Lunatic Song (Siréne-272)
Free Trade Hall, Manchester, Lancashire, England – March 30th, 1972
Disc 1: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse
Disc 2: One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Pink Floyd’s March 30th, 1972 concert in Manchester is a make up for an aborted show there on February 11th. That show had to be cancelled after twenty-five minutes because of trouble in the power source and their schedule was so filled they had to wait until they came back from their tour on Japan in early March. Pink Floyd repaid Manchester by giving them two shows, March 29th and March 30th.
Lunatic Song is the second of the two and has been released previously on the fan-produced Run Rabbit Run (JS/HRV/PFA 3307) and on CDR on Completely Replay (Blue Café 100A/B). The sound quality of this tape is fair too good, far away from the stage and containing horrible distortion in loud parts. On the first disc “Eclipse” fades out after a minute eighteen seconds.
To make matters worse the label tried to improve the volume of the music producing the metallic crunchiness. It is most audible on “Us & Them” rending that song almost unlistenable but is present throughout the entire show. Sirene usually steers clear from this heavy handed remastering and it is a surprise to hear it on this title. This is a difficult tape to listen to but the crunchiness makes it much worse that it ought to be.
It is a shame the tape and mastering are so poor because this is a great show. The first half is dedicated to the Dark Side Of The Moon suite, still called Eclipse at this point. “On The Run” features a cool jam between Gilmour and Wright, and the latter plays a great church organ on “The Great Gig In The Sky.”
Since the tape is cut at the end there is no way of knowing the audience’s reaction to the piece, but they are quiet throughout and listen attentively. The second half of the show begins with “One Of These Days,” one of their best stage pieces which would be dropped after the following year.
“Echoes” is the set closer and is given a powerful delivery, but the standout is the encore “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.” Some collectors claim this is among the very best versions performed. Unlike other years the band are very subtle with this performance.
Lunatic Song is limited to three hundred copies and is packaged in the double slimline jewel case and color glossy inserts with relevant photos of the era. However it is hard to recommend this release not only because of the fair audience recording but the remastering residue left by the people behind Siréne.