rThe Archive. :30+ years of UK Rock festivals.....
updated Feb 2021
Afan Festival Of Progressive Music .
Afan Lido .
Dec 6th 1969 .
The Lido in the 1960s , the concerts were held in the side rooms on the left ,
adjacent to the main swimming pool.
The building has since been demolished following a major fire in 2009 .
Solid State, Daddy Long Legs, Sam Apple Pie, East Of Eden, Pink Floyd, Pentangle.
Both festivals seem to have been plagued by no shows, Fairport didn't play in 69 ( tragic!).
Yes and Taste were drop outs in 1970 !
The final Floyd gig was in my home town and was the worst in terms of sound and atmosphere. The Afan Lido was a gymnasium situated next to the swimming pool of the recently constructed Lido and it had the acoustics to match the pool. Basically a brick rectangle . We used to have sports lessons there on occasions , something us indolent music freaks were always trying to avoid , mainly due to the ex drill sergeant like teacher Mr Ken Jones, who wished to see us expelled ( and probably hung drawn and quartered if he could get away with it ) as we used to leg off from his lessons if we could manage .
It was nice to see all those bands without having to travel far, ( I was living in Swansea by then but its only 11 miles ) but the barn like nature of the hall , its appalling acoustics and the very size of the audience mitigated against it being a transcendent gig like the others I'd seen in 69. There must have been over 600 there and the stage was set back further than at Swansea and Parliament Hill Fields, distancing the band from the audience.
Nevertheless, it was worthwhile being there. Although the minor bands were nothing memorable , Sam Apple Pie were fun and East Of Eden played an excellent set , Dave Arbus on violin was a great front man- I wonder where he is now ? .
Floyd manfully offered some new songs which I had not seen them perform before , but which perhaps did not suit the venue as much as the more manic numbers they played at Swansea. Overall the improvisation was not so much to the fore here, they had seemingly moved on to a more structured set, but perhaps that was due to the nature of the gig, at P.H.Fields they were performing to an audience that was probably more open to them taking risks- hard core freaks, whereas the Port Talbot audience was a lot more parochial and were there to hear the hits. Also the open air nature of the PHF concert gave a warm vibe , whilst the brick walled ugliness of the Lido did not really go very far towards creating a special atmosphere.
However the band played a very decent show and were well received, although Gilmour looked as though he was not too happy with the on-stage sound , I can remember
him looking rather distressed at times. By this time he had swopped sides with
Waters and was stage left , Mason still being slap centre and his drum kit seemingly getting larger and more elaborate
at each passing gig .By this time he definitely had his GONG , which dominated
the stage behind him and was used just once during the course of the show I
think.It was a shame that this was the last time I got to see the band , it
was not the ideal circumstance in which to go out and it possibly contributed
to my lack of energy in bothering to search them out again.
|After Floyd, Pentangle were something of an anticlimax . I was never fortunate enough to see this band in a decent venue or with support bands who were in the same mode . At Port Talbot, their acoustic based music was just lost in the reverb box that was the Lido and they sounded tinny in comparison with the louder rock bands. A great shame , as I admire them all as musicians, most especially Danny Thompson, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch, but they just were not suited to big venues or outdoor gigs, where the tiny PA's of the day just could not give them enough substance to make their presence felt.|
I'm sorry you didn't much like PF at Afan Lido. I was a student at UWIST Cardiff and went along as I had a car and loved it. I'd not seen them before and knew little about them. We sat on gym benches about 3rd row. Were they on a stage or same level as us? They seemed very close. Later saw them Sophia Gdns Cardiff - with Ron Geesin, Hyde Park - Atom Heart and same again at Colston Hall - with bacon cooking for Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast -, Bristol and last at Wembley Arena - Dark Side of the Moon. I still rate it one of the best I've seen as it was such a revelation. It was only yesterday I wondered when exactly it was and started looking it up on internet. I was thrilled to hear some of the music played that night
Daddy Long Legs, US trio, were a big hit with the crowd. They played a distinctive country-folk-rock which may have been a particular US regional style, not that I would have known, being in my early teens. A very happy, laid back, stoned sound. Similar earthy, rootsy feel to Creedence, but different blend of influences. Floyd were great, too. The sound issues were probably way over my head; it was just great to be there!
I was enthralled by the whole event. I was really impressed by East of Eden and their Eastern influences. I agree that Arbus was amazing and their outing was cracking. Daddy Longlegs made quite an impression on the day, must have because the next weekend they played in Skewen Rubgy Club and I went to see them. They were a great live boogie unit. The Floyd blew me away. I remember the dark stage, was I wrong on that point, the strange, eerie ambience and atmosphere and the light show. I remember being on the right hand side of the stage somewhere towards the front. It made such an impression I still think of it and have taken the effort to write this. It is true that the sounds that we hear in our teenage and early years are the ones that stay with us and leave the greatest impression.
Pink Floyd in 1969