BRIT FLOYD MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Brit Floyd is arguably the best Pink Floyd tribute band touring anywhere in the World. Since their first gig in 2011 they have performed to over half a million Floyd fans around the globe. Their current tour, P-U-L-S-E 2013 is a spectacular light and sound experience and comes to the UK in October and November. It features note-for-note renditions of all five album sides from The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish you were here, The Wall, The Division Bell and Animals.
I recently caught up with Brit Floyd's musical director and guitarist Damian Darlington for a chat about the forthcoming tour. Playing the back catalogue of one of the most megalithic bands in rock history is no mean feat, but Brit Floyd have risen to the challenge time and time again. Having toured extensively with the Australian Pink Floyd, Damian has 20 years experience of putting on a live Pink Floyd show. As well as being the musical director for the band he also works closely with the visual team to bring the breathtaking live show to life.
Damian says the current show “is the opportunity for people to see a collection of Pink Floyd's work that they never would have seen Pink Floyd themselves do all in one go. Covering such a variety of the Pink Floyd catalogue all in two and a half hours is a unique experience. You never would have seen the original band do all these songs in one concert”. Which for a fan of Floyd is reason enough to see this new show!
It is the 40th anniversary of the seminal album - Dark side of the Moon, so what does Damian attribute to the longevity of Pink Floyd's appeal? “There’s a lot of profound things being dealt with lyrically... I think people are drawn to Pink Floyd for the lyrics and the subject matter... They seem to connect with the stories and the ideas that particularly Rodger Waters was coming up with when he was writing these songs. It's almost becoming like classical music in a way. I think their music will be around for a long time to come. " Far from just being old fans who want to see these shows, a whole new generation are discovering Pink Floyd's music. “There are teenagers coming along who weren’t even born when Pink Floyd last toured... People are as affected by it now as they were in the 70s and 80s.”
I felt compelled to ask Damian what is his favourite Floyd album is. His reply: “I always had a soft spot for The Wall. When I was first discovering music in general and learning how to play guitar it was the first Floyd album I heard.” Such is the power of Pink Floyd's music that you really do latch onto those first encounters with them and keep it with you. The power of the music and the ingenuity of the recordings are something that never go away and remain fresh every time you listen. It is a testament to Pink Floyd's music that it continues to have such endurance. This is something that is celebrated by Brit Floyd in their spectacular live shows as a way of honouring some of the most influential musicians of our time.
The big live gig seems as popular as ever, even though a lot of music is downloaded and the business is hugely different to the way it was when Floyd were performing large venues. Damian asserts that there is “something different about listening to this music in a communal environment and the visual experience too, people are still looking for that experience.” Brit Floyd thrive on fully replicating this stadium experience as much as possible including playing large arenas like the Greek Theatre in LA and on this UK tour the prestigious Royal Albert Hall which Damian is very excited about. The band itself is made up of a fantastic 9 piece band which Damian says contains everything needed to play Pink Floyd's tracks through the years.
If you were still in any doubt just how good these guys are, Damian had praise from Caesar himself, David Gilmour after being invited to play at his 50th birthday party. Whilst there he was asked by Rick Wright if he could play Comfortably Numb with Damian onstage! You can't get more assurance than that!
After their UK tour Damian plans to make the show bigger and bigger. "We'd like to take the show to parts of the world the show hasn't gone to, India, China, Japan. It's a real ambition to get the show over to the fans in those countries. "
With an every expanding fan base, Pink Floyd is loved all over the world. If you love Pink Floyd don't miss Brit Floyd's fabulous P-U-L-S-E show at a venue near you.