Consequently (Sigma 47)
Neidersachsenhalle, Hannover, Germany – March 15th, 1970
Disc 1 (32:32): Careful With That Axe Eugene, Cymbaline, Saucerful Of Secrets
Disc 2 (53:30): The Embryo, Interstellar Overdrive, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Atom Heart Mother
Hannover is the final of five shows Pink Floyd played around West Germany in March 1970. Sigma is the first silver pressing and the second commercial release of this show. The first was released many years ago as Consequently (Ayanami-158), but with “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” placed before “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” which was the accepted order for a while.
However it was questionable since the setlist for the shows on this tour were all the same, beginning with “Astronomy Domine” and with “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” played later in the set, between “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Atom Heart Mother.”
Sigma use the first generation tape in circulation. It is good to very good albeit a bit hissy. Sigma applied their remastering job and cleaned up the tape very nicely. There is some damage to the tape during “Careful With Axe Eugene.” The sound improves about halfway through “Cymbaline.” Sound quality improves even more for the last two songs one the tape that have lead to speculation that they are from either another recorder or another concert, but the timbre of the sound is the same as the rest of the show so it is legitimate.
“Astronomy Domine” was the first number played but the taper didn’t record it. Some have speculated that it wasn’t played, but the first words out of Roger Waters’ mouth at the beginning of the tape are “this next number…” The taper also pauses the tape between the songs to conserve space by cutting out the tunings but he does capture Roger Waters’ song introductions.
Consequently is overall a good to very good sounding incomplete recording of the Hannover show.
The tape opens with Waters introducing “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” as a number which comes “off of the live half of Ummagumma.” Of all the early versions this has to be one of the quietest and sloppiest versions on tape. The song meanders until it stumbles into the lyrics but the band sound so lost that there is no big payoff past the scream. At eight minutes, it is also one of the shortest versions too. “Cymbaline” is much tighter by contrast. Gilmour’s vocals are very clear and passionate. The footstep interlude is a bit short but will be lengthened when the band visit the US next month.
The first half of the show ends with “A Saucerful Of Secrets.” The performances of this song average about twelve to thirteen compact minutes during this time before the song would be expanded into greater lengths and (more often than not) are chopped off in the recordings. The recording is very good at picking up Wright’s church organ during the “Celestial Voices” section by the end.
The second half begins with a sharp nine minute version of “The Embryo.” The highlight of the set, and of the entire show, is a very tense performance of “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.” Wright truly takes control of the number on the keyboards, leading the rest of the band for the duration of the piece.
The show ends with an eighteen minute version of “Atom Heart Mother.” On the tapes leading up to its performance at Bath that summer it is introduced as “The Amazing Pudding,” but on this night it is called “Consequently” for the only known time (and which gives the title to this release).
It is a full band version with no orchestra or choir which is something they would do the following year in Germany. Both the band and orchestral arrangements have their advantages. Orchestral sounds much more interesting and closer to their vision, but the band version more often than not is tighter and in tune. The band do an admirable join in trying to duplicate multiple voices in the piece and the epic works well as a set closer.
Sigma’s gentle mastering of the tape, reducing the hiss and making it a bit more clear than what circulates, is an advantage this release has. For those who like the early 1970 tours this is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)