Monday, December 16, 2019

Pink Floyd - 1970 - A Final Breakfast at the Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd 
December 22, 1970
City Hall
Sheffield



A Final Breakfast at the Gates of Dawn
Eat A Peach 91/92

101. Introduction 01:27
102. Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast 24:19
103. Tune Up 03:07
104. The Embryo 13:06
105. Tune Up 01:47
106. Fat Old Sun 15:29
107. Careful With That Axe Eugene 16:16

201. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 12:43
202. A Saucerful Of Secrets 18:32
203. Powerbreak 01:32
204. A Saucerful Of Secrets (finale continued) 06:08
205. Atom Heart Mother 33:15
206. Atom Heart Mother (finale reprise) 03:07



It has been many years since the December 1970 Sheffield gig has been in circulation, collectors know of this tape since it contains the only know live version of Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. When The Ultimate Breakfast (Devils Breath DB 001) came out in 2007 it was a vast upgrade over all previously circulating versions of the tape, the sound was so much improved over my much beloved Pink’s Psychedelic Last Night (Highland HL 176) that it would be called definitive. With this new release from Eat A Peach I am re thinking that statement.

First let’s go back and take a look at the history of the Sheffield recording, It is excellent and well balanced that features all instruments and vocals well balanced, the crowd noise is minimal and captures the ambiance of the concert very well. The source for many of the releases come from a guy named Pete who went to University in Sheffield in the early 80’s and through a notice board bought two TDK tapes, one C60 and one C120 taken from the seller’s first gen copies of the master cassettes. Since Pete was more of a Clapton and Stones fan, the tapes sat dormant for many years and after doing some online research and downloading found that what he had was much better than what was out there, so he started transferring them to digital format and circulating them to the collecting community.

This transfer is simply the best I have heard, when I received this title and began comparing it to The Ultimate Breakfast I could hear the noise reduction used in that title. At the time I reveled in its clarity yet after listening to this new title many times and comparing them I can hear the effects of noise reduction on the Devils Breath title, something I do not hear in the Eat A Peach title. I am very pleased with the sonic quality. First there is tape hiss, it is very minimal but is what can be expected on tapes of this age but what we get in turn is a broader range of frequencies giving a much warmer sound. It is a bit louder than the Devils Breath that makes the stage theater improvisation of Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast easier to hear and enjoy, I even sat down with Hodges and Priston’s excellent Embryo book as it has a transcript of the Nick Mason “conversations” from the performance.

The performance is excellent, there is a link above to Gerard’s review of The Ultimate Breakfast, complete with information on previous releases and his typically excellent assessment of the title. The band play a relaxed and intimate performance, in Roger’s words the last concert of the year. The rarity, Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast is quite interesting, the band was not done with the music mixed with theater concept they premiered a year earlier during their Man And The Journey performances. From the few accounts I have read the band had a huge cereal box display and a kitchen set up as props for the song, this was the fourth and final performance of the song and it seems like the band are enjoying themselves. The improv during The Embryo is great, Gilmour does some seabird cries while tapes of children playing are played that leads into a jazz interlude by Wright that sounds as if they are in a smoky basement club. This is hands down one of my favorite versions of Careful With That Axe, Eugene. The build-up is soft and slow with Roger’s soft spoken “conversations” just incredible, murderistic drama at its finest.

Roger’s bass and Rick Wright’s keys are slightly in the foreground making for an excellent listen, especially at the start of an epic A Saucerful Of Secrets, the band seems to almost noodle around and the audience applauds them for it! The soundscapes of this song seem to float along like ripples in a pool yet without intensity. This later part of the recording suffers most from tape speed issues, as the batteries began to drain it made for an uneven sound at times, this can be heard during Celestial Voices. The power outage is cool, while they wait for the power Rick plays some piano until the power is restored, the taper also cut some of the power outage out to save battery power. The Atom Heart Mother features full choir and brass ensemble, the speed issues are not near as bad as ASOS, a very nice performance of the song.

The packaging is what we have come to expect from Eat A Peach, mini LP sleeve with cover art featuring the band super imposed over a picture of the City Hall of Sheffield. The label seems to have settled with a format of having the Cd track titles on the corresponding sleeves that are adorned with era pictures. The insert has excellent liner notes written by The Lazy Goalkeeper and the CD’s have pictures on them as well. This is an excellent follow up to The Man and The Journey – Legendary London 1969 Performances and ties in perfectly with the Floyd’s “Rock Theater” concept.

