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1971 Australian Tour

PROMOTER: unknown

David Gilmour [guitar, vocals]
Nick Mason [drums, percussion]
Roger Waters [bass, vocals]
Richard Wright [keyboards, vocals]

Support act: Pirana, Lindsay Bourke (Sydney)

13 August 1971 - Melbourne - Melbourne Festival Hall
15 August 1971 - Sydney - Randwick Racecourse


1972 Australian Tour

PROMOTER: unknown

David Gilmour [guitar, vocals]
Nick Mason [drums, percussion]
Roger Waters [bass, vocals]
Richard Wright [keyboards, vocals]

Support act: (unknown)

16 March 1972 - Melbourne - Melbourne Festival Hall
17 March 1972 - Sydney - Randwick Racecourse


In Australia audiences have become resigned to the fact that in some cases (e.g. Jimi Hendrix) major rock acts have never toured here, and we have had to wait years, even decades, to see many other favourite acts live. Yes made their acclaimed first tour here in 1973 but did not return for thirty years. Genesis did not tour here until 1986, almost twenty years after they formed. So it's remarkable that Pink Floyd's first two visits to Australia were within twelve months of each other -- although it would be another sixteen years before they returned on their third tour.

1971 Tour
Pink Floyd's first visit to Australia, in August 1971, came towards the end of their year-long "Atom Heart Mother" World Tour. This had begun in September 1970, taking in their fourth tour of the USA, a string of European and UK dates and three shows in Japan just prior to their arrival in Australia. Most of the material played came from their two previous LPs, Atom Heart Mother and Saucerful Of Secrets although they also included a couple of new numbers from their forthcoming album Meddle, including Echoes, the extended track that took up the entire second side of the LP.

At this stage Floyd were still only know to the 'cognoscenti' in Australia and they played only two shows in here, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Howwever the band were already gaining a solid local following, particularly among surfers. In 1973 filmmaker David Elfick used Echoes on the soundtrack of his famous surfing film Crystal Voyager to accompany the unforgettable "in the tube" footage shot by George Greenough. Pink Floyd were apparently delighted with the result and were reputedly happy to trade the music rights in exchange for a print of the film. Floyd used slide and movie projections extensively in their lightshow and Greenough's footage was seen at many a Floyd concert over the next few years.

The ABC also filmed some of the Randwick Racecourse concert for its pop show GTK and the group were also interviewed. [Read a transcription of the Pink Floyd 1971 GTK interview]. Footage of the group performing Careful With That Axe Eugene (dubbed with the studio track from Ummagumma) can sometimes be seen on the ABC's late night video show Rage. The footage (presumably taped from Rage) circulates widely among Floyd collectors.

An incomplete bootleg recording (94 minutes) of the Melbourne concert exists. The songs recorded were:

Atom Heart Mother
Green Is The Colour
Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Saucerful Of Secrets

Among the numerous bootlegs from this period, the best is probably the superb full-length BBC stereo recording of the Paris Theatre, London concert, taped on 30 September 1971. A few weeks after their Australian visit, from 4-7 October, the group was filmed and recorded in performance at the spectacular Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii for their Live In Pompeii concert movie.


1972 Tour
Floyd's second visit, in March 1972, followed the same pattern as the first -- one show at Melbourne Festival Hall and a second outdoor show in Sydney at Randwick Racecourse. On January 20 at The Dome in Brighton the group had given the first performance of an ambitious new forty-minute concept piece called "Eclipse", which they offically premiered over four now-legendary shows at London's Rainbow Theatre from February 17-20. Some of the segments from the piece were played during the subsequent world tour, including (presumably) Australia.

"Eclipse" was of course the working title for what was became their most successful album, The Dark Side Of The Moon, which went on to become the longest-charting record in history, spending a total of fourteen years in the Billboard Top 100.

To date we have been unable to locate any other information about this tour and no bootleg recordings are so far known to exist.


The following text is a great first-hand account of the Melbourne Festival Hall concert by Col Turner, who had already seen the group once in London, just before he emigrated to Australia. Col says only about 500 people attended the Melbourne show and, incredibly, he and his girlfriend bought tickets at the door -- and got 7th row centre seats!

Col Turner: "Floyd played at Festival Hall, Melbourne on 13 August 1971. They were booked to play one gig.

I was looking forward to seeing Floyd in my new country with eager anticipation but near disaster struck!. The day of the concert I went down with a severe sore throat! I felt like death all day but that night mustered up the strength to get out of bed and take my girlfriend (now my wife) to see her first Pink Floyd show.

