Pink Floyd

Live Pink Floyd, Oude-Ahoy Hallen, Rotterdam, Oct. 12, 1967

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With better than expected (but still fairly lousy) sound quality, but a scintillating set list, this Italian CD dates from one of the last complete shows Pink Floyd played with founder Syd Barrett on board. The show (despite what it says on the title) dates from November 13, 1967; Barrett was gone less than two months later. Even more excitingly, however, Oude-Ahoy Hallen Rotterdam offers us a glimpse into what a second Syd-led Floyd album might have comprised, its five songs rounding up three then-new numbers, plus first album freak-outs "Pow R Toc H" (expanded here to a marathon 11 minutes), and "Interstellar Overdrive". The opening "Reaction in G" and "Scream Thy Last Scream" are familiar only from the band's BBC and studio bootlegs, while "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" would slow down considerably before being preserved on A Saucerful of Secrets. Even so, at nine minutes, it remains an astonishing performance, while it's not often that we get to hear Barrett's bass playing.

Like the equally invaluable recording of Pink Floyd's October 1967 Star Club performance (wherein lurk further new songs "One in a Million" and "Stoned Again"), Oude-Ahoy Hallen Rotterdam is scarcely a relaxing listen. But it is a superb historical document, and one that all fans of early Floyd need to seek out.

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