Pink Floyd - 1970 - Trip Through Germany

Pink Floyd
November 11, 1970
Niedersachsenhalle
Hannover 



Trip Through Germany
Eat A Peach / EAT 170-171

101. Astronomy Domine
102. Fat Old Sun
103. Cymbaline
104. Corrosion In The Pink Room / Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict
105. The Embryo / Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict (Reprise)

201. Atom Heart Mother
1. Father’s Shout
2. Breast Milky
3. Mother Fore
4. Funky Dung
5. Mind Your Throats Please
6. Remergence
202. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict tease / Green Is The Colour
203. Careful With That Axe Eugene
204. Introduction
205. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
206. Final Speech
207. A Saucerful Of Secrets
1. Something Else
2. Syncopated Pandemonium
3. Storm Signal
4. Celestial Voices


Over the past few years there has been a restructuring of thought when recordings of Pink Floyd culled from their German / European dates in November 1970 are concerned. First off there is an old vinyl bootleg called Pictures Of Pink Floyd Vol 1 (Topsound 70001) and Vol 2 (Topsound 10022), while the cover may eluded to the fact that it was from a USA concert in April 1970, keen listeners easily deduced it was not from then but from Europe in late 1970 due to song structures, mainly of Fat Old Sun and Atom Heart Mother. There was a comment made by Roger “My Lords, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Nicholas Mason”, thus this recording was attributed to Gothenburg, Sweden as supposedly there were members of the Swedish royal family in attendance at that concert. Since the POPF featured a unique piece of music referred to as Corrosion, most also believed that the recording was done within a few days time of another concert, Hamburg Nov 14, 1970, that contained the same piece of music, so the recording for many years was referred to as Gothenburg.

As time goes on, somehow “new” recordings surface, and sometimes throw a wrench in the works, such is the case with the three fragmented recordings that surfaced in 2012 and released by Sigma as In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71). This title was sourced from a cassette featuring snippets of three different concerts, Hamburg – November 14, 1970, Hannover – November 27, 1970 and Munster, Germany – February 24, 1971. Well, after close examination, the music referred to as Hamburg did not match the circulating recording for that date, see Corrosion (Sirene 235), then it was discovered that the material dated Hannover matched the circulating recording Hamburg. An additional piece of the puzzle came into the picture in mid 2016 when a recording for the Gothenburg – November 11, 1970 concert surfaced on Gothenburg 1970 (Sigma 156).

Based upon all this new information, the problem would be what to do with the Pictures Of Pink Floyd recording. After an examination of the dates from the tour that had no known recording, it was deduced it had to be from Saarbrucken – November 28, 1970. And this does make sense based upon the piece known as Corrosion, there are three know versions of this song in circulation and all three are very similar, most believe that they were recorded close together, it would not make sense if they were weeks apart. The third version you ask? It was recorded for French TV at the conclusion of this tour on December 5, 1970.

So here is what has been restructured:

Gothenburg, Novermber 11, 1970 – Gothenburg 1970 (Sigma 156)

Hamburg, Germany, November 14, 1970 – In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71)

Hannover, Germany, November 27, 1970 – Corrosion (Sirene 235), In Germany 1970-1971 (Sigma 71), Trip Through Germany (Eat A Peach EAT 170/171)

Saarbrucken, Germany, November 28, 1970 – Pictures Of Pink Floyd (Topsound 70001 / 10022)

Now we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at this new title from the Eat A Peach label of the Hannover – November 27, 1970 concert. The November tour through Europe is, for me, a high point in the Floyd’s early touring career, many of the concerts exist on and circulate either through bootlegs or in trading circles and are available for our listening enjoyment, and there is much to be enjoyed. After the somewhat rudderless late 60’s, the band seemed to have found direction largely thanks to their draw as a live act. This gave them the ability to gel together with David Gilmour and write as a unit, and their creativity would culminate with a series of incredible records, Ummagumma, More, Atom Heart Mother, and Meddle. For me the studio records are like titles of chapters, the real text is in the live recordings, and for me it gets no better than 1970.

The recording from Hannover, originally thought to be Hamburg, has circulated for years and is an essential piece to the early Floyd puzzle, as intriguing as Birmingham – February 11, 1970 and Sheffield – December 22, 1970 as it contains a very unique performance. Not only do we get one of three versions of Corrosion aka Libest Spacement Monitor but also Roger does several incredible “pict” rants based upon his piece, Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict from the Ummagumma record. The performances from this period found the band playing in small halls and most have an intimate atmosphere, and Roger is in an interesting mood and seems to have an almost open dialogue with the audience, a rather rambunctious group of young fanatical German Floyd fans.

