I’ve been posting on here, on and off, about the Saucerful of Secrets concert we were due to go to last year, which has been postponed at least twice thanks to Covid. Currently it’s scheduled for about April but unlikely to go ahead, and it may well be autumn or even next year before we finally get to see it.
However, as a small chink of light in the general gloom, we recently discovered that Sky Arts (newly available on Freeview here in the UK) showed an hour-and-a-half long concert by Nick Mason and his fellow musicians. The band now consists of Mason himself on drums, Gary Kemp (of Spandau Ballet) on guitar and lead (ish) vocals, and three other excellent musicians on guitar, bass and keyboard. And they’re good. Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not so surprisingly given the calibre of talent – but at times you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the original Pink Floyd line-up performing.
The material is mostly drawn from Floyd’s earlier albums (up to and including Wish You Were Here) with less emphasis on Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and The Division Bell. There’s clearly still plenty to choose from and the concert was an eclectic mix of really early Sid Barrett songs like Arnold Lane and See Emily Play, and more obviously “Floyd-like” tracks – Echoes, Heart of the Sun, Astronomy Domine to name but a few.
It’s great to see these tracks getting the airplay they deserve. As Mason himself said in a brief ‘intermission’ interview, too often Pink Floyd tributes stick to the same five albums and great though that is, it’s good to have some variety. We enjoyed every second, and are looking forward to the ‘real thing’ even more now that we know how professional it all is.
If you’re a fan of Floyd, or of prog rock in general, and can get Sky Arts on Catch-Up, then do look out for this programme, entitled Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets. It’s well worth an hour and a half of any music fan’s time.