Nick Mason forms supergroup to play early Pink Floyd material at intimate UK shows
Nick Mason, Pink Floyd's drummer and the only member to have survived all iterations of the band since their inception in 1965, has announced the formation of a supergroup that will perform four intimate concerts in London this coming May which will focus solely on the Floyd's early material from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets. The first gig will take place at Dingwall's on Sunday May 20 and then on May 21, 23, and 24 at Half Moon. Tickets went on sale this morning at 10am UK time and, unsurprisingly, sold out faster than you could say Bike.
The group is called "Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets," a name nicked from Pink Floyd's second album. Joining Nick will be Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, Lee Harris of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, composer Dom Beken (who frequently collaborated with Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright) and bassist Guy Pratt, who became Floyd's bass player in the post-Waters era and who wrote one of the greatest memoirs I have ever read called My Bass and Other Animals (an absolute must read even if you have no interest in Pink Floyd). Although Nick played a rendition of "Wish You Were Here" with Ed Sheeran during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and made a cameo during one of Roger Waters' Wall gigs in 2011, these shows will mark Nick's first time performing a substantial setlist since briefly reuniting with Pink Floyd at Live 8 in 2005.
As evidenced with the 2016 release of the staggering Pink Floyd - The Early Years box set, the Floyd seem intent on reminding people of their important and revelatory pre-Dark Side era. And with Nick Mason being the band's chief archivist (as evidenced in the incredibly thorough 2004 volume Inside Out : A Personal History of Pink Floyd), I feel that, in terms of the band's surviving members, he might be the biggest champion of those early years. In an interview before The Early Years came out, Nick said "The interesting thing is that quite a lot of particularly younger people who discovered Dark Side don't look backwards, they look 'What did they do next?'" So these rare intimate shows will be a love letter to those early years, with setlists that will feature nothing but the psychedelic jams of Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets.
In other Pink Floyd news, the Floyd will be releasing a limited edition mono mix of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn for Record Store Day 2018 (4/21). This monumental record will be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, complete with full color artwork, a poster, and foil wallet. It was also announced last month that Pink Floyd will be reissuing a remastered 4 x LP version of their 1995 live album PULSE on May 18 (pre-order). Each of the four albums will be fully remastered from the original tapes, pressed on 180 gram wax, and packaged individually within a larger box. There will be a 52-page hardcover booklet. The tracks from PULSE were all culled from the Division Bell tour and feature tracks from that album, some of their greatest hits, as well as a full performance of Dark Side of The Moon. This iteration of PULSE will also include the track "One of These Days" which never made final cut on the initial 1995 PULSE release.