Pink Floyd Plays With Their Brand New Singer & Guitarist David Gilmour on French TV (1968)

In 1968, Pink Floyd’s rela­tion­ship with increas­ing­ly drug-addled lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Syd Bar­rett unrav­eled. Though Barrett’s depar­ture wasn’t offi­cial­ly announced until April, that band had already begun, by neces­si­ty, per­form­ing and record­ing with­out him late the pre­vi­ous year, adding gui­tarist David Gilmour to the line­up to sup­plant Syd’s errat­ic per­for­mances. In Feb­ru­ary of ’68 the band appeared minus Syd on a French live-music pro­gram called Baton Rouge. Six­ties music blog A Dandy in Aspic describes the show as cap­tur­ing dur­ing its year-long run “some of the best British Mod/Psych bands at their peak,” includ­ing The Small Faces, The Moody Blues, and the Yard­birds, with Jim­my Page.

This Floyd footage, how­ev­er, is espe­cial­ly sig­nif­i­cant for its por­trait of the band find­ing its way through the trau­ma of its chief architect’s men­tal demise, with a seem­ing­ly awk­ward Gilmour tak­ing over:  “It still sounds great, but the band are vis­i­bly uncom­fort­able. Roger Waters’ dark psy­che­del­ic gem ‘Set The Con­trols For the Heart Of The Sun’ sounds amaz­ing, and ‘Let there Be [More] Light’ is an indi­ca­tion of Pink Floy­d’s new, post-Syd direc­tion.”

In addi­tion to those two songs from their upcom­ing sec­ond album A Saucer­ful of Secrets, the band plays two songs from their debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The weird mys­ti­cal chant “Astron­o­my Domine” doesn’t suf­fer at all, since key­boardist Richard Wright sang the lead vocals on the album ver­sion and does so again here. David Gilmour takes over the lead for Barrett’s “Flam­ing,” which is such a Syd song, with its dis­turb­ing and child­like lyrics and loopy vocal melody, that his absence becomes notice­able. But it comes off fine, if some­what stiff, and the song remained in their set for years after­ward.

For more clas­sic psy­che­del­ic per­for­mances from the 1967–68 Baton Rouge, head over to A Dandy in Aspic.

via Kurt Loder/Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Doc­u­men­taries on the Mak­ing of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here

Psy­che­del­ic Scenes of Pink Floyd’s Ear­ly Days with Syd Bar­rett, 1967

Syd Bar­rett: Under Review, a Full Doc­u­men­tary About Pink Floyd’s Bril­liant and Trou­bled Founder

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Son­net 18

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.