I mentioned this gig in my last post about the Caley Picture House/Wetherspoon’s…
Guy Fawkes’ Day 1974 and yes indeed, there were some people in the stalls who let off fireworks.
I would be 14 and a half at the time. I can remember nothing about going to or returning from the show, but I vividly remember everything else about it.
My friend Alan and I went to our seats in Row C of the upper tier to find there were already a couple of herberts in army surplus greatcoats sitting in them – when we pointed out they were our seats, they told us to go away, in the demotic…so we hung around until the end of the first tune, when the two went off to their third row seats in the stalls. Not the brightest.
The first set was all new material – “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Raving and Drooling” and “You’ve Got To Be Crazy.” The first, of course, would appear on Wish You Were Here, which the band started recording at the start of 1975 and released in September of that year. The other two would be re-titled “Sheep” and “Dogs” and appeared on Animals in January 1977.
The second set was a complete performance of Dark Side of the Moon, which had come out in March 1973 and I think I must have got in early 1974 – I had a set of headphones as well and spent a lot of time listening to this album.
For an encore, PF did “Echoes” from Meddle, which I must also have heard by that time. I probably got that in late 1974, it certainly wasn’t the second Floyd record I had after Dark Side – like a lot of people, that would have been A Nice Pair, the budget-priced reissue of the first two Floyd albums from 1967 and 1968, in a pretty vile Hipgnosis sleeve. Although The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets may not have been immediately palatable listening for the youthful fan of Dark Side, it was cheap and a nice early introduction to the Barret Floyd – that fascination has never gone away in forty-odd years.
After the show, we went to the edge of the stage to look at the equipment (I hadn’t yet figured out how to walk into dressing rooms, that came a bit later and is now close to involuntary) and were impressed that Nick Mason had car or scooter wing mirrors set up on the drum kit to allow him to sync with the back projections. For such a hi-tech show, that seemed comfortingly homely.
Note that the ticket for the show by one of the biggest bands in the world at the time was £1.40. It’s fairly trite to laugh about the price of things 43 and a bit years ago, but what does stick in the mind is that Alan’s dad paid for our two tickets by cheque, which he forgot to sign. The Usher Hall simply returned the cheque to him and asked him to sign it so they could send the tickets out.
I can’t imagine anything like that happening today.