We arrived at Festival Hall about 45 minutes before the advertised start. There were not many booking agencies in those days, so you got to the venue early and took your chance on buying a ticket at the door. Floyd had not yet "cracked it" in Australia and I was hoping to get a reasonable seat.

"2 tickets please," I croaked to the girl behind the counter.

We then entered the hall to be shown our seats... wait for it... 7th row centre!!!

I estimate the crowd as about 500 and Floyd probably lost money that night but what a show!!!!!

Not many people in Australia were aware of this show, even today people do not believe that Floyd toured that early. That is why I refer to this as "the 1971 forgotten show."

A while ago I was lucky enough to receive a RoIO of this show (audience recording) and this has helped me remember what a brilliant show it was!

The set consisted of Atom Heart Mother (without orchestra) Green Is The Colour, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Echoes (planetary version) Cymbaline, A Saucer Full Of Secrets. Not a bad selection, I think you will agree.

They casually walked onto the stage, picked up their instruments, tuned up a bit and then launched into the sweetest version of 'Atom Heart Mother'. Beautifully done, with Roger using his scream & some backing tapes I suspect, to fill in for the orchestra. Nick was on his mettle that night, really giving the skins a thrashing on this number.

For a change of pace, they played 'Green Is The Colour', which Dave found a tad difficult in places! He missed a few of the higher notes but hey! whose perfect?

Then the tension started to build, as they crept into a very haunting 'Careful With That Axe Eugene'. Roger's scream was at it's best and the hairs on my arm tingled as the music cascaded around the almost empty hall! It was like a private Pink Floyd concert for the select 500 or so. A bit like the old UFO days!

Roger then announced that they were going to play 'Echoes' but because of equipment failure, they would do 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' next instead.

After a lot of messing with the equipment, Nick's cymbals reverberated as the intro begun. Rick's playing was also at it's peak that night as his fingers danced across the keyboards. Nick was now going beserk on the drums, thrashing & crashing away and Dave & Roger were totally involved as they contributed to a song I had heard them perform many times before but never as good as then.

Roger then announced that one of the 'Leslies' (speakers) had burnt out but they were going to do 'Echoes'.

I think this was the only time I saw them do this number live.

A bit of 'Rick's Turkish Delight' before Ping...Ping...Ping... A slow begining, beautiful soaring guitar from Dave, then the vocals. Now I suppose I could look it up & trancribe the words here but that is not what this is all about. Suffice it to say they sang the 'Planetary' version. That is, the song this night, was not about 'Albatrosses' but instead about 'Planets'. An absolutely glorious version, with delightful vocals and guitar work. Rick seemed to me to be slightly out in the first part & his organ seemed a bit heavy handed but when it came to the 'Seagulls' bit, man were they together! Sensational, wish I could put into words how good it was!

Next came an old favorite in Cymbaline, which Dave sang to perfection. He hit every note in a very difficult song. Very nicely done by everybody. An extended version, with delicate keyboards by Rick & Nick doing some nifty work on the cymbals again. They then played the 'Footsteps' tape (from Man & The Journey?) which I found pretty boring & the rest of the audience were getting restless as well. Fortunately it only lasted a couple of minutes and they found their way back into the end 'Cymbaline'. I was hoping they might do 'Embryo' but instead got to hear 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' which I was pretty pleased about. Roger's guitar and Nick's drums could be heard as they eased into a cacophony of sounds, all going off doing their own thing, just like the old days! I could see a few people with their fingers in their ears, as the sound got louder, the guys were all having a ball. Boy did Nick let fly again, pulsating drums, Rick's organ screaming and Roger & Dave let loose. Then it was all over. Even though it was a very small crowd, Floyd had given it their all. My memories have been assisted by the tape I have of the show but I can still remember the sounds they made that night, even after all this time. They had changed from the "experimental" band I had seen some four-and-a-half years previously into a polished and professional outfit, still prepared to "try something different" but now in control of their musical wanderings. (As a silly aside, there is one part of the tape, where I can actually hear myself whistling! All these years later & still a Floyd nut!)"


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Col Turner
Pink Floyd: A Fleeting Glimpse

Eric Ogle's Pink Floyd Bootleg Page

C.G. Whitman's CD And Tape Trading Page

The Pink Floyd Archives

Pink Floyd - Story Of The Band

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