Playing as a part of a cover band is almost a rite of passage for musicians all over the world. And while it is sometimes no small task to replicate the music of other acts, Pink Floyd tribute act Brit Floyd is on a level all its own.
Since the group performed its first show in January 2011, Brit Floyd – The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show has performed to more than one million fans over the last three years.
They perform the music of Pink Floyd with stunning accuracy, but what undoubtedly helps set the group apart is the attention to detail poured into every show.
The Brit Floyd live show includes the trademark Pink Floyd arch and circle light show in addition to original video and animation inspired by the designs of longtime Pink Floyd artistic collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
Brit Floyd returns to the Moncton Coliseum on Tuesday evening to perform Discovery, a three-hour musical journey that spans Pink Floyd’s entire recording career from their 1967 debut The Piper At The Gates of Dawn through their final studio release, 1994’s The Division Bell.
Brit Floyd musical director, guitarist and vocalist Damian Darlington says that their most recent tour will feature a bevy of Pink Floyd hits. Fans can also expect some deep album cuts to be trotted out as well.
“The nature of this tour is based upon the Discovery box set that was released in 2011. There are certain songs like “Another Brick In The Wall,” “Money,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” that are going to get played every show,” Damian says.
“The idea with Discovery was for us to dive deeper into the Pink Floyd catalogue and include songs like “Astronomy Domine” and “Fat Old Sun” alongside the better-known hits in the show.”
Damian says that having the opportunity to introduce songs that are new to the group’s set list is invigorating for both the band and the audience.
“We have really enjoyed playing these slightly more obscure tracks. They are great pieces of music, some of which were rarely played by Pink Floyd themselves when they were playing live. The other big perk, of course, is that it is stimulating for us to play songs that we either haven’t played for a long time or might be playing for the first time. It is nice to have those new additions into the show,” Damian says.
Brit Floyd’s performance in Moncton is one of approximately 58 shows that the group is performing on their current North American tour. The tour began in early March in Pennsylvania and is slated to wrap up in mid-June in Salt Lake City.
While there can be a slight variance to the number of shows that they perform from year to year, Damian estimates that the group routinely plays an average of 140 shows per year.
“Having a busy schedule is what we’re about. We are a touring band that is very fortunate to work with a great crew who help keep everything running smoothly from one city to the next.”
Aside from a one-time reunion in 2005 at the Live 8 Benefit Concert, Pink Floyd has not been active since the mid ’90s, when they effectively retired from the road. And though Pink Floyd founding members David Gilmour and Roger Waters continue to actively tour on their own, any lingering hopes of a full-fledged reunion tour from the group after Live 8 were effectively dashed when keyboardist Richard Wright passed away in 2008.
Brit Floyd serves to fill the absence left by Pink Floyd, an it’s an honour that the group takes seriously. They aim to deliver as authentic a show-going experience to those in attendance as they would see if they were actually seeing Pink Floyd.
To Brit Floyd’s credit, their plan seems to be working. Damian acknowledges that word of mouth along with a television special aired on PBS in the United States have both been crucial tools in helping their shows grow in terms of attendance.
“There is nothing quite like seeing the show for yourself,” he says. “People seem to be a little more inclined to take the opinion of friends over advertisements.
“I have listened to Pink Floyd since the time I was a teenager. I could never have imagined that I would be able to parlay my love of the band into something I am able to do full-time. It is a definite honour to be able to play this amazing music for audiences all over the world.”
What: Brit Floyd
When: Tuesday, April 15, 8 p.m.
Where: Moncton Coliseum, 377 Killam Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $39.50 (plus service charges). Advance tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, by phone at (506) 857-4100 and online at tickets.moncton.ca