The Byrds touchdown in London, August 1965, for 16 days of TV and personal appearances. (Picture taken from NME 6/08/65)
The Byrds pictured on stage at Finsbury Park Astoria, London in August 1965. (Picture taken from NME 20/08/65)
The following article, written by Keith Altham appeared in NME reviewing The Byrds gig at The Astoria......
BYRDS' weak stage act
Along with Sonny & Cher, I went to see The Byrds on stage at Finsbury Park Astoria last Saturday.
Following on from their Number One hit, 'Mr Tambourine Man', the group arrived in this country with a publicity theme along the lines of 'America's answer to The Beatles'. Saturday's performance was a pretty pathetic reply!
After tuning up for a full five minutes behind the curtain, the group was treated to the traditional slow handclap by the impatient audience. Then their first two numbers were completely drowned by over-amplification.
I have it on good authority from Cher that their first number was 'I Feel A Whole Lot Better', but the vocals on that and the next number were completely inaudible.
The 'chiming whining' effect which runs through their numbers may be good for a few, but not for all seven tunes in their repertoire. Their stage presentation is non-existent and so is any communication with the audience, although at one stage Jim McGuinn did say 'Hello'.
The numbers I could distinguish, from having heard them before, were 'The Chimes Of Freedom', 'The Bells Of Rhymney', 'All I Really Wanna Do', 'Mr Tambourine Man' and 'The Times They Are A-Changin'. But The Byrds need much more stage know how to make an impact.