Pink Floyd – Funhouse (Siréne-220)
Pavillion de Paris, Paris, France – February 22nd, 1977
Disc 1: Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 2, Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9), Money
Judging by the number of releases of Pink Floyd’s first show in Paris on the Animals tour, this is one of the most popular. On fan produced cdr it appears on Pavilion de Pigs (FRP CDR-028/29), Pavilion de Paris 25-2-1977 and Animals Over Europe (LAL 1330), the latter crediting it as a tape from the February 20th Antwerp show.
Dragged Down By The Stone several years ago with much improved sound quality and many speculate it is sourced directly from the master. The only silver release was offered by Highland on First Night In Paris (HL605/606), whose sound quality is rated below the cdrs. Funhouse ranks with Dragged Down By The Stone in sound quality. The taper was close to the stage and produced a very nice recording.
There are some tape flips but no music is lost and the entire performance, including the four-minute interlude of audience cheering and chanting before the encore, is preserved. First Night In Paris, although sounds good, is much more bass heavy and boomier. Siréne is much sharper and well balanced with a clear sound that is highly enjoyable.
The Parisian audience are vocal between songs but are generally quiet during the music so that one can hardly notice their presence unlike other tapes like Anaheim and Miami where the shouting and talking by audience members close to the microphone completely ruin what would otherwise be excellent quality tapes. It sounds like the Parisians are completely transfixed and transported by the multi-media presentation.
Pink Floyd had four shows in Paris between February 22nd – February 25th and audience tapes exist for each of them. The two tape sources for the February 24th show are incomplete but the rest are all complete. Opinion is mixed about this particular performance of the band. Some say this concert represents Pink Floyd “playing at their peak” while others claim it is “uninspired” and “mechanical”.
It obviously depends upon one’s opinion of Animals, but of the many gigs in Europe released by Siréne over the past two years this is among the best. There seem to be problems with Wright’s keyboards in the mix and the volume fluxuates throughout the show, but are generally very well recorded and reproduce the tension in the original material.
This is particularly true for “Sheep”, and knowing the Pavilion used to be an abattoir adds deeper meaning to the slaughter section of the track. At about seventeen minutes in “Dogs” what sounds like feedback is audible over the music, lasting several seconds. Gilmour plays some nasty riffs during “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and the band receives a loud ovation after the third verse.
Roger doesn’t shout out any numbers, as was the custom on this tour, counting the shows in sequence. Afterwards he announces that the band will take a twenty-minute break. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5)” is again aided by having the keyboards so well recorded. At 11:15 it sounds as if Wright accidentally leans on his keyboards. When the song reaches its conclusion a member of the audience lets out a very loud shriek.
The tapers laugh at this and other members respond with similar shrieks while “Welcome To The Machine” begins. The distance of the shouts and echoes sound really creepy. The radio between “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here” picks up a violin concerto broadcast before leading into the well known recorded introduction to the mellow ode to Syd.
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)” lasts for more than twenty minutes and contains a great duet between Gilmour and White before the final segue into the keyboard coda and the taper saying “mon chérie” as a reaction to the images on the screen. At the opening shows in Dortmund and on the subsequent US tour the encores are usually “Money” and “Us & Them”, a two-song fragment from Dark Side Of The Moon.
But in these shows they only played the first song for reasons unknown. Whatever the case may be, “Money” is one of the few catchy, high-energy songs in their repertoire and is an excellent way to close a concert. This version lasts for almost ten minutes and includes the sultry Parry sax solo accompanied by Gilmour’s “woops” and a guitar solo extended to include a call and response echo effect with Snowy White that sounds amazing before reaching a mighty climax and Waters’ humble “thank you”.
Funhouse is an interesting title for this release. It makes one wonder exactly what the guys at Siréne had in mind? Regardless this is a fun show played by Floyd at a brisk pace. This title is limited to three hundred copies and is an upgrade over the older Highland release and is recommended.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)Pink Floyd - Funhouse (Siréne-220) ,