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I absolutely love the sole album by Giles,Giles & Fripp"The Cheerful Insanity Of"released on September 1968.
To get the full picture of Giles,Giles & Fripp,you really need to hear the pre album recordings,but also the home recordings they did as they were recording Cheerful Insanity.


What really reinforced my admiration for this rather eccentric looking trio,was the release of "The Brondesbury Tapes" cd issued in 2001,as this features 21 tracks of demos from 1968,recorded in a makeshift home studio if you will,and what was more amazing was the inclusion of recently fired ex Fairport Convention vocalist Judy Dyble features on about 7 of the recordings,as she joined them in June 68 after Peter Giles phoned her after seeing an ad by Judy Dyble looking for musicians,but spoke with her boyfriend Ian McDonald instead,and an invite was offered to visit Brondesbury.

THAT blew my mind,as i thought her vocals on that first self titled Fairport Convention album were great,and since then her vocals included on the BBC sessions on the 4 cd book set"Heyday"reinforces my admiration for her,though the quality of the sessions where off air and in poor quality on many of the BBC sessions featuring her,i could STILL hear the quality in her voice,and in the way she delivered it.
To be blunt and to be blatantly manlike,she was an absolute stunner physically,and once you've seen the film of her knitting sidestage while the Fairports are jamming out on stage,you too will be hooked to this mysterious beautiful lady,with a beautiful voice.She sadly left us for another dimension a few years ago.

That debut Fairport album remains my favourite of theirs,of course Judy would return in 1970 with Trader Horne beside ex Them/Belfast Gypsies member Jackie Mcauley,resulting in an album full of lovely, whimsical,poppy pieces of paisley folk,which unfortunately bombed,resulting in many years passing before she entered a studio again.


The Brondesbury Tapes originally surfaced on a 1999 Tenth Planet vinyl only comp titled"Metamorphosis"featuring 13 tracks,but fortunately a cd followed featuring 21 tracks 2 years later on Voiceprint,complete with informative liners,period photos and recording dates,and is an ESSENTIAL purchase of enthusiasts of 60s pop and soft psych.

The vast majority of the recordings took place at 93A Brondesbury Road NW6,hence the title of the cd,except the track "Hypocrite"which was recorded in a basement in the Beacon Royal Hotel in Bournemouth in late 1967.ALL recordings where done on what today is rather basic but at that time,rather sophisticated early home recording equipment,with Peter Giles becoming very adept in its use,and once you hear the cd,its a a wonder how good they do sound.


Peter and Michael Giles were no strangers to a recording studio as they'd been active in the Bournemouth gig scene for quite a few years starting in 1960,and took part in recording sessions that resulted in 9 45s being released,between 1961-67,among those were 4 with The Trendsetters Ltd on parlophone,1 with The Trend on Page One,and 1 with The Brain on EMI.

Luckily there IS a cd titled The Giles Brothers 1962-67,issued by Voiceprint that features those singles,but also other unreleased recordings,the recordings by The Trend,their only 45 "Boyfriends and Girlfriends/Shot On Sight",in fact Giles Giles & Fripp would record the A side as"One In A Million"on their album.
The Brain may interest the weird pop enthusiast on here,as there are 6 recordings by The Brain,2 were issued as the single "Kick The Donkey/Nightmare In Red"recorded in March 67,"Nightmare In Red"is a dark weird sounding nugget very redolent of the time,the 4 others recorded during July and August 1967 that remained unreleased till this cd are mainly soul inspired songs,with disappointingly little psychedelia or weirdness to be had.


The brothers Giles were planning a move to London,and through an advert and an audition,met Robert Fripp on 28th August 1967.The trio made the move,and each took on their own musical jobs to earn a living,and NOT playing gigs as Giles,Giles & Fripp,but the trio did gain musical employment in a related couple of restaurants,which unfortunately came to an abrupt end in November 67.
In the meantime they set up the home studio at their new abode at Brondesbury Road,and signed on.
Home recordings began in early 1968,and as luck would have it,the trio met Decca rep Peter Shelley,and a contract was agreed on 14th February 68 as Giles,Giles & Fripp.


Recording started on what would become the album "The Cheerful Insanity Of" on 26th February 68 at Decca studio 2,while at the same time,they were writing new songs and recording them on their home studio set up,this continued throughout the whole recording of their Decca album recordings,and their final recording for the album was on 18th May 1968.

Decca issued a single "One In A Million/Newly Weds" on 10th May 68,which were taken from the album recordings.They are 2 rather delightful,but whimsical soft eccentric pop nuggets with snatches of mellotron to be sure,and for me very much of their time.


