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NICK MASON

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Nick Mason biography
Nicholas Berkeley Mason - Born on January 27, 1944 (Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK)

While studying architecture Nick Mason got in touch with Roger Waters and Richard Wright. The three of them played together in Sigma 6, the Screaming Abdad's. Later on they joined forces with Syd Barret to form PINK FLOYD. Mason is the only person to have remained with the band since then. Though being the drummer of Pink Floyd was his major concern, he did the production for prog albums of Robert Wyatt, Gong and Steve Hillage but he produced also other kind of music from Michael Mantler and punk band The Damned. Between the recording of The Wall & the Final Cut with Floyd, Fictitious Sports, his first solo album was released. The album was written by keyboardist Carla Bley. The line-up included also Bley's partner Michael Mantler, Chris Spedding. Most of the vocals were done by Robert Wyatt. Being a mixture of jazz & rock this album hasn't the Pink Floyd trademarks, except for some minor references. The complexity of the composition and the humorous elements in the lyrics makes it an interesting listen though. In 1985 Mason recorded an album with former 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn. This synthetic pop album is a typical product of its time and not very progressive. Maybe the single "lie for a lie" is interesting for the vocals of David Gilmour. Despite the fact that Mason would use many of the percussion techniques on the forthcoming Pink Floyd record, this album has little to offer to Floyd fans.

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NICK MASON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.27 | 90 ratings
Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports
1981
2.95 | 45 ratings
Mason + Fenn: Profiles
1985

NICK MASON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.47 | 18 ratings
Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse
2020

NICK MASON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NICK MASON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 9 ratings
Unattended Luggage
2018

NICK MASON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.40 | 5 ratings
Hot River
1981
3.80 | 5 ratings
Lie For A Lie (featuring David Gilmour)
1985

NICK MASON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse by MASON, NICK album cover Live, 2020
4.47 | 18 ratings

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Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse
Nick Mason Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars If I think about Pink Floyd of the last decade I can't help but getting the feeling of a musical legacy spread thin by its former members. That awfull film of the Wall by Roger Waters being the low-point. Yet, this live recording (dvd/cd/lp) of Nick Mason and friends had the power to suprise me with a fresh new look on the band's early career. No renditons of Dark Side of the Moon and everything that came after it, but the psychedic pop, garage rock and early symphonic prog of the Syd Barret era and the years following it. The band works with the original material trying to land a song like 'Emily Plays' in a meaningful and playful way into the year 2020; which is perhaps harder than recreating the timeless material of albums like 'Wish You Were Here'. The band plays the psychedelic pop songs with great enthusiasm and songs like Interstellar Overdrive and Atronomy Domine are played with a nice piercing psychedelic rock vibe. The telecasters shriek nicely. The more progressive songs like 'Saucerfull of Secrets', 'Set the Controls for The Heart of the Sun' and even 'Atom Heart Mother' (a short medley) are played with a great sense of authenticity. There is no David Gilmour type soloist here, but by playing the songs with two guitarist the band adds a nice layer of musical interaction. Nick Mason's drumming is suprisingly steady and on point and his experience of being a member of that early sixties Pink Floyd is fellt during the concert. The keyboards have a nice warm sound, slightly more modern but the sounds are well chosen to recreate the original vibes. The band plays songs from the earlier albums and also from 'More' and 'Obscured by Clouds', of whom the two instrumental opening tracks are a welcome addition. As a final remark I would like to say this concert does not sound like a concert played by overly mature men, as some later Pink Floyd-related releases tend to do. It is fresh, fun and pretty deep as well (when it comes to more progressive material). The stage presentation has a nice early psychedelic touch and the camera work does a good job in showing what is interesting at that particular moment (solo's, vocals, fills, etc). This little light hearted gem might just be the best Pink Floyd releated release of the last twenty years.
 Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse by MASON, NICK album cover Live, 2020
4.47 | 18 ratings

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Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse
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Review by progaardvark
Collaborator Crossover/Symphonic Teams

5 stars This review is for the 2 CD/DVD version.

Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets had its origins not with Nick Mason, but with guitarist Lee Harris (formerly with the new wave, post-punk band Blockheads). Harris realized that no one asks Nick Mason to do anything anymore and no one was really performing the ancient stuff from Pink Floyd's oeuvre. Harris happened to be good friends with bassist Guy Pratt, Pink Floyd's bassist since the A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. Harris didn't think Mason would ever consider his idea, so he sold it to Pratt and Pratt loved it. And so Pratt took it to Mason and the idea took off.

