Almost a year since his last release, Acclaimed British guitarist Snowy White presents his new studio album !!
For his previous album, Released , Snowy spent two years working mainly on his own in his home studio; this time around however, he recorded the bulk of the tracks with his tried and trusted pals Kuma Harada (bass), Max Middleton (keys), Juan van Emmerloot, Richard Bailey (both drums) and Walter Latupeirissa (bass).
In Snowy’s own words: “When I play music with friends that I respect and admire, both as players and as people, either doing live shows or in a recording environment, I feel that I’m exactly where I want to be. I feel at home. It’s been a year or two since I last got together with the musicians who appear on this new album, called, for obvious reasons,’Reunited’. We had a great time working together again and I’m very happy with the way they interpreted my ideas, helping me evolve the songs from the simple outlines that I took into the studio into complete pieces of music. So I would like to thank my friends Kuma, Max, Walter, Juan and Richard for adding their good vibes to the sessions. I feel very honoured that my music was transformed and improved by these fine musicians, and I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them once again. Because of them, recording ‘Reunited’ was a lot of fun and has created yet another store of good memories, and, for me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Music and musicians evolve and change over time, so this album is just snapshot of how it was at that moment in Snowy’s career. Tracks like ‘Have I Got Blues For You‘, ‘Headful Of Blues‘ and ‘Emptyhanded‘ cover the bluesier side of things, whereas ‘Where Will You Belong‘ and ‘In California‘ are more reflective. ‘Nuff Said‘ and ‘I Know Our Time Ain’t Long‘ are examples of the more up-tempo and rockier Snowy White. There’s something for everybody, from the weird ‘Long Time No C‘ to the tight latin groove of ‘Heard It All Before‘. Whatever the tempo and the groove, Snowy’s distinctive soulful guitar runs like a golden thread throughout the album, connecting all together and making for a satisfying and very listenable offering.
” The Evening consists of a screening of the film Pink Floyd in Pompeii followed by a interview and discussion in the presence of the director Adrian Maben and his script editor Zoé Zurstrassen.
In 1971 a two thousand year old open stone amphitheater hosted a young English rock band called Pink Floyd for a musical feature film.
A distinctive sound and performance worthy of Abbey Road, images of beauty, and especially a moment of rare creativity, this is what the film of Adrian Maben offers us in its exceptional timelessness. The event has been Organized by Improvisades and the Cultural Service of Paris-Sorbonne, in partnership with Structures Sonores Baschet.
In the last week of April 1973, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon reached No. 1 on the American charts. In the last week of April 1970, though, they had yet to crack the U.S. Top 50 after three years of recording and performing. In the midst of their third stateside tour, they weren’t selling out stadiums. It was during this tour, on April 30, that Pink Floyd played an hour-long set in an empty Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, filmed for broadcast by small local television station called KQED.
“At that point, they were really anxious to have whatever publicity they could,” remembers the program’s co-producer at KQED, Jim Farber. “We did not have much of a budget. Pink Floyd did the performance and offered the rights for a certain number of airings for practically nothing. My memory is we paid them $200.”
Widely bootlegged in the decades since, the performance is now officially available on DVD from the band. Recently, KQED unearthed raw footage of Pink Floyd’s performance, which included a half hour of music not included in the original program. After months of negotiations, KQED has been granted the right to exclusively premiere film of one of those songs, “Astronomy Domine.”
You might be wondering: in 1970, KQED was more known for Sesame Street than psychedelic rock. So how in the world did the Pink Floyd program happen in the first place?
Connecting with Pink Floyd
Simulcast on KQED radio, the special was set up as a direct result of Farber’s enthusiasm for the group. He first saw Pink Floyd in a basement club in London in 1967, when Syd Barrett (soon to be replaced by David Gilmour) was still the band’s lead guitarist and principal singer-songwriter.
