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News The Byrds

September 15th, 1965: Live Review: Fans go cool over too-cool Byrds

Live Review: Fans go cool over too-cool Byrds

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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August 14th, 1965 - American folk rock group, The Byrds, performed a live show at the Flamingo Club in London. The show was in support of their recently released debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man.

Chris Welch from the pop/rock newspaper Melody Maker was at the show in London and slammed America's response to The Beatles performance.

Welch had this to say of the concert:

"FLOPSVILLE" WAS London's verdict on the much-publicised Byrds. They left a trail of hot, tired, bored and disappointed fans, who waited hours to see them give a performance described as "very, very dull."

"I think they are a drag. Absolutely no stage presentation and all their numbers sound like 'Mr Tambourine Man'. They are not bad, just very, very dull."

The Byrds were due at The Flamingo Club Allniter on Friday and enough people packed in for it to take on the appearance of the Black Hole Of Calcutta. The heat was intense enough to bake bread or fry eggs on the floor. A roar of applause greeted The Byrds when they finally fought their way to the stand at around 2am. Paul McCartney was among the Byrd diggers, which helped to raise the temperature of several young ladies present even more.

Eventually The Byrds began their act, lasting only half an hour, during which they performed six numbers in the familiar Dylan-cum-'Tambourine Man'-cum-Searchers mould. They also played an extraordinary version of Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again'.

They made no attempt to communicate with the audience. It was all a bloody scene. Said Denise Hall (19): "I think they are a drag. Absolutely no stage presentation and all their numbers sound like 'Mr Tambourine Man'. They are not bad, just very, very dull."

It seems a shame to be so hard on our American guests after the receptions British groups have got in the US, but it proves they can't beat The Beatles yet. At the end of their Pontiac stint, one girl asked: "Aren't you going to say anything?" "Goodbye," said David Crosby.

Listen below to The Byrds' most recent single, and title track to their debut album, "Mr Tambourine Man".

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