Kris Needs reviews Nick Mason Saucerful of Secrets show at the Waterside

Music journalist Kris Needs reviews a celebratory return to Aylesbury for Nick Mason, who performed his Saucerful of Secrets show.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 2:33 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 2:33 pm
Nick Mason and the band with David Stopps

The last time Nick Mason sat behind his double bass drums on a Friars stage was November 1969 with Pink Floyd at the club's Dunstable venue.

"It's taken a little bit too long to get back here," announced this genial, much-loved host when Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets brought its self-described "time machine" to a packed Waterside for Friars' 50th anniversary celebrations.

In 2019, this is the closest the roomful of deliriously-happy Floyd diehards will get to the original model started in 1965 by Syd Barrett, credited by Mason as responsible "for all this history". The drummer was accompanied by a stellar band featuring guitarist Lee Harris, long-time Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, Spandau Ballet singer- guitarist Gary Kemp and Great Missenden keyboard wizard Dom Beken.

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The band received rapturous applause

Achieving instant liftoff with 'Interstellar Overdrive' and 'Astronomy Domine', the set traversed the first seven pre-Dark Side Of The Moon Floyd albums, highlights including Syd's obscure 'Vegetable Man', a luminous 'Remember A Day' and ethereal 'If'.

By 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'See Emily Play', 'Bike' and 'One Of These Days', the show had become a riotously-defiant celebration and repositioning of Floyd's early history, encores 'Saucerful Of Secrets' and 'Point Me At The Sky' capping a classic Friars night.

Regardless of whether original bassist Roger Waters' comment after guesting in New York that "you sound a lot better than we did back in the day" is true, long-time fans agreed it was a colossal treat hearing these songs highlighted so lovingly.

The evening got under way with the evocative country balladry of McNally Waters; esteemed US songwriter John McNally and Roger Waters' dreadlocked pianist son Harry, who wonthemselves an ovation.

Next on Friars' celebration programme is May 25's punk bill featuring Stiff Little Fingers, Eddie & The Hot Rods and yours truly DJing, followed by Friars founder Robin Pike and I recreating its original vibe at Temple Street Wine Bar on June 3 with '69 Revisited.