The recording falls into the very good range, just slightly distant with all instruments and vocals clearly heard. To my ears it sounds as if the Peach folks have slightly increased the volume making the small amount of tape hiss just a bit louder, I am basing this on the 2003 transfer of the Reel to Reel 3 3/4 ips referred to as T136 that is considered the lowest generation and best source in circulation. What this tape has over the old Sirene Corrosion title is a warm and natural sounding listening experience and it runs at the correct speed, an is just a hair longer as well. While I fully acknowledge that mastering of these old tapes tends to follow ones tastes, it does seem that the trend is going for a more natural sound of what the recording actually sounds like versus trying to achieve a bright and brittle sound free of hiss that has no soul to it.

It boils down to this, I like this new release. The tape hiss does not bother me and the recording sounds great and is quite enjoyable, add this together with a sublime performance, one of the best from 1970 and you get a winner. I fully agree some may not like the mastering of any title, but this is a forum to discuss opinions on a titles merits so those who do not have a particular recording can make a determination of whether it is worth their investment or not. Until the master tape of this recording or the full recording found on In Germany 1970-1971 surfaces, this new title from Eat A Peach is an acceptable alternative to the long out of print Sirene title and is a nice title to have. The packaging is simple mini LP style jacket with CD sleeves and inserts all having great photos from the era, there are nice liner notes from the Lazy Goalkeeper.

Pink Floyd - 1970 - Atom Hyde Park

Pink Floyd
July 18, 1970
Blackhill's Garden Party
Hyde Park Free Concert


Atom Hyde Park - The Godfatherecords ‎– G.R. 320

01. Intro 2:27
02. Embryo 10:33
03. Green Is The Colour 3:43
04. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 8:17
05. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 12:21
06. Atom Heart Mother 23:14


“Blackhill’s Garden Party – Hyde Park Free Concert” was a wildly contrasting, 5-hour-plus event featuring the likes of Third Ear Band, Kevin Ayers And The Whole World, The Edgar Broughton Band, DJ Jeff Dexter, and of course, Pink Floyd.

For The Floyd, this concert represents one of the few performances of “Atom Heart Mother” with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and John Aldess Choir (conducted by Aldess) at an open air festival, and gave those in attendance a stunning preview of their forthcoming album, which would be released in the UK on October 2nd.

Previously, this recording was only available via download or on fan-produced CDR’s such as Hyde Park and Black Hills Garden Party. Thus, Atom Hyde Park marks the silver debut of this recording, and although it is a bit rougher than much of the output on Godfather Records, due to its historical value and rarity, Godfather elected to press it regardless. I certainly applaud the label for striving to produce new factory-pressed titles as opposed to simply rehashing the same concerts over and over like some of the other labels are often prone to do.

As always, Atom Hyde Park is housed in a gorgeous tri-fold cardboard sleeve, featuring several photos from the actual performance and some background information on the concert. Godfather’s packaging is always the epitome of professionalism, and unique also for the use of brighter colours than many of the other labels.

Of course, it is the content that matters the most here, and sonically I’d characterize this recording as favoring the mids, more or less bereft of low end, and no extreme high-end. Due to the frequency range, there is a mild amount of upper-end distortion during some of the louder passages but on the whole, the music comes through much clearer than on some of the other festival performances of 1970. It should be noted also that this recording is remarkably free of the hiss that often plagues sources of this era and there are no drop-outs to report, but the tape does sound worn in spots. The only cuts present are prior to “Atom Heart Mother,” after Roger Waters explained there would be a pause to bring out the choir and brass ensemble, and for 1 second at the 1:51 mark of the same song.

Atmospherically, being that this was an open air festival, the wind sometimes plays a role in the sonic character of the recording, so occasionally there is something of a panning effect, however in my opinion this only enhances the trippy, psychedelic nature of the setlist!

David Gilmour’s guitar and Richard Wright’s organ tend to dominate this recording instrumentally, yet all of the vocals are clear, thus despite the “raw” nature of the recording, it is quite enjoyable to listen to. The audience are obviously mesmerized, listening intently, and primarily only audible between songs (barring a couple instances during softer passages, where the chatter actually contributes in a good way!).

