Brit Floyd at The O2 – Review & Photos
Brit Floyd at The O2 Dublin – 2nd November 2013
There are a great many Pink Floyd fans still knocking around and they seem to be one of those bands who gather a new flock with each new generation of music lovers. Accordingly, the desire to see a re-united PF (minus the deceased Rick Wright) is as strong as ever and is unlikely to diminish in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, what with David Gilmours intransigence towards Roger Waters overtures it’s looking more and more unlikely as the years pass by. This huge demand creates a void to be filled and this is where tribute acts such as ‘Brit Floyd’ and their more experienced contemporaries ‘The Australian Pink Floyd’ fit into the picture.
This tour has been billed ‘P-U-L-S-E 2013, The Pink Floyd Ultimate Light & Sound Experience’, and is inspired by the last Pink Floyd tour almost 20 years ago in support of the Division Bell album. Essentially it’s a retrospective of the band’s career encompassing their most popular and successful period from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ right up to and including 1994’s ‘Division Bell’. The show kicks off with the first side of ‘The Wall’ and straight away it’s apparent that it’s going to be something impressive. The band make excellent use of a form of Gerald Scarfe animations that accompanied the original Pink Floyd album and show. The light show is incredibly eye catching as well, as good as any I’ve seen for any other major acts. The vinyl animations between each side are a really nice touch as well and straight away we’re into side 1 (that’s in vinyl speak for those of you under 40) of ‘Wish you Were Here’ and the musicianship is flawless. We’re then treated to side 2 of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, followed by a short break and then side 1 of ‘Animals’. Throughout the show we’re treated to an impressive selection of visuals and CGI to accompany each relevant performance. We even had an inflatable pig during the encores (though why it didn’t accompany the ‘Animals’ section, I’m not sure). The only lull in proceedings was during the 3 songs played from ‘The Division Bell’, an album that doesn’t really cut the mustard alongside the classics. Surely a side from ‘Meddle’ or even ‘the Final Cut’ would be more appropriate, but that’s only a small complaint on my part and, in fairness, most of the crowd seemed happy to hear it. But the best was saved ‘til last when they came back and gave us the songs we’d all been waiting for, ‘Time, Wish You Were Here, One of These Days, Comfortably Numb’ (complete with disco ball and theatrical doctor/patient piece) and ‘Run Like Hell’. At this stage the crowd were on their feet and in rapture and it was a job well done by the performers.
The handy thing for a Pink Floyd tribute act is that they don’t have a lot to live up to in terms of stagecraft. As Roger Waters once famously pointed out, PF could probably have put a surrogate band on stage and the audience would be none the wiser. However, a PF tribute act has an enormous responsibility when it comes to the musical performance of the Pink Floyd legacy… no easy feat for any musician, and in this regard they’re not found wanting. The similarity to the original songs is uncanny, and its obvious that these are musicians that have an emotional bond with the music they are playing.
With Roger Waters recent gig in the Aviva it was unlikely that they were going to pull a big crowd though, and this proved so. The reduced capacity venue had a lot of empty seats and it’s a shame for the band, because the time and effort that goes into a production like this deserves recognition on a wide scale even if it is only a ‘tribute show’. The fact is though, if you’re a Pink Floyd fan, this is a close as you’re gonna get to the real thing. Maybe the future for bands like Pink Floyd are tribute acts like these to preserve their legacy. They certainly do a fantastic job of carrying the torch.
Review by Tony Martin
Photos by Tudor Marian