Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps (Godfather Records GR 625/626)
New Bingley Hall, Stafford, UK – March 30th, 1977
Disc 1 (49:26): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing pt 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing pt 2, Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Disc 2 (60:39): Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 1-5), Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts 6-9), Money
Pink Floyd toured Europe for more than two months for Animals in early 1977, ending with nine shows in the United Kingdom. The first five were at Wembley in London and the final four were in New Bingley Hall in Stafford (March 28th to March 31st).
Tapes exists for only the final Stafford shows, and March 30th has two tapes in circulation. The first is a very good and clear audience tape containing only the first half of the show, from “Sheep” to “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” and the second, which Godfather uses for Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps, is a complete, good quality recording. This tape is a bit distant from the stage and is a bit thin, but is still a nice sounding document.
Godfather is the first time this show has been pressed onto silver disc. They’ve done a great job preparing the tape for release. It has a natural sound and is highly enjoyable.
The venue was relatively new to rock concerts at the time and hosted several big tours in the mid seventies including The Rolling Stones in 1976, Yes in 1977 and Queen in 1978. Before serving as a concert hall, the building served as a livestock market, a place where farmers brought their “little piggies to the market.” Its significance for the new Pink Floyd album provides as much irony as does their Paris concerts in the converted abattoir.
For Roger Waters, it might be a commentary upon the loss of human dignity in the rampant free market, where people are forced to become either ravenous dogs, pig-headed rulers or submissive sheep.
The Stafford audience don’t make much fuss. They are quite vocal at the very beginning when the band start with “Sheep.” But their yelling subsides as the piece goes on and they listen very quietly to the new work in the first half.
They deliver a tight performance of the new songs. The sound effects are loud in this recording, so during “Pigs On The Wing Part 2” Waters has to contend with the chirping birds.
But the first disc’s highlight is definitely one of the better early live performances of “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” This was the last song written for Animals, and didn’t have the time to evolve onstage as did “Sheep” and “Dogs,” both of which were written several years before. Snow White provides very interesting guitar counterpoint to Gilmour during the “you’re nearly a laugh” section under that loud mechanical laugh.
In the song’s second half, Richard Wright plays a strong Hammond organ reminiscent of the mortality sequence from 1972. The audience cheers loudly when the inflatable pig appears over the stage and Waters shouts out “27” to mark off the shows.
After a twenty minute break, the second half starts with the calm beginning of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5).” It provides a startling contrast to the noisy ending of the first half, and the audience start shouting and chanting.
The rest of the Wish You Were HereLP is flawless. “Welcome To The Machine” has the audience mesmerized at the Gerald Scarfe animation on Mr. Screen and Waters hits the high notes (more or less) in “Have A Cigar.”
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9)” is another showcase for the guitarists. Both Gilmour and White take turns, and in the final part play duel lead providing almost an Allman Brothers Band vibe. A loud and wild “Money” is the only encore.
Livestock Market Pigs And Sheeps is packaged in a tri-fold cardboard gatefold sleeve with various photographs from the Animals tour on the artwork. Alex The Gnome provides abundant liner notes giving a good summary of the tour in general and the Stafford shows in particular. Godfather have been producing quality Pink Floyd titles of late and this is another one worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)