The recording begins with a gentle fade-in during the “Intro” already in progress; it’s unclear how much is missing here, but I can’t imagine much. Though it’s more or less the standard “Pink Blues” that was usually reserved for many an encore, we are treated to a fabulous bluesy solo from Mr. Gilmour, supported by sustained chords from Wright’s Hammond. Jams like these make it very clear that Gilmour is every bit the blues-master as Clapton or Page, albeit with pitch as consistent as his vocals, even during his most expressive bends. (That’s no slight on Clapton or Page mind you, just pointing out that Gilmour deserves no less respect in this regard!)

“Intro” segues seamlessly into “Embryo,” where the tempo picks up without missing a beat, and this arrangement actually works very well. The aforementioned wind factor impacts the first couple minutes of “Embryo” the most, but almost functions as an additional layer along with the audience, leading into and through the “seagull” section. According to Mark Blake’s fabulous Floyd bio Comfortably Numb, “the sound of children giggling and chattering echoed around the park, causing many looks of stoned confusion amid the crowd, until they realised that the sounds were actually coming from Richard Wright’s keyboards.” Trippy indeed. While nowhere the length it would reach during concerts the following year, and fairly restrained overall, “Embryo” still makes for a great opener.

The pastoral “Green Is The Colour” was often the most tuneful song performed during this era, and the concert at Hyde Park is no exception, unfolding from a soft, sentimental folk melody and building dynamically to a rocking climax before abruptly shifting into “Careful With That Axe Eugene.” This is not necessarily their best segue for this pairing, ending with a sudden bang (possibly a small cut), but Wright’s haunting organ almost instantly pulls you back in here.

This is a fairly mature, subdued rendition of “Careful With That Axe Eugene,” but totally in line with rest of the performance – perhaps the band had some timing restrictions to take into account being that this was a festival or maybe they just didn’t want to “freak out” their choir and brass section with psychedelic excess? It’s an enjoyable version nonetheless, full of the haunting atmosphere we all love this song for. Despite being a bit in the background, there is a wicked flurry of percussion courtesy of Nick Mason worth mentioning beginning at the 5:00 mark that builds to a fantastic crescendo before the calm ensues again some 34 seconds later.

One of the highlights of this set is the amazing version of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun,” introduced by Roger Waters as being “the last oldie before we do something new.” Metamorphosing from an introspective meditation first into a raga-style freak-out roughly 4 minutes in, replete with Roger’s gongwork and Mason’s frenzied percussion, then onto a deep space reflection lead by Wright’s delayed keyboards and garnished with Gilmour’s delayed slidework, before the final recapitulation of the verse/chorus. Absolutely transcendental, and extremely enjoyable to navigate, it’s quite possible that I was as transfixed as the audience (from 7:22-10:00 in particular)!

As noted above, there is a brief cut before “Atom Heart Mother,” I assume to conserve tape while the additional musicians took to the stage, but no music is missing (even the 2nd cut at 1:51 affects only a fraction of a second). Officially christened “Atom Heart Mother,” only two days prior at the BBC Paris Cinema, the name was taken from newspaper headlines at the last minute so the band could register the song for the purpose of royalties.

This performance cycles from the brass ensemble to the band before yielding to the haunting chorale and onto the funky mid-section. The massive work culminates in a powerful reprise with all of the musicians performing together. It should be noted that the brass and choir do come through with great clarity on this recording as well.

When all is said and done, Atom Hyde Park is a welcome and worthy addition to the collection of any serious Floyd aficionado, and although it is a bit rough around the edges, it does sound better than many of the other festival recordings of Floyd from 1970. The drums and bass certainly suffer the most, but the other elements are very much audible and remarkably clear for an open air audience recording this old. I reckon this is one of the more “tripped out” recordings of Floyd for the plethora of reasons detailed above, and there is no disputing the rarity or value of this concert, thus I applaud Godfather once again for giving the real collectors something fresh to savor.

Pink Floyd - 1970 - Atomic Heart Beat In The Hall

Pink Floyd
Febuary 11, 1970
Town Hall
Birmingham


Atomic Heart Beat In The Hall (Godfather Records GR 786/787)

101. The Embryo
102. Main Theme From More
103. Tuning
104. Careful With That Axe, Eugene
105. Sysyphus

201. Heart Beat, Pig Meat
202. Quicksilver
203. Moonhead
204. The Violent Sequence
205. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
206. The Amazing Pudding


Atomic Heart Beat In The Hall documents Pink Floyd’s February 11th, 1970 show in Birmingham, England.  The sound quality of the tape starts off quite rough and unpleasant, but quickly improves to be quite listenable and enjoyable.  The entire show was pressed before on The Amazing Pudding (Highland HL 208/209) and the latter half of the show can be found as bonus tracks on Monopoly (1996 DYNAMO GULAG SUBOTNIK, MOSCOW).

