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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Nick Mason - Belfast warm-up, and Belfast show details
Nick Mason - Belfast warm-up, and Belfast show details Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Saturday, 30 October 2004

On the eve of the Belfast Festival evening with Nick Mason, at the Elmwood Hall, we bring you a full report of the Pink Floyd drummer's warm-up session as part of a signing appearance, on Thursday night.

Before we launch into that, a little more on what Monday night offers, including another BBC interview. As we previously mentioned, Nick is doing a show in Belfast, to talk about his life and career in Pink Floyd. In a fairly intimate setting, with only 500 tickets available, he will answer questions thrown at him for an expected two hours.

The host for the show is Ralph McLean, a BBC presenter, who told me that he is "a massive Floyd fan (particularly the early years) and can't wait to talk to Nick!" Ralph is also interviewing Nick for First Stop, an arts show that he presents on the TV station, BBC 1 Northern Ireland. This will be aired live from 7pm - 7:30pm on Monday night, and Ralph has kindly invited Brain Damage to attend the show. We will then wander down the road to the Elmwood Hall, for the main event!

Looking back a few days, presumably to warm up for this coming Monday, Nick took a departure from the normal signing sessions he has done so far, to surprise and delight the 100 or so souls who braved bad weather on Thursday evening, at Borders Books in Bournemouth.

On arrival, fans found that they were to enjoy around an hour of Nick answering questions from the floor, on any subject that people cared to ask about - from the inevitable "How did you get the name Pink Floyd?" (Nick's answer: "READ THE BOOK!") to probing about unreleased material.

He then took another hour to happily sign books and other things for the fans, wrapping up a memorable evening for all there.

Whilst there were no dramatic revelations, Nick answered the questions honestly and with good humour. Here's a wrap-up of some of the stuff that Nick covered, in no particular order:

Back catalogue: he confirmed that it was the intention to release the entire Floyd back catalogue on SACD or DVD-Audio - eventually! He also commented that Animals and WYWH SACDs (as revealed on these news pages previously) would likely be released as a pair, when they come out next year.
PULSE DVD: Nick explained that the delays had in part been caused by technical problems, and a need to complete more remixing. Also, decisions on what extras to include had been difficult. He praised the 5.1 mix that had been done, saying that it really was fantastic...
Video Anthology/Unreleased audio material: He confirmed that they would be releasing more stuff on video, and that the problem of lack of sound (see the BD interview with Nick this month for more on this) would be overcome. In terms of unreleased audio, the ambient Division Bell material would definitely need working on before it could be released, and that it wouldn't quite fit the criteria for a full price album. The early BBC recordings (up to and including the early 70's material) wouldn't be released, as they felt the quality wasn't good enough.
Roger Waters' caustic view on the Division Bell album: "He's entitled to think that way, and I fully understand why he thinks that way." (Roger was critical about the music, but in particular the use of other lyricists to help write the album). Nick also stated that High Hopes was in his personal top 5 Pink Floyd songs of all time.
Other favourite Floyd material: When asked what his favourite album was, he replied that it was pieces from A Saucerful Of Secrets, and pieces from Meddle. A surprise that later stuff wasn't quoted here... a lot present expected Dark Side to figure here.
Syd picture, WYWH 1975: someone raised the question about the picture used in Inside Out of Syd arriving at Abbey Road during the sessions. He repeated the same answer as quoted in our interview, and added that he was, in fact, the photographer!
Working again with Roger: he commented about how wonderful it was to be great friends with Roger again, and talked about the Wembley shows, where he played on Set The Controls. However, he affirmed that he wouldn't want to be his employee, and work for him full time again!
Roger and David Gilmour working together again: Nick said that it would need to be something special, like Live Aid, for this to happen. He could imagine a gig together in those circumstances, but could not imagine them recording together again.
Relics cover: someone asked how much he was paid for the original cover to Relics, which features a drawing by Nick in black pen of a Heath Robinson-esque apparatus (later rendered by model makers in full 3D). He replied that he'd been given the princely sum of £25 as the fee for the piece, and commented that Storm had got most of the money over the years for the artwork! He also mentioned that Storm was generally improving and getting stronger.
Scream Thy Last Scream/Vegetable Man: he was asked why it was him that provided lead vocals on these two tracks. Nick talked about the evolution of the tracks, and said "things were very disjointed around that time, Syd was messing around, and I stepped in [to do the vocal on them]"
On other artists interpretation of Pink Floyd material: Nick started by relating his amusement over the 1990 Berlin concert by his ex-colleague. "It's very funny - many people credit us for that!"

He praised Sinead O'Connor for her part in the show, and stated that he prefers a completely different take on their songs - and noted that he much prefers the Scissor Sisters to the Aussie PF Show! He mentioned that he is not over keen on tribute bands, especially if they attempt to get as close to the originals as possible.

That wrapped up many of the questions, and then it was on to the signing. The books sold out pretty quickly, with many there eager to get hold of the book. Indeed, some people bought multiple copies - ideal Christmas presents!

Our thanks to BD's Bruce Tippen and Dave Gaylor, along with Adrian Saunders and Mark Horner who supplied all the pictures. Thanks guys!

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