As mentioned earlier,Judy Dyble and Ian Mcdonald accepted the invitation to Brondesbury Road in June 68,and they now also took part in the home recordings,really adding a lot to the recordings as Ian played flute,clarinet,sax,piano and guitar,but also added his vocals along with Judy Dybles immaculate voice on some of the recordings.

Ian Macdonald became a regular visitor and partaker in home studio recordings and writings with his friend Peter Sinfield,throughout the summer into the Autumn of 68,while Judy Dyble did not after her initial taking part in the home recordings in the summer 0f 68.


Here are the songs on The Brondesbury Tapes that Judy Dyble took part in during the summer of 68:

MAKE IT TODAY-A trully delightful jazzy orientated pop song,with fluttering flute,nice acoustic guitar picking and an unobtrusive sax part,with Judys accompanying lead vocals shared with Ian Mcdonald.

UNDER THE SKY-This IS a beautiful song,and this is a home demo with Judy Dyble taking lead vocals which are just sublime accompanied by electric guitar parts,and joined on vocals on the chorus by Ian Mcdonald,this is a rather folk based version with NO drums.

PLASTIC PENNIES-Very Trader Horne like folky pop nugget,with a real sunshine pop vibe with a touch of jazz,and once again Judys lead vocals are beautiful,with a glorious flute solo by Ian Macdonald.

PASSAGES OF TIME-This has a real vibe of psychedelia,with Judys echoed vocals,a bolero like drum part,and a eastern jazzy motif underlying the whole recording,with an electric guitar outro,unfortunately the source is a bit distorted in parts,where effects have been added,REMEMBER this is a home studio recording from 68!!

UNDER THE SKY ver 2-This has a more lysergic vibe with stinging guitar lines and getting away from the other folkier version as this has drums on it,with Judys clear glass vocal hitting the heights,again unfortunately this has slight distortion.

MURDER-A song originally recorded by The Brain in 67,this version has a harder sounding Judy,with a rathr eerie musical backing and menacing vibe,ceetainly not in the softer musical vein,and veering into dark psychedelia.

I TALK TO THE WIND-This song would be revisited later by King Crimson,and feature on their spectacular debut album,but this has Judy Dyble on lead vocals,accompanied by flute,clarinet,and it sounds like the US west coast Fairports,it is such an immaculately beautiful song,and to have it with Judy Dyble on lead vocals gives it an earthier different sound to the version we know.

MAKE IT TODAY ver 2-A far longer version compared to the earlier one,a cheery glowing jazzed up piece of pop,with Ian Mcdonald on lead vocals,with Judy adding back up vocals,this has solos of sax and jazzy bluesy guitar,along with a rather melodius flute fluttering throughout,with jazz like beats,the murmerings of prog can be heard on this.


Deram issued the ONLY album of Giles,Giles & Fripp"The Cheerful Insanity Of",to total silence,to total indiffernce,to total what the hell is this?by the music press,or should i say those who even noticed its release!

Maybe the sleeve didnt help,with a portrait of 3 guys who could pass for peeping toms,remembering this is in the age of aquarius,and these guys look like like lecherous university lecturers,one holding a plant,one also doubling up as a perverted waiter,and the other looking as if he's just out for the day,before he's returned to Broadmoor.....WHAT WHERE THEY THINKING?
A massive example of self sabotage in anyones book.

The contents for me are very enjoyable,and are very English eccentric like,i can't imagine an album like this coming from anywhere else.

First of i'd get rid of the talking parts The Saga Of Rodney Toady and Just George,like others with similar parts,Small Faces Ogdens Nut,The Ends Introspection,Jigsaws Letherslade Farm,they're annoying and interrupt the flow of music after a couple of listens,and quite bluntly i would fire them off out into space,utter tosh.

Now the good part,the music,it's whimsical in parts,it's quite joyous too,happy maybe,but here are my picks from this wee pop nugget.


NORTH MEADOW-Harmony pop like piece of a jazz tinged nugget with electric guitar scat musings being panned from speaker to speaker,with stabbing deep brass sounding moments in the background,replete with jazz like drumming parts,his has an old vintage feel to it,as if its been time travelled from many years before.

NEWLYWEDS-Ahhh lovely..... a wee bit of lysergic pop weirdness,replete with mellotron making an appearance and backwards sounding stabbing guitar parts all over the place.

ONE IN A MILLION-More mellotron popping its head up in so many parts with flute like parts,orchestral parts and being used in a jovial manner too,this IS a fabulous piece of eccentric pop silliness,and catchy as hell, too,with mellotron lines and vocals that WILL eat into your brain.