There are several reasons why this show is important.  It contains very early performances of both “Atom Heart Mother” still called “The Amazing Pudding” at this point and with a drum break, and “The Embryo.”  Second, there are several very rare live performances of “Sysyphus” and “The Main Theme (from More).”

The most interesting part is the twenty-five minute long piece that starts off the second disc.  It starts off with “Heart Beat Pig Meat” from the soundtrack to the film Zabriskie Point and leads into “The Violent Sequence,” the precursor to “Us & Them” on Dark Side Of The Moon.  It’s the longest performance of the piece and most interesting given the incorporated musical themes.  Godfather utilize their gorgeous tri-fold cardboard gatefold sleeve with copious liner notes written by their Pink Floyd expert Alex The Gnome. 

Pink Floyd - 1970 - Household Objects In Paris

Pink Floyd
January 23, 1970
Theater Comedie des Champs Elysees
Paris




The Godfatherecords - G.R. 867/868
 
101. Daybreak Pt.1 [a.k.a. Grantchester Meadows]   7:43
102. Work   4:37
103. Tea Time   3:27
104. Afternoon [a.k.a. Bidind My Time]   5:55
105. Doing It! [a.k.a. The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party (Entertainment)]   3:28
106. Sleep [a.k.a. Quicksilver]   8:56
107. Nightmare [a.k.a. Cymbaline] 11:59
108. A Saucerful Of Secrets 13:47
 
201. Astronomy Domine   9:46
202. Green Is The Colour   3:25
203. Careful With That Axe, Eugene   7:07
204. The Violent Sequence   5:31
205. Main Theme From More   7:57
206. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 12:18
207. The Amazing Pudding [a.k.a. Atom Heart Mother] 23:46
 
The second release in a short time of the recently circulated tape source for The Pink Floyd’s incredible concert in Paris in January 1970, this time from the folks at Godfather Records.
The first was The Man In Paris (Sigma 89), a very nice release that included a third disc that featured two songs in outstanding quality from a radio broadcast.

The main difference comes in the mastering of the show itself, Godfather chose not to increase the volume as much as Sigma so the background noise is not as bad nor are the mic bumps that occur sporadically such as the beginning of both discs as the taper was positioning his equipment.
Case in point, take the beginning of the second disc as the band retakes the stage and begins the tune up for what would eventually be “Astronomy Domine”, the mic bumps sound quite jarring on the Sigma while hardly noticeable on Godfathers.
They also elected not to increase the speed of the tape as much and filled in some small gaps with the original radio broadcast recording.

I was reading over the description of the show in Hodges and Priston’s superb Embryo: A Pink Floyd Chronology and found an interesting observation from a friend of the Floyd’s who was in attendance.
He went on to say that when the band started “The Main Them From More” the audience had a very positive reaction, you can clearly hear it on this new recording.

Godfather also uses the original radio broadcast recording three times for this release, the first is at 11:48 – 11:56 during “A Saucerful Of Secrets” and the last two gaps are both in “Atom Heart Mother”, the first at 8:08 – 8:19 and at 23:33 – 23:45, the slices are excellent with the first two being hard to notice.
Anyone who has heard the original tape knows that the volume does fluctuate slightly throughout the entire recording, from what I would guess it is the azimuth coordinator in all its glory.
I like that Godfather chose to use the older radio source, it would have been extremely jarring to hear the excellent sounding broadcast tape mixed in.

The packaging is tri gate fold sleeve with pictures from early 1970; the center spread has liner notes written by Alex The Gnome.
The photos and graphics are over tattered looking paper giving the feeling of unearthing some long lost document.
For those who wish to obtain the show with an excellent quality release at a more affordable price this is certainly a viable opportunity to do so as Godfather has done an excellent job with this release.
It’s not often Floyd collectors get such a wonderful treat to tantalize not only one’s ears but also one’s mind.

