One of my photos

Delicate sound of thunder

February 12th, 2014 · Posted by Skuds in Music/Technology · No Comments · Music, Technology

This evening I watched the first half of Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound of Thunder concert film that was broadcast on BBC Four over the weekend, which gave me a chance to indulge in at least a triple dose of nostalgia.

The concert footage was from their 1987-89 tour, filmed during August during the US leg of the tour in August ’88.  The first reason for nostalgic musings was that I saw them about two weeks beforehand at the old Wembley stadium so it was basically the same show that I saw – same personnel, same set list, same staging and lighting. Not quite as good as being able to watch the film of a show that you were in the audience for, but the next best thing.

The second cause for nostalgia was that I had also seen Pink Floyd at an earlier stage of the tour, in Sydney in January, when they played ten nights at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, so it is impossible for me to watch the film without being reminded of my first trip down under and the first time I saw Floyd – from about row 7!

On top of that there was some meta-nostalgia about the actual film because I used to have it on VHS before my old VCR chewed it up and ruined it. Unlike many VHS tapes that got seen once then left on a shelf to rot that one was well-watched. The film has never been released on DVD so this was a rare chance to see it again.

It is easy to see why it hasn’t been put on DVD or blu-ray. The picture quality wasn’t fantastic and it was entirely in 4:3 ratio, and that was a little bit of nostalgia in itself. I can’t remember the last time I watched something on TV in 4:3 aspect ratio, even though I do watch some old TV that pre-dates widescreen TVs by a long way. I try not to think about how much of the original TV picture they might be chopping off or how much subtle stretching of the picture might be going on to make it fit a modern TV when old shows are on Dave. Full marks to the BBC for not messing about with the picture at all, but it felt really strange. It wasn’t too long ago that widescreen was a novelty but we totally take it for granted now.

Best of all, I stopped after One Of These Days, so I still have the rest of the show to look forward to, including [*] that amazing finale with the mirrorball contraption on Comfortably Numb and the lasers, spinning footlights, fireworks, and kitchen sink of Run Like Hell. Much as I enjoyed the later Division Bell tour I still prefer the lightshow they had for the ’88 tour.

[*] Should I have put a spoiler alert there? 😉


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