“When I went to work at KQED June of 1969, I proposed the idea that we do a program with them,” he explains. “John Coney, the other producer [who also directed the special], really liked their music. So we decided we might as well make a proposal to them.”
The KQED production team brought “a huge mobile truck the size of a boxcar that held the video recording equipment” outside the original Fillmore Auditorium so the performance could be “recorded as well as you could outside the studio at that time. There’s a certain amount of vibration that was caused just from the sound of the amps. Because the technology just wasn’t that advanced yet. Portable video, the way we think of it, didn’t even exist.”
The original Fillmore wasn’t hosting rock concerts in 1970 — Bill Graham had transferred his operations to the Fillmore West on Market and Van Ness — but it was made available to the band and KQED for this special TV performance. Pink Floyd played a concert in front of paying customers at the Fillmore West the following night, reprising all of the half dozen songs they’d performed for KQED’s cameras, as well as other early favorites like “Astronomy Domine” and “A Saucerful of Secrets.”
Unexpectedly, the program opens with aerial shots of desolate fields and marshes in the San Joaquin Valley — indeed, seven minutes of “Atom Heart Mother” pass before any of the musicians are seen on screen. During “Grantchester Meadows,” the performance is interspersed with what Farber calls “nature footage.
” The cinematography is marked by close-ups of the casually dressed musicians and slow pans around the band’s perimeter. Periodic smoke effects and solarization add to the late-psychedelic-period mood. John Coney was doing some very experimental video work at KQED, and KQED at that time was really wide open in terms of they would let you do,” enthuses Farber.
“So John mapped out a visual scheme for the production. There’s no narration, there’s not the usual PBS thing of explaining everything you’re going to see. It was very abstract. We had one go at getting the Pink Floyd performance, and one day to essentially do all of the effects and lay in everything in the studio. There was no such thing as stereo TV. People could put on the FM channel and then watch it on the TV, and that was how we approximated getting the best audio we could out of it.”
It wasn’t unusual for KQED to broadcast rock concerts in psychedelia’s heyday, especially by local icons. Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and Quicksilver Messenger Service all got airtime.
In the more experimental realm, a long raga by minimalist pioneer Terry Riley sparked, reveals an amused Farber, “more nasty phone calls than anything we ever did at the station.” But Pink Floyd, for as strong an underground following as they building in the United States, were so eager for an American audience that they played a free concert at UCLA a week later. (Farber traveled to Los Angeles with the band in the hopes of getting some additional footage, but none was used. The free concert, he explains, “was really a disaster.”)
Not broadcast until Jan. 26, 1971, the special “got an incredibly positive response when we aired it in San Francisco,” says Farber. “After that, it had two national broadcasts on PBS.”
Pink Floyd’s concert for KQED hasn’t been broadcast on television for many years, and wasn’t made commercially available until its appearance on a massive 27-disc Pink Floyd CD/DVD box set in 2016, The Early Years 1965-1972. But Farber recently oversaw a meticulous transfer from the two-inch masters to DVD — “we cleaned them up as much as we could and the audio is superb”—that is now in the permanent collection of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, in whose library it can be viewed.
“I’m amazed we got it done,” reflects Farber, now a Los Angeles-based writer. “We did it on such a shoestring, and it all came together at the right moment. They really wanted to do it, we wanted to do it, and we got a good performance. You could take out certain little glitches, but I kind of like it for its roughness. ‘Cause it was a reflection of who we were at that time. The ‘60s were still very alive in San Francisco in 1970, and the thing that I loved about KQED is that you had a public television station, but the people on the staff were exceedingly hip. The amount of energy that was being generated at KQED at that time was remarkable.”
Pink Floyd drummer and founder member Nick Mason made a rare public appearance when he returned to Battersea Power Station last night.
Mason came back to the scene of the band’s ‘Animals’ album that was released 40 years ago in 1977.
The event commemorated the anniversary of the band’s popular album, which featured an inflatable pig, as he was joined on stage by broadcaster and journalist Penny Smith on November 7.