So, Pratt was also friends with Gary Kemp, lead guitarist and backing vocalist of new wave band Spandau Ballet, and Dom Beken, keyboardist from The Orb and collaborator of Rick Wright who is responsible for maintaining Wright's archive. He suggested them to Mason and they started rehearsing just to see what would happen. A rehearsal with family and friends was well-received and then a sold-out test show at Dingwalls, a 500-seat club in London in May 2018. A couple more small shows eventually led to a European tour in September 2018, followed by a North American tour in 2019.

This package contains 2 CDs of the live set recorded from concerts held at The Roundhouse in London, on May 3 and 4, 2019. It also includes a DVD of the performance. The live set included performances of selected songs from Pink Floyd's albums from 1967 to 1972, all pre-Dark Side material. The only album that no material was taken from was the studio portion of Ummagumma. The set list also included the singles Arnold Layne, See Emily Play, and Point Me at the Sky. It also included the song Vegetable Man which was considered for either their second album or as their third single, but was scrapped (it later appeared in the The Early Years box set).

So, Mason didn't want this to be just a covers band. He let the members add their personalities to the songs. Some of them were extended, some of the bass lines were modified, additional guitar solos were added, more modern keyboards were melded into it, and slight rearrangements here and there. But although they had this freedom to put their own stamp on these early songs, they tried to be respectful of the originals. The end result is a refreshing experience giving us not just a taste of what these might have sounded like back in the day, but bringing them into the present in a very tasteful manner for newer generations to hear.

One thing that really touches me with this one is it's diversity. They pulled a wide range of different types of songs from a five-year period in which Pink Floyd was experimenting in many ways just find who they were as a band. From dizzying psychedelic wipeouts using many interesting effects, to whimsical fairy-tale psychedelic pop songs, to heavy rock and rollers, to grandiose and pompous displays of instrumental prog rock. The gang here really put some thought into these selections so that they would gel together in a seamless manner,

Highlights for me were performances of Astronomy Domine; the amazing riff of Lucifer Sam; the very robotic and electronic feel they gave to Obscured by Clouds/When You're In; a stunning performance of Remember a Day that would make Rick Wright proud; the seamless integration of the first part of "If" with selections from the Atom Heart Mother suite, ending with a reprise of the second part of "If"; the wonderfully complex bass riff of Let There Be More Light; an extended performance of Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (complete with gong); the whimsical Bike; the fan classic One of These Days; and an amazing performance of the band's namesake, the instrumental A Saucerful of Secrets.

The band is tight, plays well together, and plays off of each other skillfully. Lee Harris is no David Gilmour or Syd Barrett, but he pulls off all the solos with grace and skill. Pratt's bass playing is, in my opinion, an improvement over Waters. Kemp's guitar work is also skilled and definitely has the effects down pat. Both Kemp's and Pratt's vocals are no replacement for the originals and that might be the only thing somebody might have something negative to say. However, they made these songs their own and stamped their personalities on it. The harmonies the two do together are a nice fit. Beken very much nailed Wright's style of playing and you even hear a little bit of his experience from The Orb here and there. He keeps with the original sounds when it seems right and ventures off into new territory in places where it seems to make the songs better than the originals. It's a nice and refreshing touch.

The star of the show is of course, Nick Mason. The pre-Dark Side period of Pink Floyd has some of the most complex and adventurous drumming Mason did during his career. At the age of 74 (at the time of the recording of this concert), he can still perform this amazing stuff in all its glory. I was quite impressed with his performance. And he hasn't forgotten how to use the mallets.

The lighting at the show was in the true Pink Floyd fashion. The Victorian features of The Roundhouse give it an almost surreal atmosphere. The building was originally constructed in 1847 and it contained a railway turntable inside of it. It reopened in 1964, first as a cultural centre with a theatre, and in 1966 as an arts venue. Both Pink Floyd and Soft Machine performed on its opening night. Performances were on a makeshift stage with power running from nearby buildings. So in a way, this 2019 performance was a way of making a full circle back to the beginnings of Mason's career.

