Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets
by Pete Clemons
There wasn’t much chat from the stage. But there was an awful lot of enjoyment and plenty of smiles. After around the third song Nick Mason gave a brief introduction of the band and mentioned that he was not going to keep getting up from his drum stool after every song to explain things. If you had any questions, ask the person standing next to you. Although I did hear him mention that, if it all goes wrong, you can blame the Australian Roger Waters band.
This was a rare and unique opportunity to experience Pink Floyds celebrated and significant early body of work played live. It included songs from albums ‘The Piper At The Gates of Dawn’ and ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets’.
In interviews leading up to this gig Nick Mason had mentioned that ‘We’re not a tribute band’ and ‘It’s not important to play the songs exactly as they were, but to capture the spirit’.
And it really was great fun indeed. Particularly, from a personal point of view, a unique opportunity to hear songs that I had never heard live before. I clearly remember from my youth, songs like ‘See Emily Play’ and ‘The Scarecrow’. But my own live experiences of Pink Floyd came a few years after the Syd Barrett era. Like many, Pink Floyd has been with me for a great deal of my entire life and this was an unmissable opportunity.
Syd Barrett was, once, very much the leader of this group. His distinctive lead guitar gave Pink Floyd their early identity. His song writing gave them success in the singles charts during the first half of 1967 and ten of the eleven songs on the groups debut LP were his.
In addition to Nick Mason on drums the five-piece, known as Saucerful of Secrets, also includes Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, former Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, The Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris, and music producer and composer Dom Beken.
The set list, listed below, was from a time well before ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. And there was a wonderful tip of the hat towards Richard Wright who was remembered when the band played a version of ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ that concentrated on the ‘Celestial Voices’ section.
Obscured by Clouds
When you’re in
The Nile Song
Green is the Colour
Let There be More Light
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (truncated version)
See Emily Play
One of These Days
A Saucerful of Secrets (truncated version)
Point Me at the Sky
The enthusiasm generated by the musicians on stage clearly filtered through to the audience who loved every second of this concert. Nick Mason was right about not playing the songs exactly as they were, because they were not. And I felt that it made the gig all the more better for that. It wasn’t quite the same vibe you got at happenings 50 years ago; those days are sadly long gone. Everybody was stood up for starters and audiences are not quite as laid back nowadays as they once were. But that didn’t detract, it was merely an observation. This was indeed a wonderful celebration.