The 73-year-old spoke about the moment the giant inflatable object, tethered to one of the station’s chimneys for the photoshoot, broke free from its moorings.
It was later spotted by airline pilots at 30,000 feet before making it back to the ground after help from police helicopters in Kent.
The musician also spoke about seeing the newly rebuilt and repainted four chimneys that have remained in the regeneration project.
Mason said: “It was one of those moments you just can’t predict. Needless to say, I’m pleased the pig made it back to earth in one piece! ’m delighted to be back at Battersea Power Station 40 years after that photoshoot and it’s great to see the place coming to life with restaurants, shops and venues like this one. I’m pleased to have been a part of its history and can’t wait to see what its future holds.”
Mason was a guest of honour at the event held at Battersea Power Station’s new multi-use arts venue that was in collaboration with the Battersea Arts Centre, The Village Hall, where a photography exhibition will be held from Friday, November 10, to Sunday, November 12.
‘Visions of Battersea Power Station’ is an exhibition by British photographer Adrian Houston, who has photographed figures such as the Princess of Wales, the Dalai Lama and Luciano Pavarotti.
Mr Houston said: “It was back in 2000 that I was commissioned by Guy Laliberté, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, to photograph Battersea Power Station.The resulting images have always been very special to me, with one of the very first, ‘Through the Wall’, selected for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. To host this retrospective in the building itself, now being restored to its former glory, is very poignant. I hope this celebration of one of the nation’s most iconic and beloved structures will be equally embraced by the public.”
‘Visions of Battersea Power Station’ is open from 12 noon to 6pm on November 10 and 11, before it opens from 11am to 5pm on November 12.
It is free to attend and The Village Hall is located in Arches Lane, Circus West Village.
Rob Tincknell, chief executive of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “It’s great to welcome Nick Mason back to Battersea Power Station. Battersea has over the years become a huge cultural icon, not only appearing on the ‘Animals’ album cover, but featuring in all sorts of popular culture from ‘The King’s Speech’ to Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Sabotage’ in the 1930s. We hope lots of people will come down and check out the free exhibition and also visit the new restaurants and shops that have opened at Circus West Village.”
As the title suggests we have managed to secure an exclusive interview by email with Durga McBroom
For those not familiar with her work, Durga McBroom has worked with Pink Floyd as a backing vocalist consistently on all of their shows since the 1987 “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” Tour up to the final concert of “The Division Bell” in 1994.
In 1989, She formed the band Blue Pearl and had several hit songs including “Naked in the Rain” and “Alive” which featured guest appearances by David Gilmour and Rick Wright.
In 2014 she came back together with Pink Floyd to record on their last album “The Endless River” which sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.
AFG : Hi Durga, First of all i want to thank you for making some time in your busy schedule for us it really is appreciated. At what age did you start getting into music and when was the first moment you realized you wanted to be a singer?
DM: I actually was an actress first. I knew I enjoyed performing by about the age of 8. I played guitar in a school performance even though I had the stomach flu. I refused to miss it (I even vomited in a trash can before the show, went on, played my part perfectly, then went home). Then I was asked to play Alice in a film production of Alice In Wonderland. I loved it. Singing came later. In fact, Pink Floyd was my first tour.
AFG : Were there any artists growing up that you aspired to be like?
DM: I idolized Joni Mitchell. And I still try to write like her. I also loved Barbara Streisand as a singer. And Chaka Khan also Prince, Elvis Costello and Sting were huge songwriting influences.
AFG: Can you remember your first time infront of an audience ?
DM: Singing at school. We had a very artistic school. Every Friday we would have a “sing”, and I enjoyed it very much.
AFG: Were you a fan of Pink Floyd growing up and what are your views on the musical directions of the band from Syd, Roger, David?
