Influenced by American R&B, and inspired by the music happening around them by the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, the Birds formed in that pivotal year of 1964. The band looked the part, all mod fashion, but with even longer hair than the majority of other bands at the time.
They signed to Decca Records, and released their debut single. 'You're On My Mind' is a jagged guitar-driven rocker penned by Wood and more in line with the raunchy R&B sounds of the Pretty Things and the Kinks than anything else. Inspiring and exciting a record as it was, it failed to set the world alight. For the b-side, they tackle Bo Diddley's 'You Don't Love Me.' They demolish the song in supreme, raw fashion, somehow managing to come toe-to-toe with the Pretty Things, probably the nastiest band on the scene at the time.
Two more singles for Decca followed with the Spring '65 release of a cover of the Eddie Holland Motown classic 'Leaving Here,' which would be a Mod staple for many bands, including the Who, to cover. Years later, Motorhead would cover the song on their debut single, taking their inspiration from the Birds rendition. The b-side, 'Next In Line,' was another Wood composition and another slice of brash rhythm and blues.
Their final Decca single (Fall 1965) ranks as possibly their finest moment. A twin-sided killer, the band tackle the Marvin Gaye gem, 'No Good Without You Baby,' turning into a slashing, raunchy Mod stomper. The flipside, 'How Can It Be?,' written by Wood, is another raunchy R&B-based rocker with some brash lead breaks by Wood.
The band made a cameo appearance in the 1966 horror film, 'The Deadly Bees, but were soon dropped by Decca. they signed to Reaction (home of the Who and Cream) for one final single in late-1966. By the time of its release, Wood and bassist Kim Gardner had flown the coop. 'Say Those Magic Words' was another raver in the style that would, years later, become known as "freakbeat." Its flip was yet another from the pen of Woody, called 'Daddy Daddy,' which carried on the jagged guitar route, throwing in some heavier fuzz action for good measure.