Ultimate light and sound experience is another trick in the wall for Brit Floyd
You've heard of The Australian Pink Floyd, now give it up for Brit Floyd, who claim to be the world's greatest Pink Floyd tribute show with the ultimate Pink Floyd light and sound experience.
They arrive at Plymouth Pavilions on Thursday to deliver note for note performances of five full album sides from The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, The Division Bell and Animals.
"These tunes were designed to be listened to in context," says main man Damian Darlington, "not in isolation, which is why Floyd were cautious about releasing their music on iTunes – they didn't like releasing individual tracks. We feel that the break where you had to turn over the vinyl album was a natural interruption."
Damian was 10 years old when he first heard a Pink Floyd album all the way through.
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"It was The Wall, which was the number one album at the time – I'd heard Another Brick In The Wall – I thought it was amazing then and still do. That led me to seeking out Dark Side of the Moon, then the rest."
Having honed his consummate guitar skills in various original bands from the age of 15, Damian played in The Helicopters alongside other members of his large family (six siblings of whom five are musicians) and studied music at a number of different colleges. In the early 90s he played in two more originals bands – Voice and the Great Henry Ewels – performing around the North West of England and sound engineering for The New Sweet Sensation. He joined the Australian Pink Floyd Show in 1994 and over a period of almost 17 years went on to play close to 1,800 shows in theatres and venues around the world, including Wembley and O2 arenas, the Royal Albert Hall, the Nokia Theatre in LA.
Three years ago he decided it was time to branch out.
"I had been playing with some musicians from Aussie Floyd in America and so there existed a bunch of musicians already experienced, so it was easy enough to form another band.
"What I wanted to do was put a slightly different spin on things visually and explore the Floyd catalogue further. With different personalities you do breathe life into the music in a different way.
"Of course what's good for us about Floyd is that they always were an anonymous band – there was no flamboyant front man like Freddie Mercury or Robert Plant – and they pioneered this incredible stage show.
"So that's what we have to reflect."
For 10 years or so, Damian had helped produce and direct all of the video content for TAPFS shows and he directed all the soundscape programming as well, which gave him a fabulous starting point to develop the Brit Floyd show further. Naturally, he thinks the Brit show has the edge over its Aussie rival.
"We're both playing Pink Floyd so there are similarities, but you may well notice a different vibe. Any tribute band's mission is to recreate the original note for note, but you'll find with our show there really is more attention to detail."
Such is the accuracy of his own performance, that Damian was invited to play at David Gilmour's 50th birthday party.
"That was such an honour and such fun, to play his own music back to him. And I was lucky enough to perform Comfortably Numb – with Rick Wright on keyboards."