Written by ant-rocks     May 13, 2022    
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This was one impressive and memorable night.

Dublin: Convention Centre - 13th April, 2022.

Believe it or not, there are some who are oblivious to the fact there was a Pink Floyd before 'Dark Side Of The Moon', before the flying pigs, lasers, crumbling walls and inflatable headmasters. Well, tonight was the perfect night for re-education.

Saucerful Of Secrets are anchored by Floyd's legendary bucket banger Nick Mason and deal solely in the band's more obscure and lesser spotted material from 1967 debut album 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' to 1972's 'Obscured By Clouds', including a period when they were fronted by their fallen genius Syd Barrett. Joining the revered drummer are keyboardist Dom Beken and former Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris, but for a tad more familiarity is the presence of Guy Pratt, the man who has held the title as Pink Floyd's bass player since 1987 following Roger Waters much published departure. And that's topped by having one of eighties Pop music most famous figures in Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp.

This impressive docklands venue is more used to hosting high end award ceremonies and political events and not a roomful of psychedelic loving middle agers and beyond. But at 8.20pm pomp and ceremony went out the window and Mason and Co. made the building shudder with numbing opener 'One Of These Days'. Then a few words from the man himself who in an apologetic tone told the crowd it's taken him over fifty years to play in Ireland again. But no grudges were held as they launched into a slick and smooth 'Arnold Layne'.

Despite a slight technical issue with his acoustic, Gary Kemp delivered a swooning Fearless, in which the added PA effect of Liverpool football fans singing their famous 'You'll Never Walk Alone' anthem didn't get a grumble out of any rival football fans, because tonight everyone was Pink Floyd United. The projected psychedelic imagery that accompanied 'Obscured By Clouds' and the classic Rock stomp of 'When You're In' enhanced the magic of the two instrumental gems.

While Mason and Kemp are the front of house names, what a great sight it is to see Guy Pratt step out from years at the back, providing bass backbone to the likes of Roxy Music, David Gilmour, Gary Moore and of course Pink Floyd for thirty-five years, to which sarcastically he says in his own words "still isn't enough for some people". His madcap roar of "vegetable man where are you" in the Syd Barrett classic was memorable, as was his punchy vocal in 'Lucifer Sam'. But it was his stirring performance on 'Remember A Day', originally sung by his father-in-law, the late Richard Wright, that really warmed the blood. He even pitched in on gong duties on a wonderfully trippy 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' to send the Floyd-sters to the interval with their heads spinning.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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A woman ringing a bell in the foyer trying to get the punters to sup up for set two wasn't having much success as the auditorium was barely half full when the band returned with 'Interstellar Overdrive'. Thankfully all pints were necked in time for 'Astronomy Domine'. Kemp then donned his Pop cloak and brought the sixties back with a bubbly 'See Emily Play'.

Seeing as this was the Echoes Tour, there was a bit of "will they or won't they" as to whether they would perform the song 'Echoes' itself. With it being widely associated with Richard Wright, it's a track they had previously left alone. Thankfully tonight they took the plunge, and Dom Beken's keyboards swallowed up the auditorium with a cacophony of virtuosity.
Kemp again starred with 'Saucerful Of Secrets' and no doubt surprised a few people with the level of his soloing, something he never really displayed during his Spandau Ballet days. The eccentric and lyric genius of 'Bike' really showed the genuine chemistry between Kemp and Pratt as they effortlessly rattled out the comedic verses, a fitting and jovial way to wrap up the evening.

Considering it was July 27th 2019 the last time the band played in front of a breathing audience and the intricacies of the music, this was one impressive and memorable night. And when you have one of the sources of this great music steering the ship, it was never going to be anything less.

Brian Boyle

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