Pink Floyd - 1970 - Leaders Of The Underground

Pink Floyd
January 18, 1970
Fairfield Hall
Croydon 



Leaders Of The Underground
Eat A Peach / EAT 119-120

101. Careful With That Axe Eugene
102. The Embryo (Early Version)
103. Main Theme From 'More' (Early Version)
104. Biding My Time
105. A Saucerful Of Secrets

201. The Violent Sequence
202. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
203. Astronomy Domine
204. The Amazing Pudding (AKA Atom Heart Mother Early Version)



After the arrival of David Gilmour and the departure of Syd Barrett, the Pink Floyd were forced to begin a musical transformation. Barrett was their chief song writer and front man, much of these duties would to Roger Waters and Richard Wright, subsequent singles from this time period shows a lack of direction from earlier songs that topped the British music charts. The band moved away from singles and towards more LP oriented themes, they also were much in demand as a live act, gone was the psychedelic freak outs and the band moved into college circuits where like minded students would intently listen to this new music. 1969 and 1970 were pivotal years for the band, they found that concept based themes could be personally rewarding and quite popular, The Man and The Journey concept concerts were well received. Their work on film soundtracks like Zabriskie Point and More would also provide a sort of testing ground to venture into other areas outside an official record and coupled with such albums as A Saucerful Of Secrets and Ummagumma, made for a very prolific period.

Not wanting to stick with concept performances the band were beginning to experiment with their live set and in early 1970 the band would play some of the most adventurous sets of songs, taking existing crowd favorites and expanding with newer music. This was short lived as the band would soon focus on a collection of songs that would form the basis for their sets for the next two years, it was this set of songs and consistent touring where themes and ideas would evolve into some of the greatest music the band would record. There are three very important recordings in circulation, Feb 11 Birmingham (Atomic Heartbeat In The Hall – Godfatherecords 786/787), Paris Jan 23 (Household Objects In Paris – Godfatherecords GR 897/868, The Man In Paris – Sigma 89) and Croydon Jan 18, the subject of this new release. The recording from Croydon is good, it has circulated for years in trading circles, the master tape has never circulated and the best that does are a couple generations from that tape. Apparently the taper would set up a stall at a record fair and sell copies of his recordings on cheap media, so the sound is not as good as it could be. As stated the sound is good, there is tape hiss present as well as some distortion in loud parts and while the instruments and vocals can be heard the recording lacks clarity. It is also sadly incomplete as to conserve tape the taper would pause the machine to save tape. For years the sequence was the subject of much debate with only news paper reviews to give some clues, finally a person who attended the concert wrote down the set lists at that time and confirmed the sequence of songs on this release are correct, only thing missing is the encore of Intestellar Overdrive!

The first disc begins with Careful With That Axe, Eugene, for a first song it is clear and well defined, clocking in at about 11 minutes it is a focused and excellent version of the song, not as intense as latter versions but certainly an important song in the bands repertoire. Embyro is still in its infancy, it is similar to the recording from the BBC December 1968, you can hear the band incorporating the more bluesy feel into it, something that would be fully in place less than a month later in Birmingham, Dave plays quite a bit of slide guitar during the song. The middle section features the band playing around with different melodies and themes as if simply seeing what works or is interesting. Main Theme From More is great live, it just kind of bobs along, the middle section features some interesting growls or grunts from Roger and you can hear some almost Embryo type jamming in the middle. What is apparent is how well played the song is giving it was very short lived in the band live set. Biding My Time aka Afternoon was part of the suite known as The Man from 1969’s concept concerts and is always an interesting song live. It sounds as if it could be played anywhere from London to New Orleans, Richard Wright would play trombone giving a jazzy feel but soon afterwards Gilmour plays a wonderful blues inspired solo as the song starts to really cook. More than likely A Saucerful Of Secrets is the final song from the first set, clocking in at 17 minutes it is a typically wonderful and mysterious version, the Celestial Voices ending seems to be too much for the recording device as it gets a bit distorted yet adds to the corrosive nature of the song.

The second disc and set begins with The Violent Sequence, it starts with a sort of Heartbeat Pigmeat meets Sysyphus which morphs into a sort of avant garde jazz variation of the percussive beat of the song before moving into the Richard Wright piano which would become Us And Them two years later. This is a very adventurous and at times meandering piece of music, given the rarity of the piece and the fact that the band would ultimately reject it for the stage make for a unique listening experience. A nice long Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and Astronomy Domine follows, both typical for the era and its obvious that both are audience favorites with the former really starting to reach for the cosmos, gentle yet deliberate. The last thing that makes this tape absolutely essential for Floyd enthusiasts is the last song, the first known recording of what would later be titled as Atom Heart Mother. It is believed that the previous night’s concert in Hull, England was its live debut, yet there is no recording from that performance. The framework of the song is here, it lacks a more focused structure and lacks some of the dynamics that would continue to evolve over the next couple months, one of the more interesting things is Nick Mason’s drum solo section. The recording cuts at its conclusion and the last three minutes is a repeat from the beginning section done as part of a Yeeshkull project restoration of this concert, done so well if you did not know it was there, you never would’ve known.