DM : Yes, I loved Dark Side Of The Moon. Syd was psychedelic, Roger was emotional, David more cerebral. But the musical influences of Richard and Nick can’t be forgotten as well. Richard in particular helped to shape the signature sound of the band.
AFG : You have worked with a lot of great artists over the years, what are some of your career highlights?
DM : Pink Floyd of course, also doing backing vocals for Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Carole King, Michael Bolton, the band James, Billy Idol (we even sang a duet on “Mother Dawn”, a song I co-wrote). Boy George sang on my single, then I sang on the most recent Culture Club album. And I am singing on the upcoming English Beat album. I’m very lucky.
AFG: In 1987 you became a permanent part of the touring band for Pink Floyd can you tell us how that came about?
DM: I was in New York doing backing vocals on my sister Lorelei’s album for Capitol Records, being produced by Nile Rogers. The Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour had started. David wanted to shoot some live footage, and they only had two singers. David wanted to “add some color” as he said. The man who ran the production company knew my sister. He recommended her, she recommended me and a friend of ours, and after hearing our recordings they flew us down and shot the videos. Since they needed someone to sing bottom, they subsequently asked me to join the tour.
AFG: With the band coming out with a new album and touring the world for the first time without Roger, Being on stage did you ever feel like the audience were judging the band for carrying on ?
DM: No, I was having too much fun. And the audiences were wildly receptive.
AFG : There were a lot of rumors going around on the internet which stated that Pink Floyd had rehearsed Sheep for the 1987 Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour, We know that echoes was played on one or two of the concerts but was anything else ever rehearsed that never made the cut?
DM: I joined after the primary rehearsals, so I don’t really know what may have been rehearsed and scrapped.
(Video Above Of Durga Singing The Great Gig In The Sky From 1994 Pulse Tour)
AFG: When singing The Great Gig In The Sky do you have a place you think of mentally, one can imagine that there is a sense of pressure to be faithful to the record.
DM: We started out learning it note for note. Then as we became more comfortable with it we made it our own a bit. But I am definitely cognizant of being respectful of the original. However, at this point I think I’ve sung it more than anyone.
(Video Above Of Blue Pearl’s 1990 Single “Alive” Featuring David Gilmour & Rick Wright)
AFG: In 1990 between tours with Pink Floyd you formed Blue Pearl with British musician Youth (Martin Glover) and went on to release a fantastic debut album Naked, One of the tracks titled Alive and featured a guest appearance from Rick Wright and David Gilmour, Was it different working with them on your own music rather than with Pink Floyd.
DM: Of course! I was THEIR boss for a change! Richard was particularly excited to be playing on “a pop record”. I love their addition to the song (which was co-written by Guy Pratt). Storm Thorgerson directed the video.
AFG: Do you have any plans to reunite with Youth to make another Blue Pearl record ?
DM: We’ve been working on a new Blue Pearl album for the last couple of years. We just have limited time to record because I’m not in London often.
AFG: Since the end of Touring with Pink Floyd and David Gilmour on his 2001 stripped down acoustic shows you have done various performances with The Australian Pink Floyd & The End, and recently reuniting with Scott Page & Gary Wallis for the first time in nearly 20 years, How does it feel to be performing the songs 20 years on ?
DM: I perform this music all over the world with many, many bands, and have done so regularly for the last 8 years. Starting to perform with the old band members is like having a family reunion. I have upcoming shows with Gary Wallis, Claudia Fontaine, and my sister Lorelei. Expect even more, with even more of us, in 2018!
AFG: You featured on the last Pink Floyd record released in 2014 called The Endless River which was based on left over material from the 1994 Division Bell album as a tribute to the late Rick Wright, How did it feel to be back working with David after 14 years, Did you feel like this time was definitely going to be the end ?
DM: Yes. There is no Pink Floyd without Richard. But I do dream of singing with David, Nick and Roger someday.
From all of us here at A Fleeting Glimpse i want to once again thank you dearly for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions for us and look forward to hearing about your upcoming shows.