The DVD also has some bonus features. There is a short film of some of their band rehearsals. This was nice and all that, but it was too short and not enough band banter to make it interesting. The meat of the bonus features are interviews with each of the band's members. This was a joy to watch to learn about how they all knew each other and how the band evolved and some of the history of Pink Floyd.

So, in closing, a big thank you to Lee Harris for having this gem of an idea. And a big thank you to Nick Mason for having the guts to bring this early period of Pink Floyd back to life and presenting it in such a refreshing and tasteful manner.

A well deserved five stars.

 Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse by MASON, NICK album cover Live, 2020
4.47 | 18 ratings

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Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Some years ago I came to hate The Dark Side Of The Moon because it's the change point fron the early Pink Floyd to what followed. Well I really love DSOTM and the followings, including the underrated The Final Cut, but I must say that I like the early Floyd much more. I have enjoyed the fantastic performances of the Italian cover band "Pink Floyd Legend" when they played Pompeii and Atom Heart Mother (two different gigs).

So what about Nick Mason setting up a band to play the old stuff with new arrangements without replacing the original mood of the songs? Unfortunately there aren't long trippy improvisations: Interstellar Overdrive is just a little bit of the original psychedelic box, and contains little inserts from Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother is tied down to few minutes between two slices of "if" with the singer too high-pitched whose voice is too cold for that song.

It's not an issue. All the rest is excellent, including what is probably the only existing listenable version in terms of recording quality of "Vegetable Man". There's Obscured By Clouds introduced by a "Vangelis like keyboard", Remember A Day sounds better than the original. The band resisted to the tentation of transforming the hardest Floyd's song into a metal piece so that The Nile Song is still a psychedelic heavy track. It's a pity that the vocalist has added some unneded "personality" to it. His voice sounds much better on Green Is The Colour...still a great pop song, made even more pop by the country-rock coda, and still great. On Childhood's End his voice is almost perfect.

Some words about Mick's drumming: after many years of silence he appears in a very good shape and it's like being free from the two PF bosses has let him improve his skill. Not the usual metronome as we know him. Also Guy Pratt has more freedom and can even slap sometimes.

The most impressive arrangement is for me the electronic intro of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun. Just one minute, but for my tastes I would have appreciated a 20 minutes version of that stuff. Unlike on If, Kemp here is able to give the song the right mood without resembling Waters in any way. This is the only old song still present in Roger Waters' shows. Believe me, this is its best live version after Pompeii. Mason does a great work on percussions. This song makes me trip even if I'm just drinking milk.

After having seen Emily play and listened to the ducks on bike, Guy Pratt has some fun with the only Pink Floyd's song on which Nick Mason's voice has been heard..."One Of These Days". Not much to arrange here. It can't be much different from the dozens of other live versions published during the years. Just a bit more psychedelia in the middle part introducing to the "vocals".

Saucerful of Secrets is shortened but it's still a good trip. It misses the "first movement" but of course has the metronomic drumming of the "second movement". Definitely a trip, but why so short? The third movement is longer and includes a guitar solo. Good but it makes it quite a "regular" song.

The story ends with the aborted soundtrack of Zabriskie Point. Point me At the Sky isn't the best Pink Floyd short song and very far from being a masterpiece. I've always considered it as one of the best Beatles' songs. But this is likely the reason why it has been used as closer: it's so stuck into its time, and ends with a "goodbye".

4 PA stars, 5 Octopus stars even with the little defects, especially in the vocals. I regret having missed them when they came to my country, even if at 600km from my city.

 Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse by MASON, NICK album cover Live, 2020
4.47 | 18 ratings

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Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse
Nick Mason Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars It was while participating in The V & A Museum's Pink Floyd exhibition last year that Mason started to feel the need to play again the drums live. And it's Lee Harris and Guy Pratt that approached Nick with the idea of forming this band. Guy Pratt has been touring for a long time with David Gilmour. The band didn't want to copy the music like those tribute bands. It was the opportunity to improvise and rework the songs. But what's the big difference if you haven't noticed yet it's the choice to cover the old songs before Dark Side of the Moon which is unusual for tribute bands of Pink Floyd.

