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Nick Masonís Saucerful of Secrets

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enigma View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 27 2018 at 17:58
I had the pleasure of seeing Nick and his band at the incredible Symphony Hall in Birmingham (UK) earlier this week.
The set was made up of purely pre-Dark Side material, the only album from the first 7 that was not represented was the Studio half of Ummagumma.
I was blown away by the musicianship and sheer joy they seemed to have in playing. Highlights were many, but the top 3 were probably :
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Atom Heart Mother (7 minute segment)
Saucerful of Secrets.

It was a privilege watching Nick and co breathing life into these rarely played classics. Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt supplied the vocals, guitar and Bass and Lee Harris was also excellent on the second guitar. Dom Beken supplied keyboards.

Well worth catching if you enjoy early Floyd. I wasnít around when these pieces were originally played so to see Nick Mason playing them is an experience Iíll never forget.

Edited by enigma - September 27 2018 at 18:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2018 at 22:05
Oh, I really really would like to see them, but I donīt think they will tour outside UK. Rog was absolutely fantastic in last month, but...that tracklist of Masonīs! Well, quess I just have to watch them from YouTube and dream.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2018 at 23:54
I'm hoping they will venture up to the North East in the near future. Everything I've read about the tour has been very positive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote enigma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2018 at 00:00
Fingers crossed youíll get a chance next year,
Theyíve Just completed a smallish European tour; playing Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark & Sweden. I think they are about to announce some dates in North America and have more dates lined up in UK next year.
I suspect they will be adding more so keep your fingers crossed for a more extensive list of dates in the new year.

Itís a different show to Rogers, much more intimate with lighting more in tune with the period they are covering. There is indeed plenty of footage on YouTube in the meantime.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2018 at 00:38
Yeah, I have watched them...looked and sounded just great! I try telepathy: " do come also to Finland...do come to Finland..."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2018 at 03:44
Originally posted by enigma enigma wrote:

...
I was blown away by the musicianship and sheer joy they seemed to have in playing. Highlights were many, but the top 3 were probably :
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Atom Heart Mother (7 minute segment)
Saucerful of Secrets.
...

Looking back in time, something like 46 years, all the way back to the PF show at the Hollywood Bowl, and how it was presented with the opening of "One of These Days" and the highlight being somewhere in there, "Echoes". and then having seen the band later in their more famous days ... I have to let you all know that the early work is the work that I love the most and go back to listen to ... something like the stuff that was on so many bootlegs ... 10 different versions of "Set the Controls ...", at least 5 different versions of "AHM" including the one portion that was done for a failed ballet that was seen by a rock audience who more than likely did not like ballet and wanted to hear the hits instead, and then, of course, another wonderful version of "Saucerful of Secrets" ... 

There were a few more pieces at that time as well, like "Be Careful with that Axe, Eugene", and one of my favorites, "Astronomy Domine".

Time has not been kind to those pieces a whole lot, and today's audience is to hit song oriented to even like something like those things, and not consider a lot of it just "meandering", and "improvisation", which is something that most progressive thinking folks do not like, because the lyrics will not tell them where it is going ... sort of lilke you can't find out for yourself, where the road/trip is going or is about ... for me.

I call it, nowadays, the "Life of the Lost Children" after the great film and its wonderful premise of having the innocence and the dreams taken away from the children. Maybe this is what THE WALL was trying to tell us, but in the end, it became another piece of the ground beef! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2018 at 06:02
I saw the London show and I actually think these songs still feel very fresh, much more so than lots of 70s prog these days, or even stuff that some 70s heroes do today. I saw some young faces in the audience and I hope they will be inspired.
The primary impression was how much fun the musicians had. And then the wonderful set list showing all the different facets of the old Pink Floyd in perfect balance, the space psychedelia, Syd's brand of rock with a twist, and the dreamy poetic side, with some explicit appreciation of all the Floyd's former members, all very good humoured. I hadn't seen Floyd in the old days (unfortunately I could only see them live when Waters was already out and it wasn't the "real deal" anymore) and I'd assume that the performances of Mason's Saucerful do not have as much space for anarchy, improvisation and spontaneity as they gave themselves around 1970; despite all the fun it's somewhat more civilised, but well, you should expect that from a band headed by a 74 years old gentleman playing 50 years old songs.    

Regarding highlights, some of these such as Astronomy Domine and Set the Controls will always be so important for me that they can hardly be beaten, but some underdogs really shone, I loved Bike much more than ever before, hadn't been quite so aware up to now how good a song See Emily Play is, and Obscured by Clouds, which on the album always seems a bit static to me, was a perfectly welcome addition in the right place, giving a surprise hint at Pink Floyd's influence on post rock.

The band members all showed some good enthusiasm for the music. I've got to say that good old Nick played his parts in a quite economical fashion and missed the odd beat. But then he never was a big virtuoso, rather what he brings to the table for Floyd and his own project is, in the first place, taste, and long shall this last.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2018 at 00:16
^Yes, Nick is no Bruford, but I have always loved his style of playing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2018 at 06:34
Hi,

I think that Nick was more into the "music" than the later PF that was more about its "lyrics" and "meanings" than the music itself, though one should say that the music was strong to help it work.

In the earlier days, it was more about the "trip", at least the time that Nick is selecting for the material that was done. This has been, for the most part the most ignored of all the material by the other 2 folks in PF, though DG has done a couple more of them than RW, but in the end, it did not feel as honest and far out, as it is likely to by someone like Nick.