The packaging is typical Eat A Peach, mini LP sleeve with a collage of live shots from the period. The inner CD sleeves have live and posed shots, the one of Waters seated at a table with a couple of cats glancing out a window in nice, and have the song titles for each cd listed. There is an insert with liner notes from The Lazy Goalkeeper that is well written, simply another well sought out release. As with their The Man And The Journey set, it is obvious Eat A Peach is committed to releasing well thought out and relevant Pink Floyd material, material that deserves such lovingly assembled sets such as this. Oh yeah, the title of this comes from Roy Shipston’s review of this concert in Disc magazine, “Pink Floyd Leaders of the underground”.

Pink Floyd - 1969 - The Man And The Journey Live In Amsterdam

Pink Floyd
September 17, 1969
Concertgebouw
Amsterdam



Pink Floyd Live In Amsterdam 1969 - Top Gear


Part I - The Man
01. Introduction                          1:00
02. Daybreak                              8:11
03. Work                                  3:53
04. Teatime                               3:34
05. Afternoon                             5:13
06. Doing It                              4:03
07. Sleep                                 4:37
08. Nightmare                             9:14
09. Daybreak (Part Two)                   1:21

Part II - The Journey
01. The Beginning                         4:55
02. Beset By The Creatures Of The Deep    6:27
03. The Narrow Way                        5:13
04. The Pink Jungle                       4:48
05. The Labyrinths Of Auximenes           6:39
06. Behold The Temple Of Light            5:31
07. The End Of The Beginning              6:54



This is the complete soundboard source as recorded by Hilversum 3 Radio and is the "raw" source HRV used for their remaster

several concert recordings exist of The Man and The Journey and many people probably possess RoIOs of these pieces without realizing it. The Man and The Journey were two parts of “More Furious Madness From The Massed Gadgets of Auximines” and consisted of several well-known Floyd tunes linked into a concept piece as follows:

MORE FURIOUS MADNESS FROM THE MASSED GADGETS OF AUXIMENIES
PART ONE: THE MAN (representing a day in the life of a man)
Daybreak (“Grantchester Meadows”)
Work (Sawing, Hammering in a I fashion)
[the band was served afternoon tea on stage at this point]
Afternoon (“Biding My Time”)
Doing It (instrumental) (“Grand Vizier’s Garden Party, pt. 3”)
Sleep
Nightmare (“Cymbaline”)
Daybreak (reprise)

PART TWO: THE JOURNEY
The Beginning (“Green is the Colour”)
Beset By Creatures of the Deep (“Careful with that Axe, Eugene”)
The Narrow Way (“The Narrow Way, pt. 3”)
The Pink Jungle (“Pow R Toc H”)
The Labyrinths of Auximines (“Moonhead”)
Behold the Temple of Light
The End of the Beginning (“Saucerful of Secrets” — final part)

The complete piece lasted about 70 minutes.
Do any recordings exist ?
Officially, no. However, the following shows are known to be recorded and are circulating on tape:

14 April 69: Royal Festival Hall, London (I think the original performance. A tape of this show exists but is very very rare. Easily identifiable because it has IO as an encore. A lot of people still list the 26jun69 show as this show).

22 June 69: Free Trade hall, Manchester. Has Set the Controls as an encore, tape contains lots of cuts

26 June 69: Royal Albert Hall, London. a.k.a. The Final Lunacy. Brass and Choir on the closing section of a Journey. Two different recordings of this show are available.

8th August 69: Plumpton Festival The Journey only — Roger introduces it as “the second half of… a kind of concept thing… we did around the country a bit earlier this year.”

17 September 69: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam Recorded and broadcasted by Dutch radio, and the source of many RoIOs. Recently the (almost) complete concert was rebroadcasted and treed on Echoes. This is the version to hunt for. The broadcast only misses the non-musical parts (Work, the bird noises in daybreak, etc.) and is in soundboard quality. This show had no encore. Behold the Temple Of Light lacks keyboards, because Rick Wright left his usual spot and ran to the big pipe organ of the Concertgebouw and plays that during the ‘The End of the Beginning’ section.
“Biding My Time”

There has been some debate as to who actually plays the trumpet during Biding My Time. Conrado Daws and Karl Magnacca settled this by providing the following information:

Rick Wright did, at least during live performances. We have a picture of him playing it in a “The Man”/”The Journey”-era concert, and, during the trumpet portion of the song, you can hear Roger-esque bass but no keyboard.


