Delicate sound of Australia
By Graeme McLoughlin, April 2007
More than just a tribute band: The Australian Pink Floyd Show returned to the Ipswich Regent 9 months after the death of the original band's founder Syd Barrett was laid to rest. They paid tribute.
The nagging doubt always remains - if I hadn't got free review tickets via the BBC website I'd be paying nearly £30 to see what isn't even the real Pink Floyd. However, plenty of people are prepared to suspend disbelief and open their wallets - TAPFS was on for two nights at the Regent this time around.
If you like Pink Floyd, you'll enjoy an almost crystal clear recreation of their sound produced by 11 people on stage. It's complemented by a round screen which has constant projections on it. Alas, there is no flying pink kangaroo.
The English Syd Barrett
An immaculate 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' opened the show and Syd's image flickered above them at its close. It wasn't the only tribute to the genius of psychedelic Floyd. 'Astronomy Domine' opened Act 2, and for your reviewer, who proudly boasts it as his favourite song of all time, this was both a highlight and yet the biggest disappointment. It just didn't live up to the original.
There was little else though by means of disappointment. The original Floyd and the line-ups that followed would have been proud of this performance.
Gilmour's guitar solos were mastered. For those fans who don't believe me, fast forward your Dark Side of the Moon CD to 4 minutes 32 and 4 minutes 48 on 'Money' .. and yes, TAPFS nailed it!
'Comfortably Numb' and 'Sheep' were immaculate. 'Wish You Were Here' and 'The Great Gig in the Sky' were clear favourites amongst an appreciative audience.
The strobe lights very nearly called for the paramedics at one point, especially during 'One of These Days' and closer 'Run Like Hell'.
Brain Damage itself was the band's platform for a political message, with the final two songs from DSOTM closing Act One in front of video footage of various political leaders - both Bushes, Blair, Saddam, Amin, Major, Thatcher, Reagan et al.
Guitarist Damian Darlington was Aussie Floyd's true piper and a guitarist's dream. He'd certainly set the controls.
While the vast majority of the songs were performed exactly how the band itself minus one Roger Waters performed them during 'Delicate Sound' and 'Pulse', 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'' (absent from both those live albums) had its own Aussie Floyd workover complete with digireedoo! It worked!
Arguably the best of the night was 'Time.' Once again, Darlington effortlessly got through one of Gilmour's best guitar solos in fine fashion without breaking into sweat and the vocal harmonies were superb.
It was also wonderful to see one of Floyd's most underrated songs 'On The Turning Away' appear on the setlist. As Floyd return to Oz, it's time to maybe have a cigar and return to the originals.
last updated: 11/04/2008 at 13:47
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