Pepperland 1970 (Siréne-073)
Pepperland Auditorium, San Rafael, CA – October 17th, 1970
Disc 1: Astronomy Domine #1, Astronomy Domine #2, Astronomy Domine #3, Astronomy Domine #4, Fat Old Sun, Cymbaline, Atom Heart Mother
Disc 2: Embryo, Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, A Saucerful Of Secrets
Pepperland 1970 is the third release of this show in the past couple of years and is the longest and best sounding of the three. Highland released the show twice, as Pepperland In The West (HL172/173) and more recently as Breakdown Co-Ordinator (HL582/583). The second Highland release was the definitive version, but this new release by Sirene is a bit louder, more clear and more complete than any previous version to date. This title contains Waters’ “Good evening, people” at the beginning and the first minute of tuning before “Embryo” on disc two. The increased clarity proves that this show, despite the technical problems, is one of the best Pink Floyd performances in 1970 and for their entire career.
Every number is played great and their vision, of the listener to be lost in their own little world, is achieved with startling alacrity. When the power goes out at 18:07 into “Saucerful Of Secrets”, it’s like having the feeding tube pulled. And that this is presented in the best sounding version makes this a title that is worth having, even if you have to replace your old copies. It is fascinating to hear better the sequence of events during the band’s attempt to play “Astronomy Domine”. After the first breakdown Waters says, “Thank you, and for our next number… We’ll find out what that was because the possibility exists we can split some power leads…. give us a chance.” After trying to start and stop he says, “Apparently that restart was a little premature.”
During the long wait for the power to get fixed they quietly play the blues they usually play for encores and available on many different boots. After a count-in they finish the song without incident and the power stays on until the end. “Fat Old Sun”, introduced as being from the new album which was released this week, is one of the better versions, as is “Atom Heart Mother”. It’s very powerful and well played. “Embryo” contains some spooky motifs in the seagull section. Sirene were able to boost the volume without messing up the recording with too much hiss making this an amazing release and one of the best of the year from this label. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)