Due to death, and/or internecine feuding; the chances of seeing the original PINK FLOYD are absolutely nil. The nearest we can get to seeing the unique music of the band played live nowadays, is to go and see one of the many excellent tribute acts currently performing across the World – such is the lasting influence of the original Pink Floyd.
Chief among these Floyd tribute acts is THE AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD – a 10 piece band consisting of: vocalist; 2 guitarists; bassist; keyboard player; drummer; wind instrumentalist; and 3 girls on backing vocals. All very professional and impressive performers. I do not know of any other tribute band that can (1) command £40 a ticket (15-quid is about the most a tribute band could normally expect) ; (2) sell out a gig almost a year in advance; (3) fill up a venue the size of The Cliffs Pavilion; and (4) put on such an impressive show.
I first saw TAPF with the same dos amigos (Rambo and Bunny) two years ago at the same venue (having been too slow to obtain tickets for last year’s gig!). Being an early bird with the tickets this time, I managed to get three seats in the centre of the upper circle; and an excellent view we had too. The ticket stated that there would be a ‘Special guest’, but there was no support act. It was a two-part TAPF show + encore.
The band opened the show themselves with a near-perfect rendition of the long and bluesy prog-rock classic piece: ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’; before launching straight into ‘Welcome To The Machine’. Various Floyd favourites followed, including, (from ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’): ‘Us And Them’; ‘Time’; and ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ (featuring an excellent performance by the three ladies on backing vocals). Other tracks were: ‘Another Brick In The Wall’; ‘Talk To Me’; ‘Hey You’ (with its slightly disturbing arpeggio); and ‘Pigs’ from ‘Animals’
Floyd’s earlier work was represented by the psychedelic ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’. And ‘One Of These Days’, which began with a didgeridoo intro; prompting my friend Bunny to quip that Rolf Harris must be the ‘Special guest’! (Thankfully not!). The middle section of ‘One Of These Days’ also included the inflation of a large plastic kangaroo, centre-stage – a parody, of course, of the original Floyd’s inflatable pig of 1977.
The sing-along classic ‘Wish You Were Here’ began with an amusing parody of the original radio tuning-in at the beginning of the song. This consisted of snippets of film shown on the large circular screen over the stage, from various well-known iconic Aussie cultural motifs: Neighbours; Crocodile Dundee; Skippy; Men At Work; AC/DC (who got a very loud cheer!), Kylie Minogue, and Waltzing Matilda! The song was played superlatively and the audience were in good voice too.
The band finished, of course, with a blinding rendition of ‘Comfortably Numb’; before returning for the inevitable and well deserved encore – a cover of ‘Run Like Hell’. It went down a storm with the crowd!
Along with the music (and inflatables) was a superb light-show. Which although at times obscured the stage because of the brightness in our faces, which was a bit annoying, was nevertheless spectacular. My only other (minor) criticisms would be that barely a word was spoken directly to the audience by the members of the band; and I’d like to have heard them play ‘Money’. All in all though, it was a brilliant gig. I expected as much and wasn’t disappointed.
Wish you were there! Phil the Music Quill