Pink Floyd and Great Shelford

An early version of Pink Floyd played two concerts in Great Shelford.

Trinity House at 11 Cambridge Road, Great Shelford was the setting for a party which was described in the book " A Pink Floyd fan's Illustrated Guide to Cambridge" as one of "two important Floyd episodes."
 
The party/ concert on October 1st 1965 was billed 'The Tea Set', which featured performances from an early version of Pink Floyd, and Paul Simon. The line up at that time was Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Rick Wright.
 
Paul Simon's set included played "Where have all the flowers gone." He also joined The Tea Set for some of their gig. He is said to have composed his song Homeward Bound at Widnes station the previous month. "He was clearly very talented," recalled Jokers Wild drummer Clive Welham. The Sound of Silence went to Number One in the United States charts just 3 months later in January 1966.
 
David Gilmour's band Jokers Wild (pictured at the concert above left - picture copyright Echoes- the complete history of Pink Floyd by Glenn Povey) also played at the same party. It was for the 21st birthday celebration of twins Rosemary and Libby January. Libby was the-then girlfriend of Pink Floyd album cover designer Storm Thorgerson. They were later to marry. The line-up also included David Altham from Little Shelford. He has talked for the first time about his part in the formative days of Pink Floyd.

Christine Terrell recollects: "I remember seeing the band (my friends) in Shelford. I remember Paul Simon scrambling up onto the stage and falling off, and the place being gate crashed – or so it seemed – by a gang of ‘rockers’.

Pink Floyd aficionado Alan Gleaves from Stapleford explained; "In reference to page 29 of Glenn Povey's book, 'The Tea Set' turned up to play a significant gig at RAF Uxbridge in January 1965 only to learn that there was another band billed to play at the same show called 'The Tea Set' . It has been documented that Syd Barrett changed their name half way through this show to 'Pink Floyd'.  As Glenn's list of gigs show, the band appear to have oscillated between using the name 'Pink Floyd' and 'The Tea Set' throughout a number of gigs they played throughout 1965, so it may well have been the case that they decided by the time of the party/concert at Trinity House in Great Shelford in October of that year they were now back briefly performing as 'The Tea Set' again. It does appear that they didn't settle properly on the name 'Pink Floyd' until mid 1966, when the 'Sound' was dropped from the name.
 
The same house was also used as the location for the cover art of Pink Floyd's double album, Ummagumma. According to information on one Pink Floyd forum; "It  was shot in the back garden of Trinity House, 11 Cambridge Road. On the Trumpington side of the railway bridge, just before the cemetery, there is a private road that leads to some very big houses. Trinity House is the big one at the top of the drive." (There's a book called 'A Pink Floyd Fan's Guide to Cambridge' by Mark Worden and Alfred Marziano that has the the Floyd locations in.)

And an early version of Pink Floyd also played at the Memorial Hall in Great Shelford on Saturday February 16 1963.  This was billed as Geoff Mott and the Mottoes featuring Syd Barrett. Members of the band later played with David Gilmour in Jokers Wild.

Here is an update from Alan Gleaves from Stapleford: "The gig that took place at the Great Shelford Memorial Hall on Saturday 16th February 1963 saw the performance of the band 'Geoff Mott and The Mottoes' and the line up was Syd Barrett vocals, Geoff Mott vocals, Tony Sainty on Bass and Clive Whelham on Drums, so technically it wasn't really an early version of Pink Floyd as Dave Gilmour was at the time playing in a local Cambridge band called 'The Ramblers'. 

Also at this time, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason were in the early years studying for their Architecture degree at the Regent Street Poly (before they all quit to pursue their musical interests), so this was still about a year before Syd went down to London to join Waters, Wright, Mason and Bob Klose in Mike Leonard's house share where they formed 'The Spectrum Five'.

"In my opinion, the party/concert on 1st October 1965 at Trinity House at 11 Cambridge Road was most significant as it witnessed the union between 'The Tea Set' (Barrett, Waters, Wright and Mason) and Jokers Wild (David Gilmour, David Altham, John Gordon, Tony Sainty, Clive Welham, Peter Gilmour and Willie Wilson), so David Gilmour was now in the know for when he was needed to step in to replace Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd in early 1968.

"I have always found it very interesting history right on our doorstep!."      


Read some local memories of growing up alongside David Gilmour.

Do you have more details of the gigs? - Please email davidm1961@gmail.com