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ConcertsAustralian Pink Floyd - Birmingham Symphony Hall, March 21st 2011

Posted on Sunday, March 27 2011 @ 12:48:20 CDT by Dean Pedley
General The profile of The Australian Pink Floyd Show since they first toured the clubs of the UK in the early 1990's has been by far the most impressive of any group of performers tagged with the "Tribute Act" label. Indeed such is their reputation that they can comfortably sell out venues such as Birmingham's Symphony Hall on an annual basis. And despite two or three recent changes in personnel this remains the definitive recreation of the Pink Floyd live experience.

Keyboard player Jason Sawford takes the stage alone for the customary opening to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" as the rest of the ten piece band (still including founder member Steve Mac) gradually join him. As anyone who attended Floyd tours of the 80's and 90's will know the show is very much based around the music and the effects with little acknowledgement of the crowd, and the Aussie Floyd deliver their set in a similar fashion. The first half spans the decades from a creepy "Arnold Layne" through "Welcome To The Machine", "Sorrow" and "Coming Back To Life". And where the Aussie's really deliver is with material that the band themselves rarely played such as "Dogs". A much missed omission from the Momentary Lapse and Division Bell tours here it closes the first half of the show and is played and sung with absolute precision.

For the second half the audience don their 3D glasses as the rear screen promises some additional special footage. With the heartbeat throbbing away during the intermission it can mean only one thing and an animated kangaroo duly selects a copy of Dark Side of the Moon from its shelf. Only the first half of the album from "Speak To Me" to "The Great Gig In The Sky" is performed but with the added 3D visuals it makes for a mesmerising experience. After this they delve even deeper into Floyd's history with an explosive "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" that transports the listener back to the ruins of Pompeii. This proves to be the last real surprise of the set as the rest is largely the well trodden path of "Wish You Were Here", "Money", and "Another Brick pt 2". The exception is "One Of These Days" complete with the grinning inflatable kangaroo bouncing along in perfect time. When the Aussie's play the pre- Dark Side material you can't help but wish they would offer more of this as they do it so well and something such as "Embryo" or "A Saucerful of Secrets" would be really welcome. But you can't argue with the closing pair of "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" that moves the crowd to their feet and are truly exceptional. Whilst the Aussie Floyd are still around, the legacy of Pink Floyd is in safe keeping.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond 1 5 / Welcome To The Machine / Coming Back To Life / Arnold Layne / Sorrow / Learning To Fly / Dogs <> Speak To Me / Breathe / On The Run / Time / The Great Gig In The Sky / What Do You Want From Me / Careful With That Axe, Eugene / Money / The Happiest Days Of Our Lives / Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 / One Of These Days / Wish You Were Here / Comfortably Numb <>Run Like Hell

Review by Dean Pedley


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