Live In Rotterdam (Siréne-095)
Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – April 3rd, 1971
Disc 1 (74:50): Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Fat Old Sun, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Cymbaline
Disc 2 (73:46): A Saucerful Of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother, applause, The Embryo
Disc 3, from the LP Live In Rotterdam (maf) (46:37): Atom Heart Mother, applause, The Embryo
Disc 4 (47:26): Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Cymbaline, A Saucerful Of Secrets
Live In Rotterdam is another very comprehensive Siréne collection of Pink Floyd documents. The four discs cover both tape sources of their April 3rd 1971 show in Rotterdam. The first two discs, covering the first tape source, are complete except for a tape flip fourteen minutes in “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”.
Previous releases of this source include Ahoy Mate, It’s 1971 on Shout To The Top (STTP) and the recently released The Silver Sound From Underground on the cdr label Blue Cafe. The Siréne runs closer to the correct speed (the others are a bit slow), is more complete and is cleaner sounding.
The tape hiss that is noticeable on the STTP version has been dramatically reduced. Discs three and four document the second, incomplete audience tape source that is taken directly from vinyl. It has been de-clicked and sounds excellent, even better than the first tape source.
It’s much more bright and emphasizes the top end frequencies but unfortunately incomplete, missing the first three songs “Astronomy Domine”, “Careful With That Axe Eugene” and “Fat Old Sun”. Like many older sources the master cassette is probably lost after more than thirty years. Siréne also used the second source to plug some minor holes in the first source.
The show begins with a quick sound check (“1…2…Okay here we go”) by Waters and the band embarks on a very long journey. This is one of the last shows of the Atom Heart Mother (“Echoes” had its debut about a month after this) era and they get into some very elongated, improvisational jams. The band take their time with all of the numbers and really let the songs develop in a live environment. “A Saucerful Of Secrets” includes a “Pictish” rant by Roger in the middle. “
Atom Heart Mother” is played with brass and choir conducted by Jeffrey Mitchell and lasts for over thirty minutes. This is one of the best versions with a nod to Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Adventures”. It’s apparent why Stanley Kubrick wanted to use this piece for A Clockwork Orange although it would fit better in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The calls for an encore are tracked separately and some claim that the encore “The Embryo” wasn’t planned. Siréne chose to use the old vinyl cover for the packaging. They also include a photo of the actual LPs to show the set list on the labels. It’s interesting to see “Cymbaline” listed as “It’s High Time”. The label also used thick color glossy paper for the inserts, the first time I’ve seen them use such high quality materials. Siréne have always put a lot of thought and care into their titles but his is a notch up from their previous issues and I hope they continue to produce such classy titles.