Nick Mason found re-learning early Pink Floyd songs 'challenging'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 August 2018
Nick Mason

Nick Mason

Nick Mason has opened up about the challenges of learning Pink Floyd's earlier music for his new project Saucerful of Secrets

Nick Mason was surprised at how hard he found re-learning Pink Floyd's early works with his new band Saucerful of Secrets.

The 'Wish You Were Here' drummer had to figure out how to perform the songs from the legendary band's records 'A Saucerful of Secrets' and 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', which featured the group's late singer-and-guitarist, Syd Barrett - who died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 60 - and it was more "challenging" than he expected.

Saucerful of Secrets made their live debut at Dingwalls in London in May, but before then, Nick hadn't played live since Pink Floyd's Live 8 appearance in the British capital 13 years ago.

Asked what it was like learning to play the songs, he told Billboard: "Being an eternal optimist, I thought it would just come straight back to me.

"Sadly, I was wrong.

"Once you start examining Syd's work carefully it's quite often more complex than you expect.

"It's not necessarily written like so many pop songs with an eight-bar section and the middle eights and whatever.

"It's quite often a completely different set of bar counts to what you're expecting.

"And that in a way was fun and challenging to get at the feel of the song, but not necessarily feel that we had to sound exactly like Syd or like David or whatever."

The 74-year-old sticksman says he was inspired to perform their early works with his new band - comprised of Guy Pratt, Lee Harris, Dom Beken and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp - because it shows the "imperfections" in the songs, which rarely happens in modern pop music.

Another selling point was the fact the show is not like a Pink Floyd tribute set or his bandmates' Roger Waters and former member David's solo shows.

He said: "I think we found a niche for ourselves, which is to do something that is not being done by everyone else, by the tribute bands or by Roger or David.

"It's a real return to some of the improvised sections and the atmosphere of the songs. The tendency in this day and age is to try and recreate things perfectly. We bring imperfection."

Nick and his band will play a number of shows in the UK and Europe next month.

The run kicks off at the Guildhall in Portsmouth on September 23, including stops in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, before bringing that leg to an end at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall on September 29.

The UK dates will be preceded by a 15-date run across mainland Europe, starting in Stockholm, Sweden on September 2, and concluding in Zurich, Switzerland on September 21.

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