13 February 2019

The Keystones - Faded Flowers/ Psychedelic Prayer

Ultra obscure and perplexing organ driven Dutch 'psychedelic' 45

Label: Omega
Year of Release: 1968

Here's a mystery for you all. This is one of those 45s barely anyone seems to own a copy of, but nonetheless isn't especially valuable. This, on first inspection, seems slightly unbelievable. Any psychedelic record - even if it only features a pub singer singing a pop standard with some heavy studio phasing - seems to go for at least a tenner these days. So what's the issue here?

In answer to my self-posed question, I suspect it's because The Keystones were only ever really a psychedelic group in their own minds. Pre-empting the trend for ebay spivs claiming anything with a 1967 release date is a "PSYCH RARITY!" they've released a track with a flip called "Psychedelic Prayer" here which doesn't really tick many boxes on the "Psych or Not" electric lemonade test sheet. True, there's an organ high in the mix on both sides, but it's more Bontempi than Farfisa, and beyond that these songs are just mellow, tuneful little jams with classical influences.

The flip is inevitably the most interesting, in that it features a primitive kind of rap which seems to act as a psychedelic incantation over the  Bontempi riffs. I'm quite sure I know roughly what The Keystones "were on", and it's nothing stronger than Tizer.

As for who they were, search me. They were from The Netherlands, but beyond that I can tell you nothing at all. This was their only single and they presumably drifted apart afterwards to try other things.

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