Average: 3.5 (15 votes)

November 23, 1968

Sheffield, UK

Sheffield University

Setlist:

Exact setlists during the first tours are still sketchy. Old Yardbirds' live staples such as Train Kept a Rollin', Dazed and Confused, White Summer and likely For Your Love were performed.

Material from the yet unfinished debut album was also included, such as: Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, You Shook Me, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, How Many More Times and a Garnett Mimms cover, As Long As I Have You.

Memorabilia:

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Comments

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Sheffield University - November 23, 1968

The first album was still four months away and I'm sure that some of the posters around town billed them as The New Yardbirds for this gig (only their 15th-ever show as it turned out). Jimmy Page was the only member I'd heard of but with a pedigree like his, the ten shillings (50p) entrance fee seemed like a worthwhile punt.

In front of no more than 200 students, they pulled out all the stops, playing a thunderous set consisting of old Yardbirds numbers, R&B standards and embryonic versions of tracks that would end up on LZ I.

To an impressionable 17 year-old, almost as impressive as the way LZ sounded was the way they looked. Page in particular was the embodiment of cool in a pink crushed velvet suit, thick mane of shoulder length black hair and stripped wood Telecaster somewhere down by his knees.

Robert Plant, on the other hand had yet to perfect his rock god look and on this occasion, looked more like a refugee from a hairdressing salon than a Viking warrior. With shortish blonde curls, tight blue satin ruff shirt and neat black sta-prest pants, his ensemble was bizarrely topped off with open-toed Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals, complete with black socks (I kid you not).

The tiny, knee-high stage was constructed from a number of 3 foot square wooden cubes sitting side by side. These were apparently not secured too well as, during one of Bonzo’s more outlandish drum breaks, they began to drift asunder, causing the hi-hat and part of his kit to list alarmingly to starboard. Luckily, a vigilant roadie leapt in and rescued the situation.

After the gig, the band were very approachable and seemed happy to hang around chatting to a few remaining crowd members while the gear was packed away.

In the weeks that followed, we discussed the show endlessly and decided that, while the "New Yardbirds" were definitely the business, their thunder may (literally) have been stolen by Jeff Beck, whose first album Truth was already in the shops. Ah, the folly of youth. How were we to know?