51st Anniversary of Pink Floyd at Ritz Ballroom

Posted on Mon, 19 Nov 2018 in: What's On and News

Crazy Diamond To Shine On 

Unique photograph unearthed of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd at Ritz Ballroom before Anniversary Concert

A unique photograph of the legendary band, Pink Floyd, on the stage of King's Heath's old Ritz Ballroom has been sent to pop historians Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker ahead of a mini festival they have arranged to commemorate the 51st Anniversary of the group's legendary appearance.

Still fronted at that time by the charismatic but increasingly erratic Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's appearance on 16 December 1967 was one of their first in the Midlands and came shortly after the release of their second single See Emily Play and their first album 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn'. On the same bill that night were The Rare Breed including Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler who would later find fame and fortune as members of Black Sabbath, Gospel Garden, and DJ Dave Terry.

Joining Syd Barrett on the tiny Ritz Ballroom as part of Pink Floyd were Roger Waters, Rick Wright and drummer Nick Mason who was born in the loc area of Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

The exciting photograph was sent to the pop historians by Tom Murphy now aged 72. "I traveled to the concert from Coventry with a bunch of mates. Luckily we had a camera with us. We were big fans of Pink Floyd and wanted to hear them play live. I remember them playing Arnold Lane, See Emily Play and Astronomy Domine. Syd Barrett was very much the frontman and wrote their early singles and most of their first album. It was a great shame he had to leave the group"

He left the group in April 1968 and was replaced by David Gilmour. Despite releasing a couple of solo albums, he never achieved the same level of success as with Pink Floyd and had mental health problems until he died of cancer in July 2006.

Pink Floyd went on to become one of the most bestselling and influential groups of all time and were last year the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The commemorative mini festival will be held in King's Heath on Sunday 2nd December. 

From 3 pm to 6 pm a great selection of local musicians including Peters & Dog whose last single was about Syd Barrett, Brum Radio's Layla TuttJoey Smith, Tim Walkerdine and others will perform their favourite Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett songs at Fletchers Bar on York Road.

Tickets cost £4 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £4.40 from www.wegottickets.com/event/453068

Any remaining tickets will cost £5 on the door.

At 7 pm doors will then open at the Hare & Hounds opposite for an amazing two and a half hour full lighting and laser show by the Coventry based, award winning tribute band Dark Side Of The Wall. They regularly perform at major sold out events throughout the country and will play a great selection of songs of Pink Floyd songs from their extensive back catalogue. Included in the set will be the amazing, Another Brick In The Walk, Money, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb and Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd's tribute to their Syd Barrett who sadly died of cancer in 2006.

Advance Tickets are selling fast and cost £8 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £8.80 from www.skiddle.com/e/13143744

Any remaining tickets will cost £10 on the door.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker, who have organised the day long Pink Floyd Mini Festival, said "We were really thrilled to be sent the photo of Pink Floyd on the Ritz Ballroom stage. We have only been able to unearth two other photos of the ballroom's stage and one of the outside. The photo is virtually unique. We are expecting Pink Floyd fans from all over the country will travel to our mini festival".

Dark Side Of The Wall's long serving bass player Steve Chilton said " We are delighted to be returning to King's Heath to headline this Pink Floyd 51st Anniversary event. We love what we do and aren't afraid to let the audience know that. Pink Floyd's music and persona are often perceived as quite serious but whilst we perform their music with the love and respect it deserves, we always bring our own personalities to the stage. Playing this music is great fun and hopefully, the audience pick up on that when they see the band fully committed to what we do and loving every moment of every song. That's what a Dark Side Of The Wall show is all about - quality live music and a great night out for both the band and the audience".

Ian Barrett, Syd Barrett's cousin, who helps run the official Syd Barrett website, said, " As a family, we are delighted this anniversary event is being held in King's Heath again. We have been thrilled and amazed that the music Syd created is still loved so much after his death. His music and art are enjoyed by so many across the globe and this shows no sign of abating".

Definalty work getting involved in!

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