Pink Floyd Newcastle City Hall 27 January 1972

Pink Floyd Newcastle City Hall 27 January 1972
floyd72I first saw Pink Floyd at Newcastle City Hall in 1972. The date of the concert was changed as I recall; I went through the week before, not knowing the gig had been postponed by week or so, and had to come home again. I returned on the correct night, without a ticket for the sold out gig, and managed to buy one outside for face value. The first thing I noticed were four large PA speakers set out in the corners of the hall. I’d read in the music papers of their quadrophonic sound system, so I knew that I was about to experience something quite different to any other concert I’d been to before. The show was in two sets; I sat and waited. As a 15 year old I was totally immersed in the music and the event; no sneaking down to the bar for me in those days. Pink Floyd introduced their new composition “Eclipse (A Piece For Assorted Lunatics)” and played it in full during the first half of the concert. “Eclipse” was to develop into “The Dark Side Of The Moon” in the coming months, and the titles of the tracks changed during that period. A few of the tracks were apparently played as instrumentals in some of the earlier concerts. I definitely remember them (Roger I think) introducing it as “Eclipse” and I also recall the voice “I’ve been mad for f**ing years…” swirling around the hall; and the clock, the heartbeat and that laugh reverberating around and around us, switching between the four speakers. None of us knew what to expect of course; I nearly jumped out of my seat when I heard the laugh come at me from a speaker behind me at the back of the hall, and at very high volume. Just incredible. Even then, hearing the piece for the first time, you just knew it was unique.
After a short internal the Floyd returned to play a set of classics; starting with “One of These Days” from “Meddle” (a favourite of mine at the time) which was their most recent album at that time. Roger’s bass vibrated through the hall; to be followed by lots of screaming in “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”. Another thing that sticks in mind was the elevated lighting rig, which stood at the back of the stage behind the band, and was unlike anything I had seen before. Towards the end of the show the rig swirled up to the ceiling drowning the hall in myriad coloured lights. Very effective and actually quite spooky. I would imagine by today’s standards it would seem pretty basic, but at the time is was state of the art stuff, and all added to the mysterious of the Floyd in concert. The second closed with the beautiful “Echoes” and the haunting “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” with its heartbeat drum beat, and closing with Roger beating a fire-lit gong.
I was totally blown away by the performance, and bored everyone at school for weeks, telling them how great Pink Floyd (and they were great indeed πŸ™‚ ). A memory I will keep with me forever (at least I hope so…and if my memory does go, one of the purposes of this blog is to remind me).
Set 1: Speak To Me; Breathe; The Travel Sequence; Time; Home Again; The Mortality Sequence (aka “Religion”); Money; The Violent Sequence; Scat; Lunatic; Eclipse
Set 2: One Of These Days; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; Echoes; Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Pink Floyd members in 1972: Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright
“I’ve been mad for f***ing years, absolutely years, been over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands…I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even if you’re not mad…” (Speak to Me, Mason, 1972)

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Great read… πŸ™‚

    Reply

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