Peter Daltrey was the singer of 60s cult band Kaleidoscope.
Kaleidoscope's remarkably uncomplicated family tree took root in 1963 when Eddie Pumer (guitar), Steve Clark (bass) and Dan Bridgman (drums) got together to play the music of their heroes Duanne Eddy and Sandy Nelson for fun. In 1964 the band’s line-up was completed by the addition of Peter Daltrey on vocals.
Having supported The Who and Van Morrison's Them – among others – the band moved away from R&B and began writing their own material. After a three year apprenticeship on the live circuit their efforts were rewarded when they met Dick Leahy, a young and ambitious producer at Fontana. Dick convinced his bosses that he had found the new Beatles and the band signed a one-year contract – quickly renegotiated to five-years when they heard the band’s first single, Flight from Ashiya. It was September 1967. Kaleidoscope had arrived.
After two albums, the band changed their name to Fairfield Parlour, took on a manager and producer in the substantial form of ex-Radio 1 DJ David Symonds, re-signed on a tape-lease basis with the new Philips' label Vertigo and embarked on a series of recording sessions that would produce two of the most respected albums from the period.
The band’s "first" album, From Home to Home, received critical acclaim and established the band in the record shops, on radio and TV and on the university circuit. The band’s sound, now augmented with additional instruments – most notably Steve Clark’s mastering of the flute – proved popular as the Seventies dawned.
With a Royal Albert Hall concert, tours home and abroad and music for the film, Eyewitness, under their belts, Fairfield Parlour was commissioned to write and record the theme song for the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. The band appeared at the festival and enjoyed the experience of performing their music to a quarter of a million people, but the expected No 1 position for their stunning, "Let the world wash in", was denied them by backstage politics at the event and the resulting lack of airplay.
"White-Faced Lady", a double concept album followed – the band’s masterpiece and praised by all who heard it at the time. But plans to move to RCA were thwarted when their contact at the label left.
Suddenly finding themselves without a recording contract, the band split amicably but with much regret.
The band’s long struggle for major recognition came in the late Eighties when the Kaleidoscope recordings were reissued to new generations of fans worldwide. Demand for the vinyl originals – selling for £1000 plus each – meant the band had achieved cult status. And all their hard work paid off when "White-Faced Lady" was finally released.
With this reissuing of the band's Fairfield Parlour back catalogue the story is not closed – but continuing. Peter Daltrey has released no less than sixteen solo albums. He collaborates with other musicians and writers, most notably, the mercurial Damien Youth from USA.