We arrived in Cambridge at about 5pm and went straight to the box office, my name plus one is supposed to be on the guest list! The box office is in the building next to the actual venue, we go in and there is only one other person in front. When it is our turn I tell the very friendly girl that there should be tickets waiting for us, she takes my name, finds them and I have my tickets!
Well Corn Exchange, you have done it again, your customer service is over 100%, Lovely girl on the desk, no hesitation about finding the tickets, all done within a couple of minutes ” bye, enjoy the show” and we on our way! What a refreshing way of being dealt with…..fantastic!
We decided to go off and find some food as we are quite early, ahhhhh, there is a Nandos, that will do nicely.
When we got back to The Corn Exchange the doors were already open, the atmosphere seemed very casual and relaxed, the staff very friendly and smiley. When we entered the auditorium we realised it was all seated….noooooo!! I looked at our tickets a bit closer and yes, it does say it’s seated. We are disappointed, had a little chat with one member of staff, he also told us that he had seen the real Pink Floyd at Earls Court and nothing could beat that! Walking past the Soundy I ask him if there was any chance for the set list at the end of the gig, he promised to keep it for me :-). Our seats weren’t too bad, about 20 rows back from the front, just hoped not to get a tall person in front of me!………..hahahahaha, no such luck, a couple of late comers and yes, the tall one in front of me! Still, I managed to see some and of course it is all about the sound! having said that, the light show was amazing too!
Not having ever seen the real Pink Floyd I thought they were amazing, better then when I saw them at the o2 arena in London, I guess that has to do with the size of the venue. They opened the show with “Shine on you crazy diamond”, I and people around me were mesmerised by their performance, really enjoyable…..the only frustrating bit were the constant stream of people getting up, going to the bar, coming back with a few drinks and still talking…..they should have just stayed at the bar, go home tanked up and listen to the CD :-(. At some point I could see a bit of commotion at the very front, a young couple got up and walked out, I assumed they were leaving, but found out later that they may just have moved to a different spot. Reason for that became obvious a little later, when security escorted a couple a men out, there must have been some sort of incident.
About half way through the first part of the set Syd Barratt’s sister Rosemary was invited onto the stage, she spoke of her brother and how she helps a charity called Squeaky Gate in the name of Syd. Squeaky Gate helps empowering people threatened by social exclusion for various reasons, to express and heal themselves through music. We did notice people in pink t-shirts with buckets collecting money on our way in, now we know why! Once Rosemary explained about the Charity people in pink t-shirts are arriving on stage, some with instruments and some take position in front of microphones. I think there are about 12-15 additional people on the stage. They played a couple of Syd Barrett songs, “See Emily Play” and “Terrapin”, together, and it’s a very emotional moment, you can see how much effort and enjoyment the members from Squeaky Gate have, this is obviously a charity that really makes a difference…..fantastic work! May many people help and be helped in the future.
The band announces a 20 minute break, so this would be the point of getting a refill of drink, if only people were a bit more switched on, it would have avoided a few annoyances! I went to the usher at the front of the stage, I wondered if we could possible move to the seats of the people that got escorted out as they hadn’t come back. She said she can’t see a problem with that as the men had been thrown out due to far too much alcohol consumption! Fantastic, we grabbed a couple of seats just 4 rows away from the stage, somehow I just always manage to get close to the stage!
A quick chat with the guys behind us, they explain a bit more about the bad behaviour of the drunken guys that were removed earlier, why do people do it? Pay money to see a live band and get pissed? I will never understand that!!!
I look up to see a guy standing at the end of our row looking very very confused……..I see the nice usher laughing behind him, she had spotted his confusion too……he is looking at us, at the rows, at his drinks, back to us….it took him quite a few minutes to comprehend that he was in the right place and we were new faces. I must say, the atmosphere is still very chilled and friendly, despite the many disturbances.
Finally the Band arrives back on the stage, watching it from here is so much better as you can also be oblivious to the coming and goings behind you.
The show is just getting better and better, “Comfortably numb” is as amazing as we hoped, the bands ability to perform is fantastic, I guess it’s the closest I’m going to get to Pink Floyd! The big screen at the back of the stage displays the album covers and of course the animated film from “another brick in the wall”, for which incidentally the members of Squeaky Gate join in on stage as the children.
I must say I did enjoy the performance even though I had been told that The Australian Pink Floyd are much better, I can only go by what I have actually experienced! And for me, this was a great show; helped greatly by the Soundy keeping his word and saved the set list for me, and the faultless organisation of the Corn Exchange…..you are still on top of my venue list!