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Nick Mason talks about the Saucerful Of Secrets set list Print E-mail
Written by José Abellán   
Friday, 08 July 2022

Animals Pink Floyd Magazine - Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets special editionOur friend José Abellán of the Spanish Animals Pink Floyd Magazine has just completed a special edition of the publication, which focuses on Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets (more details below), and as part of it, he had the opportunity to ask Nick some questions about the current tour. Thanks to José, we can share the English version of the interview, here...

'Echoes' is the name given to this tour. After Richard Wright's death in 2008, David Gilmour said that he would not play this song again because it was a dialogue between him and Wright. Nick, how do you feel about this song?

I totally disagree with David on this. David couldn't imagine... well, In 2008 no one had any idea that this was going to happen, and I think that this is a really important celebration of some of Rick's playing and it would be a tragedy to not play it. I believe respect is to play it. We don't particularly agree on that. We decide what we think is good for us, I guess.

You have already said that you don't see the point in playing the same songs that the fans already listen to at David Gilmour and Roger Waters concerts. What will the show be like and what songs will be played at the concerts in Spain?

The biggest difference is that we are working on the early Pink Floyd catalogue and it's very different to what Roger does with The Wall and David as well. Someone said we are an old style garage band and have to be a lot more in the spirit of Pink Floyd in 1967, 1968, 1969; the music should be a bit freer, and we should be able to improvise a little bit. The music is generally taken from what we made before 1972 so that includes Piper, ah, Saucerful Of Secrets and Meddle as well as some of the least well known singles. I think for people who remember these, there is an element of nostalgia but I hope that for people who really don't know very much of old Pink Floyd will enjoy it but also see how the ideas developed over the years.

In 1969 Pink Floyd performed live a conceptual suite entitled "The Man and The Journey" which was staged with you drinking tea, sawing and banging on wood, on stage, among other things. Have you thought about taking this work again on your tours? I think the result would be surprising, as would be the response of the public.

Yeah we have thought about this and some of those improvisations were very complex in fact, in the way some of the timing worked. We actually had a radio on stage tuned to a radio station, actually with John Peel, the DJ. He actually said things relevant to the concerts at the right time and I don't have the appetite to put something like that together... yet, maybe this is something to do in the future.

Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets is adding new sound effects to some songs in the current setlist; in addition, you have introduced segments of other songs by Pink Floyd and other bands, such as 'Arnold Layne' and 'Remember A Day'. Is it improvisation or a new approach to those songs?

Certainly, what we have done is to retain the general format of the songs and the melody and so on, but definitely wanted to be able to change the solo or the chorus, etc. It is important that the song is recognisable but with a new energy, and there are a couple of songs that were only ever really recorded and never played live, so the live version will aways be different to the recorded version. Even with Pink Floyd, we never played 'Arnold Layne' live exactly as the record...

You have replaced some songs from the previous tour. Have you considered the possibility of including songs like 'Cymbaline', 'The Embryo' or 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', which in the early years were essential songs in Floyd's concert repertoire?

Actually, we have considered playing every single song from that period; at some time we might investigate the repertoire but to be fair we don't feel we have explored what we started two years ago and there is still much to do. I also think we have to choose songs that we think make a good evening's entertainment and there are certain songs, like 'The Embryo' which maybe... we think that we need to be more up tempo for quite a lot of the songs to play to a live audience. But there is nothing that I think that we won’t play, thinking of more difficult pieces, as you said, The Man and The Journey which includes 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' which is a great song but quite complex to put together on a small stage, which is another element we have to bear in mind. We are not playing in the Apollo, with an enormous stage, but in theatres and clubs with restrictions and there are measures that make things work.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd entering the studio to record The Dark Side Of The Moon which live was almost totally different from the version we know today. Have you thought about interpreting that original version?

Ah yes, that’s an interesting idea because I said we will do up to, but not including, The Dark Side Of The Moon, but we can cheat and include completely different versions of things that we played before they were on Dark Side like the original version of 'On The Run' - it actually sounds like a jazz piece [Nick says something about some synthesizers] Interesting idea; I will get around to doing something about it... Hope to do it... It's good that you suggested it!!

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the album's release. Does Pink Floyd plan any kind of special celebration for this anniversary?

I would certainly think so, I don’t know what we are going to do yet, I don't think we are going to play it live but certainly know it's a 50th celebration and it's something to celebrate. I mean, it's extraordinary for any music, or for pop music which is what it basically was, or is, to have such a lifespan. I certainly think whatever kind of celebration, because is recognition of all the different people who contributed to it; it's not just the four of us but the engineer Chris Thomas, who did the mix on it, Hipgnosis who did the album sleeve, the man who make it possible to launch the album in America... It definitely needs a celebration.

Our thanks to José for sharing the English translation of the interview with us. The special issue of their magazine about Nick Mason's concerts in Barcelona and Madrid is now available as a very limited edition number consisting of 24 pages in full colour (written in Spanish). In this special they talk about the history and secrets of the Saucerful Of Secrets, led by Nick Mason, and they include the recent interview with Nick Mason (as seen above). If you are interested in a copy, write to them via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . The website can be found at www.animalspinkfloydmagazine.com

 
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