I hope they DVD this ... so I have a chance to see it before I depart from this earth ... but I can tell you that I remember that Hollywood Bowl concert well, and it is by far one of my favorite concerts ever, even given the incredible show that the next several tours by PF gave us in the next 10 to 15 years, but in the end, I think that the coziness and style of the early stuff was far more attractive for me, than the later bombastic material trying to feed the audiences!

I always looked at the earlier material, including Syd Barrett's as more artistic and poetic, than the later material that was no longer poetic, but more pointed and articulated to let you know its opinions. I do not see any of Barrett's lyrics as political ... mostly satirical and funny, but not pointed and trying to show you all the rights and wrongs in the world ... when all of it became no more and no less the same meat grind that it showed us! It didn't give us an alternative for freedom except to get more stoned and quit the world!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progaardvark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2018 at 05:53
Anyone know if they're planning a DVD release of one of the shows?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2018 at 07:53
Some fairly good recordings of a number of full shows are on youtube. Not as good as a proper DVD of course, but of bearable up to enjoyable quality.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote enigma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2018 at 13:06
Hereís the second half of Set the Controls, with Gary Kemp doing his thing (not my video)

https://youtu.be/GM5BeJ-sNX8

Edited by enigma - October 01 2018 at 13:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2018 at 14:31
Originally posted by enigma enigma wrote:

Hereís the second half of Set the Controls, with Gary Kemp doing his thing (not my video)

https://youtu.be/GM5BeJ-sNX8

Wow ... outstanding version .... totally far out and so happy to see things like this again!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote enigma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2018 at 06:22
Here is The If/Ahm piece.

if/AHM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2018 at 07:44
Hi,

A few observations on the Nick Mason's video on the blooptube.

SPOILED! NO CLOSE UPS!

The video business for the past 40 years has been about the closeups up to and including the half nekkid veeman, and on this particular one, it was just very far with one zoom that would embarrass grandma 50 years ago because it showed that the dress was old! Oh, btw, the closeups in MTV were always overdone, and the "sexy-ness" stopped there. You know how that goes ... familiarity .... 

I would have liked a bit more work on tightening the idea of the video, but honestly? I kinda think that this was just a sort of Nick's birthday party ... or drinking party ... or more chips and beans!

FABULOUS!

There are no bands today (2018 or something like that!) that even come close to the ability and freedom of that time when it came to the music, and you can hear it in the versions of all the pieces in this concert. Not quite the Syd Barrett songs, but his two long pieces stood out. 

If there is one thing that was clear about the music at that time, that helped make PF so big and famous in concert BEFORE their DSOTM thing, it was that they were an amazingly strong band and that the tripping was far out, and when they went "quadraphonic", which was sometime in early 1972 or thereabouts, they blasted everyone out with sound effects and music moving all over and around you which was as close to a TRIP as you could possibly imagine. 

One thing that you can see here is that there was (at the time) a certain freedom to doing things, and very few of the pieces were defined/designed to be a song, but a musical journey that you followed and loved going along with.

You might find something like it today, but you can not get the feeling of the control and "song" side of things that (for me!) bring things down from the strength and value of the music itself.  Today, people rely on LYRICS to tell them about the trip and you figure you don't need the "meandering" to fly around anymore ... a horrible and lousy substitute for the real thing.

Watching this, I had a few thoughts and cries ... of a time, that has gone by and is largely forgotten in the music "business", that continually refuses to allow for music to be free, and this intimidates bands from getting away from a song ... everything is just a song, by people afraid of tripping with the music, figuring that it is as bad as the dope in those days, when they really have no real necessary connection for their existence. 

It's nice to see Nick Mason do this, and for once do something that has more value in the definition of what became PF, that both RW and DG took on, but really forgot their ability to have fun and fly and play things in a manner that was not mechanic, and controlled as much as the later shows were. You knew the songs, at that time, but in the old days, you did not need exactly to "know" many things and many times, you had never heard that thing before ... but you sat there and watched and enjoyed it ... and this video shows that there is a lot in that time, that we still do not know, enjoy and appreciate ... and until the day that we take a good look at it, we will never really understand or appreciate an incredible period of music and arts ... that the media would rather forget, and make you think that it never existed!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now try finding your own mirror/art! www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2018 at 08:51
Tickets bought for Boston gig next April, super stoked.
Ian




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote enigma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2018 at 13:35
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

Tickets bought for Boston gig next April, super stoked.


Fantastic!
I hope the tour goes down well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2018 at 06:51
Hi,

Weird how the "prog" folks are kinda ignoring this ... it's like they don't "get it" and wonder what all that mishmashing was about, since it did not have lyrics!

This is where almost all of it came from, and folks don't seem to understand where things like Yes, Genesis and so many others actually came from and learned from.

Just plain strange and weird!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2018 at 17:28
I think of lot of 'prog' folks are very excited about this recreation of early Floyd with Nick and some fine musicians - I'm just hoping they can make their way up to the North of the UK to immerse myself in all of this. The development of early prog clearly owes a debt to this period of Pink Floyd.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2018 at 17:53
It's great when old music can be reinvigorated.   

Hmmm, Boston?   That means they'll prob be in the Bay Area at some point.



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