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Home arrow Nick Mason's SOS 2019
March 12th - QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE, VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA Print E-mail
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets - Vancouver, Canada, 12 March 2019 ticket

Capacity: 2,600

Concert starts: 8pm

Address of venue: 630 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5N6, Canada. MAP

Website: vancouvercivictheatres.com/venues/queen-elizabeth-theatre

 

COMMENTS

When Nick Mason (during the press launch of the Rome staging of The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains) made comments in Italy about heading out to small venues, to play early Pink Floyd songs, few took the remarks seriously. As unlikely as it seemed, Nick was entirely truthful and in the initial announcement a set of four shows in London were announced for his new band. Due to the critical success of those shows in May 2018, held in small venues in Camden and Putney, a full European tour was announced for September. The expanded shows for the full tour were even more highly acclaimed, and it came as no surprise when further dates for 2019 were announced!

Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets brings together some familiar names, all great musicians: joining Nick are Gary Kemp and Lee Harris on guitars, Guy Pratt on bass, and Dom Beken on keyboards. Kemp is best known for his work with Spandau Ballet, Harris as having played guitar with The Blockheads (Ian Dury's band), Pratt needs no introduction, and Beken is principally known for his work with The Orb, and Transit Kings (with Pratt). The band will be playing early Pink Floyd songs.

This is a unique opportunity to experience Pink Floyd's celebrated and significant early body of work played live including songs from albums 'The Piper At The Gates of Dawn' and 'A Saucerful Of Secrets'.

The regular sale of tickets started on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5th at 10am (local time), via Ticketmaster. Please support Brain Damage by purchasing your tickets using this link - thanks, we really appreciate it!

Our thanks to Ken Langford for the ticket scan shown to the right. 

SET LIST - highlight the following with your mouse to read...
MAIN SET: Interstellar Overdrive, Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam, Fearless, Obscured By Clouds, When You're In, Remember A Day, Arnold Layne, Vegetable Man, If/Atom Heart Mother/If Reprise, The Nile Song, Green Is The Colour, Let There Be More Light, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, See Emily Play, Bike, One Of These Days.
ENCORE:
Childhood's End, A Saucerful Of Secrets.

WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!

Do not read on if you don't want surprises to be spoilt, regarding what the band played!

Last night in Vancouver, Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets kicked off their 2019 tour in some style, from initial word we're getting just a couple of hours or so after the show finished.

The Vancouver Sun did a very rapid review of the show, part of it noting that "Opening with the double-whammy of Interstellar Overdrive and Astronomy Domine, the band then set controls for the less-to-never performed material in the early Floyd catalogue. Hearing them cut loose on the Syd Barrett gem Vegetable Man was one of the evening's highlights.

"It was far from the only one as pristine jams happened in Obscured By Clouds — such great slide — and Green Is the Colour — bass solo! — as well as the freaking Nile Song. Hands down the heaviest thing the band ever recorded, the Nile Song is from one of the soundtracks (Obscured By Clouds the other) that the bad did for small art house films most in the audience have probably never seen.

Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets - Vancouver, Canada, 12th March 2019 - pic: Kevin Murray
Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets - Vancouver, Canada, 12th March 2019 - pic: Kevin Murray

Mason told Postmedia in interview that those two records always seemed to get ignored and he thought some very fine music was being missed. No question that both When You're In and Childhood's End from Obscured By Clouds were two of the strongest songs in the set opening night of the North American tour at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Other gems were early hit singles Arnold Layne, See Emily Play and a slamming take on Bike where Kemp couldn't stop smiling."

So, yes, as the review (and the obscured setlist higher up on the page) notes, the crowd got a couple of new songs in the set - Remember A Day and Childhood's End. The previous show finisher, Point Me At The Sky, was dropped for this show. Wonder if we'll hear that performed again?

We'd love to know from those attending how they felt the concert went. How was the show for you, if you were one of the fortunate ones to attend? Let us know what YOU thought!

CONCERT REVIEW and PICTURES by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Kevin Murray of roxymusicsongs.com

As a long-time Floyd fan living in Vancouver, Canada, I've had to travel the world to see the Floyd and solo Floyd - flying to London's O2 to see Roger Waters kick off the Wall tour (several times including the Gilmour and Mason appearance); flying to Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to see David Gilmour with Phil Manzanera; and spending more on the Floyd imports, vinyl, CDs, retrospectives, DVDs than I should ever admit (hope my wife is not reading this). So it was with no small delight that I learned that Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets was kicking off their North American tour here in Vancouver, last night March 12th.

My approach to concert going is - generally - to try and avoid any discussion, footage, or set-list details of the shows beforehand as I prefer to come to the gig with no preconceptions. One of my favourite gigs ever was the Kate Bush show in London a few years back; my sister and I flew to London (again) and because of the secrecy of the contents of the gig the actual concert was surprising and mesmerizing. Now with Nick, I was very pleased to read last year's Half Moon Putney review as I really wanted him to succeed - as a hardcore Floyd fan going back to '75 I thought the idea of playing the Syd classics and lesser known cuts was inspired. Needless to say, I was excited to go to the show! I was blind to the set-list and wanted it to it wash over me, fresh. This is what I saw:

Nick on opening night, nervous in speech (understandably), flubbing his "not the Roger Waters/Gilmour touring band"¯ line, and looking a little stiff on the sticks. But what an opening! The band launch into a triad-attack - Interstellar Overdrive/Astronomy Domine/Lucifer Sam which is exquisite - the band show no signs of nervousness at all. Lee Harris is playing savage Syd Barrett guitar - the famous chunky rhythm Telecaster really catching the eye and ear. From this explosive opening - the Vancouver audience is strangely subdued (fairly common) - the band slow things down a little with Fearless¯ which, to my mind, must be a chore to play - a fab Floyd song, but you can feel the energy leave the band. You may see a change on this selection for future concerts (hint hint). Without taking notes - much more just into the experience of enjoying the show - I believe we went into Obscured By Clouds¯ next which started with what sounded - to my ears - Mudmen¯, with its swashes of synthetic sound. Killer, and a worthy re-focus on Obscured¯ as track and album with the recent 2016 remixes really cleaning up and modernizing the sound. Remember a Day¯ was next up and it was lovely and moving - a favourite Rick Wright track and a fantastic to hear it selected for the gig.

