FOR THE LAST decade Le Beat Bespoke has been a beacon of Modernist culture, staging a series of legendary Easter Bank Holiday weekenders in London. Promoted by The New Untouchables, the festival has made its mark by showcasing returning legends – including the likes of The Sonics, Arthur Lee And Love, The Remains, The Flirtations and The Chocolate Watchband – alongside a slew of contemporary ’60s-inspired combos including The Horrors, The Strypes and Jacco Gardner.
“The Misunderstood are one of the great ‘lost’ bands of the ’60s”
This year’s MOJO-endorsed bash takes place at 229 The Venue on Great Portland Street in central London between April 2 and 5, and features the rare opportunity to catch a double bill featuring California legends The Misunderstood (pictured above) and fellow British adventurers Kaleidoscope.
Led by Glenn Ross Campbell, The Misunderstood are one of the great ‘lost’ bands of the ’60s. Moving to London in 1966, they were managed by John Peel and, despite a deal with Fontana they found themselves beset by visa issues that forced them to split. Having only recorded seven tracks during their time in Britain, their legend grew – particularly during the ’80s psychedelic revival.
British outfit Kaleidoscope were another Fontana-signed act whose career was also all too short. The band released their debut album, Tangerine Dream, in 1967 and it proved a masterpiece of tea-time psychedelia which included whimsical classics such as Mr Small, The Watch Repair Man and Holidaymaker. A second, heavier album, Faintly Blowing, followed prior to a name change to Fairfield Parlour after the existence of the US Kaleidoscope was discovered.
The Misunderstood and Kaleidoscope will play Le Beat Bespoke on Friday, April 3 on a bill dubbed "The Eight Hour Technicolour Dream" where they will be joined by The Loons – the San Diego outfit featuring the inimitable Mike Stax of Ugly Things magazine fame.
Other weekender highlights this year include a night of heavy-psych courtesy London’s Wolf People and occult rockers Purson, plus an evening hosted by Los Angeles rock’n’roll label Wild Records featuring rock’n’soul belter Gizzelle and modern rockabilly combo, The Rhythm Shakers.
The event’s international scope is further broadened by the appearance of Spanish psych outfit Fogbound (fresh from recording with producer Liam Watson at Toe Rag Studios) and French R&B garagistes Les Grys Grys.
The line-up for Le Beat Bespoke 10 is as follows:
Thursday April 2: Wolf People and Purson Friday April 3: The Misunderstood, Kaleidoscope and The Loons Saturday April 4 (daytime): Fogbound and The Magnetic Mind Saturday April 4 (nighttime): The Wild Records Review featuring Gizzelle and The Rhythm Shakers Sunday April 5: Les Grys Grys
Alongside the live music, this year's Le Beat Bespoke will also feature an impressive DJ line-up plus an indoor market and record stalls.
PHOTO: Rex Features