What does it sound like?:
Originally due to be released in April, but now out tomorrow, this is a live recording of a concert at London’s Roundhouse recorded in May last year. It is available as a Blu Ray, double vinyl or 2 CD set. These are all reasonably priced. There are also dearer bundles with t-shirts, signed items and other paraphernalia.
Caveat Emptor: I have only had a streaming audio version to review, so no insight on the blu ray picture quality here, though I found a couple of promo tracks on You Tube and I expect high production values to apply.
I did see this band live in May 2018 when they played a trial show at the tiny Half Moon in Putney. They were sensational then and even better by May last year. Several new early Pink Floyd pieces have been arranged and added to the repertoire since those early days, most notably a medley of If/Atom Heart Mother/If. All songs on show are carefully kept close enough to the originals to please all fans but also boast subtle and effective additional touches. Also added in 2019 were some extra pre-recorded sounds blended in at the start of opening salvo Interstellar Overdrive. Not so welcome to me are a couple of ad libs by Guy Pratt – “We are Siamese if you please” makes its way into Lucifer Sam for instance.
Overall though, this is a really excellent recording and release. Saucerful Of Secrets are an exciting and virtuoso band, with more humour than you might expect. They deliver fantastic versions of the larger scale numbers like Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe Eugene and Saucerful Of Secrets itself. Some of the shorter songs maybe suffer from the prominence of Gary Kemp’s vocals in the mix – only so far as you can clearly hear he’s not Syd Barrett. It jars a bit, reminding you this is not the whole original Pink Floyd. That said, the musicianship, sound and mixing are exemplary.
What does it all *mean*?
That forgotten corners of a classic band’s early catalogue are well worth exhuming. Great tunes never die.
Goes well with…
Relics and The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
September 18th 2020
Might suit people who like…
Pink Floyd, whimsy, power rock and psychedelia.