Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – June 28, 1975
Disc 1 (78:30) Raving And Drooling, You Gotta Be Crazy, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1-5, Have A Cigar, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 6-9, Dark Side Of The Moon; Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky
Disc 2 (57:32) Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Soundcheck, Echoes
There are more than a couple really nice audience recordings from both legs of Pink Floyd’s American tours in 1975, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York all come to mind. A recording that certainly needs to be included in that group is certainly Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The concert has seen its share of titles, Holes In The Sky (Highland HL 097/098), Echoes In The Canadian Woods (Megaphone CDX 1956418), Ivor Wynne (Men At Work WORK 5518), and the best of that bunch, Hamilton 75 (Sirene 82).
A bit of history, Ivor Wynne was a football stadium and home to the Hamilton Tiger Cats, a CFL team. The seating for football was roughly 30,000 people and from time to time would host the occasional concert. Pink Floyd drew the largest attendance for a concert at just over 55,000 people and the last Rock concert held was Rush in 1979. There is a singular recording of Pink Floyd’s performance there on June 28, 1975, the taper was Henry B who was also responsible for the excellent Toronto 1973 recording commonly refereed to as Yeeshkul. It is known he used an Uher cassette deck with a AKG microphone attached to a pole. The last release of this concert, Sirene’s Hamilton 75 was sourced from a supposed master tape clone, this new version from Sigma is sourced from the Harvested project Steel Breeze that was a Japanese CD-R title that was sent out as a “gift” to customers.
First off the Sirene title was how most like their 1975 shows, first set on the first CD, second set on the second, and encore on the third. Sigma has elected to split the Dark Side suite and put the recording on two discs. When one does the math, the times are pretty much the same, the Sigma being a minute longer. Next is the sound, Henry B had great recording equipment and was in a good spot close to the stage, his recording is excellent, clear and detailed and like most outside recordings does occasionally breath and lacks bottom end with the atmosphere well captured. The sound of this new Sigma title compared to the Sirene is minimal, it is just a bit brighter and clearer and in my opinion better than the Sirene, it will certainly come down to ones preference. When I listen to either, I turn up the bass a touch to round it off.
The setlist was standard for both legs of the tour. Roger introduces the first song as “Raving and drooling I fell on his neck with a scream”, the song is very aggressive and Dave’s guitar seems to be up in the mix as he slashes the chords with anger, very nice. Roger seems irritated with the large audience, pictures from the event show a sea of people and this is confirmed again by Roger as he introduces You Gotta Be Crazy by saying “Tell you what, We’ll carry on, you just talk among yourselves”. Where I found Raving And Drooling to be really good, Gotta Be Crazy is just average as there are a couple missed cues. Just prior to Shine On You Crazy Diamond you can hear someone close to the taper say the song name with obvious knowledge of what was coming next and one can gather this was not the first concert he had seen on this tour. Roger then introduces the song by saying “This is a song about not being here…” in reference to Syd and perhaps about the concert as well? The 75 Shine On’s are focused and not drawn out, Roger’s vocals are quite nice as is Dick Parry’s sax solo, towards the end he seems to channel his inner Coltrane with some sharp notes. Have A Cigar is laid back but really good, Roger and Dave do a good job harmonizing and Dave’s solo continues the laid back vibe. You can hear the hordes in the distance at the beginning of Shine On part 6, eagerly awaiting the Dark Side Of The Moon, nonetheless parts 6-9 are a strong finish to the first set.
Based upon the ovation and shouts of “Floyd’s the best”, the massive crowd is happy with the sounds of the heartbeat as the second set starts, Dark Side Of The Moon in all its aural and visual glory is here! The visuals must have been intense as the breathing increases and the anticipation has the crowd delirious as Breathe washes over them, and us listeners as well. There is about a minute of overlap on the beginning of the second disc basically the transition from Great Gig into Money. There is some disturbance in the crowd during Money, the radio friendly song has many on their feet and then come the shouts of sit down. Overall a really nice rendition of Dark Side Of The Moon, the clarity of the sound coupled with audience ambiance make for an enjoyable listen. Echoes is really good, one would think that the mellow version of the song would help to quell the rabid fans. You can clearly hear the back up singers adding a bit of vocalizations that add to the smooth sounding Space Rock sound.
I like that in his review of the Sirene title, Gerard tells of the negative press, I did a look up for Pink Floyd Ivor Wynne 1975 and one of the first links was an old newspaper column with a picture of a girl laying on the ground with a Police officer over her, the article goes on to tell of late night partying by concert goers that enraged locals with the overall feeling that Hamilton was not equipped to properly handle an event of that size. Overall a well played concert and after reading of the issues with the large crowd and how the band were quickly tiring of these large gatherings, I find it interesting that there are similarities with the ending of both the 1975 and 1977 tours in Canada in front of unruly fans would help mold Water’s psyche and add another brink in his wall.
The packaging is typical Sigma, full color inserts with a picture from the actual event on the cover and stock live shots for the rest, there are Floydian Wish You Were Here graphics and the artwork goes well with the recent Pittsburgh and Detroit releases. Of course you get picture CD’s, numbered sticker, the royal treatment as we say. For those who own the Sirene title, probably no real need for this title, for those who do not, this two CD release is easy on the budget and is a nice addition to ones collection.