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Roger Waters (British Summertime) http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/36/06/2e/Roger-Waters-Live-Thumb-49-1531860928.jpg Hot

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Roger Waters (British Summertime) - Hyde Park, London (UK) - 06 July 2018

I have been kicking myself on a regular basis since 1980 when I had the chance to see Pink Floyd perform 'The Wall' at Earls Court and didn't go. Okay, I saw Pink Floyd before they finally ended in 1994 (not counting Live 8), but never with Roger Waters. A lot has been said about the silly relationship wrangles between him and the rest of the band (David Gilmour mainly), but Waters still keeps the flame burning by coming out every few years and putting on these fantastically oversized visual events which I love, and they are... well... fantastic, even if Waters does tend to use them to preach his politics. Who is to say he is wrong though. Therefore, I was sold on this before we started, and this made it unlikely to be a bad review. However, it was in London, which presented obvious problems when you are travelling over a hundred miles to get there, especially as there seemed to be a systematic slowing of the country due to roadworks on possibly every road we have here. Regretfully, this meant I wasn't able to get to see Seasick Steve (who was the only other person on) and I must confess I wouldn't have minded catching him, or any other act, that performed prior to Waters.


Roger Waters Live 1

The sun shone brightly and London was like a furnace, and the question going through my mind was "would I be able to stand for another two and a half hours without passing out"! I'm sure you can appreciate that it is very difficult to review things lying on the floor gasping for breath. The show was due to start just before eight, but things sort of kicked off half an hour earlier with a video on the huge screen (that covered the whole of the rear of the stage) of someone sat by a river that nobody could see because of the sun shining directly on it. There are two different types of show on this tour; the indoor one which saw audiences divided by screens that come down the centre of the arena and play at being Battersea Power Station and the outdoor ones with the screens at the rear of the stage. As there was nothing overhead, other than a small black square pulled taught by cables on each corner, I figured that the latter was the one we would see tonight. I actually found myself being slightly disappointed by this fact.


Roger Waters Live 2

The show was split into two halves; the first (keep in mind that the sun was still out for this half) was always less likely to be as dramatic as the second once the sun started to go down. Eventually, eight people wandered nonchalantly onto the stage and commenced playing music that has defined a generation. The show started with a Pink Floyd instrumental, 'Speak To Me', and I knew that Floyd's music would make up the majority of the set, with most of that coming from the 'Dark Side Of The Moon' album. This was followed by the likes of 'Breathe', 'One Of These Days', 'Time', 'Wish You Were Here' and a truncated version of 'The Great Gig In The Sky' that was handled superbly by Lucius girls Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. The last song of the first half, 'Another Brick In The Wall', saw local kids from the Grenfell area lined up along the front of the stage dressed in Guantanamo style orange suits with black plastic bags over their heads and t-shirts that had 'Resist' printed on them underneath.

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The surround sound system was excellent and after the twenty minute break, which saw messages displayed about Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg and anybody else who has questions to answer these days, we heard a helicopter that appeared to fly overhead, which fooled many people into thinking it was one, and then a siren heralded the rising of Battersea Power Station on screens at the rear of the stage with four smoking chimneys rising above and a pig suspended between two of them. There was the sound of barking dogs to emphasise... well... 'Dogs', along with automatic gunfire (which I noticed concerned many of the people around me). 'Pigs (Three Different Ones)' saw the band and Waters decked out in wolf and pig masks as they sat around a table drinking wine, that is until a placard was raised with "Pigs rule the world" on it, after which Waters himself raised one which read "Fuck the pigs", for which he got a loud cheer. We also had a large, red, inflatable pig that floated over our heads with "Stay Human" on one side and "Or Die" on the other. There was an excellent saxophone solo from Ian Ritchie during 'Money', and towards the end of the concert, we also had a metallic silver orb, that once again floated above (the moon!), which was then joined by a 3D pyramid that stretched over the audience's heads from the front edge of the stage (it was created by projecting four white lasers onto the small black square I had seen earlier) that transformed into the 'Dark Side Of The Moon' logo with the spectrum coming out of it. If you were stood in the right place, you could get a picture of the orb right at the apex of the pyramid which was pretty neat. This all happened during 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse', and it all brought the set to a close. Waters gave a short speech about equality and the Israel/Palestine problem, after he showed us his keffiyeh, which somebody from there had made for him, before he then departed the stage. After a few minutes, they all came back on to do the obvious finisher, 'Comfortably Numb, which was as grandiose as you would expect.


Roger Waters Live 3

At the end of the night, Waters had presented another fantastic visual and sonic experience that people who had never attended big concerts like this wouldn't really believe if you told them. As ever, Waters had once again surrounded himself with excellent musicians, most of whom I would suspect the majority of the audience would not have known about before this show. How does he do it? That was it then, my first Roger Waters experience and hopefully not my last. No crashing Spitfires, no dividing the audience and no inflatable teachers, wives or mothers, but still an incredible show. Although I will continue kicking myself for missing 'The Wall' all those years ago, I will probably not do it so hard now.


Roger Waters Live 4

Set-list Part One: Speak To Me, Breathe, One Of These Days, Time, Breathe (Reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Welcome To The Machine, Déjà Vu, The Last Refugee, Picture That, Wish You Were Here, The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, Another Brick In The Wall Part 3
Set-list Part Two: Dogs, Pigs (Three Different Ones), Money, Us And Them, Smell The Roses, Brain Damage, Eclipse
Encore: Comfortably Numb.

Review by Andy Brailsford
Photos by Andy Brailsford and Lou Clowes

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