The Bystanders

The BystandersFrom: Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

The Bystanders are one of the few Welsh bands to release records on a fairly relative basis in the 1960s. The band is most notable for what they would evolve into, that being the progressive rock band Man. As the Bystanders, the band released eight singles in the UK between 1965 and 1968. Their sound was mainly harmony pop and soul, but there were slight psychedelic tones in their later tracks. This is what pointed the band in the direction of progressive rock, and eventually Man.

The Bystanders formed in 1962, and made a Merseybeat-Four Seasons hybrid single for the Pylot label, a label that only ever released one single in 1965. The band then picked up a new manager, George Cooper, who had handled British pre-Beatles rock singers Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. In 1966, the Bystanders signed a contract with Pye and released seven singles over the next couple of years. Unfortunately for the Bystanders, none of these singles made them a major name within the industry.

There is major influence from harmony groups with high vocal lines in the Bystanders sound. Bands such as the Four Seasons, Beach Boys, and the Happenings were very influential on the sound of the band. In 1967 and 1968, the Bystanders moved more towards California sunshine pop. The band’s classic line-up included Vic Oakley (vocals), Micky Jones (guitar), Ray Williams (bass), Jeff Jones (drums), and Clint John aka Clint Space (keyboards).

Artist information sources include: Allmusic.com and Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 2002 album Pattern People: The Pye Anthology
The Bystanders - Pattern People

  • When Jezamine Goes

From the 2008 compilation Shapes And Sounds, Vol. 2: Shades Of Deepest Purple From The BBC Archives 1967-1971
Shapes And Sounds, Vol. 2- Shades Of Deepest Purple From The BBC Archives 1967-1971

  • Renaissance Fair