The Psychedelic Poster Art of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth.
Michael English and Nigel Waymouth began working together as a design team shortly after they first met in late 1966, primarily to produce posters for UFO (pronounced Yoof-oh) which was an all-nighter club on the London underground scene founded by Joe Boyd and John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, it was located in an Irish dancehall known as 'The Blarney Club" in the basement of number 31 Tottenham Court Road. The new music venue first opened it's doors to the public on the 23rd of december 1966, regular live acts included Pink Floyd and The Soft Machine, the light shows were psychedelic, the food available was macrobiotic, the films screened were of the Warhol/Kenneth Anger variety and you could stay there from dusk 'til dawn..the ultimate night tripper. Up to this point in time Michael had been working as a free-lance graphic artist within the counter culture scene,but had also previously designed pop art logos for 'Gear' boutique in Carnaby street, and Nigel (along with his partners John Pearse and Sheila Cohen) was the proprietor of 'Granny Takes A Trip' - London's first psychedelic boutique which had opened in february of that year,where he was involved in designing some of the clothes and also the decor, which was quickly gaining a reputation for it's unusual shop front window displays.
The pair had been aware of each other's work for some time and hit it off immediately when they were eventually introduced. They initially called themselves Cosmic Colours subsequently changing the name to Jacob And The Coloured Coat for their second collaboration before finally settling on the moniker Hapshash And The Coloured Coat in march of 1967. The partnership of the two artists although short lived proved to be very successful, their individual styles complimented each other perfectly, and over an 18 month period they produced some of the most beautiful psychedelic posters of the 60s era. During their creative partnership they also managed to record an LP backed by The Heavy Metal Kids (who went on to form Spooky Tooth), the album was produced by Guy Stevens originally a well known DJ at the influential Scene Club in London, who later produced records for artists such as Mott The Hoople, Free and the Mighty Baby, but is probably best known for his production on The Clash's highly acclaimed 1979 London Calling lp.
There will be a major retrospective exhibition of the sixties work of Nigel Waymouth taking place at The Idea Generation Gallery in London next month, included will be artwork from Hapshash And The Coloured Coat, designs from Granny Takes A Trip, also on view is the original sign that hung above the shop door which declared (in the words of Oscar Wilde) 'One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art', as well as photographs and ephemera from Nigel's personal collection. The exhibition aptly titled 'Hapshash Takes A Trip' opens on the 9th of september and runs until the 2nd of october 2011. A tube ride or a walk away for all you lucky Londoners, a train or plane trip away for the rest of us, but for anyone interested in this particular era..this is one that is definitely not to be missed! More info at http://gallery.ideageneration.co.uk/
UFO MK 2, March 1967 designed by Michael English.
Poster for Hung On You Boutique, 430 King's Road by Hapshash And The Coloured Coat 1967.
Outside the 'Hung On You' Boutique, summer 1967..if you look behind these two fine exponents of hippie chic, you will notice that the two posters in the links directly above are on display in the shop window.
'Welcome Cosmic Visitors' designed by Hapshash And The Coloured Coat 1967.
'Tomorrow' record promo for My White Bicycle, designed by Jacob And The Coloured Coat 1967.
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from High Art a History of the Psychedelic poster by Ted Owen & Denise Dickson, 1966 And All That - Design And The Consumer in Britain 1960-1969 by Jennifer Harris, Sarah Hyde & Greg Smith, Boutique London a History: King's Road to Carnaby Street by Richard Lester, It Was Twenty Years Ago Today by Derek Taylor.