What started as a small project to play pre-1973 Pink Floyd songs at a few select venues was the idea of drummer Nick Mason to get out on the road and perform songs that not only seldom feature in the sets of former band mates Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters, but comprised solely of songs that are unlikely to have been performed in decades and harp back to the band’s psychedelic period.
The success of those gigs and demand to see the band led to the current tour and many more happy punters, young and mostly old, can now get to hear songs that at the time of creation, were extremely ground breaking and led to a whole new musical genre.
Around him Mason’s put together a quite stunning band that features Pink Floyd touring stalwart Guy Pratt on bass, Spandau Ballet’s guitarist Gary Kemp, keyboardist Dom Beken and also on guitar Lee Harris, all of whom get to feature prominently in a quite scintillating evening.
Opening with a sonic tour de force that is “Interstellar Overdrive” from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, released in 1967, both guitarists came to the fore with driving guitar riffs and thundering drums, which was followed by Astronomy Domine, with its descending vocal and layering of phased sounds-capes.
It was a breathtaking start with Kemp masterly holding down his guitar duties and accepting the majority of the lead vocals, aided and abetted by Pratt, both complimenting each other and a perfect match-up.
Four songs in and the tempo was taken down with a stunning version of “Fearless” from the Meddle album that slowly weaved its way to a crescendo of noise and the football anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” blasting from the speakers.
It was proving to be a memorable evening for everyone and the band threw in a song that even the Floyd of old had never played live and only till recently been released “Vegetable Man,” a quirky piece of Sixties psychedelia.
The raunchiest song of the evening “The Nile Song” featured a lovely local touch with Kemp borrowing and playing a guitar formerly owned by Man guitarist Micky Jones, one of Kemp’s guitar heroes, loaned by his son George, and Kemp didn’t disappoint with some sterling fretwork.
It was pure nostalgia and a joy to hear. Songs like “See Emily Play” “Bike” and “One of These Days” with its prominent driving bass were a real joy on the ears and such a wonderful back catalogue we can only hope they return again soon with another set of songs from such an impressionable era in music.