Grantchester Meadows Tribute Day
Report by Steve Bassett (aka "Madcapsyd" )
Photos by Steve Bassett and Joanne (aka "Charley"), both Astral Piper members
I arrived at Grantchester at around 2:30 and made my way to the meadows. The entrance was high up over the River Cam and a few hundred yards away I could see a crowd of people and the sound of See Emily Play was drifting through the air. A healthy turnout of around 100 people were gathered to pay tribute to Roger "Syd" Barrett. A few light showers did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. I found Joanne and she seemed delighted by the turn out.
Event Organiser - Joanna Curwood
Hopefully this will become an annual event and I'm sure that "word-of-mouth" will enable it to thrive in future years.
There was some communal singing along with the performers and it was great to hear Syd's music being so appreciated by everyone. It was also very encouraging to see some of the children joining in, hopefully becoming the fanbase of future generations. Most of Syd's favourite's were performed including Arnold Layne, Dark Globe, Dominoes, Bike and a great 3 acoustic guitar Astronomy Domine.
Before I arrived there was apparently even a dog fight to entertain the crowd! A big "Well Done" to all the musicians, who came along and really conjured up the spirit of Syd. Also thanks must go to everyone who attended, without whom there would have been no tribute and finally, but most all, a huge "Thank You" to Joanne Curwood for organising the whole tribute.
On the river there was a steady flow of punts and many "Sunday Strollers", obviously attracted by the music, came to see what was happening. Many of them stayed for the duration. Two members of 70's Cambridge punk band "The Users", Chris Free and Andrew O'Hanrahan, spared me some time to tell me how their lead singer had introduced them to Syd's music.
Chris and Andrew
I met forum member Charley and her Aunt Lorna and many thanks to both for making it a very convivial afternoon. They were also kind enough to lead me through the labyrinth of Cambridge streets to Roger's house where we admired the wall painting which had been added the previous night.
Someone had also painted the street sign pink and "Shine On" in black lettering.
The fence and gate had been removed, possibly to deter, or by, souvenir hunters. My personal opinion is that if anything appears on e-bay or other auction sites please, please DO NOT BUY!!!. Enough people have tried to make money from Syd over the years and he should now be able to Rest in Peace. There were some flowers laid by the garden and I was volunteered to be chief snail remover! Somebody had also left an apple and an orange, no doubt in tribute to the song.
All in all a quite wonderful day marked with a tinge of sadness but hopefully events like this will keep Syd and his music alive for many, many years to come.
Also Special Thanks to Joanne Milne (aka "Charley") for her wonderful photographs.