“So who or what is Auximines/Auximenes?”

No one knows. Dave Gilmour said in an interview that it might have been someone from Greek mythology, but he didn’t know for sure.

There is a Belgian (mining) company called Auximines.

It beggars belief that the Floyd have released loads of inferior demo versions of tracks from The Wall but this remains unreleased and extremely hard to obtain, unless you want to remortgage your house to pay for it! The concepts are simply excellent, with The Man representing 24 hours in somebody's life, including Work (where I believe members even sawed up pieces of wood on stage) to Teatime (literally a tea-break in the middle of the gig) to Doing It (a drum solo with a recording of what sounds like John Lennon speaking) and the return of a ticking clock and birdsong following the eerie 'Nightmare' conclusion to Cymbaline.

Yes, you are going to hear live versions of some of the More tracks incorporated into the concepts, but they are simply amazing to hear in this format. My only criticism is the split second pauses between the tracks which slightly interrupt the continuity

The Journey includes the often bootlegged Behold the Temple of Light which uses 4 chords from the transition between parts 2 and 3 of Ummagumma's The Narrow Way to dramatic effect with huge percussive gong sounds.

Gilmour's vocal on The Narrow Way is a little wafty, but the rousing finale (actually the conclusion to A Saucerful of Secrets) may even rival the blistering live version on Ummagumma. The atmosphere from the audience is captured here too and adds to the charm of this recording IMO. There are even a few chuckles when tea is served.

It's such a shame that fans are virtually criminalised for listening to music they clearly want to hear, so come on guys, let's have a mainstream release, or do we forever have to scrabble about on YouTube to hear gems like this live set, Vegetable Man, Scream thy last Scream, Embryo, King Bee, Lucy Leave. . . ? I could go on!

Note, some versions omit Teatime and most of the Work section. Personally I feel that these non-musical tracks are essential to the concept.


In 1969 Pink Floyd were touring a show they called The Massed Gadgets of Auximenes. They would do 2 suites of songs, "The Man" and "The Journey", which varied somewhat from night to night. Later that year some of these songs turned up on More and Ummagumma, but here they are still carrying working titles which are different. Puzzlingly, for this show even the older songs were given different names; programmes from the tour list the titles seen here.

This 17 Sept Amsterdam show was broadcast by Dutch FM radio, and has very good stereo sound (by bootleg standards). It has been re-issued/re-packaged a great many times under different titles, so it can be tricky to avoid duplicates if you're collecting other '69 Floyd shows.

The re-named songs are:

    "Daybreak" = Grantchester Meadows
    "Work" = Biding My Time
    "Doing It" = a bit of Grand Vizier's Garden Party
    "Sleep" = Quicksilver
    "Nightmare" = Cymbaline
    "The Beginning" = Green is the Colour
    "Beset by Creatures of the Deep" = Careful With That Axe Eugene
    "The Pink Jungle" = Pow R. Toc H.
    "The End of the Beginning" = the 'Celestial Voices' finale of Saucerful of Secrets

The songs all segue together, meaning there is little crowd noise. A radio host talks over the music a couple of times, sounding like he's covering a Dutch golf tourney, but this is a minor complaint.

What makes this recording so special is that the song versions here are often quite different and better than the studio ones. Often stunningly so! The instrumentals like "...Auximenes" and "Behold..." are unique to this tour and alone are worth getting hold of this recording for. Others, particularly "Teatime/Afternoon", were simply effects meant to showcase the quadraphonic PA system the band was using in live venues at the time. Fun if you happened to be in attendance, but merely a footnote for us now. "Work" (Biding My Time) was also unique to this tour until a studio version was finally issued on 1971's Relics compilation. The version of "Pow R. Toc H" (called The Pink Jungle here) will really amaze you if you've only heard the '67 official one.

A word about Dave Gilmour's shockingly off-key vocals here and there: Since his problem seems to be a unique to this show, perhaps the venue lacked proper stage monitors - still a common issue in 1969. Without stage monitors at a rock show, singers cannot hear themselves, with predictably dire vocal results. It seems likely that's what happened here. Still, Gilmour's issue in no way reduces the overall value of this unique recording.