Bradford 1971 (Sigma 35)
Bradford University, Great Hall, Bradford, Yorkshire, England – October 10, 1971
Disc 1 (61:09): Careful With That Axe Eugene, Fat Old Sun, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Atom Heart Mother
Disc 2 (56:26): Echoes, Cymbaline, One Of These Days, A Saucerful Of Secrets, blues
Three days after returning from Italy for the filming of Pompeii and before a tour of North America, Pink Floyd played two dates in the UK, in Bradford on October 10th and in Birmingham on October 11th. No tape exists for the Birmingham date but the October 10th show in Bradford exists in a very good but slightly distorted audience recording. It includes the tune ups and Roger Waters’ introductions and the audience are very quiet and respectful during the performance. There is a tape flips during the introduction to “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”and after “Atom Heart Mother.” Most of “Cymbaline” is absent from the tape, cutting in right before the footstep interlude in the middle of the song and “A Saucerful Of Secrets” cuts out after thirteen minutes eliminating the end.
It was first commercially released on CDR on Bradford 1971 (Ayanami 194) followed by an excellent edition on The Amazing Yorkshire Pudding (Gold Standard AP 101071A/B). Sigma 35 sounds louder and brighter than Gold Standard but loses some of the warmth and dynamic that make the tape fun to listen to.
The band are certainly in a very good mood with their interaction with the audience and how easily they jam in the songs. The tape picks up at the beginning of the show with “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.” The instrumental is taken at a lazy pace until Waters’ scream, which lasts nineteen seconds long. “Fat Old Sun” also contains interesting variations on the well known solos in the middle showing Gilmour’s inventiveness.
The first set ends with a band version of “Atom Heart Mother”. The second epic of the night, “Echoes”, begins the second half of the show and is very lyrical in parts. “One Of These Days” was performed in front of an audience for the second time, the first occurring for the “Sounds Of The Seventies” BBC session on September 30th and Gilmour introduces the song with its full title (which also correspond to the full lyrics of the piece). “A Saucerful Of Secrets” is very tight and the cut by the end is most unfortunate. Roger introduces the encore by saying “that was psychedelic so we’ll do something that isn’t” before the band play the untitled blues piece they played for years onstage. Overall Bradford 1971 is a very good release by Sigma of a fascinating show by Pink Floyd.
I’m not sure which one I like better. “Bradford 1971” sounds a little harsh to my ears although maybe it will grow on me after repeated listening.
At least the front cover is a major upgrade over that ass-ugly one of Gold Standard’s “Amazing Yorkshire Pudding”.
I decided not to get this particular one since Gold Standard’s “Amazing Yorkshire Pudding” and the Ayanami 2-pro-CD-R version “Bradford 1971” are fairly nice already, but the comparison to ’em should be at least slightly helpful to someone.