Thursday 6 December 2012

You Don't Have To Be A Pop Star To Wear These Clothes....or do you?

Toby Twirl wearing jackets from Granny Takes a Trip, 1967

Some time ago I found these photos of Geordie pop-psych outfit Toby Twirl sporting a perfect example of 'peacock' look. They are wearing paisley, Art Nouveau - inspired jackets designed by John Pearse for Granny Takes a Trip.
In the mid-1960's Toby Twirl toured cabaret circuit up north, where their psychedelic-tinged vaudeville got them a fair amount of recognition.When in 1967 they bagged a Small Faces support slot ,signed a deal with Decca and got invited to London, it looked like the band was about to hit a big time.After a release of their debut single "Back in Time"/"Harry Faversham", Toby Twirl got invited for a photoshoot with Fabulous magazine. Jackets from Granny's weren't theirs - they were borrowed by a stylist from Fabulous especially for that photoshoot. Groovy gear from a hip King's Road boutique was supposed to make members of Toby Twirl look like proper pop stars. To their dismay, however, when the feature eventually came out, the title read:  You Don't Have To Be A Pop Star To Wear These Clothes!
The photos, however ended up being used by Decca for various ads and some single covers.

Toby Twirl never did hit a big time. They split up after three singles (Like it often happens with obscure British psych, all three 7 inches are valuable collector items today). "Romeo and Juliet 1968" perfectly captures the vaudeville-tinged spirit of British psychedelia.

Source of the story: Shndig! magazine issue No. 27