Saturday, 7 December 2013

Celestial Voices - The Pink Floyd live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam 1969


Celestial is right. This is one of the best Pink Floyd live recordings from their under-rated post Syd Barrett pre Dark Side of the Moon lost in space era.

The first half of this disc is 40 minutes of absolutely gorgeous interstellar Floyd in full-on warp factor space rock mode. It was recorded at a gig at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in the summer of 1969. The Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun here is intense. The Careful With That Axe, Eugene is sensorially bewildering and the Saucerful of Secrets has an empyreal glory the album version merely hints at.

The set was recorded by Dutch Radio Hilversum but due to some kind of technical foul-up the vocals were not recorded or are so far back in the mix as to be inaudible. This doesn't actually matter. Most of what the Floyd were doing at this time was instrumental anyway and the lack of vocals just adds to the unearthliness. David Gilmour's guitar is well up in the mix so what you get is a powerful set of space rock instrumentals with some really incendiary guitar playing from the man himself. There might be a few rough edges; this does not have the finesse of the live disc on Ummagumma or the BBC In Concert shows but it more than makes up for it atmosphere. It's rough but remember this is the avant garde Floyd as space rock pioneers. Tangerine Dream must have been orbiting somewhere nearby because it's only a short space shuttle ride from here to their classic 70s trailblazing space rock albums Atem, Alpha Centauri or Zeit .

Listen to this. Believe me, this really is some of the finest and most intense Floydian space rock around. And for its age the sound quality is superlative.

Fasten seat belts and set the controls...

Pink Floyd live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland. Saturday 9th August 1969.
1. Interstellar Overdrive (part)        
2. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun        
3. Careful With That Axe, Eugene        
4. A Saucerful Of Secrets

If you can find the bootleg CD two superb unreleased late 60s BBC sessions follow the Paradiso gig and make this one of the best Floyd boots to come out in recent years. These pastoral BBC recordings (more of which here) allow for a safe and gently floating reentry into the planetary atmosphere and subsequent happy landing.
Paris Cinema, Lower Regent Street, London. Monday 12th May 1969.
5. Daybreak (Grantchester Meadows)        
6. Nightmare (Cymbaline)        
7. The Beginning (Green Is The Colour) / Beset By Creatures Of The Deep (Careful With That Axe, Eugene)        
8. The Narrow Way (Narrow Way Part 3)
BBC Studios. 201 Piccadilly, London. Tuesday 25th June 1968.
9. Top Gear Introduction        
10. The Murderotic Women Or Careful With That Axe, Eugene        
11. The Massed Gadgets Of Hercules (A Saucerful Of Secrets)        
12. Let There Be More Light        
13. Julia Dream        
14. Top Gear Conclusion

stranger than known
More on the Pink Floyd BBC Sessions here
Parallax - The Pink Floyd and the BBC

Golf, Fine Wines and Match of the Day - Jill Furmanovsky remembers Pink Floyd

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