So with a setlist of old songs from Pink Floyd first period some from Syd Barrett, we can expect a variety of styles from heavy rock, space, psychedelic, and pop. Some long instrumental songs like '' Set the Control for the Heat of the Sun'' provide more satisfaction for a Prog fan. The song ''Interstellar Overdrive'' with is great riff is the highlight of the show, it feels that there's a little momentum lost after this great song, but it picks up again later with more good music.

The members of the band seem to enjoy playing especially when they make eye contact with each other with a smile on their faces. The concert is a bit short, but I don't think they could add more great songs from that era. Being a follower mostly from the Meddle period and up to the Wall, I still enjoy listening to some of their old tracks.

If the band didn't want to copy the music like others Pink Floyd tribute bands, it is a special tribute album live of Pink Floyd that has the merit to play some songs rarely played in the past years.

I can't say anything wrong with the picture quality and sound of this concert. There's some special effect in the editing of the show but not too much. As for the voice of Spandau Ballet singer Gary Kemp and longtime bass player Guy Pratt, they were not trying to imitate Syd or David, but at times the voice of Gary had some similarity with David. You can watch the concert with interviews or without. In conclusion, this a refreshing take of some old songs... that will bring nostalgia for some who have loved the first period of one of the most influential bands of rock music, and some fun to young fans who want to discover the bands that their father always talk...

 Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse by MASON, NICK album cover Live, 2020
4.47 | 18 ratings

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Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse
Nick Mason Prog Related

Review by Zalek27

4 stars For most of people, PInk Floyd start with Dark sideo of the moon. Before 1973, very rarely tribute band and former member wil play music from the early years. With the exception of one of these day, echoe or astronomy domine.

What happen when the former drummer decide to tour that obscure material ? Well, ist nice, ist fun to see some older classic like see emily play, let there be more light, if, atom heart mother (some part) or even bike xd. Those song never get a live version like comfortably numb or wish you were here.

Theyre is no fresh material, but some songs get new sequence with improvisation and new part so you could say theyre is indeed new material.

I recommand, ist in now ways perfect, nick drumming tend to be a little bit dull (he is far more older then in live at pompei) but ist still a very good show/live album

 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 90 ratings

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Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports
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Review by mariorockprog

4 stars 3.5 The first album by Nick Mason based in most of the ideas Carla Bley had at the time and she sent to him. The music is good in general, seems like jazz and RIO at some times. The lyrics I thing is the weakest thing of the album. Vocally is sung by Robbert Wyatt, and they are good, nothing spectacular, but sometimes he had his moments. The songs that i really liked were Cant get my motor to start, Hot river and Boo to you. I considered it best in terms of composition and more proggy than his other album, but i liked more the other one. at the end is a good album and very different to what he was doing.
 Mason + Fenn: Profiles by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.95 | 45 ratings

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Mason + Fenn: Profiles
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Review by mariorockprog

4 stars 3.5 A very interesting album, very different to what he was doing in Pink Floyd, but really good in fact, of course it has a very 80 feeling and is a little pop, but there is a lot of progressive music here. David Gilmour appears singing in one of the songs, and although the song is pop rock mixed with synth of the disco music, it is actually good. The album is almost entirely instrumental, a lot of good keyboards are present here, a great work in the guitars, and the drums sounds good too, a lot of variation and use of other related instrument. Finally, a great album, I really liked, although it is not entirely prog, it is something different to hear, The songs that I liked most was Profiles Pt 1 and 2, and the address, lie for a lie. I gave it 3.5 that is rounded to 4 because I considered it very underrated when is actually enjoyable, hardcore prog fans, I dont think gonna like it, but can give it a try.
 Mason + Fenn: Profiles by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.95 | 45 ratings

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Mason + Fenn: Profiles
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Review by Walkscore

2 stars Uninteresting. Very little charm.

Unlike his quirky first solo album with Bley and Wyatt, the music on Mason's second album with Rick Fenn is not much fun, not in any way different, and really not interesting. It is simply not very compelling music. There are few melodies that rise above the mundane, and the singing and lyrics are forgettable. Saturated with a commercial 80s sound production quality, the album is also cold and lifeless, and thus very little charm. It is very much an average commercial pop 80s album, with seemingly very little to say. No quirky Bley compositions, and no Wyatt vocals to make this distinct. The best is the commercial "Lie for a Lie" with David Gilmour on cameo vocal. But even that is pretty flat. There are no great guitar solos. I actually don't find any of these pieces very interesting, even the (slightly) longer instrumental sections which other reviewers laud. None of these tracks are 'bad', off-putting or cringe-worthy, so this is not 1-star material. The execution is professional, and it is listenable. Its just not memorable. This is only for major fans and completists, but I doubt that even they will want to listen to this more than once in a lifetime. I give it 3.8 out of 10, which is mid-low 2 PA stars.

 Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 90 ratings

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Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports
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Review by Walkscore

3 stars Odd-Ball with some charm.

This album is somewhat of a concoction. Wanting to make a solo album like his fellow Floydians, but being neither a composer nor a singer, Mason asked Carla Bley to write the tunes, and his friend Robert Wyatt to sing on the album. He also asked other friends (like Gary Windo on saxes, and Karen Craft on vocals) to be part of the project. The result is a one-off odd-ball mixture of styles and textures that bears little resemblance to anything that came beforehand or afterward. It really feels concocted too. Wyatt in many places sounds unsure of whether or what he should be singing, and the compositions are quite quirky, distinctly Carla Bley but with a (not-always-musical) twist, and with a very particular sense of humour (not always funny). And the whole thing seems like it was put together with insufficient rehearsal. Very transparently, nothing here is essential, and much of it borders on un-musical. But, luck of fate, this is better than one might guess, if just for its uniqueness. The best tune here is the closer "I'm a Mineralist", but songs like "Can't get my Motor to Start" and "Wervin" have a sort of odd-ball dumb charm. Not likely an album you will constantly come back to, nor put in your top 1000, it is nonetheless a refreshing happy listen if you are in the right mood, and you probably won't want to jettison it either. It is worth "something", even if it is hard to determine just what that is. I give this 5.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to lowish 3 PA stars.

 Mason + Fenn: Profiles by MASON, NICK album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.95 | 45 ratings

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Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I think that one of the best things of having the choices and opportunities to record solo albums or duet albums for some musicians from some very famous bands is that they can record music which is very different from the music which characterizes their bands, without having to carry the "heavy weight" that some names of bands have in the musical careers of some musicians. At least in this kind of albums they can do what they want to some extent, playing and recording some kind of music which they cannot play and record with their bands. I think that this album is one example of this.

With Roger Waters being in PINK FLOYD the main songwriter for three albums of the band ("Animals", "The Wall" and "The Final Cut"), and with all these albums being very successful, the other members of the band maybe felt a bit restrained and frustrated musically. The problem with Waters being the main songwriter in that band was that his vision of the world (which is valid and I agree with him in some parts) really saturated these albums of the band with that vision, and for many listeners like me it really was not very attractive to buy another album of the band with that same vision and content. So, for some years I really forgot those three albums and I listened to other bands.

I knew about this album because the song "Lie for a Lie" (sung by David Gilmour with Maggie Reilly on backing vocals) was played a lot in a FM radio station in my city since late 1985. I liked the song a lot. I never bought the album because I think that it was not very easy to be found in the record shops in my city, or maybe I was more concentrated to buy albums by other bands. Anyway. it was good for me to listen to a PINK FLOYD related song which did not have Waters`s vision and vocals on it. It was unitl recently that I had the opportunity to listen to this album as a whole.

Well. This album is very good, but not very Progressive in musical style. The music and production is really very influenced by the production trends of the eighties, with the use of very good digital keyboards and effects, programming, drum machines, electronic drums, the very typical eighties use of reberveration, and other things. But in this case the final product is very good in comparison to other albums from other Prog Rock musicians. The musical style is mostly instrumental Pop Rock with some New Age and Synth Pop influences but very well balanced to the point that none of these musical styles saturates the album`s sound. The music in fact is very "light" and "happy", sounding like both musicians were having a lot of fun while recording the album. It is a mostly instrumental album, with only having two songs with vocals and lyrics ("Lie for a Lie", which in my opinion is the best song in this album, and "Israel", both with lyrics written by Danny Peyronel, and with "Israel" being also sung by him). Nick Mason and Rick Fenn are the main musicians in this album but with some sax playing by Mel Collins in a few songs. So, Mason and Fenn worked very well as a team in this album, producing a very good duet album which musically and lyrically is very far from the music of PINK FLOYD with Roger Waters as the main composer. It is a very "eighties production sound" influenced album, but very good anyway.

Thanks to fishy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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