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……
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.