If you were at the right age, reading this review at the beginning of the year 1971, I guess you would be very curious of this band. I would have gone to see them – wouldn`t you?
By Tony Stewart
SNAP, crackle and pop, a whistling kettle, and the smell of bacon cooking opened the first set of the Pink Floyd concert at Birmingham Town Hall just before Christmas. (Friday, December 18). Needless to say it was the “Psychedelic Breakfast” from the Atom Heart Mother album.
Another surprise came for the opening of the second set. A 15 strong choir and complete horn section wandered on to the stage to accompany Floyd on “Atom Heart Mother” — the first performance in the provinces of this remarkable suite, which brought the 2,000 audience to their feet in acclaim.
The first set was an appetiser for the suite. Moving on from “Breakfast” Floyd played some very powerful music, with complicated time changes, stops and starts, and a very economic use of sound effects — ranging from crying babies, galloping horses, gongs, zissling crash cymbals to aircraft noises on the Moog topped off by the well controlled feed-back.
The Dave Gilmour vocals on “Fat Old Sun” were tinged with sentimentality, and he delivered the ballad-like tune well. His voice has a certain originality of nearly breaking into a sob, but not quite managing it.
The second set, which had been eagerly anticipated, was no let-down. As soon as Floyd started to play an electric excitement buzzed through the hall — which intensified with the pressure of the music.
The use of choir and horns enhances their musical abilities. At first the music is quiet with soft drumming, a good lead by Dave, a strong bass line and a soothing organ. The choir adds to the sounds, and then the introduction of the brass fuses the rock and classical music, generating a very powerful sound.
The use of brass is subtle, making the intricate music more urgent and forceful, highlighting Pink Floyd. Frequently they are left to put some very hard rock into the suite, driven on by the precise drumming of Nicki Mason, with some relief by Rick on the Moog, loosing the significance of the music in preparation for the climax.
And slowly the suite continued to gain strength reaching its final peak to the exuberant delight of the Floyd freaks.