March Of The Dambusters (Siréne-155)
Siréne have have released many great titles from 1972 and have been covering nicely the autumn tour with Poitiers and Dusseldorf being released recently. March Of The Dambusters focuses upon the two shows in Frankfurt, the last two in Germany and the show immediately preceding their appearance with the Roland Petit Ballet in Marseilles in France, one of the more interesting projects in their career. The Frankfurt shows are two of the very best performances and recordings from the tour
This is the debut of the November 16th show on silver disc and the fifth release of the common tape for the November 17th. Despite being no variations or surprises in the set list (as there would be in later dates), the performances in both of these concerts are extremely potent and are a definite high point. The sound quality of both shows is very similar to one another. They are a bit distant but clear and enjoyable.
Festhalle, Frankfurt, West Germany – November 16th, 1972
Disc 1 (48:04): Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (Reprise), Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse
Disc 2 (62:07): tuning, One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, tuning, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
The first two discs cover the first show on November 16th as was released on Sirene’s predecessor label Ayanami as The First Night In Frankfurt (Ayanami-160). The Ayanami was noted for being more complete than the circulating copies with no cut in “Eclipse”, but for this release they utilize the master that surfaced recently and circulated under the title March Of The Dambusters.
Sirene chose to not to master this tape and left it alone, hiss and all. Applying noise reduction really could have ruined what is a very listenable tape. “Eclipse” similar to the Ayanami has no cut but there is a cut and repeat at 17:30 in “Echoes” repeating five seconds. Otherwise this is a very solid show. Gilmour’s mic isn’t working and he misses his entrance for “Breathe” (“better late than never” he intones soon after) and flubs a line.
Festhalle, Frankfurt, West Germany – November 17th, 1972
Disc 3 (48:59): Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (Reprise), Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse
Disc 4 (61:53): intermission, One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Discs three and four cover the November 17th show and the sound quality is very close to the first night’s show. It isn’t clear if they are done by the same taper but the second show was taped by the same one who captured the February 26th, 1971 show at the Stadhalle in Offenburg and released by Sirene as Offenbach 1971.
This tape saw four separate releases in 2001-2002: Frankfurt Stop Over 1972 on Flux And Reflux Music (FARM2050 9/10) with inferior sound quality, Frankfurt, November 17, 1972 on Lizard (Lizard Archives 012-013), One Of Those Days on Godfather Records (GR 50/51), and One Of Germany Night on Highland (HL628/629). The Highland had the best sound quality of the four and is equal to Sirene except with some digital flaws in “Careful With That Axe Eugene”. This show is known for Waters’ “Scottish rant” in “Careful With That Axe Eugene” (which he also does in the December 9th show in Zurich).
The title comes from Roger Water’s renaming “Echoes” before they play the track. He is obviously referencing the 1955 UK movie The Dam Busters, the true story about the British army developing “bouncing bombs” to destroy dams in Germany during WWII. This film plays a significant part in The Wall being the movie Pink is watching in the hotel room in both the album and movie versions.
Sirene is currently the only label regularly issuing Pink Floyd titles on silver discs and thankfully they have given these tapes the deluxe treatment they deserve. The front photo is the well-circulated shot from London earlier in the year. The inserts are the plain paper used for their older releases and not the thick glossy paper they’ve been using for the past couple months.
March Of The Dambusters is another definitive release by Sirene. Since Highland closed shop as well as the other minor silver labels Sirene is the only major label now issuing progressive rock.