I was gob-smacked to hear Vegetable Man¯ - once so rare in the 70s, now available but only the diehards on board for it - a sad song and a window into Syd battling with his disorder, so rarified that at the end Nick stood up to explain to the audience that it was played "for Syd¯" as this show would not "have happened without him". Wide applause, justifiably so.

A brave move comes up next - a suite from "Atom Heart Mother" that quite honestly does not capture the imagination of the audience. Bookended by Gary Kemp doing a very nice vocal and guitar on If¯ we move into AHM, a recording, as we'll recall, David Gilmour called "absolute shit."¯ A brave selection but a bit muddling, with If¯ being reprised to complete the piece. I'd skip this one lads and make room for another choice cut(s).

We quickly move on to heavy metal monster The Nile Song - great anecdote from Guy, summarized: "When David Gilmour was rehearsing the band in 2006 he asked for song suggestions. I said, let's play the Nile Song. David replied, 'you can play the Nile Song if you want - with a new band!' So I did - playing it for you tonight with Saucerful of Secrets."

Do you know those moments at concerts when both band and audience transcend the stage/seating and both seem to merge or get inside the song that's being played - it's a very rare occurrence - my own memory plays Peter Gabriel 1983 tour (Security) when he played Rhythm of the Heat - you are both taken away and you can feel without embarrassment that all of us are inside the music. This happened at Nick Mason's show opening night with Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun. With a brilliant (and funny) opening where Nick riffs a story on never being able to play the gong at Floyd shows because of a certain tall self-centered geezer in the band, he gets up there and with gentle tap tap tap sets a really mellow spine-tingling opening to Controls! When the famous baseline comes in and Nick re-seats replete with tom-toms, I swear you could hear a pin drop. But it gets better - with more tension and swifter tom-tom build up comes added guitar and here Lee Harris shines, soloing like the young Gilmour but adding his own touch. In fact, I can honestly say I've never heard a better version of this classic - not even from the Floyd. And that's saying something.

From there was no where to go but wind-down - and what a wind-down: See Emily Play¯ and Bike smartly delivered. A slightly anti-climatic One of These Days¯ - the track is much loved but overplayed, and Gilmour owns it anyway on his solo tours - Nick should scrap it (sacrilege!) and keep to the pre-Meddle gems he's re-claiming in his image.

And with a very smart and forward moving Childhood's End we ended the gig with one more encore: check out Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets tour and check it out for yourself. A great night!

CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Ken Langford

I attended the first two nights of the ASOS tour in Vancouver and Seattle. There are several things to report.

Vancouver: The day was sunny and cool, and the border crossing was not too bad, with a 15 minute wait at the I-5 crossing. That was for me. The same could not be said for Samuel Lloyd "Sam" Duckworth, who was to appear as the opening act in Vancouver under the moniker "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly." Apparently he was not allowed to cross at all, and some if not all of his stock of CDs to sell was impounded by, one presumes, the Canadian authorities. A post on his Facebook page says "Great to finally be reunited with my passport, after it’s extended trip to the US Embassy. Sadly it means I will not be able to make tonight’s show in Vancouver but am really looking forward to starting in Seattle tomorrow with Saucerful Of Secrets. Very sorry to be missing it, but as with all situations like this, there was absolutely nothing that could be done to expedite the situation." Apparently Sam was stripped of his cape for one evening and grounded.

As a result of all this, Nick and band delayed their start time from 7:30pm to just after 8:00pm. None of this prevented the band from presenting an enjoyable show.

My assessment is this is not one of the tightest bands you will ever see, but there is plenty of joy and improvisation. The only thing that could have improved it is if Nick had managed to get Dave himself to perform on this tour. However, if that had been the case you can be sure it would not have been in small ornate theatres, OR that tickets would have been impossible to get.

For me this is a nearly perfect dream setlist. I suspect some other Floyd fans will feel the opposite, wishing that their familiar favorites were on offer. For me, I have seen many live presentations of Pink Floyd music by the various Floyds themselves, and a parade of cover bands, and most of this material has been sorely overlooked. From Roger and Dave (separately) I had previously seen Astronomy Domine, Arnold Layne, If, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, and One Of These Days. Missed opportunities were the two or three Roger performances of Fearless, and the one 2008 TV studio Dave performance of Remember A Day. So it was a great pleasure for me to see many of the songs in this set performed live for the first time, and in the style in which they were originally conceived.

I will say this: none of the versions of the songs went longer than say 6 minutes. Whereas the Atom Heart Mothers of yore could top out at over 30 minutes. Still, great to hear them live, even if the arrangements are not identical.

So listen, if you are a fan of old Pink Floyd music, do not miss this tour. It is fun and adventuresome, just like early Pink Floyd. If you wait for Dave Gilmour to launch a similar tour, you might end up looking like an old milkman in a Monty Python skit!

YOUR HELP NEEDED! We want to cover Nick's concerts the best we can, to share the experience with everyone, especially those who won't be able to attend the shows. We'd love to see ANY pictures, tickets scans, reviews, newspaper reports, and anything else you come across for this show - we look forward to hearing from you!

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 March 2019 )
 
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