle released the Kaleidoscope and Fairfield Parlour's 1967 to 1971 BBC radio sessions recordings on an album called Please Listen To The Pictures.

Kaleidoscope-Nursey, nursey

Studio Albums

as The Sidekicks:

The Sidekicks Sessions 1964-1967 (2003):
1. And She's Mine (alternative version)
2. Reflections (alternative version)
3. Please Stay, Don't Go (alternative version)
4. What Can I Do? (alternative version)
5. He's Gonna Be a Star (alternative version)
6. San Francisco (alternative version)
7. Walking in the Park
8. I Wants to Be Loved
9. San Francisco
10. He's Gonna Be a Star
11. I'm Looking for a Woman
12. The House of the Rising Sun
13. Roadrunner
14. Wee Wee Hours
15. You're Not Mine
16. Drivin' Around
17. Holiday Maker
18. And She's Mine
19. Please Stay, Don't Go
20. What Can I Do?
21. High Heel Sneakers

as Kaleidoscope:

Tangerine Dream (1967):
1. Kaleidoscope 
2. Please Excuse My Face 
3. Dive Into Yesterday 
4. Mr.Small the Watch Repairer Man 
5. Flight From Ashiya 
6. The murder of Lewis Tollani 
7. In the Room Of Percussion 
8. Dear Nellie Goodrich 
9. Holiday Maker 
10. A Lesson Perhaps 
11. The Sky Children 
Bonus tracks on the Repertoire Records release:
12. Flight From Ashiya (mono single version)
13. Holiday Maker (mono single mix)
14. A Dream For Julie
15. Please Excuse My Face (mono single mix)
16. Jenny Artichoke
17. Just How Much You Are

Faintly Blowing (1969):
1. Faintly Blowing 
2. Poem 
3. Snapdragon 
4. A Story From Tom Bitz 
5. (Love Song) For Annie 
6. If you so wish 
7. Opinion 
8. Bless The Executioner 
9. Black Fjord 
10. The Feathered Tiger 
11. I'll kiss you once 
12. Music 
Bonus tracks: 
13. Do it again 
14. Poem (mono single version) 
15. Balloon 
16. If you so wish (mono single version) 

White-Faced Lady (1971 recordings, 1991):
1. Overture 
2. Broken Mirrors 
3. Angel's song: "Dear Elvis Presley..." 
4. Nursey, Nursey 
5. Small song-Heaven in the black row 
6. Burning bright 
7. The matchseller 
8. The coronation of the fledgling 
9. All hail to the hero 
10. White-Faced Lady 
11. Freefall 
12. Standing 
13. Diary song: The indian head 
14. Song from Jon 
15. Long way down 
16. The locket 
17. Picture with conversation 
18. Epitah: Angel

as Fairfield Parlour:

From Home to Home (1970):
1. Aries
2. In My Box
3. By Your Bedside (Love Below Sky)
4. (Onward) Soldier Of The Flesh
5. I Will Always Feel The Same
6. Free (To Fly, To Drown, To Spill Milk)
7. ...And Emily Brought Confetti
8. Chalk On The Wall
9. Glorious House Of Arthur
10. Monkey
11. Sunny Side Circus
12. Drummer Boy Of Shiloh
13. Just Another Day
14. Caraminda
15. I Am All The Animals
16. Songs For You
17. Medieval Masquerade