Hamilton ’75 (Siréne-082)
Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, ON, Canada – June 28th, 1975
Disc 1: Raving And Drooling, You’ve Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5), Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)
Disc 2: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse
Disc 3: Echoes
Pink Floyd’s show in Hamilton, Ontario was the final of their North American tour and the penultimate for eighteen months, preceding their appearance at Knebworth the following month. There are two tape sources, both of which are superb and rival the tapes made in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. Hamilton ’75, this new release on the Sirene label, is sourced from the second tape source, which is a DAT clone of the original reel.
This is a three dimensional stereo audience recording picking up all of the dynamics of the quadraphonic sound system. There are some very minor imperfections on the tape. There is a cut right before “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5)” and a small cut at 4:00 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9).” (Roger’s mic also cuts out for the final line of that track.) Wright’s organ is inaudible in “Eclipse” and there are two very short patches of tape deterioration, which slow the tape down for a few seconds. There are issues only for the most obsessive-compulsive listener and don’t detract from the recording in the slightest.
“Echoes” contains several instances of the mic being moved and people by the taper being very audible. There are several shouts of “sit down” during the seagulls and the very end of the tape contains the taper asking his friends their opinion of the show (and one person reminding the taper that what he’s doing is illegal). The press universally trashed this concert at the time. The Hamilton Spectator wrote this was “an evening of tawdry technical effects and undistinguished music.”
The Toronto Globe And Mail claimed “the whole thing smelled of greed” while The Toronto Star claimed the band seemed as bored as the audience. And finally, my favorite quote of the bunch comes from The Toronto Sun who wrote, “The music was an excuse for a happening that didn’t quite happen”.
On the other hand collectors have praised this show as being one of the very best from the tour. The truth is somewhere in between. The playing is very tight with many definite highlights, but there is evidence of tour fatigue plaguing the performance too.
This tour is notable for the tight and compact versions of “Shine On”, far from the long jams of the 1977 tour. “Have A Cigar” contains the final refrain that was cut from studio version and all subsequent live performances of the piece. The Dark Side suite is performed without a hitch and the audience reacts loudly to the crashing plane in “On The Run”.
“Money” has a very long and aggressive solo with “Us & Them” sounding almost anti-climactic. The encore “Echoes” (proceeded by a fan begging the band to play the first six albums) is beautiful in this recording. The concert was previously released commercially as Holes In The Sky on Highland (HL 097/098#PF3), Echoes In The Canadian Woods on Megaphone (CDX 1596418 MPH) and the incomplete and inferior sounding Ivor Wynne on Men At Work (WORK 5518). Sirene’s version is the best sounding of them all being very clear and powerful.
The first one hundred and fifty copies, representing half of it’s production run, comes with a bonus cdr of the second half of the show, the Dark Side Of The Moon suite, from the same tape source. It differs from the version included in the regular set by being mastered to emphasize the higher frequencies and with the tape problems in “Eclipse” fixed. Sirene tend to emphasize the lower frequencies in their releases so this bonus is a contrast to their usual method of remastering.
The sound quality is significantly better than what is included in the normal set and probably should have been included instead. It comes in a single slimline jewel case with no artwork but could fit easily in the quad fatboy jewel case. This is Sirene’s first release of a tape from the 1975 tour of North America and is a gorgeous production all around. Hamilton ’75 is a great show and a great title that is very much worth having and is recommended.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)