Thursday, April 17, 2008

Clowns and Jugglers and fairgrounds

For various reasons, I stumbled over this video of Syd Barrett and Soft Machine - a quirky piece I had never heard before.

My first surprise was seeing a NoFit State poster in the mix - from 1m 23s to 1m 38s.

Then I kept listening, and he was singing about the Octopus ride (2m) - which counts as a double hit for me, as I worked on an Octopus ride (not as fancy as the one in the video) when I first dropped out of school and went to work on the fairground. Just a year or two before standing in the front row at UFO in 1967, watching early Pink Floyd from just a few feet away - with light shows! (I'd never seen anything like it, even if it seems like a cliche today).


The Purple Gooroo said...

"Octopus" is from Syd's first solo album "The Madcap Laughs"--Soft Machine acted as his backing band, with contributions from Gilmour and Waters as well.

Is that what he's singing? Octopus ride? I always thought it was "please leave us here/close our eyes/to the octopus rise.." - I agree that 'octopus ride' makes more sense...

Syd also set James Joyce's poem "Golden Hair" to music on "Madcap.." Good stuff.

Toby said...

Yeah PG, when I worked on the fairground the Octopus was more like this one from the Fairground Archive...less fancy than the one in the video clip...I did six months on it...the fine madness of youth. And no, I never mentioned it to Syd (never met him) or anyone else I can think of, but I guess telepathy does count for something when a lot of good acid is around.

I did once give a ride to Patrick Hughes the artist and some of his students, up in Leeds...(on Woodhouse Moor)...

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