Kaleidoscope: The Sidekicks Sessions collects together a batch of long thought lost acetates all recorded between 1964 - 1967 by an early incarnation of the 1960s British psychedelic band Kaleidoscope when they were still called The Sidekicks and The Keys. The recordings are rough, but the band sounds young and fine, combining together a Stones influenced R&B sound on the early sides with a Pink Floyd meets PF Sloan psychedelic folk rock sound on the later sides.
My favorite moments are the folk rock meets psychedelic rock of such songs as You're Not Mine with it's Syd Barrett sounding chorus and the smashing youth of Holiday Maker. In these songs I can hear what was sure to turn into the late 1960s psychedelic rock of Kaleidoscope. Other songs in the folk rock mode which sound pretty good are the versions of Please Stay, Don't Go (a PF Sloan dead ringer), What Can I Do? (which has some rave-up action), Reflections (a subdued mantra), and San Francisco (upbeat folk beat). The alternate version of all of these songs sounds better than the versions which appear later on the cd. These are all originals, and while they are not superb, they definitely show a band with a potential. In fact, they sound altogether fresh.
There are plenty of covers on this disc as well, running the gamut from an abysmal turn at The House of The Rising Sun, and a stuttering take of Roadrunner to the more enthusiastically received Walking in the Park which is a stride-a-long blues, and I Wants to Be Loved - a raunchy stopgap. Another highlight for me is the Chuck Berry blues song Wee Wee Hours. Anyone interested in British beat music will hang their heads high when they listen to this cd. I love when lost acetates resurface many years later, giving us a picture of a time gone but not forgotten. Discs like this one remind us of what a great time the 60s were for creativity. Soon after these demos were recorded Kaleidoscope would go onto record two solid albums, as well as change their name to Fairfield Parlour to record two more albums. This cd is where it all started.