Nick Mason: Re-learning early Pink Floyd material wasn’t easy

(Image credit: Andrew Redington - Getty)

Nick Mason has admitted that re-learning early Pink Floyd material for his Saucerful Of Secrets project was “challenging.”

Mason, along with Gary Kemp, former Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, The Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris and The Orb’s Dom Beken, got together for four intimate performances in London in May and will head out on the road next month for further dates in the UK and Europe.

And in a new interview, Mason has given an insight into the project and reveals that the band would like to bring Saucerful Of Secrets to a wider audience.

Mason tells Billboard: “Being an eternal optimist, I thought it would just come straight back to me. Sadly, I was wrong. Once you start examining Syd Barrett’s work carefully, it’s quite often more complex than you expect. 

“It's not necessarily written like so many pop songs with an eight-bar section and the middle eights and whatever. It's quite often a completely different set of bar counts to what you're expecting. 

“And that in a way was fun and challenging to get at the feel of the song, but not necessarily feel that we had to sound exactly like Syd or like David Gilmour or whatever.”

The tendency in this day and age is to try and recreate things perfectly. We bring imperfection

Nick Mason

As for the audience reaction to the project, Mason adds: “I think we found a niche for ourselves, which is to do something that is not being done by everyone else, by the tribute bands or by Roger Waters or David. 

“It's a real return to some of the improvised sections and the atmosphere of the songs. The tendency in this day and age is to try and recreate things perfectly. We bring imperfection.”

Following the European live dates, Mason says they’d like to explore further afield – including possible shows in the US.

He says: “What I underestimated was the enthusiasm, not of the audience, but of the band. Pink Floyd was always enthusiastic, but not like this lot is now. 

“Everyone wants to do everything. ‘We want to go to America. We want to go to South America. What about Peru?' It's like a travel agency.”

Find a full list of the band’s upcoming September tour dates below.

Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets UK and European tour dates

Sep 02: Stockholm Circus, Sweden
Sep 03: Copenhagen Forum Black Box, Denmark
Sep 04: Rostock Moya, Germany
Sep 06: Amsterdam Carre, Netherlands
Sep 08: Antwerp Stadsschouwburg, Belgium
Sep 09: Luxembourg Den Atelier, Luxembourg
Sep 10: Paris Olympia, France
Sep 11: Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Elektrikhalle, Germany
Sep 13: Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Germany
Sep 15: Stuttgart Beethovensaal, Germany
Sep 16: Berlin Tempodrom, Germany
Sep 17: Lepzeig Haus Auensee, Germany
Sep 19: Vienna Stadhalle F, Austria
Sep 20: Milan Tetro Arcimboldi, Itlay
Sep 21: Zurich Samsung Hall, Switzerland
Sep 23: Portsmouth Guildhall, UK
Sep 24: London Roundhouse, UK
Sep 25: Birmingham Symphony Hall, UK
Sep 27: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK
Sep 28: Glasgow SEC Armadillo, UK
Sep 29: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, UK

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.