Last night we went to see a Pink Floyd tribute band. From Australia. They don’t let you forget that. Who needs a flying pig when you can have a bouncing kangaroo on stage? Being a tribute band can have its curses. It’s tough to live up to the real act – that’s the comparison people will make. Pink Floyd are easier to copy than most bands though. Get the instrumentals and lasers right, and the vocals can be forgiven to a certain extent.
So how good are Aussie Floyd? Well, they got the instrumentals and lasers right. Can you see where this might go? Yep, their vocals ranged from sometimes good, to often a bit off, to downright weak. There were quite a few people there who’d seen them before though, who reassured me that they’re normally a lot better. But nevermind – their guitarist was on form. So it was a good show. It did bring home the fact that whilst Dave Gilmour is rather unassuming, and whilst his voice isn’t terribly celebrated, he is a quality singer.
One thing I thought the Aussie Floyd got wrong – too much pre Gilmour stuff. The Pink Floyd of Sid Barrett and the Pink Floyd of Dave Gilmour are chalk and cheese. And no one turned up for the chalk last night. We were there for the cheese. I’ve nothing against Barrett, and some of the old stuff is great in its own right. But those are tracks of their time, whereas from Dark Side onwards the tracks were timeless.
But we all enjoyed the show. Especially two slightly sozzled older gents who stood up, jumped around, played air guitar and fell over whilst the rest of us sat down and absorbed the show. They were scolded by security more than once. I couldn’t help but think, with a sense of irony, they’d gone to the wrong show. Last year I went to see Roger Waters in Mexico City, where everyone got drunk and jumped around. Except one guy, who got scolded for just sitting there absorbing the show. Yes, that guy was me.