CALL TOMORROW-A rather sparse song,but very effective with the monotone organ swirling in a constant mode with echoed stabs of piano,and rather eerie bit trippy vocal parts.

DIGGING MY LAWN-Another eccentric curio pop nugget,again with a jazz influence with a jazz like electric guitar run,brushed cymbals and drums,with a rather groovy organ led middle section fit for a easy listening cocktail party.

LITTLE CHILDREN-Man this is such a beautiful song,it makes my back shiver,with its beautiful mellotron parts,with nice percussion,nicely picked electric guitar parts,and female backing vocals,but the melancholic clear English vocals certainly add to its back shivering effect,but that mellotron, is there a better sound than a well played and well positioned mellotron within a song?

THURSDAY MORNING-Again the harmonious vocals give this a harmony pop vibe,with cello,quiet drums,and string quartet with the electric guitar scat musings fiddling away low in the mix.

HOW DO THEY KNOW-Just a little ditty with treated vocal parts that dates it to 68,with a slight jazz vibe,that IS the common thread with many of the songs.

ELEPHANT SONG-Is that Vivian Stanshill from the Bonzos?It's not but the spoken parts are very much in that mode,with circus like musical parts,again with a brain eating repeated musical line with brass and electric guitar,it shouldn't work,but by god it does.

ERUDITE EYES-This is a 5 minute pointer to the coming prog direction that was a year away,with excellent electric guitar parts,with fuzz,and searing acidic moments,a strong jazzrock sound,with rather quiet sparse musical moments which gives it a suite like feel,which then elevates into the stratosphere,with a climax of guitar,piano,drums,smashing cymbals then back into quietness.THIS sounds like a rehearsal for what would come.

There are other songs The Crukster,The Sun Is Shining and Suite No1,that i personally dont call highlights,but they do add to the album,and i wouldnt want them to not be there.

Another single was released on 11th October 68"Thursday Morning/Elephant Song"the A side was a rerecorded version of the song,while the B side was a mono mix.
AGAIN no commercial success!!


By Autumn 68,it had become obvious that Ian Mcdonald was part of this group,with his composing of songs,his multi instrumental playing,his very pleasing vocals,and just being part of the whole vibe with the home studio recordings.

This was certainly confirmed as he entered Decca Studios with the others at the end of October 68 to record 3 songs.Which thankfully 2 were included as bonus track on the cd reissue as all 3 lay unreleased for decades in Deccas vault.
They are:
SHE IS LOADED-This is a mix of late psych and progressive pop is how i'd describe this,but its a fabulous number,with a rather repeated funky brass and wind section,with a lovely trippy sounding refrain replete with harpsichord,and echoed vocals,its hard to believe this little beauty was hidden for decades!!

UNDER THE SKY-This IS a 4 minute piece of hazy,mellow psychedelia with crashing cymbals,momentous lifting guitar parts,beautiful gossamer like vocals,fluttering flute,understated but very effective percussion with bongos and marvellous little guitar runs,when i first heard this version,i was gobsmacked at its beauty,mellowness and lysergic feel,and compared to earlier home studio versions,this IS a level above those,as this was done in Decca studios,NOT at home set up.For me this IS one of the best late psych songs i've heard that DIDN'T get released at the time.It trully IS a beauty.

The other song recorded was "Why Dont You Just Drop In"which unfortunately has been lost in the mist of time,which is unfortunate,as the other 2 songs are marvellous jewels.


Unfortunately their contract had come to an end in November 68,and Deccca did NOT renew it and Giles,Giles & Fripp was over,with Peter Giles deciding he'd had enough after years of being on the music treadmill.

Fripp,Mcdonald,Michael Giles and Pete Sinfield were hungry to carry on,and contacts were made concerning financing the formation of a new group,and with the addition of fellow Bournemouth musician Greg Lake,the new group started writing,and planning for gigs,they were to be named King Crimson.
The rest as they say is known!!


Ian Mcdonald and Peter Giles would record and release an absolutely beautifully slendid album in 1970,titled"McDonald and Giles"with a rather fetching sleeve,
Peter Giles would be involved in the second King Crimson album.


this version of I TALK TO THE WIND with Judy Dyble is special and - in my opinion - better than the King Crimson version.



Mr Soulregistry,yes her involvement adds something extra to the songs,gives them an added dimension as such,i've listed the songs above that ive heard that the late Judy Dyble features on in those GG&F demos,its a shame she only went on to issue the album with Jackie Mcauley in Trader Horne,as that IS a splendid folk pop album,then she seemes to have took a step away from the music biz,or recording biz,till decades later like Vashti Bunyan when renewed interest in their work made them appear again and record new material.....similar story as Bill Fay!!